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To Track or Not to Track?

We hear a lot about the detrimental effect that technology has on our health and wellbeing, turning us into insecure Instagram addicts and email-obsessed workaholics, ultimately meaning we can never switch off.
 
But what if technology can play a positive role in our lives, specifically around health and fitness?
 
Most of us have a smart phone and an ever-increasing number of us are investing in smart watches, meaning that we can track our daily activity, calories, step count and even assess how well we sleep.
 
Using a step count through an app or smart watch means you can work towards quick wins. Most people average around 3,000 steps a day, but 10,000 should be your goal. By taking advantage of a health app, you can see what your average steps are and work to improve how much walking you do. This helps you track your progress and you can more easily reach your daily step target when you can physically see the results on your phone screen.
 
Apps like Nike Run can motivate you to push yourself even further, as you can track how far you run each time, and strive to beat it the next time. The app will congratulate you on your progress so the next evening you may try to run further. Besides steps taken and distance travelled, health apps also have the capability of tracking your heart rate and monitoring changes during strenuous activities. 
 
We all know it’s not just about movement though – diet plays a huge part too. MyFitnessPal is a calorie-counting app, which lets you select food and tracks your nutrition. This can help you stick to a calorie-controlled diet and work towards your weight goals.
 
Despite the obvious benefits these apps present, there is the possibility of becoming obsessive about your diet and workout. The numbers on the screen are a constant reminder of how much further you could go, or how much weight you’re not losing. You’re also losing your privacy every time you share your data with a piece of technology and none of us really know where that information is going.
 
Ultimately though, the choice is up to you – it can be very beneficial to use your phone to track your daily and weekly fitness, increasing your motivation and understanding of your progress.
 
But to get the best out of it you’ll have to know your limits – making sure you’re not getting obsessed and being too hard on yourself.
 
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