The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Why I Gave Up Wearing All Fitness Bands
The latest technology crave is that everyone is buying these fitness bands, also known as activity trackers. If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is get up and walk or be more active. Anyone could easily do this without a band, but the bands monitor your steps and calories burned. Great products to keep track of what you are doing during the day, especially because the hardest part of monitoring calories is how many calories you burn just by walking or being active throughout the day.
At the time of this writing, there are or were several top bands including the Polar Loop, Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuel, Jawbone, and a ton more. All with their advantages and disadvantages to offer something for everyone, depending on personal preference. Some were better at monitoring all activity, such as biking and swimming, while others could monitor only steps and running. I ended up choosing the Fitbit, without choice, because it was a gift.
I normally hate wearing anything on my wrists, especially watches, but I accepted the fact that this rubber band was going to be on my wrist for quite a long time. I accepted it, wore it in the shower, in the pool, and everywhere. The only time it came off was when I needed to charge it, usually every 3 to 4 days.
I ended up wearing it for about a year and a half and finally received the Polar Loop as another gift, which I wore for several months as well. I began wearing both of them to see the difference. It seemed they measured about the same, give or take a hundred or two hundred calories here and there. Both are useful tools and are definitely worth getting if you are looking for something to assist in weight loss.
The Polar Loop has more information to share, including the time, the activity throughout the day, whether you are being active or not, and how much further you needed to go and what you needed to do in order to achieve your goals. The Fitbit Flex only tells you how far along you are to achieving your goals. The Fitbit Flex offers more comfortably than the Polar Loop, as the metal could sometimes cause discomfort. The Polar Loop also seemed to get dirty from sweating and caused rashes. The cleaning process is involved and while the company suggests just using water, and not using alcohol, water did not take away what looked like gunk or dead skin cells in the small notches of the band’s design.
I used the fitness bands throughout the time of my weight loss, from 260 pounds down to 195 pounds, to remind me and motivate me that I should constantly be in weight loss mode. I monitored calories, took note of what I ate throughout the day using LoseIt! and I would sync up the Polar Loop with MapMyFitness. I would try to aim for about 1000-1200 calories out of my allotted 1600-1800 per day, creating a massive deficit.
After the rash kept coming back, I decided to finally remove both the Fitbit and the Polar Loop. I had met most of my goals and would finish the last 30 pounds of my goal without any reminder that I needed to workout and achieve my goals. After 65 pounds of weight loss, I am in a routine to know what I have to do in order to lose weight.
I thank the fitness bands that helped in the process of changing my life, but feel that they are no longer necessary to wear on my wrists. Thank you Fitbit, especially, for being with me the longest. Thank you Polar Loop for being there for me during my workouts and giving me an accurate heart rate reading, but our time has come to an end.
Would I recommend both the Polar Loop and Fitbit to everyone? Absolutely. Would I recommend continuing to wear them throughout your weight loss and after you have achieved your goals? Absolutely.
For anyone looking to lose weight, consider any exercise band if it will motivate you and remind you of your plan for weight loss. Once you achieve your goals and train yourself to become disciplined to continue on your path of weight loss and maintenance, it is your choice to continue wearing it. Fitness bands are there as a symbol that you should be aware of your health.
I made the personal choice to finally take it off after a year, due to skin irritation, and the fact that, I once enjoyed the freedom of a watch-free wrist, and finally being able to have no objects attached to my wrist constantly is the freedom of achieving the majority of my weight loss goals.