There are many times when technology can complicate your life; an inundation of emails here, and endless string of social media posts there. But in other ways, technology has the power to connect us, improve us, and make staying healthy easier than ever. Wearable gadgets do just that—whether by drastically improving your workouts, aiding recovery, or keeping you on track to meet your goals. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Wahl Pulsing Massage Patch
If you’re like me, you don’t usually have time for an hour-long massage, despite semi-frequent back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, back pain is among the most common reasons people visit the doctor, and can lead to missed work and a reduced quality of life. Luckily, I found what I believe to be the first and only wearable massage patch with the Wahl Pulsing Massage Patch. You simply adhere the device to your upper or lower back, turn it on, and experience a light massage that treats sore muscles and back pain to a little hands-free TLC. It’s battery operated, and there’s nothing that needs to be plugged in—the gel pads on the patch just adhere to my back and I’m good to go! I can walk around the house or do whatever else is needed while soothing massaging pulses offer relief.
With customizable intensity levels, I can also choose which mode of massage I prefer. I love that it’s reusable and battery-operated; when I’m done I just put the patch back in its box until I’m ready to use it again. It allows me to fit relief into my busy schedule—and that’s a much needed innovation.
2. Smart Watch
What can’t a smart watch do? Aside from allowing you to do everything your iPhone does, a device like the Apple Watch is a great fitness ally, presenting you with a complete picture of daily fitness levels. The Activity app tells you how much time you’ve spent standing, sitting and moving—pretty powerful stats to be reminded of in a world where most of us sit at a desk all day. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Apple product if the watch didn’t also personalize its settings to match your needs, which is why I love when it suggests personalized goals for increased activity and new workouts.
3. Fitness Tracker
Fitbit. Getting those 10,000 steps for the day can feel like a fun competition—one that’s easy to win if you’re getting your workouts in! If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time or feeling too sedentary, a Fitbit can be just the kick in the butt you need to get moving. There are tons of different versions and styles to choose from, but I like the Flex, which allows you to keep track of not only steps taken but calories burned, minutes spent being active, and how long and well you slept. Plus, you can keep track of what you’re eating every day to see if you’re not only staying active but eating nutritious meals.
Related: My Favorite Fitness Apps
4. Heart Rate Monitor
Getting your heart rate elevated during exercise is a surefire sign your body is working hard and getting the most benefits out of your workout. That’s why a heart rate monitor can be so helpful. My favorite, the Polar FT7, is a system that includes a wristwatch and wireless chest strap that gives you tons of accurate feedback. The real-time feedback will tell you what zone you are training in and how many calories you are burning. Paying attention to your workouts in terms of intensity (aka heart rate) can help keep you on track to meet your specific goals.
5. Blood Pressure Cuff
When was the last time you checked your blood pressure? High blood pressure is not only for the obese or out of shape. And, for most of us, the last time we had it checked was at our yearly physical. Even then, the numbers can be skewed depending on how much we’ve eaten, slept, or caffeinated that day. Furthermore, many of us get that “white coat” syndrome where our blood pressure is higher than normal at the doctor. At-home blood pressure cuffs like the Veridian Digital Blood Pressure Monitor can provide accurate readings and the ability to test your blood pressure often under different circumstances to get the most accurate results possible. What I like about the Veridian is that it can store up to 60 readings, taking an average of the past 3 to provide more accurate information. Knowing your numbers when it comes to blood pressure can be lifesaving, as undetected hypertension can lead to heart disease or stroke.
This post is sponsored by Wahl Wellness. We only partner with brands that align with our mission of health, wellness, and positivity—whose awesome products we think can actually improve your daily life.