Technology does more to help us than ever before — including tracking our health. Over the decades, we’ve enjoyed expanded access to digital scales and home sphygmomanometers to monitor weight and blood pressure. Home exercise equipment evolved from clunkers moldering in basements and garages to gym-quality models.
Now, a new device takes at-home fitness a significant step farther. This smart strap coordinates with your cellphone to track your body fat and your hydration levels. It can also detect changes in breathing and pulse and reveal your heart failure risk.
What This Device Can Do
The strap uses bioimpedance to run a quick body composition check to measure fat and muscle mass. While your weight can provide you with a rough idea of your fitness, you can still have unhealthy fat levels, even when you don’t pack more pounds than usual.
Many professional athletes, for example, fall into the overweight category on standard BMI charts, although they have a high level of fitness. Muscle weighs more than fat does, meaning your pants fit better when you exercise, even if the numbers on the scale climb.
Hydration also impacts your overall health significantly. Many people fail to drink enough water, even though awareness campaigns tell us to consume more. You might erroneously think you don’t need much if you don’t exercise. However, you lose approximately a cup of water each day merely through breathing. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and cardiovascular problems.
Benefits of A Smart Strap To Track Your Body
Americans face several public health crises. One problem many people face is the lack of health insurance coverage — something that nearly 30 million people struggle with each day. Because those who lack coverage may face bankruptcy over a hospital visit, they’ll question whether to go in, even when they experience severe symptoms. Health-monitoring straps could potentially save lives by alerting wearers when they should seek care without delay.
Another problem facing the American populace is skyrocketing levels of obesity. Carrying excess pounds increases your risk of developing multiple conditions, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Researchers implicate being overweight and obese with rising blood pressure, which puts a significant strain on your heart.
However, some regular exercisers may weigh in as overweight according to their chart, even though they don’t carry too much body fat. Devices like straps that measure composition provide a clearer picture of an individual’s risks than do the numbers on a scale.
Because the strap measures lung function, it could prove a valuable tool for patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease. COPD is a leading cause of death in the United States. However, many with the condition are unaware they have it.
Finally, devices like this strap could prevent unnecessary deaths due to exposure. For example, getting dehydrated often accompanies heatstroke, and receiving early reminders that your levels are too low can prompt you to head indoors while you remain safe. Many heat-related injuries occur when you get yourself into a tenuous situation without realizing the danger inherent in your predicament.
The new smart strap offers hope for those who live with a chronic health condition that requires routine monitoring. It also provides valuable insight, even if you think you are healthy — empowering you to seek help earlier. Time will give us a better idea of how consumers react to these types of smart straps, but it looks as though — for now, at least — they are here to stay!