Do fitness trackers improve your health? We tell you how.


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Fitness watches are so popular that more than 20% of adults in the United States are wearing them. These wrist companions can help users to stay active and simplify their workouts. With a variety of functionalities and specifications, you may wonder whether fitness trackers can help improve overall health.

You can find not only the regular smart wrist watches but also a clip-on fitness tracker and also no screen fitness tracker. 

Recommended reading: Top 10 best fitness trackers for weight loss to have right now

Nowadays, companies like Fitbit and Garmin have focused not only on the fitness aspect but also on mental wellbeing.

For example, besides tracking your workout, they can track your stress levels and even your breathing.

So how can fitness watches help keep your body and mind in harmony? How do fitness trackers work? Do fitness trackers increase physical activity?

We will clarify these and other doubts that you have about fitness trackers and how they can help transform your lifestyle.

Fitness watches moving towards a holistic approach

Many fitness wearable companies such as Fitbit have launched smart bracelets not only to keep us motivated but to help us stay healthy in general.

Versa, Versa Lite Edition, Charge 3, Ionic, and Inspire HR feature guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate.

This function will help control your breathing, reduce stress levels, lower heart rate, and relax. Check out some of the Fitbit fitness tracker’s details and pricing on Amazon.

There is no doubt that fitness and health wearables have changed the way we think about wellness. As you see, using a fitness watch tracker can help keep your body and mind healthy. 

Many fitness watches can make you aware when physical or emotional sources cause stress levels to rise so you can find a way to relax and lower your stress levels. 

Both Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 can help you manage your stress through the day with the Breath app. Also, they can alert you if your heart rate is too low or high.

It is amazing the variety of fitness watches you can find that don’t just help you stay in shape but also help you stay calm. 

We will discuss the different features that can help your body and mind.

Benefits of fitness trackers to improve mental health

Unfortunately, stress is part of our lives. We all have searched for better ways to control it. From herbal teas to medications to yoga, there are many ways you can relax. However, wearing fitness wearables can be another effective way to bring calm into your life.

Many smartwatches or fitness watches can feature personalized breathing sessions, heart rate variable monitors, and stress tracking. They can help control your breathing, lower your stress levels, and even help you chill. 

A fitness watch with a stress tracker can help you sleep better, manage anxiety symptoms, and learn how to breathe better.

So how do they benefit your mental health? Can it help you lower your stress levels? Here are the advantages of using a fitness tracker that will help your mind:

  • It helps you control your breathing

As we mentioned earlier, some Fitbit’s fitness wearables feature personalized guided sessions to help control your breathing using your heart rate. Not only you can relax but you will feel energized.

Besides, many fitness trackers will alert you when it is time to find the tranquility you are looking for. Also, they can help you breathe deeper when you feel stressed or during yoga sessions. This is great to create self-awareness and to be in control of your stressful days.

  • It will help lower your stress levels

It is very important to maintain low-stress levels to prevent high blood sugar, diabetes, anxiety, weakened immunity, and even cancer. Just to give you an idea stress levels higher than 75 represent high stress. It is advisable to take a break to breathe deeply and stay calm.

One of the benefits of wearing fitness trackers like Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 is that they can monitor your stress levels throughout the day. 

The Garmin Connect app features a “Relax reminder” which alerts you when it is time to relax which helps you take your time to rest. It is a great way to improve your quality of life and prevent stress-related ailments.

Using a smart bracelet with a stress tracker will also help busy individuals to take a couple of minutes to relax. It creates a habit to leave their desks at their lunch or break time.

An activity tracker with this feature will help keep your body and mind in balance.

  • Self-esteem is improved

When you exercise and see the desired results you will feel great about yourself. Also, you will be able to inspire and encourage others.

  • It will help boost your motivation

The health data or fitness tracker statistics will help you determine whether the fitness plan is working or needs some adjustment. You will find new ways to reach your goals which build your motivation to keep moving.

Also, many smartwatches or fitness trackers will remind you when to exercise, alert you if you reached the goals, and even show you new exercises. Their customized alerts are generated using your health data, progress, or profile information.

Also, they will send you new challenges as you improve your progress and reach your goals. The more inspired you are the more you will want to stay active and keep moving.

  • Body awareness

Wearing a fitness watch will help you to know and understand your body better. Also, you will learn how it reacts to physical activity, sports, and workouts. You will find some healthy patterns and trends that will help you prevent and even manage a help condition.

  • Peace of mind

Wearing a smart bracelet while working out or doing any physical activity you like will keep you in-the-know as you monitor your fitness progress or health metric.

For example, if you have heart problems you can monitor your heart rate. Or if you wish to know how much activity you are doing you can track steps or your workouts.

You will be glad to know where you stand which helps you make adjustments in your fitness plan or to increase your physical activity.

  • Sense of responsibility

Working out makes you feel you are doing something for your health. That feeling of accountability will make you more conscious and responsible.

  • Improve memory

Relaxation techniques are proven ways to improve memory. The personalized guided breathing session feature helps control your breathing which also helps your meditation to be effective.

  • Feel good sensation

A fitness tracker with a stress monitor that alerts about your breathing or stress levels will help you make changes in your lifestyle. Following the recommendations will bring you better results which will make you feel better and healthy.

Fitness watches features to help your mental wellbeing

Stress affects your body, mood, and behavior. Knowing how to control it will make a big difference in your quality of life and health. Staying active, practicing breathing exercises, and socializing are some of the techniques that can help reduce stress levels.

Many smart bracelets focus on mental health by monitoring stress levels, help you improve your breathing, and even remind you to stop what you are doing to chill. This is a great way to improve stress-related ailments such as neck pain, headaches, lack of sleep, and even anxiety.

If you are looking for a smart bracelet that can help your mental wellness here are the features that you should consider:

  • Stress Tracker

This feature usually works with a continuous heart rate monitor to calculate the resting rate and workout recovery time which helps confirm any feelings of tension. Also, depending on the smart bracelet, you may receive alerts or reminders to relax.

However, smartwatches with a stress monitor can be a great alternative for those who like to be active and monitor their progress. Tracking stress levels can be a great way to determine if you workout out too much. Keep in mind that exercising helps us stay healthy but when done with moderation. Overdoing it can lead to more stress and injuries.

Monitoring your stress levels also can give you a big picture of your health which helps you determine any causes and patterns. The more you know your stress levels the better it will help you control and manage it effectively.

Tracking your stress can help you determine if your levels are affected by your workout, life event, or any other factor.

  • Relax remainder

This feature will send you notifying if your stress levels are higher than normal and remind you to relax. Many fitness watches with the relax reminder also include personalized breathing guide sessions to help you lower your stress levels.

  • Heart rate variability (HRV)

Probably you have not heard of it but heart rate variability is a very important measure, not only of your heart health but of your health in general. It tracks specific changes between successive heartbeats. 

HRV is measured not only using a doctor’s EKG but also using heart rate data collected from a fitness watch and it will show a score. The higher the number the better. This measure helps determine your stress levels but also helps detect health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, and other illnesses. 

Garmin uses the heart rate variability(HRV) data to estimate your VO2 max which is the maximum rate at which you can bring oxygen into your body and muscles and use it to produce efficient aerobic energy.

Other metrics such as body battery, performance condition, sleep quality, stress score, and lactate threshold are calculated using the HRV. 

  • Personalized breathing guide sessions

Many smart bracelets feature guided breathing sessions to help you control your breathing when you feel stressed or anxious. For example, Fitbit uses the Relax app to track breathing using your heart rate variability. This feature can be used at any time. In the morning when you wake up or during the evening after a hectic day.

Also, using this function helps you to recover from high impact cardio or when you are doing your meditation. The customized breathing exercises use your heart rate to help you improve and control your breathing which helps you lower your heart rate.

  • Move or Sedentary alert

Do you know that sitting for a long time can cause you, not only circulatory problems, diabetes, and other illnesses for the lack of exercise but also can increase your stress levels? So those who are so busy can greatly benefit from this feature to help remind them of the time to rest or to go for a walk. You must stay active and keep moving.

You can also choose the time to receive the alerts. For example, you can choose a specific time or within an X amount of hours. This feature is great for people with a sedentary lifestyle that need the motivation to stay active.

  • Relaxation breathing timer

Fitness watches like Garmin’s Vivosmart 3 and 4 help you relax through relaxation-based breathing timers. It offers 1 to 5 minutes guided breathing exercises based on the Fourfold breathing technique which is a method of rhythmic breathing that helps you calm down.

Breathing deeply helps improve your blood pressure, lower stress levels, and manage anxiety better. Breathing correctly using your tracker will help keep your body relaxed and your mind calm.

  • Continuous heart rate monitor

Tracking your heart rate 24/7 is another effective way to monitor your stress levels. Some fitness watches can alert you of any abnormal heart rate. You can share the health data to your doctor to help him diagnose any heart problems.

For example, Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 can alert you if you have a high or low heart rate. This feature helps keep track of any health patterns.

This function is so important that features like Fitbit’s personalized breathing guided sessions use continuous heart rate to help you stay calm.

If your concern is your heart health a fitness band with a continuous heart rate can make a big difference in your lifestyle.

How can they benefit your physical health

We discussed how fitness watches can benefit your mental wellbeing. So now we will explain how they can help you achieve physical fitness and to prevent health issues.

Most of the smart bracelets are focused on helping us reach our fitness goals, stay active, and improve our health. Also, it motivates us to stay active and keep moving. Not only you will feel good but also you will look good.

The more active you are the more your body will thank you. Your circulatory system will improve, sleep better, burn more calories, and build more muscle.

If you want to achieve a great physical condition and reach your fitness goals, here are the advantages of using a smart bracelet for physical health:

  • Helps avoid injuries

The health data and fitness progress can be used to design a personalized workout program that helps you avoid sprains or any other injuries. Some trackers feature on-screen coaching to help you exercise the right way and maximize your workout plan.

  • Strong bones and muscles

Working out will prevent osteoporosis and muscle atrophy as well. Being active, not only will help your bones’ health but also will improve your muscles’ coordination, strength, and balance.

  • You may see the results earlier

Many smart bracelets can send reminders to workout, daily challenges, or even personalized feedback based on your health data. If you follow their suggestions you may reach your goals sooner than expected depending on your persistence and commitment.

  • Sleep quality will improve

Many trackers can monitor your sleep which helps you find any sleep patterns and effective ways to improve it. Knowing how much you sleep will help you make changes in your lifestyle. For example, you will exercise more to achieve better sleep quality.

  • You will feel energized

When you stick to an effective plan designed using your health data your energy levels will increase instead of feeling tired. Self-monitoring your performance using a smart bracelet will show you that quality is better than quantity.

  • Health conditions may be prevented

Not only you can monitor your fitness progress but also you can track health data such as blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels, and oxygen levels.

The health data can be shared with your doctor to help him find any health trends and diagnose any health conditions. Using a tracker will help keep your mind and body healthier and you will have peace of mind.

  • You will be able to manage health conditions effectively

Using a fitness tracker to measure your stress levels, blood pressure, or heart rate, for example, will help you stay in-the-know which helps you manage your conditions better.

Features to help achieve better physical fitness

You have learned how using a fitness tracker can help improve your health and physical condition. Now we will discuss the fitness watches features that can help you see the desired results and keep you healthy.

Many of these features can help you achieve your fitness goals such as keep in shape, lose some pounds, and even improve your fitness levels. From monitoring your heart rate to tracking your activities there are many things that a fitness watch can do for your body.

Here is a list of fitness watches features that you should consider to achieve an optimum physical condition:

  • HRV (heart rate variability)

You may have noticed I included it in the features that will help you control your stress. The reason is simple. Tracking HRV, not only gives you an insight into your stress levels but also helps you determine if your body is ready to work out or if it needs some rest.

Also, it will help you be aware of your fitness levels and recovery status. A tracker with an HRV monitor will help improve your heart health.

  • Calories

Tracking calories burned is a great way to determine how active you are or how much you are working out. It helps you adjust your fitness plan to reach your goals.

Although I would suggest that you don’t obsess over numbers, tracking calories burned can be used as a guide.

  • Steps

Tracking your steps is a great way to track your walking and know if you are active enough. You can set goals like for example to take 10,000 per day to burn approximately 400 calories depending on your pace, body fat percentage, weight, and height.

Using a wrist wearable to track your steps can be a great way to start working out.

  • Heart rate

Although tracking your heart rate can determine stress levels it also can give us a big picture of your physical health. You can monitor your heart rate whenever you want. However, doing so continuously can calculate your heart rate zones to adjust the intensity of your workout.

For example, Fitbit has featured PurePulse on some of their fitness watches (Versa, Versa Lite Edition, Charge 3, Ionic, and Inspire HR). PurePulse uses your real-time heart rate zone to optimize your workout. Also, by tracking your heart rate continuously you will have a better measure of your calories burned which helps you to reach your goals.

  • Sleep monitor

Tracking your sleep is a great way to improve your health. Many fitness trackers with this feature review your sleep duration, your sleep stages, and the sleep time in each stage. Fitness trackers with sleep quality monitors will help keep your mind and body relaxed which improves your overall health.

Although this feature does not diagnose sleep apnea, it can give an insight into your sleep quality and may help you find any unusual patterns.

  • Activity tracker

You will find many smart bracelets that track any physical activity such as yoga, cardio, hiking, running, swimming, and others.

Depending on tracker, brand, and model you may receive feedback and stats to help you improve, make changes, and reach your goals. Also, it will help you determine if your plan is working or whether it needs some adjustment.

  • Blood pressure

If your heart health is a concern investing in a smart bracelet that measures your BP is a smart way to go. Many of them will monitor your blood pressure continuously so you can have a big picture of your heart health.

Also, you can measure it whenever you want. Worried about accuracy? You can bring your fitness tracker to the doctor and compare your results with his.

Measuring your blood pressure regularly using a tracker helps keep your mind and body in better condition.

  • Multisport tracker

Some smart wristwatches can monitor multiple sports such as basketball, track & field, gymnastics, cycling, and more. Depending on the tracker you can get real-time feedback, reminders, and alerts. Besides, you can set goals to help you optimize your workout.

  • Female health tracker

This is a tool used to login to your period and symptoms, available on fitness trackers like Fitbit’s Charge 3. Also, it will predict your next period and ovulation. It will help you to determine fertile days as well.

It is a great way to find better ways to relieve PMS symptoms. For example, tracking your stress levels before your period or ovulation will help you make some changes such as practicing your breathing.

  • GPS tracking

Many fitness wristbands have this feature to track how much you run, pace, and other metrics. The GPS can be integrated into the tracker (built-in) or can be available using your smartphone (connected GPS).

This feature is great for runners or if you like to exercise outdoors. Depending on the smart wristband they may also include challenges, virtual pacers, and also you can record your route.

A fitness watch with built-in GPS is a great alternative that allows you to enjoy your running without using your smartphone. However, if you do not mind using your phone, the connected GPS might work for you. It is cheaper than the built-in GPS.

Also if you want to have more satellite coverage I would suggest a fitness tracker with GPS-GLONASS which will cover areas that are hardly detected by GPS satellites, such as woody areas or between buildings.

Conclusion

Amazingly, fitness wearables can help your wellbeing in general. Keep in mind that the more you stay active the more personalized recommendations you can receive.

We hope our post “Do fitness trackers improve your health? We tell you how.” can be of great help for you and your dear ones. 

Are fitness trackers worth it? Whether you decide to wear fitness wearables or not, staying active can not only help improve physical fitness but also your mental health.

Looking for a fitness watch but don’t know which one to get? Our helpful post “How To Choose A Fitness Watch: Your Most Essential Guide can help you make a wise shopping decision without wasting your money.