Fads, especially within the fitness industry, come and go like the wind, but wearable tech is proving to be resilient. In recent years, consumers have swapped soda for reusable water bottles and have embraced the idea of monitoring their health head-on. Though, even as demand for health-related wearables rises, skeptics remain and question the underlying benefits that tech has to offer the consumer health market.
As a personal trainer, fitness coach, and exercise performance specialist, Jolene Cherry believes that incorporating wearable tech into fitness routines and health plans is a useful tool. For those still on the fence, below, Ms. Cherry reviews below the key advantages to be gained from aligning tech to your physical activity.
What exactly is wearable technology from a healthcare perspective? Two of the most common electronic devices that consumers don frequently are Fitbit and smartwatches. The major difference between the two is Fitbit's design focuses on fitness at its epicenter, while smartwatches include fitness tracking as a bonus. Nevertheless, both gadgets typically sync to the internet via a wi-fi connection or Bluetooth to a user's smartphone and collect data related to personal health and exercise.
The future is now, and it's all about the data. While an annual routine physical is necessary to help maintain personal health, there's no advantage to staying in the dark for the rest of the year. We live in an instant gratification culture nowadays, and fitness tracking is no exception. Wearable health gadgets provide real-time data for crucial metrics such as heart rate, calories burned, distance, sleep patterns, and even blood pressure that can prove instrumental in achieving health goals. However, all the data in the world is ineffective without proper interpretation.
To maximize the benefits of wearables, people need to understand the data and what action is appropriate as a follow-up step. That's where fitness coaches, trainers, and of course, traditional health professionals can truly make an impact. When clients share their digital fitness information with their personal trainers, it improves the communication process and provides a powerful context to a person's overall health status. As a result, fitness professionals like Jolene Cherry can create more personal exercise routines that can help people achieve their goals and reduce the risk of injury.
Perhaps the most immediate benefit of incorporating a digital fitness tracker into daily regimens is the increased interest and engagement in one's health. The choice to wear a Fitbit or smart health watch is in itself a daily reminder to bring balance to your life through lively physical activity and proper nutrition. Proactive healthcare management, encouraged by the ability to track personal health trends and progress, coupled with appropriate care by a professional, adds a new dimension to the fitness industry.
Technology evolves at an ever-accelerating rate, and while it may appear somewhat paradoxical relying on tech to create more harmony in your life, wearable health devices, when used properly, can and do make a meaningful impact. As the gadgets evolve and rest assured they will, consumer fitness trackers may become an integral aspect of professional healthcare. In the last four years alone, wearables' penetration in the consumer market has increased from 9% to 33%, and the number is predicted to grow. So, do your research, speak to your primary healthcare professional and personal trainer if you have one, and start making your health data work to your advantage.
About Jolene Cherry: Jolene Cherry is a certified and experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Oregon. She believes that striking a balance in life is the key to wellbeing and is dedicated to helping all of her clients pursue fitness, meditation, as well as nutrition. When she is not working, she likes to travel, hike, and enjoy the best espresso in town. She also volunteers at Yoga in the Park and is a big dog lover.