Keeping Track Through Tech

Remember the humble pedometer? That’s how we used to count our steps before smartphones. The use of wearable technology has exploded and users can utilize this tech to improve their health by encouraging them to move more or close that activity loop!

As a fitness and health coach, these are the five metrics I check on my watch every day.

Steps – On average, I hit about 15K steps per day so I like to make that my benchmark. There are days, however, I’m totally desk-locked. Seeing that I’m shy of my goal gives me that little nudge to get off my tuchus and go for a walk.

Sleep Score – For me, sleep is the one health area that I really struggle with and a metric I like to track. My watch records the time I fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. It also notes how long I spend in the phases of sleep; deep sleep, REM, light sleep, and all of the moments I wake up at night. It’s all rolled up into a score. 100, being the best you can score. Higher scores mean you’re more rested so I know if I have a score of 60 I will adjust my workout accordingly, will take more care at work so I don’t make any silly mistakes, and grab a nap if I can. I also make a concerted effort to be firm with my bedtime routine; limit blue light, no alcohol, and try to get to bed at least an hour earlier than normal.

Heart Rate Tracking – This is a fascinating metric to follow! My resting heart rate is in the mid-50s, which is a bit lower than average and I chalk it up to my exercise and training schedule. In addition to resting heart rate, I can see where my heart rate tracks when sleeping and during exercise. Running gets my heart up the highest, and strength training the lowest. Watching reality tv drops me to the low 50s. If I have a few glasses of wine, my heart rate is higher when I sleep, and FWIW, those nights I also have lower sleep scores.

Relax Mode – This is a 2-minute inhalation and exhalation exercise. You simply breathe along with the vibration on your watch and you can actually feel yourself relaxing. At the end of the exercise, you get a report showing your starting and ending heart rate. This function is really helpful for folks who have anxiety or need to have a quick grounding before a presentation, meeting, or while dealing with a stressful situation.

Activity Tracking – You can select from about 20 different activities to track; walking, running, weight training, spinning, hiking, etc. Each activity tracks differently. For example, running tracks distance, pace, and time. Weight training tracks time, heart rate, and calories. If you use the app, you can dig into more metrics. If you go for a run, you can see how far, how fast, your heart rate, the hill profile, and where you ran.

There are many watches to choose from. I have a Fitbit Versa 3 and have been very happy with it. There are watches at low and high price points but the best watch is the one that works best for you.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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