A term that has become more common in the last 5-7 years is “wearables”. The most common brands and products are Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Garmin, but there is a wide range of other products on the market. These products are pieces of technology that the user wears to track performance during certain times (such as a workout) and throughout the day. While these pieces of technology are relatively cheaper than, for example, a smartphone, they are still an investment; but are they right for you? Here are some of the benefits of wearable technology:
One of the main reasons people use wearable technology is to track their workouts. As technology advances, the statistics and measurements on these devices become more accurate. They can track when you’re in the fat-burning zone, distance, elevation, etc. Some brands even offer a workout training program (usually for an additional fee). The range of exercises continues to grow as well. Most have the basics of strength training, cardio, running, cycling, and HIIT, but some offer rowing, dancing, and swimming as workout options.
Some people just need the extra push to get started, and wearable devices are programmed to push you. Most will remind you to get up and walk a certain amount of steps if you haven’t moved in that hour. These reminders are designed to keep you moving throughout the day. Some brands use “goal status” to motivate you to continue moving to achieve your goal each day. For example, Apple Watch uses rings that progressively close as you move about your day – with the motivation being to close each ring before the day ends. If you haven’t made much progress in the day, the device will let you know that as well with a push notification.
All wearable devices can detect heart rate, which is great to know as you’re resting and exercising. Technology has advanced to track sleep patterns, irregular heartbeats, blood oxygen, and even perform a basic EKG. While these devices should never replace seeing a physician for health conditions, they give the user a good insight into when something may be wrong and when it’s time to see a physician to seek treatment.
While your physical health is important, your mental health is, if not, more critical. Various factors, such as stress levels, can have detrimental effects on your brain and other areas of the body, causing your physical health to deteriorate. Many wearables remind you to take a break and guide you through breathing exercises, which greatly help relax your mind. Many wearables also have a store where you can download apps to help ensure you stay on top of your mental health.
Wearable devices are excellent overall health trackers, and the right one to purchase is entirely up to the user. Starting with listing what you’re looking to achieve will help narrow down the perfect device.