How to use smart watches to meet your health goals
Many people just see smart watches as an extension of their mobile phone, but that’s certainly not the case. Many modern models come with a host of added features that could help to improve your health in the long-run, with bonus wearable technologies that are far more accurate than your smartphone.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your fitness routine, embark on a wellness journey, or simply learn more about your body, a state-of-the-art smart watch is the intelligent answer… and OnBuy are here to help you choose one!
The best smart watch features for health and fitness
Aside from a smart watch’s regular features, such as the ability to make and receive calls, send texts, listen to music, set medication reminders, and track your steps, there are a wide range of other qualities that could help to improve your health over time.
Fitness tracking sensors are perhaps the biggest selling point. Typically, a smart watch uses infrared sensors to detect your heart rate, calorie count, and monitor your stress levels when at a rest. Some of the best models also have accelerometers that measure your sleeping pattern and cadence, which is how consistent your walking and running speeds are.
Sleep tracking in particular is becoming increasingly popular, with some smart watches being able to provide valuable data, to help you optimise your routine, such as:
Sleep disorder detection
Some monitors can detect sleep apnoea, a potentially serious health condition in which breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
Sleep cycle alarms
Some alarms will wake you at the optimum time in your sleep cycle, closest to the time you specify. For example, if you have an alarm set for 8am but you’re in the midst of a light sleep cycle at 7:55, the app will wake you then.
Many trackers include a feature to tell you if your sleep has been restless during the night.
Duration of sleep
All sleep-tracking wearables should tell you how long you've been asleep for.
Setting your fitness goals
In addition to sleep information, smart watches with GPS capabilities also allow you to track your distance, identify speeds, and map your routes on the go, so you don't need to take your smartphone with you. These models are popular with fitness fanatics who are trying to improve endurance and pace, especially runners and cyclists.
Some smart watches, such as the Huawei GT2 and GT3, can even lead you through breathing and mindfulness exercises, which are a great and healthy way to reduce stress and anxiety. Newer Apple smart watches similarly include the built-in Breathe app, which can help to reduce stress by encouraging breaks throughout the day. Plus, with plenty of internal storage available, you can access hundreds of meditation exercises at the simple press of a button!
Your health and fitness goals can easily be tracked with a smart watch. Depending on the brand you choose, the statistics from your previous workouts and training sessions can be translated into easy-to-understand graphs that are then viewed via a mobile app, or a web browser. This information is further used to set future goals in your journey, including healthy habits (which is perhaps the best way to achieve long-term sustainability).
The safety features of smart watches
As well as wellness features, most smart watches come with built-in safety options, too. Some of the most popular options include:
This feature uses accelerometers to detect hard falls, and notifies the emergency services of your location.
By pressing down a button on your smart watch for a certain amount of time, you will be able to call 999, and send a text message to up to five emergency contacts. If you have an Apple smart watch, your exact location will also be shared.
Location tracking is handy if your children have a smart watch, or if you’ve found the perfect model for elderly relatives. Most can be tracked if they have built-in GPS, or are connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone. You can make use of these by adjusting the location services available on your smartphone, or by changing the privacy settings on the smart watch app.
In conclusion, smart watches are not just an extension of your mobile phone, but a powerful tool that can help you stay healthy and safe. With motion sensors that are far more accurate than your smartphone, a variety of fitness tracking sensors, sleep tracking features, and safety options, a smart watch can be a brilliant assistant for meeting your health goals.
With models made by brands as diverse as Samsung, Xiaomi and Michael Kors, there's a lot of smart watches to choose from! If you need some help deciding, our smart watches buyer's guide has all the information you need to make the right choice.