Physical therapist Jesse Schulz provides rehabilitation services at the ProHealth D.N. Greenwald Center in Mukwonago.(Photo: Submitted)
Over the past few years, the health/wellness industry has exploded with new wearable products and fitness devices. In the market are devices such as Garmin, Fitbit and Apple Watches and more. Finding the right product depends on the results you are seeking.
Physical Therapist Jesse Schulz provides rehabilitation services at the ProHealth D. N. Greenwald Center in Mukwonago. Schulz explained anyone can benefit from fitness devices however, consumers need to be realistic on what the devices will do.
If a person wants to increase their physical activity, a device can monitor daily activities and see how the level of exercise is increasing.
Many devices measure a number of steps a person took, calories burned, sleep, a pace of walking and food journaling.
"There are so many products out there such as Samsung, Fitbit, Misfit and Apple watches. Many have similar features but slightly different pros and cons to them," Schulz said.
Jeremy Belter is a fitness professional, and owner of Fitness revolution in Brookfield. In Belter's opinion, the best electronic fitness devices increase exercise performance or the ones that track sleep but do it in a good way.
"We have more health and fitness gadgets than ever, we are still not as healthy as we would like to be," he said.
In his expertise, if a consumer is going to stick with fitness because of tracking, then it can be a benefit.
Belter explained many times people get people get caught up in the minutiae and forget about fundamentals. This includes maintaining a balanced diet and becoming stronger.
"Stress management is one of the biggest issue of long-term health, not just weight," Belter said.
Schulz likes how the devices get people excited about fitness. He commented that if someone spends $100 on a device and exercises for three months after buying a product, that is three months of activity. If they become inactive, that would still be money well spent.
"People might need a motivational push," he said.
Belter explained a better investment might be nutrition testing, reputable online weight management programs, and/or getting started with a fitness program.
"People rely on the devices, they think what it says must be true," Belter said.
Both men donot advocate for using or relying on a device alone.
Schulz and Belter recommended seeing a doctor before starting a new fitness program. A doctor will be able to tell if there is something to be concerned about. They can refer patients to a dietitian who can help the person reach their fitness goals.
The first step in shopping for a fitness device is, to be honest, what do you hope it will do?
When buying a watch, read the reviews and do research.
In his opinion, a smartphone may do some of the same things compared to fitness devices.
Schulz recommends checking out the website https://lumoid.com/. The site allows a test run for equipment. For a small fee consumers can try out watches and other gadgets before buying.
"Become an educated consumer before you put down a significant amount of money on somthing you won't use or dislike," he said.
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