Wearables like the Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike+ Fuelband are all the rage in fitness technology right now.

They can track everything from steps per day, to heart rate, to posture, but can wearables really make better fitness routines?

Here’s what wearables can and can’t do for you:

  • CAN put the focus on fitness and push active choices


Wearables are 24/7 visual reminders to be active.  Most wearable bands will also alert you when you’ve been sitting too long without activity. Guaranteed a wearable’s reminder will feel a million times better than Netflix’s “Are you still watching?”


  • CAN’T be the fix-all for fitness goals


Wearables focus on physical activity and aren’t ideal for managing a diet or generally eating healthier.


  • CAN build habits and celebrate accomplishments


Wearables are the simplest and easiest way to get fitness logged over time. Took 10,000 steps today? That’s roughly 5 miles. Over a month, that’s almost 150 miles, and the perfect motivation to keep it going!


  • CAN’T automatically create a personalized exercise plan


Wearables that track your steps and heart rate from your wrist can’t track activities like swimming, yoga, or even cycling.


  • CAN create community and healthy competition


Wearables beat simpler pedometers with their built-in social communities. Form teams, send encouragement, or compete to top the leaderboards in the wearable’s apps.


  • CAN’T always provide 100% accurate info


Wrist-tracking devices can’t always tell the difference between walking and bumpy car rides, or other repetitive activities.


Armed with a few tricks, wearables  can be very effective as a motivator for casual exercise. Are you you up for the challenge?!