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With a glance at her phone, she can tell, among other things, if you stayed up too late, if you hit the gym…or if your only steps have been to the office vending machine.


You can make this possible by wearing an activity tracker like FitBit, Garmin’s Vivofit or Jawbone’s UP24.  All you have to do – besides exercise and eat right! – is accept your trainer’s friend request.  You’ll be synced up and she’ll know when praise is in order.

Be warned, though:  if you turn off the connection so she can’t see the data, she’ll know you’re up to no good!


If this all sounds a bit Big Brother-ish, consider that it can be a real advantage to give access to some who is trained in interpreting the data an activity tracker generates.


Bryan O’Rourke, president of the nonprofit Fitness Industry Technology Council, says, “There’s going to be the merging of the digital and physical worlds from a service perspective, just like it is in retail shopping.”



Fitness tracker makers, of course, stress their products’ privacy features, which in most cases allow users to choose which friends can see, for example, steps but not sleep, or to shield some days entirely — “the weekend-in-Vegas option,” said Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president for product management and strategy.



“If you’re going to use data to prescribe a program, you need as good data as possible,” said Kelvin Everitt, FitBit’s vice president for fitness. He noted that no device yet can precisely track what you eat.  Users must guess how many tablespoons of olive oil are in that restaurant portion of chicken (six ounces? four ounces?), and then enter the information.




Choice of a tracking device often comes down to aesthetics, not data, because wearables are useless if clients think they’re too ugly to wear. Fashionistas may lean toward Fitbit, partly because Fitbit has paired with Tory Burch on a soon-to-be-released line of pendants, bracelets and

wristbands that may transform the tracker into something stylish.


Others love the textured rubber Jawbone Up bracelet, because it is younger and more hip.

Then again, Vogue last year named the Nike FuelBand “the A-list’s choicest accessory” — and the company quickly sold out of its limited edition rose-gold.  However, it is not popular on the tech side because no one but Nike engineers understand what it takes to earn a “fuel point,” the system’s unit of measurement.


Quantifiable data doesn’t fib, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. We know of a guy who claimed to be doing all his cardio workouts on his own, but his tracker clearly showed no abnormal caloric burn.  Trainers know that some people just can’t say they missed a workout; they don’t want to let their trainer down.  Activity trackers keep it real, and can enhance your workout success!