The holiday eating season is about to kick off: Thanksgiving brings us into the festive period of groaning buffet tables, cookie exchanges, and one more glass of eggnog or champagne. With the Patriots scheduled to play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday and three Thanksgiving Day games, you may be spending a lot of Thanksgiving weekend on the couch. It’s not surprising that many people worry about gaining weight during the last weeks of the year. But help is at hand, or on your wrist: Wearable devices can help you take charge of your health and fitness during the holidays and beyond.
Wearable fitness devices have been a hot category this year, with the addition of Microsoft Band to a market already featuring a range of wristbands, compact monitors and smart watches, and previews of more that are on the way. They make great gifts, but if you’re worried about holiday weight gain you may want to get one for yourself now and let it help you keep extra pounds at bay without skipping your favorite holiday celebrations.
There are three ways wearables work to help you beat the holiday bulge:
- Movement. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, you’re not just being tempted with fattening, once-a-year indulgence foods and gift baskets; the round of parties, tasks and informal get-togethers also strain your schedule so that you start to think seriously about passing up workouts to make time for it all. Wearable devices track movement and speed, allowing you to see how well you’re meeting your daily goals for walking or running. Microsoft Band also tracks heart rate and other biometric data, and offers guided workouts, and Microsoft Health helps you collect useful insights from Microsoft Band and other devices. Whichever wearable you choose, keeping track of your activity can prompt you to take another lap around the mall before finishing your shopping, or to hit the gym after work before dropping in at another party.
- Nutrition. Most wearables are supported with apps and services that let you track what you eat, so you can get a clearer idea of how many calories you’ve consumed and whether you have room in your day for another mug of hot chocolate. Just making the effort to record your diet can inspire you to make healthier choices.
- Friends. The apps and services that support wearables let you connect with your friends and peers, so you can cheer one another’s progress. Special competitive challenges let you push your friends to get in more movement during a day, workweek or weekend. And just as tracking your food makes you more conscious of the dietary choices you’re making, knowing that others are watching your activity can make you more determined to reach or even exceed your fitness goals.
So, whether you watch the Patriots or your favorite college team in the days ahead with the bowl season just around the corner, a wearable fitness device can help you keep your health and fitness goals in mind — a nice way to keep from being naughty this holiday season.