Carrie Underwood has given us some serious leg envy for years, so it’s not really a surprise to discover the country superstar goes to great lengths to keep her stems — and the rest of her body — in top shape.
In a recent interview with Shape magazine, Underwood admitted that she’s obsessed with her Fitbit. In fact, it’s the one fitness accessory she can’t live without.
“I’ve been rocking a Fitbit for like three and a half years. It feels wrong if I don’t have it on,” revealed the Grammy winner, showing off her tan line to prove her point. “My step count is 10,000 now. My son likes to go play soccer and kick the ball around so I get tons of steps chasing after him.”
The singer also shares with the magazine that she’s formed a Fitbit friend group along with her mom and mother-in-law. “[They] beat me on a daily basis. I’m like, ‘Unfair! It’s been an hour of weight training and I’ve only gotten a thousand steps?'”
Underwood isn’t alone with her Fitbit obsession. Fitbit is a multi-billion dollar company, selling more than 23 million Fitbits in the last year alone.
No doubt Fitbits are one of the most popular activity trackers out on the market today, but just how accurate are they? And is counting thousands of steps really beneficial toward achieving a healthy and fit lifestyle? The answers might surprise you.
It’s a Perfect Fit for All Fitness Levels
Because it tracks almost everything related to fitness and health — from how many miles you walk or run to how many calories you eat to even how well you are sleeping at night — fitness trackers are inclusive tool that anyone can use.
Whether you’re a newbie who wants to lose weight or a gym rat who wants to track her overall fitness progress, including how many ZZZs you’re catching, a Fitbit can be used by any and all fitness levels.
It Gives Great Fitspo
As Underwood’s excitement demonstrates, owning a Fitbit provides an excellent source of fitness motivation.
“It is a proven fact that wearing a Fitbit inspires you to walk more in order to get your wrist to vibrate with joy when you hit your daily goal,” says Lucy Dunne, personal trainer and owner of Dunnebells. “More importantly, though, I think wearing your Fitbit all the time brings awareness to you that you have never had before. Suddenly, taking the stairs seems appealing. Parking your car further from the door at the mall is fun. Walking around the house before bedtime to reach your goal becomes a challenge.”
However, as fitness expert Kelly Crawford points out: “Like anything, something new and shiny can quite clearly motivate, but what is more important is being able to motivate yourself when enthusiasm starts to wane and the Fitbit is no longer impressive.”
The Fitbit can get your exercise goals started, but it’s really up to you to keep your body moving.
They’re Only Sort of (Not Really?) Accurate
The jury is still out on just how accurate Fitbits and other fitness trackers are. While Dunne says Fitbit “has done an incredible job at programming and designing their trackers to be extremely accurate,” she admits that “outdoor conditions and range of motion can impact its accuracy.”
While Crawford says that any information from the Fitbit, like calories burned, should be taken “with a pinch of salt,” she also notes that these things “are not very accurate at all, so don’t rely on the data to work out what your portion size should be, for example.”
And if that doesn’t give you pause, a class-action lawsuit against Fitbit found that the pulse-monitoring technology used in the company’s Surge and Charge devices was “highly inaccurate during elevated physical activity.”
So if those 10,000 steps you think you’re taking everyday don’t really add up to 10,000 steps after all, then what’s the point?
Above anything, Dunne credits the activity accessory for encouraging people to mindfully move their bodies. “As humans, we are meant to move and so when you wear your Fitbit and become more aware of all your movements, the health benefits you will begin to see will shock you.”
Crawford echoes the sentiment: “[Fitbits] can be a great starting point but we must remember they are a tool and we should use them as such.” If you really have your heart set on owning a Fitbit, she recommends treating yourself later down the line “if you can prove you have motivation without the device.”
Dunne recommends that by making small changes in your daily routine such as standing rather than sitting, walking rather than standing and running rather than walking is “a better way to gauge and improve your fitness level overtime to reach your desired goals.”
And let’s face it: Underwood probably gained those gams by doing some heavy weight training anyway.
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