How to make the most of your wearable device

From the Apple Watch, to the Microsoft Band, there’s no mistaking that wearables are on the rise. But are you making the most of yours? Personal Training Lead Tan Quddus provides some tips.

Using sensors, GPS trackers and manually inputted data, wearables can determine a vast range of information about your body and mind activities, from estimated calories burned to the pattern of your stress levels throughout a given time period.

Used well, wearables can be a great tool to support your fitness and general wellbeing. So I want to take you through some tips that will help you to make the most of your wearable.

1. Get into a pattern of charging your wearable. Most wearables will need to be charged at least every other day, so pick a time of the day when you are least active, maybe for an hour or so when you’re at your desk, and stick to that time every day. That way your data will be consistent and you won’t miss out on too much tracking time.

2. Don’t charge it while you’re asleep. Sleep forms such a crucial part of your wellbeing affecting your stress levels, your energy and your overall health. Tracking your sleep will allow you to identify any potential problems and help inform you to make any necessary lifestyle changes (such as cutting out caffeine before bed, or going to bed an hour earlier).

3. Get into the habit of tracking your exercise. Most wearables will have different settings for different kinds of exercise, whether a run, a cycle or a workout. Telling your device which exercise you are doing will allow it to accurately reflect that in its data, so it won’t mistake your jog for a period of high stress, for example.

4. Manage the data you gather. Most wearables will have apps that can identify patterns, highlight peaks and troughs in your activity and help you to identify any positive or negative trends – familiarise yourself with these apps and you will arm yourself with the information you need to make positive changes. 

5. Learn to turn off notifications. Wearables are supposed to make your life better, but with notifications constantly buzzing, they can give rise to anxiety. Learn how to select which notifications you receive and give your mind a break every once in a while by switching them off.

Last updated Tuesday 29 March 2016

First published on Wednesday 24 June 2015