It seems like everyone is looking for a “magic pill” when it comes to improving their personal health and fitness levels. Fitness technology and activity trackers, like Fitbits and Apple watches, can be helpful. But a new study we conducted found that simply purchasing a fancy activity tracker is no guarantee of success. Although sales of the popular devices have soared in recent years, only a small percentage of users have reached their fitness goals. In fact, nearly 70% of those who purchased activity trackers or fitness apps say their activity levels increased “only slightly” or “not at all.”
The Good News
The good news is that our survey uncovered a simple secret to dramatically improving your health and fitness: combine activity tracking with a supportive coach or workout buddy, and find a routine that’s right for you. Survey respondents who counted their steps and received coaching were five times as likely to achieve their fitness goals. And 90% who used a personal trainer said they increased their activity level and made progress toward their goals.
“Activity tracking devices simply provide raw data,” said Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise programming for Anytime Fitness. “A trainer or coach can use the data to set baselines, establish realistic goals, and craft personalized plans that will help transform simple measurements into effective motivational tools.”
The Bottom Line
Before you waste time and money on a fancy activity tracker or a new fitness app, find a coach or trainer who can help you develop a personalized plan to help you get real results. Because, after all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.