To use a fitness tracker or not to use a fitness tracker…That is the question!

Though certainly not an essential piece of equipment, a fitness tracker can absolutely play a role in helping you reach your fitness/wellness goals. Based on experience, here are some of the features about the Apple Watch (in particular, which is what Poul wears; though many would apply to other trackers too!) that we love:

1. Sleep Tracking

According to Statistics Canada, about one-third of Canadians aged 18 to 64 aren’t getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. For seniors, the stats aren’t really any better, with one-third of those aged 65 to 79 getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

Research associates sleep deprivation with various chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Thus, obtaining enough quality sleep should be at the top of your wellness priority list.

Another benefit is being able to adjust your training if/when you have a bad sleep, to reduce the intensity of your workout or schedule a rest day instead. On the other hand, if you know you had a great sleep, you can push it a little bit more during your exercise session.

2. Heart Rate Monitoring & Tracking

The Apple Watch (and other similar devices) can help you read and monitor your heart rate, which is hugely valuable when working out. You can also use HRV (heart rate variability) apps with the Apple Watch to dig a little deeper.

For example, the “Training Today” app monitors heart rate data from the Apple Watch, and uses this info to determine your “readiness to train.” As a result, you know whether you should take a rest day or not. This can also help prevent injury and help you take the proper care for your body to recover properly.

3. Workout Tracking

Whether you’re hiking, skiing, cycling, snowboarding, weightlifting or cross-training, you can view the durations of your workouts, your peak heart rate, your average heart rate, and so much more!

The Apple Watch also allows you to track your overall steps throughout your day. This can provide you with valuable information to determine whether or not you’re getting enough general movement throughout your day.

4. Reminders

As we go about our busy days, reminders are ultra-helpful. On your Apple Watch, you can set reminders to workout, drink more water, go to sleep, move every hour and more.

5. Nutrition

Finally, the Apple Watch is a great tool for tracking nutrition and/or fasting windows for those who follow Intermittent Fasting. We like MyPlate for nutrition tracking and Zero for fasting duration — both are super helpful for nailing down the dietary components that affect your fitness.

Guidance to Get on Track

If you need more guidance when it comes to getting your fitness routine on track, the Nielsen Fitness team is here for you. We can provide some of the best personal trainers in Toronto, or if you prefer exercising from a safe distance, we also offer virtual personal training. Get in touch with us today to get started!