As a regular visitor to the gym, maintaining my fitness and a healthy lifestyle are priority goals for me but I need trustworthy devices and accurate data to monitor and measure my activities and importantly, i want the ability to monitor and review my personal health profile.
There are loads of free and pay-for self-tracking apps, devices and services available on the market to gather useful data on a range of variables such as muscle gain, fat loss or gain and cardio fitness level.
Now I admit it – I’m an Apple fan albeit, not to the point where I might stand around on a cold street just to be one of the first to buy a new product! However, whilst we live in a country where we can gather loads of data to help us better understand our fitness and health (and it’s a growing market), there is little point in having data pouring in from your connected fitness tracker, your smartphone, your smart watch, the smart scales in your bathroom and the dieting app you use to log your meals, if you cannot get all of this information in one place. With this in mind, the connectivity, integration and future development of the Apple phone, watch and apps is compelling.
My starting point is a good set of digital bathroom scales to weigh myself every week. Body composition is far more important than weight but the scales are an indication and are easy to measure. I also have my Fitbit Charge 2 that I use to monitor my running, cycling, general workout, weights and more. It also has a five-day battery life, a heart rate monitor and GPS and if you connect through a smartphone it is packed with features. That said, it does not connect to Apple or Apple Health unless through a third party sync app at an additional cost but with no guarantee of data accuracy.
Apple on the on the other hand is growing it expertise in the digital health market and has recently purchased the Finnish sleep monitor Beddit. Is this the first step towards sleep tracking and integration with the Apple Watch Series 4 in the future? The Apple Health app is for me, the go-to place for tracking, from exercise and sleep to blood pressure and temperature. The app makes it easy to learn about your health and start reaching your goals. It consolidates health data from iPhone, Apple Watch and third-party apps you already use and so you can view all your progress in one convenient place. You can even export your Health data from the app for sharing with doctors.
The Apple Watch Series 3 came out in September 2017, bringing cellular connectivity and a comprehensive array of health-related sensors but rumours suggest Apple’s next wearable could raise the game for heart rate monitoring.
I’m already looking ahead to the arrival of the Apple Watch 4 – likely to launch later this year.