There are tons of fitness trackers out there, and I think that most of them are great. They tell you tidbits about your day and your exercise as well as your sleep. I had a sales manager in one of my first jobs tell me, “You can’t grow your numbers unless you know your numbers.” Fitness has the same basic guideline. You cannot get more fit if you do not track where you are at today.
The fitness trackers that I have used are The Fitbit Blaze, The Apple Watch, and Whoop Strap 3.0. The Fitbit I had and the Apple Watch both communicated with my phone and alerted me of phone calls and text, and the Apple Watch does a whole lot more with the integration of all the apps. The Whoop Strap is strictly a fitness tracker.
All of these tracks your heart rate, and you can use that information to help track your fitness. Knowing your resting heart rate is essential to know for your overall health. The goal range is between 50-70 beats per minute, and usually, a lower heart rate is achieved through exercise. So tracking heart rate is essential and something that should be done. If your resting heart rate is too high, you most likely need to make exercise part of your daily routine. Fitness trackers have even saved several lives by alerting the user of a usual elevated heart rate, which eventually would have turned into a heart attack.
Although the Apple Watch is the most complex of all these, it is not designed for tracking fitness. One of the issues with the AW is that it doesn’t track sleep naturally. You have to download a non-Apple app to track your sleep, which usually causes some problems with accuracy. The Whoop and Fitbit both track your sleep automatically. They give you readouts of awake time, light sleep, REM sleep, and Deep Sleep. Getting enough sleep each night is essential to the recovery of your body and your brain. Tracking how much time you sleep as well as how much time you spend in each stage is super important for overall health. Knowing these metrics can allow you to see if you need to get in bed earlier or adjust what you are doing before bed to maximize each sleep stage.
The Apple Watch and Fitbits both track other parts of your daily routine like steps taken throughout the day, elevation covered, distance covered, hours standing, minutes of exercise, and total calories burned for the day. Of these additional metrics, the Whoop only tracks the daily calorie burn. Having additional metrics are great for overall health and are good for encouraging people to stay active throughout the day. Setting a daily step goal and standing more frequently in the day are good signs that someone is healthy or trying to be.
The one thing that the Whoop Strap does that all other fitness trackers do not do is track Heart Rate Variability (HRV). (The Apple Watch can do this, but you must do the breath app regularly.) The Whoop is a different fitness tracker that is focused on your recovery each day, which makes it appealing to avid exercisers. HRV is variance in time between the beats of your heart. So, if your heart rate is 60 beats per minute, it’s not beating once every second. The higher the variability, the better. This gives the Whoop another metric of gauging your ‘readiness’ for the days training. Combined with all other metrics like heart rate and sleep, it will produce a score of readiness for you and give you an idea of what you can handle for exercise that day.
I think that everyone should wear a fitness tracker of some kind, preferably one that tracks your sleep. Knowing your resting heart rate and how you sleep is just as crucial as your diet and exercise. Our goal with our health isn’t just to have healthy bodies but minds as well. Sleep is essential, and if you are not tracking it, you should be. Admittedly, I prefer the Whoop Strap for my fitness tracking. However, I still wear my Apple Watch because of its functionality for my daily activities.