Unplugging from Technology

Debra Gerber, Certified Personal Trainer

Most of us spend a considerable amount of time with technology such as cell phones, fitness trackers, smart watches, and other wearables. These devices have been all the rage for almost a decade. You most likely own one yourself. There are many benefits to all of the technology we surround ourselves with, however, they are not without their drawbacks!

On one hand, fitness trackers provide motivation to increase physical activity in our day-to-day lives. They can act as a gateway from a sedentary lifestyle to establishing real, measurable, and attainable fitness goals. All of this for much less than the cost of a gym membership or personal trainer!

On the other hand, as with most technological innovations meant to make our lives easier and more convenient, these wearables come with unintended consequences as well.

For example:

  • The added stress from not accomplishing our daily fitness goals. (i.e. 10,000 steps or bust!)
  • The inability to fully disconnect since the device on our wrist is not only tracking our workout, but also alerting us of new emails and/or social media updates.
  • A loss of spontaneity since we feel like we must track every activity – even a simple walk in the park.

As someone who has worn a Fitbit for several years, I have come to realize that it no longer provides the motivation that I once experienced. As a result, I now recommend that my clients spend more time disconnected and instead enjoy nature and their surroundings. I have found that a social run with friends is much more rewarding than achieving another fitness milestone in my tracker app.

If such devices help keep you motivated and accountable, by all means keep using them. But I challenge you to listen to your body more often than your wearable!


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