You may be asking, “what does a smartwatch do?” It’s an interesting issue, particularly given the high cost of many smartwatches.
Smartwatches are, at their most basic level, a smartphone extension. They offer notifications, take calls from your wrist, enable you to utilise applications, and tell time. However, the main benefit of a smartwatch is that you wear it nearly all of the time. Wearers of smartwatches may now connect in ways that have never been possible before.
This always-on function has significant consequences for watch users’ lives, including their health.
Here are 10 ways smartwatches may help you live a healthier life:
1. Track your steps
Taking 10,000 steps each day is one of the simplest methods to enhance your health and increase your activity level. Smartwatches feature built-in pedometers, making it simple to check how many steps you’ve done. While the accuracy of these pedometers is debatable, the fact that you’re moving to achieve your step target is what matters most.
2. Monitoring your sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of people in the United States sleep less than 7 hours each night. A lack of sleep over an extended period may be harmful to the body. When worn at night, smartwatches can monitor sleep patterns. They can tell you how many hours of sleep you’re receiving and how many hours of undisturbed sleep you’re getting. While these sleep data are not a replacement for a professional sleep study, they may help you discover trends and establish objectives to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
3. Keep a log of your diet and calories
Another feature that health-conscious people like in smartwatches is the ability to monitor their food. Everyone loves eating, and it’s straightforward to get sidetracked while doing so. Your wristwatch may give you alerts that will serve as a reminder of your fitness objectives.
Apps on smartwatches may also track and record your calorie consumption. Some even contain pre-programmed data on how many calories are in a portion of a specific meal. Wearing a wristwatch may assist you in exercising and losing weight safely.
3. Reminders to work out
We all know we should exercise, but making it a habit is frequently the most challenging aspect. Setting exercise reminders is an excellent approach to convert an idea into a habit. The benefit of a reminder on a smartwatch over a smartphone is that it is more difficult to ignore. If you don’t have your phone with you, it’s easy to miss a reminder notice, but a smartwatch will vibrate on your wrist, alerting you that it’s time to go to the gym.
4. Stopwatches and timers
Timers and stopwatches are very helpful for runners, swimmers, and cyclists. While this isn’t a new function to smartwatches, it has been accessible on digital watches for years. Facer users allow users to take this one step further and use a digital chronograph face on watches like the Apple Watch 6.
5. Serve as a safety device
Smartwatches may also be used as a kind of safety device. Your wristwatch may serve as a beacon for your loved ones and emergency responders to find you if needed. Also, smartwatches with applications deliver alerts when the user is inactive for an extended length of time or may have fallen. So not only are they keeping you fit, but they’re ensuring your health from a safety point of view.
6. Music streaming
It’s easier to work out while listening to music. You may have your favourite songs on your smartphone, but working out with a big phone is sometimes inconvenient. Many smartwatches enable you to instal a small selection of your favourite music straight into the watch without having to use your smartphone. When used in conjunction with Bluetooth headphones, this provides more convenience and comfort when exercising. While music alone will not specifically enhance your health, it may motivate you to exercise.
Though, what may be helpful to your mental health, is utilising this feature on your smartwatch for meditation or valuable podcasts.
Speaking of which…
7. Track your mental health
The body and mind are strongly intertwined. Wearables may inform us about our physical behaviours and our mental condition through monitoring physical activity. The majority of wearables can monitor our sleep habits and alert us if we aren’t getting enough rest. Some even can assess our ‘skin conductance,’ or the condition of our sweat glands, which is a good indication of sympathetic nervous system activation or stress. Wearables can tell us not just whether we’re exercising but also if we’ve come to the end of our rope.
There are many options for what to do with this information. An app might include questions to assist in contextualising this stress data. Another person might use these signals to propose mindfulness activities such as meditation and deep breathing.
8. Customised faces with complications to suit
The option to personalise watch faces is one of the most popular aspects of smartwatches, enabling you to show your uniqueness. Many smartwatches allow you to add health monitoring functions to the primary watch face in addition to entertaining, colourful watch faces. The addition of steps done or objectives to the watch display brings health to the forefront. The more you see it, the more you’ll realise how important it is to take charge of your health.
9. Useful data
While smartwatches have limited processing power on their own, they are constantly linked to smartphones, allowing you to sync your health data (sleep, steps, heart rhythm, blood pressure, temperature, etc.) with your phone. To examine the data on your phone, you may use native applications like Apple Health or third-party apps. This aids in the understanding of your habits and development, as well as the setting of future objectives.
10. Preventative health measures
By exposing you to possible health risks sooner rather than later, preventative care and timely illness detection are two of the most effective methods to decrease your total health care expenses.
According to research, smartwatches improve the diagnosis of some heart illnesses such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) by detecting warning signals early through digital health sensors. Other research suggests that wearable gadgets may detect other diseases, such as the common cold. Smartwatches like the Apple Watch can monitor heart function as well as other cardiac health problems using diagnostic data and the ECG function, in addition to illness detection. Medical expenses are typically decreased when a disease is discovered and treated early.
Health monitoring has been incorporated in the earliest trackers. And the features get more advanced with every new version.
For many individuals, a tracker like a Fitbit is the way to go for starting off. But if you spend a little extra money on a smartwatch, you can get many more health and fitness functions with brands like Garmin and Apple.
Of all, even with the most advanced capabilities, a smartwatch depends on one thing above all else: you to make the most of it.