Wearables: will they make a difference for you?

Wearables are becoming the new thing. More data, more info. But will they make a difference for you? A few thoughts.


What is a wearable? Strictly speaking a wearable refers to a device that you wear, allowing for the collection of more data. We can expand this definition though. We can include the idea of devices that allow for increased collection of data. Not all of these are worn, but are used at repeated intervals or throughout the day. Think of such things as taking your HRV on your phone, or breathing into a Lumen device.


Change:

What’s the point of all this data? Hopefully to create some sort of meaningful change in your behaviour, which in turn will positively impact your fitness. Ideally, the use of the wearable will help you improve and change your current patterns and habits.


When considering investing in a wearable, think about whether the information that it provides can make an impact. Can you make use of and interpret the information in a meaningful way?


For instance, if you begin using an HRV wearable the interpretation of the HRV score takes some interpretation. It isn’t a black and white decision on how to use the results. Beyond that can you actually make use of the data? As an example, when I had a newborn and was getting up at 530am every day to run classes at the gym I couldn’t get a green score on my WHOOP. I didn’t have the capacity to adjust my schedule and make use of the feedback I was receiving, rendering the WHOOP scores somewhat useless.


Getting the data won’t be enough on its own to create change. You have to be open to changing your patterns based on the feedback you receive. This is harder than you think. It may involve a period of adjustment where your training isn’t ideal or progressing. You have to believe in the wearable and the outcome that it will lead you towards.


Using the wearable:

Collecting and analyzing the data can become fatiguing in and of itself. As with everything, when you first get your wearable you will be keen. Checking it every day for feedback can get tiring though. And if using it also includes a process to collect the data, expect that it will get old after a while. The challenge is that change takes time, often more than we realize, and so staying motivated to use our wearable can be a challenge.


The wearables, and the data they give us access to, are amazing. But be aware of the challenges that come with using them. Perhaps most of all be aware of your own willingness to change and your motivation to adapt to the new information.


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