There are any number of devices to help keep you moving and to notify you when you should get up and out of your chair. I know a lot of people who have an iWatch and set it to notify then when they have been inactive for too long. I am too cheap and too low tech for that.
I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and use the S Health app. The S Health app tracks my steps and my activity level. It sends me a notification when I have been inactive for an hour. It also shows me a sleeping sneaker if I have not been moving for awhile.
I carry my phone with me everywhere so it works well for me. If you are not tied to your phone or not inclined to carry your phone with you then there may be better options for you.
What does the S Health App do?
1. Tracks your steps.
You set how many steps you want to take in a day and it keep tracks. I have a widget on my home screen so the number of steps I have taken automatically appears. The app also shows the distance walked, calories burned and the number of steps I have taken at a “healthy pace”. A graph shows me the hours I have been most accurate. The app is sensitive enough to notice when I start jogging which I do on occasion. It makes me feel surprisingly good to know I have jogged for part of my walk.
2. Tracks the minutes you have moved.
The S Health app notifies me when I have achieved 90 minutes of activity. You can set your goal.
3. Tracks your heart rate.
If you have a sensor on your phone you can stick your finger there (not too hard, I have a tendency to push too hard on the sensor which does not work) and you get your heart rate. You can save your heart rate every time you take it. The app has a chart that allows you to compare where you should be based on your age. Resting heart rate can be defined as the number of times the heart beats in one minute while at rest. It may be used to indicate one’s basic fitness level. Typically, if the resting heart rate goes down over time, that may reflect the effectiveness of steady aerobic exercise. Heart rate can be affected by various factors such as temperature, body position, activities, emotions, and time of day. I tested the S Health app against my Omron Blood Pressure monitor which also measures my heart rate and they were very close. The app does not alert you if you go outside your optimal range.
4. Tracks your SpO2 (Oxygen Saturation.
Oxygen saturation indicates the concentration of oxygen in your blood. Typically, the SpO2 level in healthy adults will range from 95 to 100 percent while at rest. SpO2 levels may vary depending on the amount of oxygen in the air, your current activity, exercise intensity and other factors. SpO2 levels may change while you exercise. An SpO2 level measurement can help you determine whether your body can sustain the current level of exercise. Athletes may measure SpO2 levels to make sure they have adequate oxygen saturation.
5. Tracks your stress
The S Health App tracks your level of stress from low to high and allows you to choose how you are feeling (neutral, happy, sad, tired, excited, surprised, etc.). Stress is a condition often characterized by signs of physical or emotional tension. Exercise, relaxation, meditation, and yoga may help you relieve your stress. By measuring variations in the time between each heartbeat (heart rate variability, HRV), and comparing your HRV data with those of a group of healthy people in your age group, a rough measurement of your stress level may be determined.
6. Track more than steps.
S Health tracks more than steps. You can track other activities as well such as running, cycling, hiking, tennis, and many, many more. You can even track archery! As a tennis player I like the fact that I can add this to my daily activity.
7. Track your water intake.
I use the app to track my water intake for the day. My goal is 8 glasses and is the one thing I can generally exceed!
8. Track your caffeine intake.
I track my caffeine intake, not because I think caffeine is bad for you but because it makes me jittery and I really, really like coffee and can get in the habit of sitting around drinking cup after cup. Using the S Health app makes me aware of just how much I am drinking and helps me keep my consumption within a reasonable range.
9. Track your sleep.
I tend to get enough sleep every night so I don’t use this very often. Given that most Americans get much less sleep than they need this could be the most useful function. Or maybe not since most sleep deprived people know they are sleep deprived.
10. Track your blood glucose and blood pressure manually.
Your phone can’t track your blood glucose and blood pressure but the S Health app allows you to manually track them as well as track your symptoms and your medication.
11. Track your calories.
You can track the calories you consume during the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, afternoon snack and evening snack which pretty much covers every time you should be eating. You search for food, select what you ate and the app keeps track of the number of calories you have consumed. You can also search for food by restaurants. The app also tracks how many carbs, fat grams and grams of protein you have consumed. For me this is one of the most useful features of the app. As we all know keeping a food journal is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
12. Track your weight.
You can track your weight by day and time.
There are more things you can do but for me this is enough. I only have so much time to spend entering information into an exercise app and quite honestly I don’t use everything every day. I don’t have a problem with blood glucose so I don’t need to track that and I am not an athlete so I don’t need to track my SpO2.
But I do have exercise goals for each day and I want to keep track of how much and how often I move. I also need to watch what I eat so it is important for me to track my calorie intake.
There are a lot of different apps made for different devices. There are apps that are devoted to specific types of exercise such as yoga and cycling. With a little research you can find the best app for you.
Gotta go! My phone just beeped to let me know I need to get moving.