Shari: I’ve been using Nike+ for a few years now when I exercise. I have logged hundreds of miles through various versions of the Nike+ app.
I now also have a Fitbit that I wear regularly – throughout the day and when I exercise. I received this through my company (as part of a health insurance prevention initiative). It’s now been three months and it has become part of my daily routine.
Wellocracy: Why did you start using a tracker? Do you have specific health/wellness goals?
Shari: I’ve been experimenting with them for about two or three years, including the Nike Fitness app, Weight Watchers app, My Fitness Pal, Map My Run, etc. This current Fitbit is the first device that I own.
My goals are to continue to exercise and build up longer durations (running, spinning, etc.). I’m committed to face the battle to keep off the pounds, and lose a few more.
My friends and class instructors are what truly motivate and stretch me to go beyond my boundaries; the apps and Fitbit keep me mindful every day to stay on track.
Wellocracy: What did you learn about yourself by using a tracker?
Shari: I learned that I do need more motivation to keep exercising and eating right, more than perhaps I thought I did. I am now reaching a point where I really want to exercise and eat right. I feel like my apps and devices are my silent partner in keeping me on track. I appreciate that they are always there for me.
Wellocracy: What do you like best about your tracker? What do you like least about it?
Shari: My tracker is there for me 24/7 and helps me define my attitude to stay on track with exercise and diet. I like that with the Nike Fitness app I can use the app and play my own music while I track my runs.
What I like least is the accuracy. I’m not sure about the accuracy of these devices in terms of distance and timing my run.
Wellocracy: Do you share your data with family or friends?
Shari: Not really. I would rather text a small group of family/friends than shout it out on Facebook or Instagram. Occasionally I’ll post pictures to Instagram after a major 5K!
Wellocracy: What advice would you give someone thinking about tracking or, do you have other thoughts you would like to share?
Shari: These devices are there for you to help you understand how to improve and stay motivated. It’s worth the time and investment to find the best app or device for you. You’ll realize that the more effort you put into this the more you can benefit .
Stay mindful of the company that makes the devices or apps so you can understand their purpose, where the information goes (who it is shared with) and how accurate it is.
I do believe that the data we track will at some point in the near future be used to set our rates for insurance, be used during job interviews, and other ways beyond what our own personal intentions are…so be mindful and pay attention.
My advice to the companies that manufacture these devices is to talk to us. We can tell you what works and what we’d like to see. And, most important, protect our privacy and ensure transparency. Ask for permission before you share out data with anyone else.