With people being more aware of their health nowadays, many are investing in digital health-tracking tools to help monitor their fitness progress. As reported by GlobeNewswire on fitness trackers, a type of health tracking device, the global market worth of fitness trackers was valued at $45 billion in 2021, with projections seeing exponential growth to $192 billion by 2030. Similar exponential growth can also be seen with health and fitness applications, which often work hand-in-hand with fitness trackers to log data. These technologies not only make the process of logging in fitness efforts, but they also offer insights into the user’s body, such as sleep monitoring for fitness trackers, whereas apps can provide nutritional information.
Although these technologies don’t directly impact your health, being able to see data can open ideas for areas of improvement, allowing you to take the right steps toward wellness. Listed below are some ways digital health tracking tools can improve your well-being.
As found in a study by The Lancet on activity trackers, seeing fitness progress through tracking devices and apps has encouraged people to be more active. Participants’ average physical activity improved, with them walking 1800 extra steps per day, seeing 40 min per day more walking, and even reduced body weight by 1kg (2.2 lbs). Recording exercises can serve as a great feedback and accountability tool, helping you stay motivated with exercise.
When looking for a smartwatch or fitness tracker, it’s best to consider your lifestyle and preferences. Some may be more suited for everyday wear, whereas others are more heavy-duty and can be used for diving. The Charge is a comprehensive option, featuring several advanced health-monitoring features and 20 sports profiles. The built-in GPS can track your outdoor runs even without a WiFi connection. Its SmartTrack feature automatically recognises certain workouts like walking or running and helping you log them in. Furthermore, it syncs well with the Fitbit app, which offers plenty of post-workout insights, such as advice to rest or if you’re lacking certain routines.
Many people who enter diets often use weight loss apps. However, many only concentrate on measuring caloric deficits regardless of their current health status, leaving them lacking in necessary nutrition. Instead of restricting your diet, WeightWatchers’ weight loss programs emphasize the importance of foods’ specific nutritional content. Through their app, users can get a custom plan and designated Points to ‘spend’ each day— letting them decide what to eat to get to their goals while staying on top of nutrition. It’s not necessary to track your food perfectly every day; consistency should be the focus to keep you more mindful of your diet.
The optimal way to keep track of your meals is to break them down into a list of ingredients and then log them individually. If you’re eating pre-packaged foods, most will have a label that lists the number of calories and other nutrient facts. More advanced diet tracking apps may allow you to scan the barcode of these foods and automatically log in specific numbers, making the tracking process easier.
The benefits of sleep are wide-reaching and include strengthening our immune system, improving memory, increasing exercise performance, and boosting our mood. Given their significance in maintaining our body function, sleep trackers have become a good way to assess your sleeping patterns and gain insight into how it affects overall health. You can use your information on sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep phases to improve your sleep habits, like adjusting bedtime alarms or your sleep environment. Most sleep trackers come in the form of a watch, but if you don’t like wearing devices to bed, many sleep-tracking enthusiasts recommend the Withings Sleep tracking pad that you can slip under your bed sheets.
While measuring sleep isn’t harmful, The Conversation on sleep trackers notes that a few people may over-obsess with getting the numbers right. People with the anxiety phenomenon named orthosomnia believe that tracking devices provide accurate information on their sleep. This can develop into unhealthy behaviors to meet their sleep tracker data— which, ironically, may worsen sleep quality and quantity. It’s important to remember that sleep trackers are not 100% correct, so use them as a form of advice and accountability rather than hard facts.