You may think fitness trackers are just for adults, but they can help teenagers too. Fitness trackers can do many things, including sleep, workout, and heart rate tracking. Starting early and making sure you aren’t creating bad habits like sitting for hours or not working out for a week can improve your quality of life when you are older. Today, I will explain the benefits of getting a fitness tracker. I will only discuss smartwatches and not other devices like rings and clip-ons.
Most fitness trackers also have sleep-tracking capabilities. They use a built-in heart rate sensor to track when you fall asleep and wake up. Sleep tracking is one of my favourite features because when I get enough sleep, I know I have done the best for my body. It is important for teenagers to get between eight and nine hours of sleep. If you want to learn more about sleeping, check out the Sleep category.
Most fitness trackers that track sleep also track sleep stages as a part of that. Sleep stages are the different parts of your sleep, including REM, Core, and Deep sleep. If you are interested in learning more about sleep stages, check out this article by The Sleep Foundation.
Some fitness watches also show you a sleep score. Sleep scores get calculated using your most recent night’s most important data. However, especially with cheaper trackers, the sleep score is just a meaningless number.
All fitness trackers can track your workouts, and most give you other data after the fact. For example, if I run using my Apple Watch, I will get my calories burned, constant heart rate, stride length, total distance, cadence, and more. These statistics are vital for anyone trying to get or stay fit, especially if you are training for a competition. If you are interested in learning more about working out and exercising, check out the growing Exercise category.
Heart Rate Tracking
All fitness trackers also have heart rate tracking. This feature is vital for sports because you can easily track your effort and ensure it is inside your desired range. For example, if I want to improve my endurance for a competition, I aim for an average running heart rate of around 180-190 BPM.
A fitness tracker can be a great motivator to help anyone get or stay fit. The reminders and notifications that fitness trackers and smartwatches provide help motivate me to continue working out, although I naturally enjoy it. You can also get motivational messages from the Healthy Teen app! (coming soon)
Every smartwatch has a feature that will remind you to be active each hour. For example, Fitbit watches remind you to walk at least 250 steps each hour, and Apple Watches remind you to stand for at least one minute each hour. If you don’t meet these goals, the watch will remind you 10 minutes before the end of the hour (e.g. 10:50, 11:50, 12:50). Again, it is important for teenagers like us to develop healthy habits early and not adopt a sedentary lifestyle and stay active.
Rings (Apple Watch)
One of my favourite features of the apple watch is the Activity Rings. These simple circles motivate me (and many others) to stay active every day.
I have closed all my fitness rings every day for the past 178 days (as of November 27, 2022) by burning 700 calories, exercising for 60 minutes, and standing for at least one minute for 14 hours.
If you are interested in competition, fitness-tracking watches have tons of features. Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Galaxy Watches all have competitive features.
Prevents You from Overusing Your Phone
With a good fitness tracker, you will be less incentivized to use your phone because you can do most things on your watch instead. If you are interested in learning more about why using your phone too much can be harmful, check out Why Reducing Your Screen Time Will Likely Improve Your Health.
Let’s Talk About Cost
Cost is a critical factor, as many fitness trackers can be expensive. You often get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap tracker, you will likely get a poor companion app and not-so-accurate information. On the other hand, if you buy a pricier one, you can expect a quality app and accurate health information and data.
Cost varies a lot between smartwatches. Usually, Apple and Samsung Galaxy Watches are higher quality and more expensive, and most Fitbits are cheaper but great value. To use all of the features of Fitbit watches, you will need a $10/month subscription, and with most others, you will not. If you don’t like subscriptions, consider one of the more pricey upfront watches. You can also finance a watch or fitness tracker by paying monthly instalments into the final price, often for one or two years (depending on the watch and price). For example, a brand new Apple Watch Series 8 is $399 upfront or $16.62/month for two years, interest-free.
In conclusion, a fitness-tracking smartwatch can go a long way to improve your health and fitness by motivating you to work out and be more active, tracking your heart rate, telling you insights about your sleep, and more. If you are interested in purchasing one of these smart watches, here are Amazon listings for many of the most popular kinds. If you are a teenager, you could also ask for one of these watches for Christmas, as it is coming soon!