Get healthy with fitness trackers and apps

7 MinsDecember 23, 2019

Given our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and erratic eating habits, keeping track of our fitness levels and staying active has become vital. And technology can play a big role in this. Devices like fitness trackers and software like fitness apps can help us keep our health on track. They can provide data, customise workout plans, set fitness goals and much more, all the while taking into account our preferences and capabilities. Here is how you can get started.

fitness trackers

Step tracking

Almost every fitness tracker today comes with the step tracking feature. This is mostly powered by a 3-axis accelerometer that tracks movement in any direction. Some even come with additional sensors like the altimeter which counts the flights of stairs you climbed. These sensors work in tandem to give you a precise idea of how active you have been, and even send you alerts if you have been inactive for too long. In case you don’t have a wearable tracker yet, most smartphones can also track steps using onboard sensors. To ensure proper tracking, you will need to have the right app and carry your smartphone on you all the time. However, the data tracked by a smartphone will be less accurate than that from a fitness tracker.

Most fitness bands and smartwatches have a connected app where yholder ur data is synced for your viewing. Some even come with displays on the tracker itself that can keep you updated without needing to sync with and check your phone. Keep in mind that you should set a balanced goal - it shouldn’t be too high for your fitness levels and neither should it be comfortably low.

Personalised coaching

Quite a few fitness trackers and apps come with specific tracking and instructions for different activities like running, biking and more. This can help people interested in pursuing a particular type of physical exercise over others. Moreover, some apps are even capable of providing you with customised advice based on your day-to-day performance. Even one-on-one communication with an actual human coach is offered by some.

This doesn’t stop just with workouts and activities. Particulars app ecosystems also include consultations with doctors, dieticians, wellness counsellors and more. This helps the user follow a plan that is customised to their needs and limitations - which is certainly going to be more helpful than following a one-solution-fits-all approach. The only thing required from your end in most cases is the data that you need to input manually. For example, how many glasses of water you’ve had, what are the meals you’ve had, etc.

Heart rate tracking

One of the most important metrics of the human body’s health is the heart rate. Many of the new wrist-based trackers can track heart rate data using a light sensor to detect blood flow. It is a strong indicator of the strain on your heart during your workout. According to research, a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 is normal, and most healthy relaxed adults clock below 90. Overall, in most situations, if you’re fit, your heart rate will tend to be on the lower side of the above range.

A companion app can be really useful here since it can show you how your heart rate has changed over days of working out. As your fitness level improves, your resting heart rate should come down, which should be evident in the app’s data.

Sleep & Stress tracking

Most fitness trackers today use the same set of motion sensors, as well as heart rate sensors in some cases, to track your sleeping patterns. When paired with the right app, you should be able to see the duration and quality of sleep you’ve had, including periods of restlessness and REM sleep. Sleep is very important for exercise recovery, and this data is important in identifying whether you’re getting the right amount of sleep every night. Similarly, stress is also detected by fitness trackers using heart rate variation. Some trackers also have the functionality to walk you through a meditation or wellness exercise to help you de-stress.

Better insurance rates

Other than the direct impact on your health, there are other ways in which fitness trackers and apps can help you. For instance, they can help you save money by getting you a better insurance premium rate. Insurance companies, in tie-ups with fitness tracker manufacturers, have launched offers linked to your fitness data. Under such offers, you get a discounted premium rate on your health insurance, as long as your health data from the tracker satisfies certain criteria of fitness. This is gradually becoming a trend in insurance globally and has already seen some takers in India. Even if you’re not able to avail of this right away, it is a good idea to get your data ready and in the meantime avail health insurance that can take care of your medical expenses when required.

Cashless payments and benefits

Going for the right wearables can also get you additional benefits and new features. Axis Bank, in partnership with GOQii, offers the Axis Active Band for Axis Bank Savings and Salary Account holders. Under this program, you get an Axis Active fitness tracker with heart rate monitor, which can also be used for contactless payments at 50,000+ NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled outlets across India. Additionally, you get 500 EDGE REWARD points for every 70,000 steps you take and 1 EDGE REWARD point for every Rs. 200 spent. These points can be redeemed for a host of products and are a great way to motivate yourself to stay fit.

Today, you can get healthier using fitness trackers and apps. Whether it is the satisfaction of seeing your activity data improve every day or reward points that you get for being active and making payments, tech can provide the necessary incentive to stay fit. All you need to do is choose fitness every day and you’ll see results in no time.

[Also Read: 8 Features to compare befor buying a Health Insurance Plan]

Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence the views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.