Our Apple watches, Fitbits or whatever you’re using to track your workouts/steps are the source of great pride and yet great guilt as well. They’re not for everyone, but we see a whole lot of “humble brags” on Instagram—“check out how many calories I torched today” and the like. Regardless of whether you’re keeping your stats to yourself or sharing them with all your followers, we know there’s a great divide between pro and anti-fitness trackers. We recently posted the quote below on our Instagram feed and got quite a bit of feedback. We were selfishly pleased to see some of you could relate to starting your workout on your watch in secret because you didn’t want to be judged by strangers in class (who are probably doing the same thing).

We took a little poll on our Instagram Stories to see how many of you use fitness trackers.

We also polled how many of those who use fitness trackers feel some sort of guilt for not closing your rings or reaching your goals…or worse forgetting to set your workout on your watch.

You guys! We now know we’re not alone. All of you who use a fitness tracker feel some guilt at some point. Have you noticed the Apple Watch does not allow a rest day? That little bully on your wrist expects you to go hard 24/7. Ok, maybe not go hard, but if you’re trying to take a few days off intense workouts, your watch is still going to ping you to get off your butt and “get a brisk 30 minute walk in to close your Move ring” even if it’s midnight and you’re trying to rest. So, how do we use these fitness trackers in a healthy way?

  1. Set realistic Move goals. Don’t set your goal at 1,000 calories per day and set yourself up for disappointment and/or guilt when you consistently only make it to 300 calories per day.
  2. Realize that calories burned are not your purpose on earth or a reflection of your success. Some days are for stretching and light walks, and that is exactly what your body needs. Don’t place all of your success in closing those dang rings. You are worth more than that.
  3. Do allow your watch/tracker to serve as motivation to move each day. Healthy movement includes getting up at least once per hour from your desk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going to a yoga class instead of happy hour, etc.
  4. Try enjoying a workout sans fitness tracker. If you’re only focused on calories burned during your workout and you find yourself constantly glancing down at your wrist, you’re not really enjoying the workout. Take a few classes without your tracker and see how it makes you feel.
  5. Allow yourself rest days. You get rewarded for 7 day workout streaks, but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and realize you need to listen to your body, not your fitness tracker. Easier said than done!