In recent years, smartwatches have risen in popularity. From Apple and Samsung to Fitbit and Garmin, there are loads of choices available. Whether it’s someone who is fitness mad or someone who wants to improve their fitness; a smartwatch might be the perfect gift. They aren’t the cheapest but definitely a worthwhile purchase. And smartwatches have so many different benefits over and above fitness tracking. Many of them allow you to listen to music and check your WhatsApp messages without having to get your phone out.
Fitness trackers can really help to keep you accountable when it comes to tracking how much you walk and how much exercise you’re really getting. Mostly, doctors and nutritionists recommend 10 000 steps a day. That works out to approximately 5 miles or 8 kilometers. This amount of walking has huge health benefits such as alleviating high blood pressure and heart disease. On average, healthy adults take anywhere from 4000 to 18 000 steps per day.
Having a device on your wrist which can track your activity allows you to see how you’re doing. However, Esther Avant, a personal trainer, mentions that you shouldn’t be too focused on the number of steps you do. You should start with what you feel is doable. There isn’t a ‘bad’ place to start, you can only improve from there and it’s always good to increase your activity. In other words, if you’ve only been doing 2500 steps a day, target 3500 rather than 10 000.
For reference, if you are wondering which category you fit into, according to Healthline:
- Inactive: less than 5,000 steps per day
- Average: ranges from 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day
- Very active: more than 12,500 steps per day
Most smartwatches will also remind you to get up and move after you’ve been sitting down for a while. This can be helpful not just for fitness but also for relieving stress and tension in the body. Workout reminders are also a great feature for turning New Years resolutions into reality.
Since you wear it all the time, the watch will be able to measure both the quality and quantity of your sleep. On average, according to the CDC, a third of all adults in the USA get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. The Sleep Foundation recommends between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. This means that many Americans are not getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential, our bodies use it to heal and recharge. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can have negative consequences for the body. Though a smartwatch is not a replacement for a sleep study, it can help you to identify patterns and behavior which can be improved through practicing good ‘sleep hygiene’.
One of the major benefits of having a smartwatch is that you can wear it all the time. It’s constantly with you on your wrist. Mostly, the charge will last for days on end which means you can wear it almost full time. Measuring your heart rate is an important part of understanding your fitness levels. You can also use your smartwatch to track your food and water intake. Nutrition is vital when it comes to fitness so this is great for people who are passionate about health and wellness.
What are the options?
Below are some of the most popular smartwatches which are currently available on the market:
SOUTH AFRICA: https://www.fitbit.com/global/nl/home
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH
SOUTH AFRICA: https://www.samsung.com/za/
SOUTH AFRICA: https://buy.garmin.com/en-ZA/
Aaptiv. 2020. Health and Data: 7 Awesome Benefits of Fitness Trackers. [Online] Available at: https://aaptiv.com/magazine/benefits-fitness-trackers
Hawkins, S. 2015. How Smart Watches Can Help Improve Your Health. [Online] Available at: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2015/03/how-smart-watches-can-help-improve-your-health/
Lindburg, S. 2019. How Many Steps Do I Need a Day? [Online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-steps-a-day#How-many-steps-should-you-take-a-day?
Suni, E. 2020. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? [Online] Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Vogue. 2020. 4 Vogue Editors On Why A Fitbit Sense Could Be The Best Wellness Investment You Make In 2020. [Online] Available at: https://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/bc/fitbit-sense-2020.
Yuenyongchaiwat, K. 2016. Effects of 10,000 steps a day on physical and mental health in overweight participants in a community setting: a preliminary study. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015672/