Wearable technology for exercise: when to use it and when to ignore it
Wearable technology, or ‘wearables’, have revolutionised fitness and exercise over the last decade. For the few who haven’t heard, wearables are smart technology devices worn on the body, commonly as fashionable accessories.
The most popular wearables on the market are designed to look and be worn like stylish watches, but with a smart display instead of a clockface. This wrist placement is the optimal position to monitor the wearer’s key vital signs and track their fitness.
Some of the most popular features of wearable technologies include:
- Step counter – counts every step taken by the wearer using accelerometers and altimeters to measure distance.
- Heart rate monitor – provides immediate heart rate tracking to monitor workout intensity and heart health using built-in biosensors that touch the skin directly.
- Goal setter – set daily goals, such as target step count, and get reminders to keep pursuing these numbers.
Wearables offer convenience in optimising the wearer’s physical activity and maximising their progress. However, it can be challenging to keep up with the expectations about daily fitness success that wearables reinforce.
Given our bodies have ever-evolving demands that wearables cannot always interpret, a daily step goal can often be out of reach, especially if you’re weighed down by exhaustion or are too busy to leave your desk. On these days, it’s important to remember that you and your health should amount to more than just numbers. Wearables cannot care for you better than you can yourself.
A fact that many who use wearables often forget, is that the functions of these devices should be used as a guide only. A workout built around the outputs of a wearable device will not be as helpful as a workout tailored to your individual needs. Instead of focusing on steps, heart rate or calories burnt, try to build your workouts around a balanced range of exercises and listen to your body when it tells you to slow down or stop.
Whilst wearables can be very beneficial in understanding your body during exercise, they should not the be-all-end-all. If you do feel like you need an extra boost during your workouts to better benefit your body, we recommend taking a more holistic approach. Our scientifically derived curcumin supplement, Flexofytol, will support your joints and mobility so you can focus less on pain and more on keeping your physical health well-rounded.
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