Find Your Fitness Tracker Sweet Spot

By Koren Wetmore |

If you’ve ever used a fitness tracker, you know it can be both cheerleader and taskmaster. On good days, it motivates you to reach your health goals. On bad days—when you can’t keep that coveted running pace or some decadent dessert pushes you past your calorie count—it glaringly reminds you of your shortcomings.

Your fitness tracker can even rob you of the joy you once felt while walking, eating or slumbering, replacing it with concerns about step counts, calories and sleep quality.

So why use it? Because it can help you tune into personal habits along with vital messages your body may be sending you.

“We already have natural sensors throughout our bodies, but we don’t always pay attention to them,” says Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of Cedars-Sinai’s Health Services Research, whose medical research includes the use of wearable biosensors and consumer fitness trackers. “We might eat, for example, not because we’re hungry, but because there’s food in front of us. We ignore our body’s signals that tell us we don’t need to eat.”

Fitness trackers take those signals and present the data in a way that nabs our attention, he says, enabling us to compare our progress against our set goals…

Published on Cedars-Sinai Blog