When it comes to exercise, motivation is a big part of it. When something is difficult people tend not to push themselves unless they are being motivated or influenced by another source. That's why we all chose to workout here, we have that support system of classes and coaches built right in. But sometimes an extra push is needed, this is especially true in the overweight and obese population. Although exercise benefits that population the most, it can be difficult to start something new. Wearable fitness trackers help overcome those hurdles. Physical trackers help keep people honest and on track to achieve their physical activity goals. According to a study done on the utility of consumer physical activity trackers as an intervention tool in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment, “Wearable devices provide opportunities to overcome limitations of self-reported activity and also provide a driver for [physical activity] behavior change”. This behavior change is evident in a person’s health. Nokia claims that “tracking helps you move more, feel better, and sleep better'', overall studies have found that the claim does hold true. While it might not be with as large of an impact as sometimes implied by marketing campaigns, in the case of physical activity in the obese population anything is benficial. Those benefits are highlighted because this population is not normally exposed to exercising and physical activity. For those at risk with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, exercise is the number one prevention method. It might seem simple, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. When a person does not exercise they tend to accumulate visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat located around your stomach and the organs in your mid body. The accumulation of visceral fat can lead to complications such as: fatty liver, clogged arteries, blocked glucose receptors, or hypertension. All of those complications are symptoms of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The correlation of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is a direct one. Even if someone is on board with getting a fitness tracker they might not believe the exercise will be a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease or diabetes for an obese and overweight population. Countless studies on the subject beg to differ. According to a study done on physical activity trackers as an Intervention tool in cardiovascular disease: “consumer devices appear to be well accepted in populations at risk or currently suffering from cardiovascular disease” the adoption rate of the product if recommended would be high. Nurses dealing with patients who are at risk “are well placed in the healthcare landscape to work with patients who own an activity tracker device concerning increasing activity self-monitoring”. With the recommendation by a healthcare professional, patients should be willing to use the device. Unfortunately people who are already participating in physical activity will not see all of the benefits from using these types of devices that a sedentary person might see. While the effects of the devices will not be as prevalent, the more activity someone is doing the more their risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes decreases. With an issue like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other obesity related disorders causing such havok on not only the country, but the world, it is time for more to be done. Treating something after the fact can only do so much. The best method of treatment is that of preventative measures. If a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease or diabetes exercise is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to fight against it. If you're reading this you are already on the Pittsburgh Fit email list and are probably already making healthy choices. Make sure to keep up with it, and maybe even use one of these fitness trackers as a little extra motivation.
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