The most important thing about using your FitBit (and what it doesn’t mention in the instructions!)

We’re all aware of the dangers of sitting for too long, which is unfortunately part and parcel of having a sedentary job. The recent rise in popularity of fitness trackers has undoubtedly been very positive, in encouraging daily movement

Even if it’s just getting outside for a 10 minute lunchtime walk, this can make all the difference to your mood, well-being and energy levels.

Southampton personal trainer Gen Preece Boot camp

More and more of our Boot camp attendees (and my personal trainer clients) show up wearing them (as if they need further proof of how hard they’re working!)

Analysing data can be very empowering, as it allows weekly or daily goals to be set. Of course I’m all for encouraging movement (comes with the job of being a personal trainer…) but I believe it’s important to remember not to let the data distract you from being in the present moment. Here’s why:   

Scenario 1: you go for a beautiful scenic walk, in a lovely setting, take in your surroundings and notice all the details (smells, sights etc) being present and mindful.

Scenario 2: you go for the same scenic walk with your tracker to help reach your target daily step target.

Not only are these very different experiences, but if the step-count is your focus, your body and mind are very likely to not experience the vast number of benefits it would in scenario 1.

These include increased levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) decreased levels of cortisol (the stress-response hormone) a boosted immune system, a clearer mind, greater productivity, feelings of calm and better sleep. Need I go on?!

I believe the level electronic devices now dominate our lives; combined with how easily distracted we’ve become is why our minds are often anywhere but the present.

Yes, any movement (providing it’s safe) is better than prolonged sitting. It is getting the most out of your own personal movement that’s what’s really important.

Tracking progress is fully understandable, especially if you’re training for an event. I’m not actually saying get rid of your Fitbit, rather just consider whether it’s helping you to live in the present moment or diverting you away from it.

A step goal needn’t become your sole focus, if it means missing out on the vast range of benefits that come with being present and mindful.

See how you get on without it, in order to see if you notice any difference and if you’re missing out on anything. That way you’ll know whether it’s right for you!

Happy moving ☺️

Southampton personal trainer Gen Preece Boot camp