Hitting Your Step Goals: Fitness or Addiction?

Girl sitting on a bench after step workout

They’re everywhere: the fitness trackers, fitness clips, fitness bands, step tracking on your phone. You’ve probably heard of Fitbits, Jawbones, Fitbug, Garmin, Pebble, and much more. But what is it about these devices that makes them so popular? It’s partly how easy they are to use. They also have the ability to download data to your mobile devise or desktop so you can track your stats. Some even compare your numbers to other people like a game. I find this is a great motivator and is helping raise awareness about fitness.

Some larger companies like Target are also using the fitness band to help do charity. Unicef partnered back in 2015 to help feed hungry children in developing countries. The goal is for children to wear the fitness band and get as many steps as possible. The more steps, the more food is sent to communities in need across the globe. Walgreens will even give you cash  rewards for hitting step goals. Stay in shape and save some cash!

The downside to this technology however is that it can can lead to unhealthy fitness addictions. So how do you know if you’re being held hostage to this tiny piece of technology or just getting in shape with your friends?

How do you know if you’re being held hostage to this tiny piece of technology ?

Where does the slippery slope begin? How about that step count goal. Most fitness trackers have a goal set for you to reach, typically 10,000 steps which is recommended by the American Heart Association and Shape Up America. You’re bound to get pretty excited once you reach that goal. Every day you’re running, walking, trying your best to reach that goal, and before you know you’re officially sucked into what is the very beginning of a fitness tracker addiction, so be careful!

The motivation of adding your friends to the fun can also add to your new stepping compulsion.  Now other people can see your scores, step counts, and stats. You’re constantly trying to beat your friends, whether its to the highest step count or to win the “who’s in the best shape” battle. The key here is competing in a way that still listens to your body.

How do you make sure you’re not overdoing it?  The most important thing is fueling your body; make sure you are taking in as many calories as you are burning off. Also make sure to stay hydrated, which applies to any workout! Hydration is key.  Also make sure you build rest days into your workout regime, you need to allow your body to rest and recuperate in order to hit your fitness goals. Always know your limits, everybody is different and requires different needs. So just remember to have fun, play safe, and keep that healthy competition going!