Wearables For Women: Fitness Technology Vs. Real Life
Powering down a 24oz Starbucks at 530am to start a 14 hour day, Janet McDonnelson is a typical American 41 year old mom to two young boys that spends her time simultaneously running a family and successful business.
For Janet, and millions of other working moms, squeezing in time for health and fitness usually ends up somewhere between putting the kids to bed early and scraping the burnt cheese off the pan at 11pm before returning work emails.
So how and where exactly does fitness plug in for these modern day warrior-women?
Schedules are more jam-packed than ever, so investing time into a new data-driven lifestyle begs the question:
Can today's fitness technology realistically be integrated into a woman's wellness program?
Alongside the rapid growth of fitness tech in the past 2 years, the elephant in the room has been the complete absence of a comprehensive wellness program tied to an easy to use and actionably-minded fitness wearable system.
This functionality gap cannot be bridged simply by integrating a fitness wearable “seamlessly” into a working woman's life, but must have with it the adaptability to sustain frequent lulls in user interest while driving long-term motivation for personal health success.
A bridge over the gap does exist, you just have to be open-minded to see it.
Fitness Devices For Females
Women, especially moms, are genetically wired to be masters at caring for others. Some can even fall into the habit of putting others first in lieu of self care.
When this goes on for too long, their body lets them know.
What happens to the human body after 10 to 15 years of putting others first?
For many, hormones, gut dysbiosis, and a physical “bank account” literally rise up to collect their on debts of neglect with compounded interest.
With increased mindfulness through fitness and wearable technology, this becomes a stage in the game where a data-driven lifestyle can be a real powerhouse in the fight against disease.
In a 2014 Neilson report, the use of wearable devices among fitness band owners aged 25-44 encompassed 62 percent of the entire customer-base.
It doesn't take a lot of digging to discover that the need for more actionable and sustainable wellness technology is fast-increasing for working professionals.
But what is a trusted fitness technology solution that can deliver real results specifically for working moms?
It depends on the mom and what she is willing to know about herself.
For fitness technology users, what's so powerful and most humbling, is that the data doesn't lie.
What the busy women of today need more than ever isn't the anecdotal fitness check-ins with their trainer or their friends.
What they need is a relationship with a comprehensive fitness-device-program that drives genuine accountability, engagement, and above all else human connection.
How To Integrate Wearable Technology
- Start small with a simple device like the Fitbit or Jawbone
- Set up an accountability system and integrative practice with a digital health coach
- Run a weekly mobile contest with other moms to keep each other striving for more steps and better choices
- Commit to 30 days of raw measurement before looking at any aesthetic changes
- Understand that the behavior changes that will yield gold are hidden in your long-term data
- Schedule 10-15 minutes every week to review your sleep, exercise, food, water, and stress levels
- Tweak and adjust activity as necessary while identifying the sources of excess sympathetic nervous system activation
Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike had 97% of the entire segment for “fitness tracker” in 2013.
While the growth of these devices have been said to be quite exponential, what still hasn't been answered is the question of integration and sustainability. This is where an exciting new space of digital health coaching is currently taking shape.
The reality of digital health coaching is spotlighted in the 2014 Endeavor Partners report on wearable technology, where research shows most fitness wearables have a usage rate of 3-6 months before going into the kitchen junk drawer never to be seen again.
Without personal connection, these devices are just zeros and ones.
No matter how exciting the technology, it takes motivated and genuine human-to-human connection to drive long term change and digital health transformation.
Woman or Mom: To Tech or Not To Tech?
For moms and women alike who are seeking help designing a lifestyle modification program, there is tremendous power in using a wearable.
Essentially a personal device for increasing mindfulness, a standard or even female-centric fitness wearable helps to shine light through a window of new behaviors that translate into empowering women to feel more cared for; even if it's in the form of their own self care.
When women feel support, momentum builds. When technology and fitness join forces in the name of mindfulness, women gain back more of their time.
More time to be with loved ones and kids, more time to share laughs with friends.
Advancing technology yields new lifestyle tools that empower women globally to lead fuller, fitter, and more energetic lives.
And moms love that all that stuff too.
I was JUST looking at some quantified self information shortly b4 interacting with Josh which lead me to this page. This was said in 1883: “I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.” And possibly Peter F. Drucker never said, “What can be measured, can be managed.” We might never know for sure. At any rate, this type of wearable technology can assist us in knowing ourselves and improving our efforts.
Love this point of view Marty! Thank you for such a poignant quote. Are you using any self tracking devices or apps right now?