While Fitbits have recently been used to solve homicides, the case is not quite as open-and-shut when it comes to their fitness abilities.
According to a study published earlier this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine, fitness tracker accuracy should not always be taken at face value – particularly when it comes to the wearer’s heart rate.
April’s study evaluated the results from four fitness trackers currently available from leading brands Fitbit, Basis, and Mio, and discovered that heart rate results were often less accurate during exercise as opposed to rest.
While the popular fitness devices were found to assess high and low heart rate trends reasonably well, several were off by a wide margin during high-intensity exercise. Such over- or underestimates could give a wearer a false sense of security, critics say, potentially leading to over exertion. The reason for such inaccuracy is that the devices – many of which rely on an LED that measures changes in blood levels – tend to move and shift on the arm.
While fitness trackers are in no danger of extinction – they once again topped the list of hot fitness trends for 2017 - experts state that the devices are not, and were never meant to be used for medical purposes. They still can provide a wealth of useful feedback to the wearer, however, specifically when used to supplement a structured workout program, such as those led by a personal trainer.
Cardiovascular exercise is an essential element of any quality fitness program. By increasing your heart rate through routine movement, the body’s oxygen consumption is elevated. Proper cardiovascular exercise not only improves metabolism and circulatory functions, but it boosts strength and endurance, lowers blood pressure, and replaces fat with muscle.
Far too many fitness studios are ill equipped to provide quality cardiovascular training, which leads to unsuccessful client sessions and – not unlike the fitness tracker accuracy scenario – muddled results.
At Fitness Together Ellicott City, our qualified and accredited personal trainers will provide one-on-one consultation to addresses your specific health and fitness needs, and can use that information to create a program that is just right for you. Our trainers will also keep a close eye on your exertion level, while monitoring your heart rate the old-fashioned way. Drop by our studio today and speak to one of our personal trainers to learn more.