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Is there a Fitbit right for you?

The question: I am thinking of investing in something like a Fitbit or Jawbone. Are they worth the purchase?

The answer: Well, they are by no means a necessary investment, but depending on your personality and individual circumstances, fitness gadgets might provide you with the added incentive you need to successfully adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Everyone needs an extra push every once in a while. I recently invested in a quality triathlon watch – I find recording and then reviewing my training details very motivating.

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Just remember, only you can ensure your own health success! The device is a luxury, not a necessity. Ultimately, the responsibility to adopt a healthier lifestyle falls on your shoulders. Don't try to transfer the responsibility of your health onto anyone, or anything, not even a gadget.

A new gadget can be the icing on your fitness-success cake, but don't think it can be the actual cake.

Before investing, ask yourself: Is the purchase worth it? The answer depends on your personality and finances. People who love keeping track of statistics often find the technology extremely motivating. Fitness-tracking devices are not cheap, so if you are on the fence, use your phone before you commit. There are apps you can download which track your steps and food.

The main takeaway is this: Adopting a healthier lifestyle takes long-term dedication and hard work. Secrets of success don't work (not even cool gadgets), unless you do. Before you buy anything, take the time to set realistic goals, scheduling workouts in advance and troubleshooting potential problems.

Sure, if you can afford it, order a Fitbit, but don't wait for it arrive to go for a walk and be mindful of your diet.

Trainer's tip: If you invest in a tracking device, and in the end you don't find it motivating, don't use that as an excuse to abandon your health goals altogether. If you fall off the horse, assess why, then get back on. Health is a process, and you can't change a lifetime of habits in one day – or with one new toy!

Kathleen Trotter has been a personal trainer and Pilates equipment specialist for 10 years. Her website is www.kathleentrotter.com.

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