The real benefit of smart watches

Recent times have seen tech giants commit to the idea of wearable technology. One of the most prominent products of this push is the smart watch. Over the last few years, the smart watch has evolved from a wearable device that can connect to your phone to a device that has the ability to connect to the “internet of things” and control any smart device in your house, office or car.

However, one of the most interesting and in my mind useful features of smart watches is the inclusion of health monitoring capabilities. These capabilities include heart rate monitoring features, fitness trackers, calorie usage counters, blood oxygen level monitors and many more features.

One of the most important health features according to medical professionals is the heart rate monitor. This is due to the fact that individuals can monitor a variety of different health indicators such as stress levels, fitness levels and exercise intensity.

In order to record an individual’s level of fitness, people can take their resting heart rate in the morning when they get out of bed as well as their heart rate as soon as they finish their exercise routine. People then need to time how long it takes for their heart rate to return to their resting heart rate after their exercise. This will give them an indication of their hearts recovery rate. The shorter the recovery rate, the fitter the person. This is important due to the fact that the faster your heart recovers, the healthier your heart is.

By monitoring your heart’s recovery rate over time, people can see if their recovery rate is increasing or decreasing. If your recovery rate is increasing over time, we can come to the assumption that you should increase the intensity of your exercise routine by increasing your exercising heart rate for the duration of the exercise routine. This increase in exercise intensity should increase your fitness and shorten your recovery rate.

In order to measure stress levels, people can use the smart watch heart monitor to identify times of high stress. This is often indicated by an unexplained increase in your heart rate.  If this increase is identified soon enough, people can engage in relaxation or distressing exercises or routines in order to bring their heart rate back down to a safe level.

However, it is important to note that other features on smart watches such as the calorie tracker may not be as accurate as we are lead to believe. This is due to the fact that smart watches use a ‘one size fits all’ system when calculating the amount of calories that a person is burning. This proves problematic due to the fact that differences between people result in people burning calories at different rates. Examples of these differences could be things as simple as gender, height, age and metabolism.

The smart watch continues to be a hit within the sports and health community with new apps and functions launching every day. I think we can comfortably say that although improvements need to be made, the age of wearable technology has finally arrived.

 

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