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Activity bracelets, useful or a waste of time?

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I purchased this bracelet about a year ago. The original intention was to measure my sleep quality and monitor how workouts, daily activity, work and life in general affect my sleep quality.

Couple of surprising things came up. First, on some nights I might actually sleep over ten hours and then there might be week that I slept less than 6 hours per night. So there is a huge variation in my sleeping patterns (and life as well). I noticed that if I get to bed more early, it seems to help even those late night shifts. We are all individuals.

But is the activity bracelet worth it?

My simple answer is a solid ”no”. Yes I talked about the good side first, but let’s see beyond that.

Does it help you lose weight? No. Sure you can see how many calories you are actually burning. I burned something between 3000 – 4000 kcal per day, depending on how many training sessions and total activity there was. But there was also a caveat. I was worried of not working out without the watch and every workout was actually only about how many calories were burned. All nice and dandy, but I don’t count calories when I eat, so it’s pretty much pointless. Losing weight is all about good nutrition and diet. My bodyweight has remained the same for a whole year, even with the more ”calorie consuming” workouts. Need to lose weight? Start with the grocery store, not with the bracelet.

Does it help you get your daily activity? Could be. But even that comes with a price. It’s good for show-casing how little you are actually walking. The bracelet is designed to help you see how much stuff you are doing by feet. It loves running, hiking and walking. Not a bad thing. So if you are one of those people that do most of their workouts like that, then it could be good for you. You can monitor your pace as you run etc. But I personally hate long distance activities. Sprints and stair running are fine.

But at times it was kind of frustrating. I mean, if you do a workout of bench pressing 100 kg x 100, I’m pretty sure that my calorie expenditure and overall stress on the body is enough for one day (or even several days after). But the bracelet gives you 300-400 kcal. Sure, the calories spent might actually be accurate, but the stress doesn’t show. And it actually kind of punishes you for not meeting your daily goals.

Does it help you get stronger? No. This point goes with the last point. Squatting, deadlifting, benching are something that I regard highly for anyone. The bracelet isn’t designed to take those kind of activities into account.

So, my answer is say no to activity bracelets. Unless you are a long distance athlete and you need to start paying attention to your… well overall being. But if you are a normal person trying to lose weight or ”look good naked”, just stick to the basics. Good, solid diet and nutrition, resistance workout and maybe a little cardio on the side. That should do the trick.

No bracelet is going to take away your own responsibility. It’s just the daily effort. You know what needs to be done.

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