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Modern smartwatches are becoming more and more versatile, not only are they smartphone accessories that display notifications and organise your life, they're also incredibly capable fitness tracking devices.
Whether you're just starting your fitness journey or training for your 100th marathon, I think a smartwatch could be the perfect tool to help you reach your goals.
With integrated heart rate sensors, GPS, plus countless health and wellness features, premium smartwatches are now almost as capable dedicated running watches. The benefit of smartwatches, however, is that they don't look out of place when being worn with a suit, and are compact and comfortable enough to be worn all the time – even in bed!
Here are ten reasons why I think buying a a smartwatch is the best thing you can do for your health:
1. Track your daily activity
Okay, the most basic function here is especially useful if you're just starting out on your fitness journey. If you're trying to get more active, take more steps and stand up more throughout the day, then most smartwatches will give you nudges to help you achieve that goal. You can also measure how well you're doing and set realistic targets.
2. Measure your heart rate
Okay, so you're walking more and spending less time sitting down. Now it's time to start actually exercising – enter the heart rate tracker. We can't remember the last smartwatch that didn't include a heart rate monitor – they're incredibly useful for tracking all sorts of health metrics.
Using a heart rate monitor while you're exercising will let you track key information, the most important of which is your heart rate zone and which energy source you're burning. That way, you know your workouts are working efficiently.
3. Helps improve sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is just as important for your health and wellbeing as exercising is and, luckily, smartwatches can help here too. As well as helping you get into a good sleep schedule (making sure you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning), smartwatches will also monitor the quality of your sleep. If you start to see patterns in your sleep quality, for example, you always have a bad night's sleep after spending all evening watching Netflix and eating junk food, then you can fix that behaviour.
4. Helps track your diet
Another feature that can aid towards a more healthy life is the ability to track your diet. Smartwatches have apps that can monitor and log your calorie intake. This is especially useful if you're on a very strict diet.
5. Get detailed health metrics
Smartwatches are now packed with a number of sensors and algorithms which can detect all sorts of health issues. The heart rate sensor isn't just used during workouts, it can also detect irregular heart rhythm, which could be a sign of Atrial fibrillation, and alert you to high or low heart rates. The most recent smartwatches can also track blood pressure. All of this information provides you with deeper insight into your health and allows you to make more informed decisions about you wellness.
6. GPS can be used to track exercise
The addition of a GPS means your smartwatch will more accurately record speed, distance and elevation during outdoor activities like running and cycling. It's far more accurate than a device that just uses an accelerometer's estimate. GPS smartwatches also offer more advanced tracking metrics like step cadence or VO2 max score, which can be helpful for people training for a marathon or triathlon.
7. Get detailed stat and data
One of the best things about smartwatches is that all of the data tracked during your workout can later be viewed in various graphs and tables. It's often displayed in an easy to understand manner, and can be expanded and drilled down if needed. This data can be incredibly useful if you're really trying to maximise your training gains.
8. Get guided through workouts
Want to start exercising but don't know where to start? Luckily, many smartwatches now feature guided exercises which will take you through workout routines step-by-step. It's essentially like having a personal trainer on your wrist, and can be very useful if you only have a limited amount of time to squeeze a quick workout in.
9. Help you destress
Modern smartwatches can now also measure your stress levels and will offer tips and guided meditations to help you destress. This could have an impact on your overall wellness and is an important factor in your health (even if you're not interested in running and getting sweaty).
10. Keep your life scheduled
It's important to actually find the time to exercise, and luckily, a smartwatch can help you do that, too. Keeping track of your schedule is made easier when it's there on your wrist, and being more efficient with your time means you'll be able to find a slot to squeeze in a run or gym session. Not only can you stay on time during your workout, you can also stay connected, thanks to messaging and calling features, as well as entertained, thanks to music streaming.