Fitness Tracker – Yay or Nay?

A while ago, I shared with you about my experience taking a break from my fitness trackers. It was great! If you want to check out, it is right here.

But back to the point. Have you heard that when someone keeps making the same mistake over and over again it’s called a habit? Well, my habits came crawling right back when it came to the fitness tracker life. I think there is so much goodness to wearing a tracker but I have once more come to the conclusion that they are just not meant for me. Why this time? Oh but please, allow me to share!

I started visiting a chiropractor last year. My reason for seeking one was my posture. Of course, when they start assessing you, it turns out there are several things imbalanced, or at least that was my case. I went focuses on the one thing I thought was important and simply assuming the rest of the uncomfortable things were just part of the daily. Turns out that was not right. So I started visiting on a regular basis until around Thanksgiving and I felt an improvement on my overall health. But right around the holidays things changed for me for a gazillion reasons that seriously were beyond me. No, not making excuses, I promise! Life happened and that is simply it.

So I put a pause on the chiropractor visits until about three weeks ago when I just couldn’t handle the back pain. I figured it was the posture thing… kinda. I think of myself as a positive person who chooses to live a life on the bright side. I mean that is my attitude if you get to really know me. However, all the crap I do have to deal with and decide to ignore, also known as stress to most, was building up literally on my shoulders. Apparently that is where I carry stress. Who knew?! Not me, but the chiropractors and massage therapists I had just recently interacted with were quick to make that obvious to me. Sucks, I know! Well, I have a new chiropractor now from work which is great because it is easier for me with my schedule, and he pretty much agreed on where I carry my stress. But also, I learned something new and valuable and it has to do with my fitness tracker… wait, whaaaaa???!! Seriously peeps, wait til you hear my nonsense.

During my assessment he noticed and pointed out that my left side is pretty messed up. That is odd I thought… I am right-handed… So, he started the questioning and it all started making sense:

Conversation wchiro

It was fairly clear to him where my issues were coming from. I had been putting more stress on my left side for a while, but why? And then it hit me: my Fitbit! I was wearing a Fitbit on my right hand for a long time, and it so happened that right around NYE it broke. It just stopped working. And I figured, I will just do the fitness tracker free for a lil while now. What I had not realized until this ah-ha moment was that I was putting a lot of stress on my left side because of my fitness tracker. How so you ask? Please allow me!

I was participating every week on the Week Warrior or something like that challenge with a bunch of friends. I was never winning it but I was doing every effort to at least come out on the top 3. Which meant EVERY step I took, needed to be accounted for. Now do you know that these trackers can add or miss steps because it counts the natural swing of your arm (you know like when you are walking or running). These means if you are pushing a stroller (personally tested this one) your steps aren’t always counted accurately because if you are hold firmly to the handle then the tracker will not count steps (no arm swinging). If it is one of the fancier ones, it might sense your heart rate and tell you how many calories are you burning,  but it won’t count the steps. And in the other hand, if you are say chopping veggies, your tracker might thing you are sprinting because it can’t tell the movement comes from the chopping motion and not walking motion (again think swinging arms). Bananas right?!

So in order to count every step, I was actually putting more stress on my left side. For instance, when I was walking from the car into my office, I would carry my purse, lunch bag and cup of coffee on my left arm so my right arm could swing naturally and get every step counted towards the challenge. Lame, I KNOW! But I actually did this for a while because I was always participating on those step challenges every week. I feel dumb thinking about it, but at the time it didn’t felt like an issue to just carry my stuff on my left arm. It wasn’t crazy heavy stuff but the point was that I wasn’t balanced. Happened much too often I am afraid. When I carried anything, it would go on my left arm/hand. When I was pushing the shopping cart, I would push with my left arm and only use the right for turns so I could count the steps while walking down the grocery store aisles.  Ay Dios mio, how terribly insane I was!

So in the past weeks I have been taking turns with my arms/hands.  I have being doing some stretches to help with my back and posture. I have been very aware of my posture while walking and sitting and making sure I am balanced. I am sure not every person who wears a fitness tracker does things like I did, but one thing is for sure: Mama can’t do fitness trackers again… like never! How sad, huh? But I wanted to share this with you because again, I had all the right reasons to wear one. I wanted to be more active and I was doing so. But the side effects, that might be very exclusive to me if I can point that out, are just not worth it. So moving forward is a NAY for me!

And there you have it.

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