While doctors will always be the final authority on your sicknesses and their treatment, even the smaller day-to-day decisions you take about your health should be as scientific and data driven as possible. One great way to go about that is by using wearables. Today, wearables can track several parameters of your health and highlight causes for concern early on – as long as you know how to interpret them correctly. If you’re not sure how to go about that, here’s a quick rundown of factors tracked by fitness trackers and smartwatches should be helpful.

Heart Rate

Saying that the heart is important to the human body is an understatement. Hence, the heart rate carries a lot of information and can be highly indicative of potential health issues. The rate varies directly with body temperature and is also a strong indicator of cardiovascular diseases. A lower resting heart rate is also indicative of higher fitness levels.

Breathing Rate

A healthy adult breathes around 12-20 times per minute. Variations in this can also tell a lot, as lower breathing rates are common in people with better fitness levels. Several causes like fever, dehydration and even anxiety can cause increased breathing rates. Some fitness trackers, like models from Fitbit, can monitor the breathing rate up to a great degree of accuracy.

Blood Oxygen Saturation

As a measure of the concentration of oxygen in the blood, a value in the 95-100% range is considered optimal. In a natural situation, some people might experience lower levels at higher altitudes which leads to discomfort. A figure lower than 90% is considered alarming in most individuals.

Sleep Monitoring

Regardless of its medical impact, a good night’s sleep is crucial for functioning at our best levels the next day. However, in addition to that, during deep sleep the body carries out an overall maintenance cycle where it heals itself and grows. Sleep monitoring is a common feature in most fitness trackers today like the Mi Band series. It can even be done, up to some extent, by just a smartphone kept next to your bed.

Stress Monitoring

Over periods of time, stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health conditions. Using Heart Rate Variability, Garmin’s wearables can monitor stress levels on a scale of 0-100, where 100 is the highest level of stress. In addition to that, data from wearables can also help correlate your stress levels with other activities like working out, binge-watching and more. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock, Canva