Trying to get fit? You should buy a fitness watch! They track how many calories you burn each day, they set daily goals for you to accomplish, and some of them even monitor the rhythm of your sleep. Sounds great, right? Maybe not.
I bought a fitness watch this July, and my relationship with it is a bumpy road. At first, I was loving the experience. Immediate bursts of serotonin flooded my body when I would complete a jog and see that my “calories burned” goal was almost achieved. It motivated me to go on walks throughout the day, and it constantly reminded me that I should exercise more.
While this was great at the start of my fitness journey, I realized that it may not have been affecting me well from a mental stand-point. Exercising became a chore and completing all of the fitness goals the watch set for me became overwhelming. It made me think that taking a single off-day was a bad thing, rather than something my body needed.
There came a point when I realized the fitness watch was dictating parts of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my watch and I think there is great value to it, but it was important for me to reflect on the relationship I had with it, and learn to establish boundaries.
To anyone who wears a fitness watch or is thinking about buying one, my advice is this; don’t get too caught up in how many calories you burn each day. While calories matter to some degree, they are not the make-all break-all of health.
If your watch is telling you to get up and move but you don’t feel like it, don’t! You should only workout when you truly want to and when your body feels ready. You don’t have to wear it every single day. If you work-out and don’t record it on your watch, guess what? Your body still got through the workout and the endorphins were still flowing.
The premise of this piece is to remind you that mental and physical health should be in sync. Try not to sacrifice your mental health while working on your physical health and vise- versa. Buy a fitness watch if you feel like you can maintain a balance between the two.