Like it or not, wearable tech is all around us - tracking everything from your steps, how far you've travelled, how many calories you've painstakingly burned, and even your sleep patterns.
If you want to make the most of your wearable tech (or are just jealous of your phone knowing more about your daily habits than you do!), it can be hard to know what to do with all the data. What's actually important to track? What's considered 'normal'? To help you make sense of it all, we chatted to the team at Fitness First to find out which areas to focus on.
1. RESTING HEART RATE
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT:
The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate. This is because exercise trains your heart to be more efficient with each beat. Resting heart rate can also give you insight into other aspects of your life as the number can be influenced by stress, lack of sleep and some prescription medications. You can also use your resting heart rate to calculate training zones, allowing you to track your intensity throughout a workout.
WHAT TO AIM FOR: A normal resting heart rate ranges from person to person, but a healthy guide is approximately between 60 and 80 beats per minute.
TOP TIP: Take your resting heart rate first thing in the morning before getting out of bed as you need to be completely relaxed and still. Track your results over time to see the influence of your training program on your fitness level.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT: Moving more, regardless of your fitness level, is beneficial for overall health – helping with weight maintenance, increased productivity at work, and reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Sitting for too long has a whole host of health consequences including rounded shoulders, tight hips, and poor blood sugar regulation. It’s clear we need to move more throughout the day, but staying motivated to do so can be a challenge.
WHAT TO AIM FOR: The infamous 10,000 steps per day is a good benchmark - it means you're walking around 7-8km. While that's a solid distance, keep in mind that this type of exercise is unlikely to get you incredibly fit if you’re already quite active.
TOP TIP: Whether it’s a fitness device or reminder on your phone, the key is to find as many opportunities to move. This can be walking instead of driving, taking the stairs wherever possible – whatever works better for your schedule.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT: We all know #gains from the gym are made when we recover, and sleep is an essential part of that. However, long days at work, a jam packed social schedule and squeezing in your early morning run or weights session usually means missing out on optimal amounts of shut-eye. Wearable devices can give you information about what happens during those (hopefully) restful hours including the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, as well as the number of times you wake throughout the night.
WHAT TO AIM FOR: A good night’s sleep consists of five to six sleep cycles, however, the exact number of hours you need to feel rested is as individual as your shoe size.
TOP TIP: Wearing a wristband or watch to bed can be uncomfortable, and you don’t necessarily need a device to tell you how tired you are. Instead of getting wrapped up in the numbers, focus on practicing good sleep hygiene by avoiding checking emails or scrolling Insta feeds, going to bed at the same time, and making sure your room is cool and dark for optimal comfort is your best bet for restful night’s sleep.
Wearable technology doesn’t automatically equate to fitness success, but watches and wristbands are a great way to keep key health goals at the forefront of your mind and act as a friendly reminder to move more, have a healthy heart, and get enough shut-eye - amongst many other things.
For more health tips or to get your spring fitness regime sorted, visit the team at Fitness First Barangaroo on Level 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue (enter via Scotch Row).