We live in an age of ever-advancing technology, and the fitness sector is no exception. In recent years, the use of wearable fitness devices has exploded, particularly watches. But are they really useful, and how can you use them to improve your health and fitness? There are two particular areas in which a fitness tracker can be useful for improving health and fitness.
The first is sleep monitoring. It's undeniable that getting enough sleep plays an important role not only in your performance at the gym, but also in your general state of health. As well as nutrition, sleep is our main form of recovery after training. If you want to train hard and progress, you need to "recover" just as hard.
Getting more sleep can be as simple as being a little more disciplined in your sleeping habits, such as going to bed earlier. A sleep tracker can help you stay on track by making you accountable for the amount of sleep you get.
It can also analyze sleep patterns, such as REM and deep sleep. If you find that your sleep results are not very good, you know that this is an area you can improve for your overall health.
Fitness is a key element of our lifestyle, but it doesn't have to be limited to three or four CrossFit sessions a week. General low-intensity activity is also important as part of a holistic approach to health. Recording your daily steps with a tracker is a good way of knowing how healthy you are. If you want to lose fat, increasing your daily steps is a great way to increase your overall activity and help you burn extra calories.
Fitness devices offer many other functions, such as GPS, running speed, cycling data, heart rate and so on. All these functions can be useful, but sleep and step count are a good place to start, and for that you need a very simple device. In fact, you don't even need a watch. You can buy trackers such as the Oura ring, which looks like an ordinary ring worn on your finger, or the Woop device, which is a bracelet you can put on your arm or wrist.
There's nothing magical about fitness trackers, and you mustn't become addicted to them. I've heard stories of people so stressed about their sleep scores that they can't sleep at all. This is obviously not a good thing! However, if you use them wisely, trackers can be a great way of ensuring that your behaviors - getting enough sleep and sufficient physical activity - are in line with your goals.