When we think about health and wellness these days, our mindset has shifted beyond just fitness and exercise to include other aspects that impact our well-being. This new holistic view is the result of a number of factors, including technology that helps you monitor and get real-time insights into many aspects of your health.
Health and Wellness Buying Guide Quick Reference Handout
What are some of these products? We break it down for you, focusing on some of the top categories of health and wellness gear, and highlighting some of the products you can find in those categories.
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What are the key factors that define health and wellness?
Health and wellness is about more than getting enough exercise. There are several key facets involved in overall health and wellness.
1. Activity levels
The thing most people equate with being healthy is exercising. It’s no secret that exercise is important, whether you run 5K every morning, play sports, do 30-60 minute workouts a few times a week, or simply make a point to go for short walks during the day, do stretches, or quick 15-minute exercises. Whatever exercise you can get, and the activity level you can reach is worth achieving. It’s recommended the average person gets 10,000 steps per day. You should also aim to achieve a certain number of active minutes per day, with your heart rate reaching the right level to burn fat.
2. Proper sleep
One aspect of good health and wellness people often forget about is sleep. You can work out every day and eat well, but if you don’t give your body enough rest, you won’t be able to perform at your best. This means not only a proper night’s sleep (for most, that will be around 7-8 hours per night) but also good quality sleep. Various devices can help you track this, as we’ll discuss further, so you can see how much time you spend in deep, REM, and light sleep stages.
Eating well is important, too. And putting good food in your body will make you feel good, too. For some, this might mean sticking to a specific diet to avoid triggers (sugar, dairy), to honour beliefs or choices, like going vegan or keto, or simply to try and control portions. Whatever the case, make sure you not only eat well, but eat on a good schedule and with a plan that works best for you. It’s also important to drink enough water.
4. Mental health
Another aspect we often forget about is mental health, which plays a role in overall health and wellness. Before taking care of anyone else, it’s important to take care of yourself. This means taking time to relax, meditate, do breathing exercises, listen to music, talk with or meet friends, play video games, or whatever activity helps with your personal mental health.
Illness detection and prevention
One of the great things about the latest health and wellness devices is that they aren’t just about advising on different facets of your health and fitness but also being able to detect, and potentially even prevent, illnesses through health monitoring devices.
1. Smart thermometers
Smart thermometers take temperature from the forehead, ear, or even simply with no-contact, then sync the data with an companion app. Typically, the reading is also provided on the screen of the device itself. Some smart thermometer apps can track other information, like reminders or allow you to manually input other symptoms. The benefit is that this information can be provided to a doctor at the next visit, with a history of readings stored.
2. Smart blood pressure monitors
Smart blood pressure monitors use arm cuffs and a unit to measure your blood pressure from the comfort of home as well as pulse. Like with smart thermometers, the data is stored in the companion app for a history of readings. They provide both systolic and diastolic pressure readings. While traditionally, these come in the form of arm cuffs, CES 2023 provides a glimpse at a new device from Valencell that can measure from the fingertip, which marks an interesting potential future for the category. Being able to do this at home can alert you to any potential issues so you can follow up with the doctor or make an appointment to provide a history of readings.
3. Heart rate monitors
While most fitness trackers and smartwatches these days can also track heart rate 24/7, there are also dedicated heart rate monitors for those who don’t own one of those devices or want something else specifically for heart health. They can be worn around the wrist, chest (which some, particularly elite athletes, feel gives the most accurate reading), or even through fingertip. Those with heart health concerns can take daily readings while active individuals might want to wear one to keep track of heart rate zones while they work out. Some fitness trackers with heart rate monitors can also provide alerts if they detect abnormal heart rate patterns, like a rapid rise when you aren’t working out.
4. Pulse oximeters
Designed to test your Sp02 and blood oxygen level and respiration, pulse oximeters are great for anyone who has respiratory issues or wants to keep track of their breathing. Many can also take a heart rate reading. You typically stick your finger inside the reader, wait a few seconds, and a result will be provided. As with heart rate monitoring, many fitness trackers and smartwatches today can also measure pulse oximetry through the wrist as well. But those who want a dedicated device can look into a pulse oximeter. They are usually small and pocketable, easy to take with you anywhere.
Health monitoring and fitness
In the context of fitness, health monitoring is possible through things like wearable tech that tracks not only vital stats but also other metrics over time. This can range from your activity to stress levels, sleep, and more.
Smartwatches are great ways to measure not only physical activity but also things like sleep, caloric intake, and even heart health and levels of stress. Many of the latest premium models can also measure skin temperature and SPo2. When monitoring activity, you can measure specific sports and workouts as well as, with some models, use built-in or connected GPS to track your pace and distance when running, hiking, or cycling, without needing to bring your phone along.
2. Fitness trackers
Fitness trackers do virtually everything smartwatches do but with smaller, usually rectangular screens that more resemble bracelets. You won’t get the same full-screen experience like with a smartwatch. But in terms of tracking all of the most useful health and wellness stats, they can accomplish it, too.
3. Smart scales
Smart scales can keep track of not only your weight, syncing the data to an app so you can see progress over time, they can also measure things like body mass, body composition, muscle mass, and even, with some, water retention. They provide a more holistic picture of your health and wellness. Some also sync with specific smartwatches and fitness trackers so you can see how other things like exercise, sleep, and healthy eating, play into your overall weight and body fat percentage.
4. Exercise equipment
If you’re looking to set up your own gym at home, you can look at exercise equipment of all kinds to boost your health and wellness. This ranges from cardio machines to strength training gear, and even boxing and martial arts gear if you’re so inclined. With cardio machines, like exercise bikes and ellipticals, these can often monitor your heart rate and other stats through the machine itself or connected devices, like a compatible smartwatch or heart rate monitor.
The greatest path to better health and wellness involves three main facets: eating well, sleeping well, and getting enough exercise. See our home gym buying guide for more details about the types of exercise equipment that might be best suited to you.
As noted health and wellness is about more than just exercise: it’s about eating healthier as well. This can be achieved with a variety of small appliances and other products.
1. Blenders and juicers
Use blenders and juicers to whip up everything from protein shakes and fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, to fresh fruit juices. This will help you get your daily intake of fruits, vegetables, and important vitamins and nutrients. The same appliances can be used to make healthier dinner alternatives, too, from homemade soups and dips to side dishes, and more. See our blenders and juicers buying guide for more details.
2. Air fryers
Everyone likes a little indulgence now and then, and with an air fryer, you can make fried foods in a healthier way. These small appliances require little to no oil to fry the foods you would otherwise have to fry in a large amount of oil. This ranges from French fries to chicken wings, battered fish, and more. They also come in handy for reheating food and even cooking, making it simple to cook more at home versus relying on unhealthy take-out. Reference the air fryer buying guide to help you find the right one.
3. Cookers and steamers
With cookers and steamers, you can make steamed vegetables, steamed fish, and other dishes in a healthy way, and quickly. They work quickly and often with a “set and forget” mentality, so you can pop something in then go about your day and it will keep warm until you’re ready to eat. They are easy to use and clean, and can encourage not only homemade food but also healthier eating habits. The Instant Pot is a fan favourite that can pressure cook, steam, and do such much more. See our Instant Pot buying guide to learn about the different models and what it can do.
4. Soda and sparkling water maker
If you’re partial to soda, you can easily replace this with your own creations at home using a soda and sparkling water maker. The machines carbonate water either through electricity or a simple push motion. You can then add your own fresh fruit or vegetables, flavour drops, or simply drink plain. You won’t get any additives like you might with store-bought sparkling water nor the extra sugar and calories with soda.
Getting a better night’s rest
The third factor in better health and wellness is sleep. And sleep tech comes in all forms, designed to help you get not only more sleep, but better quality sleep. See our sleep well buying guide for more details, but here are some key items to consider.
1. Sleep earbuds
Sleep earbuds are designed to function as both earplugs to block of distracting ambient noise, like traffic or a snoring partner, as well as provide soothing sounds. This can range from white noise to a crackling fire, falling leaves, and rain. For those who have trouble winding down at the end of the day, or who have a partner who snores loudly, these can help ensure that your sleep isn’t impacted by noise.
2. White noise and sound machines
Some people prefer a white noise and sound machine that doesn’t completely block the ears but still provides soothing sounds to help them catch some ZZZs. While they feature basic white noise, many models also offer the same types of soothing sounds you’d find with sleep earbuds. They can usually be set on a timer so they don’t keep running all night but just go for as long as it might take you to fall into a deep slumber. And some are portable enough to take with you to use in a hotel room, for example.
Health and wellness is about mental health as well. This is precisely why items like fitness trackers and smartwatches now include features like stress level measurement, meditation and breathing exercises, and even manual mood trackers. Aromatherapy is another neat way to help boost your spirits and calm your mind. Add an essential oil of your choice, like lavender, then sit back and relax. Health and wellness, after all, is not only about being active but also recognizing when it’s time to relax and take some time for yourself. Aromatherapy devices can also help you fall asleep thanks to helping you calm down, de-stress, and relax both your body and your mind.
Take the next step
Fitness and exercise are a big part of health and wellness. But it’s about a lot more. And thankfully, the latest tech gear can give you real-time insights into more than just those two factors, from your weight and your nutrition to stress, heart health, sleep, and more. Check out plenty of great health and wellness gear at Best Buy online.