The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Smartwatch Fitness Tracker
Smartwatch Fitness Tracker Benefits
Smart Watches and fitness trackers have become an essential part of life and have only increased in popularity. These new wearable technologies monitor your everyday life to help you achieve fitness goals leading to a more active and healthier lifestyle.
There will be certain people who are reading this post - those who think that owning a smart watch is a waste of money and those who want to know about the advantages and disadvantages of fitness trackers before investing in one.
After all, buying a Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker is an investment in your own personal well-being, health and fitness regime.
What are the benefits of using a fitness tracker?
There is no doubt that constant inactivity can lead to numerous health problems, weight gain and other underlying issues including depression, lack of productivity in school, work and every day life.
Fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular due to there ability to count steps, measure walking distance, heart rate, sleep and even your personal calorie count. These are all vital statistics that an avid fitness lover will want to keep track of.
Is buying a smart watch worth the money?
1. Telling the time isn't the only thing that it can do
It's no surprise that many people prefer wearing a watch - simple functionality, fashion sense - a display of wealth, power and fortune are some of the reasons to keeping a watch on your wrist.
However, since the birth of the smart phone, watches have become less popular amongst the technological advances. Smart watches deliver a whole host of new features that the traditional watch can't do.
Smartwatches offer the same basic features that a normal watch cannot mixed with new features that a smartphone can't - bringing a solution that is the best of both worlds.
2. Never lose your phone again
Everybody has misplaced or lost their phone, which can be a frustrating experience for anyone. A fitness tracker can make sure you are never late for important meetings and occasions ever again!
Have you lost your phone? The latest smart watches and fitness trackers have built in "Find my Phone" functions that can be enabled with most devices, meaning you can send a signal and locate your device in seconds.
3. Track every part of your fitness regime, goals and health
A lot of smart watches have built in fitness tracking features to help with everyday life. They can help you achieve and maintain your fitness goals.
What features do smartwatches and fitness trackers have?
- Counting steps throughout your daily activities automatically.
- Measure the distance travelled during your latest run, bike ride or swim.
- Keep on top of how many calories burnt throughout the day.
- Monitor your heart rate periodically, during workout sessions or check your resting BPM pulse rate.
- Track your sleeping cycles, patterns and routine - discover how long it takes you to fall asleep, if you become restless and the time you actually are in your REM deep sleep.
4. See your social media notifications instantly
A lot of people want to stay connected to their social media, messages and calls at all times. Smart watches and fitness trackers now have the ability to display messages instantly from the biggest social media out lets including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
Some watches only display your social media activity and messages, others have added features to allow you to interact within the applications as well. Although the technology exists it shouldn't be used as your primary method of interacting with people on social media due to smartwatches small screens. Using your smart watch to respond when you are in a rush can be a life saver though!
Not all of these devices can offer these features independently though. Some of these watches require to be connected via Bluetooth at all times, others need a SIM card and data plan to be considered a standalone smartwatch.
5. Read, reply and make calls with ease
When you have a smart watch on your wrist you don't need to constantly grab for your phone to stay connected. A watch that carries these features can be useful when you are exercising or not able to access your phone.
One thing to remember though is that all of these features are accessed via a smaller UI which can prove fiddly to function. Put simple - watches cannot and will not replace the smartphone as the main component for interacting with your friends and family.
6. Always stay connected to your social life
During long gym sessions - running, cycling, swimming or any other form of exercise - you may be temped to check your calls, social media or messages and it isn't always possible to keep your phone with you. The awkwardness of trying to stay focused on a session and check an urgent notification can be a benefit of a smart watch or fitness tracker.
Are smart watches waterproof? With the technology quickly advancing using fitness trackers for activities like swimming or exercising in the rain is easier than ever. You can check your messages and notifications during resting to catch up with the latest social media buzz.
Make sure to check the information available to see whether the smartwatch you are interested in purchasing is actually waterproof. This can come down to the IP (Ingress Protection) rating of each individual device.
7. Entertainment on your wrist at the touch of a button
A lot of the newest smart watches offer features to watch the latest YouTube videos and listen to music that your friends won't stop talking about. If it isn't convenient to pull get out your phone then this can be a useful option although, these small screen is never going to replace the big screen quality of smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Not only can you watch and listen to the latest music but you can also store your favourite tracks and playback via your Bluetooth headphones wireless function. This is makes taking your phone with you during your running, cycling and gym sessions a thing of the past.
How does a fitness tracker measure steps?
A smart watch measures steps by constantly sensing movement of the body using an accelerometer. Continuously recording data allows the fitness tracker to trace if you are walking, running, cycling, standing still or even power napping after a long day at work.
Smart watches, fitness and activity trackers then process the data by passing it on to smartphone, laptop and tablet applications. The application processes all of the data and creates easy to digest information - how many steps you have walked, how fast and how many calories have been burnt throughout the day.
What are the Pros and Cons of having a Smart Watch?
Take responsibility in your own fitness
Having the confidence to take responsibility for your own health and well-being is one of the best motivational actions you can take. Unless you're fitness tracker actively encourages you to share your workouts with your friends then the only person you are competing with - is yourself. Smartwatches and their fitness apps help you keep a record of your goals and progress, psychologically pushing you to work harder.
Research has been shown that wearing these tech fit bits can increase activity by up to 30% - encouraging you to walk further, sustain peak heart rate, sleeping routines and run faster than you did yesterday.
Personally created goals
Have you been running for a while and now want to push on towards a 5k, 10k or a half marathon? Have you had an injury that has set you back meaning you aren't as fit as you once was? Do you want to finally stick to your new year fitness resolution?
No matter what your reason, excuse or motivation is for wanting to push forward; smart watches and fitness trackers can turn you from a couch slouch to completing a 5k with a few months of hard work and dedication.
Financial and money motivation
Many people may hold the opinion that smart watches, activity trackers and fitness bands are a bit expensive, also not worth the money. However, investing in these can give the psychological boost needed to attain their fitness goals and probably exceed them. If you're invest hard-earned money on a smart watch to set fitness goals then you are going to want to get the most from it for as long as possible.
Employers, Schools and Colleges are getting involved
Keeping fit doesn't have to be an individual slog any more. Everybody has an interest to staying in shape. Workplaces, schools and colleges are encouraging everybody to create and keep healthy lifestyles - some jobs offer a reimbursed payment of their fitness tracker once they hit a certain amount of steps. After all, having the world maintain fitness levels helps everybody and is proven to eliminate mental health, previous injuries and your general well being.
Tracking Sleep - Light, Deep & REM Sleep
Making sure you are getting enough sleep and following a healthy routine has never been easier - the latest fitness bands don't need you to sleep in an uncomfortable lab with wires attached everywhere. Smart watches now have the ability to determine the length you are in REM and NREM sleep by processing your movements throughout the night. Sleep is an important cycle in our daily lives, maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires 3 full cycles of sleep to allow the brain to process the previous days activities.