Can fitness trackers replace a personal trainer?

Can fitness trackers replace a personal trainer?

Getting fit can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for those who choose to work with a personal trainer. While trainers can provide plenty of motivation and ensure a safe and effective workout for their clients, the fact remains that they’re out of reach for many Americans.

That fact is one of the reasons mobile fitness apps and activity trackers have become so popular lately. Apps like MyFitnessPal, Fitness Buddy and FitStar, as well as wearable fitness trackers like Jawbone and Fitbit, aim to supplement or even replace personal trainers and gyms altogether. So what are the pros and cons of fitness trackers and apps over personal trainers?

If you are trying to lose weight, fitness trackers are great for monitoring the amount of physical activity you need on a daily basis in order to lose weight. You can also track the number of calories you burn and compare that number to your calorie intake to ensure you don’t overeat. Most trackers and apps also allow you to chart your activity over time in order to visualize your progress.

Since fitness trackers and apps often track sleep, they can also be useful to ensure you're getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, which can improve your alertness during the day, give you more energy to exercise and even discourage overeating.

Many fitness trackers and apps allow you to share your progress and track the progress of your friends on the tracker’s app or website or even on Facebook, which may help users stay motivated.

Depending on your fitness level, personal goals, schedule and budget, you may find that a fitness tracker or app can also do the job of personal trainer. Scheduling and paying for regular sessions with a personal trainer can be expensive and require specific appointment times. On the other hand, using a tracker with the appropriate functionality allows you to work out when and where you want. They’re also relatively inexpensive—some fitness apps can even be downloaded and used for free.

If the human element of motivation is important to you and money or time is less of a factor—or if you're completely new to exercise and need some professional guidance—then a personal trainer may be a better option. Since personal trainers are experts in their field, they can continually monitor and adjust your program, provide on-the-spot instruction and ensure your workouts are always effective and safe. Keep in mind that many fitness and nutritional apps and trackers can be used alongside the help of a personal trainer.

Posted: 9/16/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: exercise, fitness, personal, tracker, trainer

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