Wearable health trackers are definitely in right now. They are easily one of the hottest items on athlete’s Christmas lists. These trackers come in all forms, from watches, to bands, to pants and rings, even pills! It seems to be getting a little out of hand.

But Do Athletes Need Them?

Though these health trackers can be fun to play with you in no way need one. In fact, they may actually set your performance back.

One obvious way this wearable tech can send you down the wrong path is by being inaccurate. Most of these devices use fairly old technology with fancy app interfaces and marketing. This doesn’t make for precise data. If you then base your day, training, and mindset off of wrong metrics you will throw off your positive direction.

Research has proven this true in the area of sleep. Various studies have shown that wearing a sleep tracker can diminish the quality of one’s sleep. This is because it can make the wearer become anxious about maintaining perfect sleep and “scoring” well on their wearable. They literally lose sleep over losing sleep.

Instead of relying on what your watch tells you, try becoming more in tune with yourself. The same is true for your workouts. Did you get a good workout or not? Well how did it feel? Don’t simply rely on a device to evaluate your effort.

What to Do Instead

Get comfortable listening to your mind and body. Asking questions like the ones below will help you check in with yourself each day. This will help you get a better sense of how your training is going than with a health tracker alone.

  • Do you feel rested?
  • How motivated are you when you wake up?
  • Do little things slide off your back or make you angry?
  • Are you craving junk food or healthy food?
  • Are you happy?
  • Do you get out of breath easier than normal?

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