So, you’ve been out to buy a fancy smartwatch or a fitness tracker – well done! But are you still confused how wearable devices can track your health with all these fancy sensors?
Well, for starters, these fitness trackers, unsurprisingly, track your vitals – things like pulse, steps walked, blood oxygenation, body temperature, sleep and more. Multiple sensors are embedded in the device which track your body’s performance, and display it within an app (usually) on your mobile.
Benefits of fitness trackers and tracking your health
Tracking your health and fitness has a lot of benefits. Studies have shown that routine self-tracking of health can directly influence our health management practices. For example:
- Improved sleep
Tracking sleep can help us understand our sleep patterns, which can promote change in our night routine and help us make changes to improve sleep quality.
- Balanced diet
The food we consume helps us to strengthen our immune system, be healthier, and stronger. Health apps like MyFitnessPal assist you in logging calories of consumed food and give you insights about how you can improve your diet.
Being accountable for your health, hygiene, and overall wellbeing promotes accountability and thus driving a lifestyle change.
Top fitness trackers in 2023
1. Oura Ring
The Oura ring is a wearable device that is designed to track and analyse your sleep patterns. The ring measures your body temperature, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and movement, among other things. Using this data, the Oura ring provides you with a detailed analysis of your sleep, including information on the time you spent in different stages of sleep, the quality of your sleep, and suggestions for improving your sleep habits.
Where to buy: Oura website
2. Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is a smartwatch which has a variety of features like receiving calls, messages, tracking fitness and monitoring health data, and much more. It uses a combination of sensors and algorithms to track aspects of your health, including your heart rate, exercise activity, and sleep patterns. It also has features such as fall detection and emergency SOS calling to prevent severe cases. The watch is compatible with iPhones and Apple devices exclusively.
Where to buy: Apple Website
3. Garmin HRM Dual
The Garmin HRM Dual is a heart rate monitor designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to track their heart rate during exercise. It is a chest strap monitor that uses Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to wirelessly transmit heart rate data to compatible devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. It has an adjustable strap and a compact sensor module that sits snugly against the chest and is designed to be lightweight and comfortable, even during high-intensity workouts. It is also waterproof, so it can be used for swimming and other water-based activities.
Where to buy: Garmin Website
4. FitBit Charge 5
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a wearable fitness tracker designed to help you monitor and improve your health and fitness. It is the latest model in the popular Charge series from Fitbit. It has a sleek and lightweight design, unlike a smartwatch, with a touch display showing your fitness stats. It includes a heart rate monitor, GPS, pedometer sensors, sleep sensors (which provides insights about sleep quality), etc. One of the unique features of the Charge 5 is its ability to track stress levels and provide guided breathing exercises to help you manage stress. It also has a SpO2 sensor that measures your blood oxygen saturation levels, which can be an indicator of your overall health.
Where to buy: Amazon
If you do not wish to invest in a wearable fitness tracker, starting out with a health tracking app on your mobile can be a good start. Apps like MyFitnessPal allows users to track their diet, exercise, and other health and wellness goals. The app has a comprehensive database of over 11 million foods, which users can search to log their meals and snacks. It also allows users to track their water intake, daily exercise and activity levels.
A key feature of MyFitnessPal is its ability to track macronutrient intake, including carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Users can set daily goals for their calorie and nutrient intake based on their individual needs and goals. The app also provides personalised recommendations for achieving those goals. The app is free on both Android and iOS but has paid premium features for extra functionality.
Let’s do a health recap
Fitness trackers are an important tool to help promote good wellbeing. To actively track our health, we require new-age gadgets, and need to hold ourselves accountable to make it worthwhile. For a more personalised approach, consulting your medical practitioner can be a good idea.