Health Tracking Devices: There has never been a more convenient time to take charge of your health and longevity. From HRV to blood glucose and from movement to sleep, tracking devices make it easier than ever to stay on top of your health goals. Today we will highlight some of the most important metrics to track. We also have one way to streamline all this data with a new innovative platform!
Health Tracking Devices: The Era of the Quantified Human
The modern healthcare revolution took power away from the communities and put it in the hands of doctors. As hospitals and pharmaceuticals took over, the individual became less and less connected to their bodies, often being prescribed something without understanding what is going on inside of them.
Studies highlight that routine self-tracking, as opposed to occasional, event-triggered tracking, is more likely to result in positive changes to health management approaches. The modern-medicine model is reactive: we generally visit the hospital or doctor’s office once something is already wrong. Tracking allows getting ahead of a total breakdown, and a self-awareness that helps to catch issues long before they become a debilitating problem.
Bringing More Accurate Information to Our Healthcare Team
When we do visit healthcare practitioners, health tracking devices can help us get real specific about the daily status and fluctuations of our health. When asked questions like “how do you sleep?” it’s not uncommon to respond with merely “good” or “bad.” Tracking devices like the Oura ring enables you to get specific about the length, the depth, and the change in the quality of your sleep from night to night. No more guesswork.
Self-quantification data can be shared with anyone who is helping you optimize your wellbeing. From life coaches to personal trainers to naturopaths or dietitians: having this information can help them better assist you.
Another reason tracking is essential is connecting the dots between your habits, and their bio-individual response on your body. We are constantly bombarded with “the answer” as dogmatic answers that apply to every single individual. Unfortunately, there are so many variables from person to person that there is no overarching “solution” that applies to all people. By tracking health metrics, you can have direct feedback to see if the habits you implement serve your wellbeing or not.
Key metrics that have taken the health scene by storm include glucose monitoring, movement monitoring, HRV, and sleep quantification.
Health Tracking Devices: The Key Metrics to Track
The four vital signs are body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate. These metrics are taken at the doctors and hospitals upon arrival, but they paint a very superficial picture when it comes to your wellbeing. Let’s explore some of the key metrics that biohackers are using to self-quantify and optimize their health to truly thrive in life.
Resting Heart Rate
Resting heart rate is correlated to general fitness and health levels. A low resting heart rate is generally suggestive of well-managed stress levels, and a healthy lifestyle. Long term low resting heart rate trends suggest they are also an indicator of cardiac fitness.
Resting heart rate will quickly adapt to the lifestyle in as little as 24-48 hours. With a clean diet, low alcohol consumption, regular exercise, and adequate rest/ recovery periods—your resting heart rate will lower within a few days. Conversely, incorporating unhealthy lifestyle habits will increase resting heart rate overnight.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats in milliseconds. It is a much more accurate reflection of the body’s stress than resting heart rate. HRV will decline with a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet when the body is over-stressed, tired, or ill. A drop in HRV is an excellent sign to ease-off intense exercise in favor of more rest and thus mitigating the likelihood of illness or injury.
Sleep Quality (Deep and REM Sleep)
Although sleep duration is easily measured, sleep quality is a whole other story. Sleep can be divided into various depths, mainly light, deep, and REM sleep. Innovative wearable sleep tracking devices enable you to know a ballpark of how your sleep breaks down as you cycle through these three sleep cycles throughout the night.
The habits of the previous day directly impact sleep quality. These sleep tracking devices are a great way to tailor your habits to optimize sleep quality. Features like HRV and body temperature also provide a good indicator of how well-rested you are. This feature can help you plan your upcoming day. With this feature, you can rest more if your body appears to need it.
Blood Glucose Levels
It should be no surprise that keeping balanced blood sugar levels is one of the keys to health and longevity. Tracking via a continual blood glucose monitor or blood-prick testing device is a great way to check-in with your blood glucose levels throughout the day.
Insulin sensitivity varies wildly, so knowing which foods to avoid or moderate varies from person to person. By checking-in on your blood glucose levels 20-30 minutes before and after a meal or beverage, you can find out what your glucose response is. This can help with mindfulness regarding foods that raise your insulin levels. Some people can handle a lot more carbs than others, for example. Coffee, too, is a beverage that spikes blood glucose for some and doesn’t for others.
Movement/ Fitness/ Activity
There is no shortage of movement, fitness, and general activity trackers on the market. From rings to watches to chest straps and more: these types of wearable devices can provide fantastic motivation for those looking to quantify their daily movement.
Using these activity trackers can help tailor your fitness routines and provide data to track and optimize performance. These trackers keep you accountable. They are also a great tool to use in conjuncture with a personal trainer or fitness coach. You can supply get real-time results to help you maximize your benefit.
Health Tracking Devices: Heads Up Health
Heads Up Health is a tool that brings the statistics of your various health tracking devices and apps all to one place. This platform combines the data from Keto-Mojo, Cronometer, Oura, MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, FitBit, Elite HRV, MyMacros+, LEVL, Ketonix, and other popular health devices and apps.
Since these different tools have various tracking functions, most people who value self-quantification use multiple devices. The problem is it can become a little overwhelming to jump around from one app or platform to another. Heads Up Health helps you streamline all your devices on one platform. You can track sleep, movement, blood glucose, and more—all in one place!
Heads Up Health is a no-brainer for individuals who are into self-quantification. The platform provides powerful charts, graphs, and reports to help you track and personalize your diet and lifestyle. The time saved by having all your data in one place is invaluable and makes a habit of monitoring much more sustainable in the long-run.
Heads Up Health also has a practitioner portal, whereby you can give data access to your healthcare practitioner or health coach. By opening that line of communication with your team, they can become involved with your health in a much more holistic way.
Health Tracking Devices: Summary
We live in the era of the self-quantified human. Tracking metrics like sleep quality, movement, HRV, or blood glucose helps individuals set health and performance goals. You can see your results and stay motivated, and spot areas that need attention before they become a problem. Heads Up Health is a company that has streamlined all the data from your various health quantification devices. This information is taken to one easy to analyze place. This new app helps bridge the gap between patients and practitioners. This app ensures that your healthcare team can serve you in the most advanced way.
Figueiredo, Mayara, et al. “Routine Self-Tracking of Health: Reasons, Facilitating Factors, and the Potential Impact on Health Management Practices.” AMIA Annu Symp Proceedings Archive, vol. 2017, 16 Apr. 2018, pp. 706–714., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5977566/.