Will a fitness tracker actually help me smash goals?

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Will a fitness tracker actually help me smash goals?

Flirting with the idea of a fitness tracker? Well, you’re probably wondering whether or not buying one will pay off over the long haul. While the research is often mixed, one thing is clear: they’re definitely a clever way to measure progress and pinpoint where you’re currently at in your fitness journey.

Sean McGuinness, a personal trainer working with predominantly weight-loss clientele with an emphasis on behavioural psychology, has seen fitness trackers have a positive effect on clients.

“People sitting down in offices and in sedentary jobs don't realise how little they move. Having something to keep them accountable to move around is excellent for them,” he explains.

“It gives people an extra push to take the stairs instead of the lifts, or even getting off a stop early on the bus or train. As a variable of activity, they’re good to have when trying to get in shape, stay healthy and lose weight.”

Since they exploded into the market in the early 2010s, fitness trackers have undergone quite the makeover. While the early iterations were really just sleek, sexy pedometers, today’s wearables have many more in-built features: think sleep trackers, heart-rate monitors, multiple exercise modes, and even gentle reminders to get up and move when it detects you’ve been on your butt for extended periods. Easy smartphone syncing and extended battery life make them easy to set and forget.

So when it comes to their impact on motivation, what gives?

Well, the problem seems to lie in the expectations people have of their wearable. If you’re committed to reaching your fitness goals, a fitness tracker is can help you gauge your progress, but it’s unrealistic to expect them to be motivating in and of themselves.

But if you’ve got your eye on the prize, and you’re ready and willing to put in the work, fitness trackers are a smart (and stylish) tool to keep yourself accountable, in control, and on track to smash those goals.

Pictured: Target Fitbit Ace Kids Activity Tracker – Blue $98, Target Fitbit Charge 3 – Graphite/Black $179

Target