Ways to use smart watch for wellbeing

Smart Watches are an online popular self-tracking tool. 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 smart watches started embedding medical grade sensors including ECG, SPO2 etc and hence extending into continuous health monitoring.

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

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Garmin
  • Fitbit

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

1. Better Sleep
2. Improved Physical Fitness
3. Heart Health Monitoring

Better sleep:

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

Some general recommendations for better sleep include:

  • Having same sleep and wake times everyday
  • Optimizing sleep environment like dark room, ideal room temperature and low noise
  • Avoiding digital screen time just before sleep
  • Avoiding Caffeine post 5PM

Improved Physical Fitness:

Physical fitness has a variety of dimensions including cardio-respiratory, endurance, strength, mobility etc. but the smart watch tracks only a few of them. While counting steps is a good parameter to start with but it is a very basic measurement of your activity levels. This is because of the importance of intensity of an activity, matters most for improved physical fitness outcomes. So, it is important to hit your daily and weekly activity goals along with intensity zone achieved.

Some general recommendations for improvement of physical fitness include:

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

Heart Health Monitoring:

There are a variety of internal and external markers of heart health. There is no smart watch which 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, HRV needs to be interpreted by medical experts and practitioners.

Some general recommendations for heart health monitoring includes:

  • Nutrition, Stress Management and Exercise are important pillars for heart health.
  • Use heart rate zones for your exercise tacking for better fitness outcomes.
  • Use your heart rate variability for better stress management and recovery.
  • 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 personalized recommendations.



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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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