Staying Healthy

Ways to use smartwatches for wellbeing

Smart Watches are becoming increasingly popular self-tracking tools. While the watches provide parameters that can impact your health, interpreting and actioning the data produces health outcomes.

Nowadays, doctors, nutritionists, and health coaches are willing to look at the data for identifying patterns around activity, sleep, heart health, and other vitals. Many smartwatches started embedding medical-grade sensors including ECG, SPO2, and more to extend into continuous health monitoring.

You can choose between these major smartwatch ecosystems depending on your primary smartphone, price, performance, and parameters to track:

  1. Apple
  2. Android
  3. Garmin
  4. Fitbit

We will cover top three wellness outcomes which can be achieved using your smart watch

Better Sleep
Improved Physical Fitness
Heart Health Monitoring

Better Sleep:

Sleep quality is as important as sleep quantity. Most smartwatches can help in tracking parameters related to both. Try to achieve daily goals for quantity and quality before getting into optimising advanced sleep metrics like deep sleep time etc. Maintain a diary of activities and correlate it along with better sleep quality.

Some general recommendations for better sleep includes:

  1. Having same sleep and wake times everyday
  2. Optimising sleep environment like darkening the room, minimizing room temperature and noise
  3. Avoiding digital screen time just before sleep
  4. Avoiding caffeine post 5pm

Improved Physical Fitness:

Physical fitness has a variety of dimensions such as cardio-respiratory, endurance, strength, mobility, etc. However, smartwatches track only a few of them. While counting steps is a good parameter to start with, it is also the basic measurement of your activity levels. The intensity of your activity matters the most for improved physical outcomes. So, it is important to hit your daily and weekly activity goals along the intensity zone.

Some general recommendations for improved physical fitness includes:

  1. Perform all types of exercise modalities including strength, cardio, mobility etc.
  2. Assess your fitness levels including VO2 max if your watch supports it and work towards improving it.
  3. Track intensity metrics including heart rate zones while performing exercises.
  4. Recovery is as important as activity and track your recovery if your watch supports.

Heart Health Monitoring:

There is a variety of internal and external markers of heart health. There is no smartwatch that can measure all dimensions of heart health. Resting heart rate is a proxy indicator for your cardio-respiratory fitness, and lower is better. Advanced metrics like ECG and HRV need to be interpreted by medical experts.

Some general recommendations for heart health monitoring includes:

  1. Nutrition, Stress Management and Exercise are important pillars for heart health.
  2. Use heart rate zones for your exercise tacking for better fitness outcomes.
  3. Use your heart rate variability for better stress management and recovery.
  4. Contact your healthcare provider if you see any anomaly in your heart rate.

Smart watch helps users to understand their body through numbers. Slowly but steadily smart watches track important markers for health and well-being.

Resolute members can use their wearable data during their health, sleep and performance coaching sessions for personalised recommendations.

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This article is also published in The Times of India


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