More Than a High-Tech Fashion Statement: Apple Watch for Health and Fitness
The Apple Watch is “the Ultimate Device for a Healthy Life”
We all know someone who is constantly looking at their wrist and looking at how many steps they've taken that day. Apple Watches have quickly become both a universal fashion and health accessory. The Apple Watch is popularized for its functionality and convenience, with the added benefit of its many health and wellness uses. Apple even advertises the watch as “the ultimate device for a healthy life”.
Apple Watch and Fitness
Since the first Apple Watch was launched in 2015, many health and fitness-promoting features have since been added to its growing list of applications. Among the first was its ability to monitor heart health and provide ECG readings. The device also shows ‘activity rings’ that track your daily activity and encourage you to meet predetermined daily goals. It has even become increasingly common for friend groups and families to compete for higher multi-day streaks of successfully ‘closing’ their Move, Exercise, and Stand Rings.
The device is most notably able to track all types of workouts (including many in the pool or bodies of water) and provides after-reports of relevant metrics, such as calories burned and average heart rate. This feature of the watch is enhanced by its ability to sync itself to another Apple device and grant access to various workout classes or features.
Apple Watch and Heart Health
The Apple Watch also has heart health notifications that monitor irregular heart rhythms or high/low heart rates, as well as your sleep, blood oxygen levels, and menstrual cycles. Instead of going to the doctor or having to take out a personal blood pressure monitor or pulse oximeter, you have access to these measures right on your wrist. Having an Apple Watch is in many ways a preventative health measure because it encourages physical activity on a daily basis and monitors your basic functions as long as it is on your wrist.
Having the autonomy to check your own blood pressure and oxygen levels throughout the day gives users the ability to be more aware of their circulatory health. With this in mind, they can take action on their high, low, or normal blood pressure accordingly.
Apple Watch sends notifications when it detects abnormal heart activity and stores this tracked data for later review. This means you can trace back your steps and see when your pressure has been higher or lower than usual. This even allows users a better chance at catching hypertension early-on, especially if they already know to keep a close eye on such metrics due to a familial history of certain conditions. While irregular heartbeats aren't necessarily dangerous, they may lead to complications like strokes or blood clots. For this reason, it is better to be aware of an irregular heartbeat than remain ignorant, and the Apple Watch may be the device that points this out for you.
One minor downside of the Apple Watch being able to detect too low or high heart rates is that some users with naturally lower or higher heart rates may receive a notification that causes them to worry for no reason. Very fit individuals––runners, for example––tend to have a lower than normal resting heart rate. However, one might argue that the Apple Watch being programmed with a “better safe than sorry” mindset makes an occasional false alarm worth the lives being saved.
Apple Watch and Additional Health Benefits
The Apple Watch is a great tool to holistically and naturally take care of your body and prevent more complex medical consequences from arising. In addition to fitness and cardiovascular health promotion, the device comes with many more features, a few of which are summarized below.
- The Apple Watch offers the ability to conveniently track your menstrual cycle. This is great for individuals dealing with with irregular cycles, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or the transition to menopause.
- The Apple Watch has a fall detection feature that identifies if a user experienced a hard fall. If this feature is triggered and the person is unresponsive to notifications flashing on the screen after the fall, the device will send an alert for emergency services. This has become a life-saving feature for many.
- The Apple Watch also detects breathing and sends reminders to engage in a deep breathing session (yet another app feature) when it feels you are stressed or anxious. This feature can greatly help alleviate symptoms of stress or anxiety, and therefore improve mental health overall. It is designed to slow down your breathing and help you return to a more relaxed state. Chronic stress can promote various health complications, so this feature is both preventative and effective in a given moment.
Should You Get An Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch has quickly revolutionized personal health and wellness by acting as a mot ivator for fitness, taking early action for one’s health, and being of particular use in high-stress or dangerous moments. Its ability to improve health through more natural and preventative measures makes the Apple Watch a great investment for everyone, but especially those predisposed to certain health conditions or individuals trying to be more conscious about their health.
Written By: Tahany Moosa
Edited By: Camden Rowe