Technology is making rapid strides into the world of health and medicine. The latest of these is the advancement of the wearable smart gadgets with which to monitor every aspect of your health and fitness.
Whilst there are undoubtedly some advantages and gains to be had from using fitness trackers or smart watches there is also a wide variation in how effective these things are and whether they can – or should – be used as an excuse to put off seeing your private cardiologist. Read on for information about whether the top heart monitoring gadgets are right for you.
Currently the best-seller and most well-known activity tracker on the market, the Fitbit comes in a variety of models at different price points. The top priced of these appears to do everything and more with notifications sent wirelessly to your smartphone for instant readouts to show you how many steps you have taken, the distance you’ve travelled and how many calories you’ve burned. The Fitbit not only monitors your sleep quality and tracks and records your fitness workouts it also monitors your pulse rate and claims to help you improve your cardio fitness level.
The Apple Watch
Not content with merely showing you the time or playing your favourite music, the latest Apple Watch has a built-in electrical heart sensor to monitor and notify you of high and low heart rates. Use it as a fitness and activity tracker or set it to monitor and detect any falls and send SOS emergency notifications.
Qardio ECG/EKG Monitor
This is a wearable device which fits across the chest and uses sensors to monitor heart and breathing rate, activity levels and skin temperature using continuous wireless signals. It claims to be one of the most medically accurate heart monitors commercially available. The information collected by the device is sent wirelessly to your smartphone and to your doctor for real-time analysis. This device is aimed at people who have a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes or high blood pressure who want to manage their heart health or simply improve their cardio fitness when exercising.
Garmin Smart Watch
Garmin have been at the forefront of GPS and smart tech for many years now and they have branched out into the wearable tech arena with a range of smart watches which work by tracking fitness levels and heart and breathing rate. As with the Apple Watch, these devices are especially popular with cyclists and runners.
Smartphone heart rate monitors
Many smartphones come with heart rate monitor apps which use the phone’s camera and flash to record your heart rate.
Should you buy a heart rate monitor?
Many professional and amateur athletes alike swear by wearable tech whether it’s worn on the wrist or around the chest and the best gadgets can help you to monitor your resting and active heart rate to help you keep a track of your heart health. Fitness trackers can be a useful tool in helping you assess how active you are through the course of a day and they can play a part in encouraging you to regulate your activity levels accordingly. However, the trick is to know which device to invest in and, more importantly, learning how to use it wisely and correctly. Heart rate monitors and fitness trackers can be excellent motivational tools but should never take the place of a doctor’s opinion.
A heart rate statistic on a smart watch screen is easy for a layperson to read but only a cardiologist can accurately interpret those figures. If you suspect any changes in your heart rate it’s always best to visit a cardiologist for investigation rather than try to self-monitor them.
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