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Almost everyone you see is flaunting a fitness band these days, and making you wonder if you need to get one as well. Whether you actually need it or are getting one because it is in vogue is for you to decide. Either way, a lot of calculation goes into deciding what kind of band suits you, and more importantly, your budget.

How Does Money Matter?

You can find trackers priced anywhere from 1k to 20k, with some really high end ones going up to 45k. The starting range usually comprises fancy pedometers that track the number of steps taken, distance travelled, and calories burned throughout the day. The advanced though costlier ones will also determine your heart rate, the quality of sleep, calories consumed and sync this data to an app on your phone. If you’re still left with money to spare, you could consider trackers that will generate an exercise plan based on this data and have a GPS to track your location.

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The Big Question Though…

Even once you’ve settled on what you need and how much money you have to shell for it, this one question will stare you in the face:

Is the investment really worth it?

Wouldn’t you be better off spending that money on gym memberships, healthier food, or even a visit to the dietitian to get more direct, noticeable results?

When it comes to fitness and health, every one of us has our own motivations. After all, it’s not easy to wake up at 5 AM for that 7K run everyday, but whatever gets us going, right? And fitness trackers, in this respect, have more to do with your mind than the body.  Kartik Jha, a newly-minted fitness enthusiast looking forward to a healthier 2017, considers them to be a worthwhile investment since they not only monitor the efforts put in but also display them instantly, providing that mental push to workout regularly. As a motivator, fitness bands can be great for beginners who are constantly fighting off excuses inside their head.

Divya Giri who has her own weight-loss success story, has something interesting to say, “I have been going to the gym since I was in college. Sparing money from my precious allowance to invest in an expensive fitness band was simply too much to ask for! Instead, I wrote down the essentials to keep a check on my progress. Having a fitness band seems like just a trend to me. And one can always invest in a lower-priced one (if Fitbit seems too demanding on your pocket!) to keep up with it. ”

Some Professional Advice

Jatin Khadka, a senior trainer at Hype The Gym says that the worth of a fitness band depends on the user. For a fitness enthusiast, the tracker is quite like a personal trainer: it keeps him updated on his activity and determines what his schedule is going to be, keeping him motivated to reach out for more. On the other hand, for a beginner, the investment might not prove to be as fruitful. In most cases, he shares, beginners are not even aware of how to make the best possible use of the accessory,  using it to only to keep a record of steps taken and calories burnt.

And a Word of Caution

Although these bands might make you look cool, there is a flipside to their rising popularity that most people tend to overlook. Firstly, you need to understand than that a range of other factors such as the air quality, a balanced diet, and happiness/stress levels, that largely determine your overall health cannot be tracked by such devices.

Secondly, while flaunting a band around the wrist might appeal to most of us, relying completely on them to look after your health could be a bad idea. There are studies claiming that the readings shown by these devices can often be inaccurate and are almost never exact! Read more about this here.

In fact, Fitbit, the most popular manufacturer of fitness bands was embroiled in a controversy where a class action lawsuit was filed against them earlier this year, claiming that their heart rate tracking devices were highly flawed and unreliable (under-reporting an average of 24 beats per minute!).

So, like with any other investment that concerns something as fundamental as your health, take the time to research, ask questions, and introspect on whether you really need this, before hitting that ‘Pay Now’ button. 

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