North Texas Daily

Activity tracks are the new workout buddy

Activity tracks are the new workout buddy

Activity tracks are the new workout buddy
February 02
23:37 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

While some have dropped their New Year’s resolutions only a month in, others are making headway as more  people purchase gym memberships and start running

Recently, Dentonites are picking up smartwatches and activity trackers like the Fitbit and Galaxy Gear Fit in an attempt to make things a bit easier. Utilizing built-in pedometers and sensors and a companion phone app, these wrist-worn accessories keep activity streamlined.

Best Buy employee Jae Plotke said at the start of this year, activity tracker sales went up due to resolutions. Plotke said being able to see progress at any point during the day makes working toward your goals somewhat easier and more exciting.

“I think a lot of people want to be healthy, which explains why it is millions of peoples’ New Year’s resolution each year,” Plotke said. “However, change does not come easy, which hints at why a majority of those resolutions fall through. But I think that activity trackers have made it easier to get the results that the wearer wants immediately.”

A plethora of features

Activity trackers provide information in different forms. For example, Fitbits specifically show factors like the number of steps taken, calories burned and quality of sleep.

Compared to other activity trackers, Fitbits have more features that may be promising to buyers. Sports Authority associate Sean Kirkland said the recently-released Fitbit Charge HR is one of the best-selling products at sports stores because it tracks the user’s heartbeat.

“Since the Charge HR just came out, a lot of people are wanting to upgrade,” Kirkland said. “It accurately tracks all activities and has a heart rate monitor, whereas others do not. It is definitely the most popular activity tracker around at the moment.”

Another feature the Fitbit offers is the ability to alert the user when they have hit their goal for the day.

“My favorite thing about my Fitbit is whenever I reach my goal, which can be anything from steps traveled to distance walked or calories burned, all five lights on the band come on and it buzzes,” criminal justice junior Katie Slusarski said. “It is like it has a little party on your arm. It just happens unexpectedly but it always makes me happy and feel good about myself.”

Fitbit also has an additional model called the Fitbit Surge, which acts as a smartwatch. It syncs with smartphones to notify the wearer of incoming calls or text messages and allows them to control their music through the band.

Some users prefer other brands of activity trackers.

“The waterproof Garmin is convenient because you do not have to worry about it getting wet,” Kirkland said. “I know a lot of people who get Garmins because they love to swim, and they do not have to worry about taking it off and putting it back on.”

Another feature activity trackers have is available through the app, where users can track  food intake.

“With these trackers, you are able to enter in what you eat and it will tell you have many calories you have burned through the day,” personal trainer Lisa Roark said. “Because of that, you will know if you ate too much or if you were in a calorie deficit, which helps in order to know what you should eat for the future.”

With the multitude of activity trackers offered, many people conduct research to find which one suits them. Biology senior Vlad Otvos is looking to purchasing one.

“I have talked to a few friends that have trackers and have of course looked in some stores,” Otvos said. “I have spent a lot of time on the Internet so I can research product reviews, also. I just think that getting one would be nothing but a positive impact because it lets you easily track your lifestyle.”

Staying accountable

Kinesiology freshman Dylan Calder said his Fitbit allows him to easily reach his goals every time he goes to the gym.

“I work out almost every day, so I like to keep track of all the physical activity I do,” Calder said. “There is nothing really negative about trackers, in my opinion. They are there to help you strive and for you to enjoy while being physically active.”

For Slusarski, her Fitbit tells her how much she is actually moving, specifically while she is not working.

“I work at Target, and it requires a lot of walking and being on my feet,” Slusarski said. “It interested me to know exactly how much I needed to work on outside of work itself.”

Otvos, despite not having a tracker, said because of the growing popularity,, he feels that it is a smart move for anyone to purchase one.

“I want something to help track my lifestyle,” Otvos said. “I want to see how many calories I burn naturally, how well I sleep and just how active I am all around. With this, I can do that. We do not always think about those things, but trackers like the Fitbit do it for you so that at the end of the day, you can see just how productive or unproductive your day was and how you can improve.”

Featured Image: Students exercise on cardio equipment at the Pohl Recreation Center on campus. Some use activity trackers as motivation to reach goals. Photo by Devin Dakota – Staff Photographer

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