As wearable tech gains popularity, we’ve started to imagine how it might affect our lives if it reaches mainstream use, and personal health tracking has taken center stage in the discussion. Smartwatches are coming out with a slew of health-related apps that utilize your movements and vital signs to help you keep track of — and accomplish — your health goals. Here are several of the ways you can use wearable tech to improve your health and fitness.
1. Track your sleep patterns
There’s no doubt about the modern era’s troubled relationship with a healthy sleep cycle. Whatever the reasons for it may be, it’s hard to break the cycle of poor sleep habits once you start. Smartwatches are a genius solution to monitoring your sleep cycle — and figuring out what’s keeping you from having a healthy one. Many sleep monitoring apps for smartwatches will give you suggestions on how to improve your sleep over time based on your unique sleep activity, so you can actually improve and get the rest you need.
2. Control your calorie intake
Smartwatch apps for tracking your calories are among the most popular being developed for the devices, making keeping track convenient and paperless. Even better, some calorie tracking apps are designed to give you encouragement through your tracking process and praise when you achieve your intake goals. One app will even connect you with your friends and family who want to encourage you to stay on track!
3. Go the extra mile
Even the simplest smartwatches are boasting pedometer tech, so you’re likely to get this feature even if you can’t shell out $349 for Apple’s new wearable device. Tracking the number of steps you take each day is a proven way to get you to move more and reach your optimal activity level. Having this technology in a wearable is certainly more attractive than stand-alone pedometers, not to mention the usefulness of a device that does a lot more than just count your steps. You’ll have less reason to not purchase a smartwatch than you would with a one-use device.
4. Record and perfect your exercise route
Similar to tracking your steps, tracking the route you take to run/walk/bike/etc. has been around for a while, but always on a stand-alone device or in your smartphone and thus requiring you to carry it whether you were planning to or not. Only now, some smartwatch route-tracking apps will keep track of your exercise route and give you suggestions for alternative or better ones. Perfect for those who need a change of scenery every now and then to keep them motivated.
5. Monitor your blood pressure
Recording heart rate and steps taken are easy capabilities to imagine, but did you know we can now measure and record our blood pressure through wearables? Normally a blood pressure measurement requires a trip to the doctor or a well-equipped pharmacy. Now you can keep track of your BP on your own, a crucial ability as you get older or for people with existing high BP-related conditions.
6. Manage your stress
Many stress management apps for smartwatches use your heart rate and other vital signs to monitor your level of stress throughout the day. Tracking multiple vital signs, wearables are able to pick up on the ebb and flow of your stress and help you pin-point where the highest levels are coming from. Some of these apps will give you tips and suggestions on how to manage your stress. Plus, having this stress-tracking system strapped to your wrist eliminates the added stress of remembering to bring a device wherever you go.
7. Get your own mini personal trainer
Need encouragement when you work out? Personal trainers are expensive and not accessible by everyone, but personal trainer apps for smartwatches are growing in popularity, offering encouragement and praise during your work outs or advice on how to move forward with your routine. Develop your workout schedule, get suggestions on new moves to try, and receive personalized feedback to keep you motivated. What more do you need?