TAMPA (FOX 13) - This past Christmas, many people found themselves unwrapping wearable fitness trackers by the Christmas tree.
Stefanie Colon got a Fitbit Flex from her fiancé. She went through a lifestyle change in November and has since lost a whopping 47 pounds.
While she attributes most of her weight loss to an improved diet and more exercise, she says her Fitbit helps her stay on track.
"I like to check it. If I don't have my steps in, I will get my steps in by the end of the day, or at least set a reasonable goal," she says.
Holly Belton said she went through a similar change recently and has lost 27 pounds. Her mother got her a Fitbit for Christmas and she also uses it to stay on top of her exercise.
"It kind of holds me accountable for when I’m at work sitting at a desk all day, to get up and get moving, to not stay seated," she explains.
Holly and Stefanie work together and often walk with a group of other co-workers on their breaks. They say their fitness trackers help them achieve personal goals and create fun competition at work and at home.
"You can see each other’s steps and you can also communicate," says Stefanie.
There are many fitness trackers on the market, which allow you to track everything from counting calories to monitoring sleep. Researchers have also taken notice.
New studies are using them to track various medical conditions, including diseases like Crohn's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis.
Holly and Stefanie say they have a real impact on their performance in the office.
"I think that when I come back in, my mind is clear and so that I’m able to do more, focus better," says Stefanie.
Holly adds, "I’m more energetic, more enthusiastic. Once I’m able to remove myself from work, come back in recharged and start over, it’s nice."
The devices cost about $50- $250 dollars. If you're thinking about getting one, do your homework ahead of time and figure out what features would benefit you the most.