Wearables are portable watches or bands that track your exercise, sleep, heart rate, and even how much time you spend sitting. This relatively new technology has exploded in the last few years and is improving rapidly. Wearables promise to track an even greater number of health markers in the future. If you are interested in wearable technology, the new-year, is a great time to invest in your own health and take advantage of end-of-year sales.

Benefits of committing to a wearable:

  • Engage in your healthcare daily
  • Assists with developing healthy habits
  • Reminders to exercise regularly
  • Encourages more steps and less sitting
  • Provides the opportunity to form communities to collaborate or compete
  • Access to personalized health information
  • Notify user of abnormal heart rhythm (Apple Watch)

Since the technology is still so new, no direct links to health outcomes have yet been made. Anecdotally, you will find that users changed their habits because of the wearable. Drivers set a step goal of 6K or even 10k steps per day. The reward of a completed ring (Apple Watch) or the fireworks of achieving the daily step goal (Fitbit) is a little boost, that users target and enjoy. Prioritizing sleep becomes a focus as the wearable reports on how much sleep you get, broken down by type of sleep. Heart rate patterns may warn of extreme fatigue or impending illness.

There are many wearables on the market. Consider cost, size and fit, amount of data and type of exercise when choosing your wearable. Here are a few suggestions to consider for 2020:

Garmin Forerunner 35 Retail $170.00

  • Monitors heart rate, steps, sleep, notifications
  • Built-in GPS tracks your walk or run
  • Smart notifications
  • Uploads to Garmin Connect
  • Move reminders move
  • Pool swim feature
  • Battery life 13 hours in fitness mode longer as a watch
  • Free online fitness community

*Best for serious walkers and runners who want to record intensity levels and intervals.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 Retail $129.99

  • Monitors heart rate, steps, sleep, notifications
  • Slim design, bright, easy-to-read display
  • Advanced sleep monitoring with REM sleep blood oxygen saturation levels
  • Stress tracking, relaxation breathing timer
  • Dedicated activity timers for walks, runs, strength training, yoga, and swims
  • Vibration alerts for notifications
  • Battery life lasts up to 7 days

*Best for those who want a smaller device that works with various types of exercise.

Fitbit Versa 2 Retail $199.95

  • Monitors heart rate, steps, sleep, notifications
  • Smartwatch coordinates with Amazon Alexa, and your other favorite apps
  • On screen workouts
  • Advanced sleep monitoring
  • Bluetooth compatible to your wireless headphones
  • 15 exercise modes
  • Battery life lasts up to 5 days

*Best for those who want a more comprehensive wearable that can accommodate fitness apps.

Fitbit Inspire Retail $69.95

  • Monitors heart rate, steps, sleep, notifications
  • Entry-level wearable at an affordable price
  • 15 exercise modes
  • Battery life up to 5 days

*Best for those who want a smaller device at an affordable price.

Apple Watch Series 5 Retail $399.99

  • Smartwatch that integrates most apps you use on your phone
  • Notifications from your smartphone apps
  • Can be used to monitor sleep through third party apps
  • Monitors time spent active, standing, and exercising
  • ECG available to monitor irregular heart rhythm
  • Purchase data plan and use it as a stand-alone smartphone
  • Shorter battery life than most other wearables (18 hours)

*This is the most advanced wearable on the market at the highest price.

All of the above devices are constantly being improved and new versions released.

Take advantage of sales on the older versions. Wearables are a great way to take an active role in improving your health. Contact a Rolling Strong Wellness Coach to discuss how a wearable can help you achieve you health and fitness goals.

by Christy Coughlin, Wellness Coach

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