A lot has been said about the accuracy of smart watches, and a lot has been said about their usefulness. I have had one for the past 2 years, and I feel it has helped me with my focus and my training over that time. I do not believe they need to be the most accurate devices, and also do not expect them to be. I use mine to monitor my steps and my training in the gym, and feel it is very useful for ensuring I achieve a minimum level of training on a daily, and weekly basis. My objective is to complete a number of steps a day, and climb a number of levels a day.
One point no one pays much attention to is the potential for the honest information your watch can give you when training, or dealing with daily situations.
When I run and am healthy, my heart rate can reach 185bpm, according to my watch anyway. I have also had to come to terms with the times when I have wanted to claim I was physically tired, and my watch has been happy to inform me that my heart rate has yet to reach 140bpm. At times like these I have to realise that my issue may be more of a mental block rather than a physical one, and deal with that type of situation accordingly.
Funnily enough, I have also noticed my heart rate seems to jump a couple of beats per minute whenever I am not feeling very well. For someone who never shows the symptoms of a cold or flu, this can be quite helpful as my watch gives me notice that I am a little bit run down, or I am taking a turn for the worst. On a number of occasions I have managed to do something about it before it gets really bad.
Stressful situations can cause my heart rate to change over long periods of time. One incident I can recall had my normal resting heart rate jump from 52 beats per minute, to an uncomfortable (for me) 72 beats per minute for at least 3 days. Even looking at its most basic, an extra 20 beats of your heart per minute for 3 days can cause a lot of challenges to your heart and your blood pressure. During this time I could look at myself in the mirror, and convince myself on the outside that all was well. Unfortunately for me my watch was quite happy to give me the honest facts of the situation.
My opinion is that a smartwatch can be far more useful than most people using them realise, if only for the sake of paying a bit more attention to the information that they are giving to you. Personally, the thought of being without mine for even short periods of time now can cause a lot of stress, and probably put my resting heart up so I never leave home without it.
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