Apple Watch and iPhone health accessories to help with new year’s reso – Bands™

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Apple Watch and iPhone health accessories to help with new year’s resolutions

Posted by Elizabeth Sullivan on

The “new year, new you” adage might be a cliche at this point, but for better or worse, it’s many people’s mindset when we start a new year. We’ve already rounded up some of the best applications to help you stick to your new year’s resolutions, but what about hardware?

New technology certainly isn’t required to help you achieve your 2022 goals and resolutions, but it can absolutely help. These suggestions add that new-technology motivation factor and can help you track new metrics to stay on top of your health throughout the year. That’s a big benefit whether you’re looking to improve certain things, maintain progress you’ve already made, or a combination of both.

Apple Watch
First and foremost, Apple Watch can play a major role in helping you stay motivated throughout the year. The focus of Apple Watch is the Activity Ring system: Set a goal for calories burned in a day, exercise for 30 minutes per day, and move around for at least one minute in 12 different hours of the day.

Now, you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest Apple Watch to track your fitness. While Apple Watch Series 7 is the best Apple has to offer, you can buy a previous generation model to save some cash while still getting most of the features. For instance, you can get an Apple Watch Series 6 at around $300 with support for an always-on display, fitness tracking, and more.

If you really want to take things to the next level, you can get an Apple Watch with cellular connectivity. This will allow you leave your iPhone behind on outdoor walks and runs but remain connected in case of an emergency. It’s pricier, but if you plan on a lot of running and walking in the new year, it might be the right choice for you.

Oura Ring

If you already have an Apple Watch or the idea of wearing a watch every day doesn’t appeal to you, another option on the market is the Oura Ring. The Oura Ring was just updated to Generation 3 with a host of new features, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, improved health insights, and detailed sleep data.

I’ve been wearing an Oura Ring Generation 3 in addition to my Apple Watch for the past month, and I’m very impressed with the data it provides. In particular, I like the “Readiness” score that it gives you every day. This score is based on factors like your sleep and previous day’s activity.

The Apple Watch currently doesn’t factor in things like rest days, so the Oura Ring is a great addition for helping you get a more wholistic look at your fitness and health progress.

Beats Fit Pro or AirPods

To truly embrace the Apple Watch-only lifestyle, you’ll need a pair of Bluetooth headphones. They’ll allow you to connect directly to your Apple Watch and play music, podcasts, and audiobooks while on the go, without a nearby iPhone.

Whenever I complete an outdoor run or walk, I make sure to bring my AirPods Pro. I don’t use the Active Noise Cancellation features while exercising because I like to be aware of my surroundings, but Transparency mode allows me to hear what’s going on around me. AirPods Pro are especially tempting when you can find them on sale for under $200.

Another new option on the market are the Beats Fit Pro, which I reviewed in depth last fall. The Beats Fit Pro feature a secure in-ear design with an ear hook, as well as support for Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and more.

Finally, there are AirPods 3, which are Apple’s newest generation of truly wireless earbuds. AirPods 3 feature a more compact design than their predecessor, a MagSafe Charging Case, up to six hours of listening time per charge, spatial audio support, and more.

Polar Verity Sense heart rate sensor
To go with your Apple Watch, a dedicated optical heart rate sensor is a nice addition. Apple Watch has a built-in heart rate sensor, but there are a few benefits of going with a standalone sensor.

My personal favorite option is the POLAR Verity Sense optical heart rate sensor, which you can pick up on Amazon. It lasts for up to 20 hours on a single charge, which means you can use it for multiple workouts without worrying about battery life. It connects directly to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth, and you simply strap it to your arm before a workout.

So why do you need a standalone heart rate monitor when Apple Watch has one built in? The biggest benefit is that it removes the burden of tracking heart rate from Apple Watch, which has a major impact on battery life. If you plan on stretching Apple Watch to its limits with long outdoor runs and bike rides, an external heart rate monitor will dramatically extend your Apple Watch battery life, especially if you’re using cellular connectivity at the same time.

There are other options to extend Apple Watch battery life during workouts, such as disabling cellular or enabling Workout Power Saving Mode. But, if you want to maximize battery life without losing features, this is a great way to do just that.

Smart scale

Regardless of your goals for 2022, a smart scale is a great purchase. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, bulk, or just get a better feel for your overall health, a smart scale makes it much easier to track your weight.

Way back in 2018, I invested in the Withings Body Smart Scale, which integrates with the Health app on your iPhone. It connects to your WiFi network and syncs to your iPhone every time you weigh in. This makes the weigh-in process as frictionless as possible and ensures that you’re logging your exact weight every time. The Withings Body scale supports up to 8 different profiles, so everyone in your household can track their weight with the same scale.

Four years later, I’m still using the Withings Body Smart Scale every day, and it reliably syncs to my iPhone without any issues.

If you want to take things to the next level, the Withings Body+ is a pricier option that tracks some additional metrics. There’s support for weight, body fat, water percentage, and muscle and bone mass.

Smart blood pressure monitor

Last but not least is the Withings BPM Connect, which is a Bluetooth- and WiFi-enabled smart blood pressure monitor. As I’ve written about before, high blood pressure runs in my family, and I’ve made it my goal to be more aware of my own blood pressure and the lifestyle choices I make that affect it.

I purchased the Withings BPM Connect a few years ago, and it makes it incredibly simple to track my blood pressure on a regular basis. In addition to the small LED screen on the monitor itself, all of your results sync directly to your iPhone in the Withings Health Mate app, as well as in Apple’s Health app. Much like with tracking weight, these data make it easy to view trends overtime, improvements, and more.

Wrap up
Regardless of your goals this year, these technology picks can help you be more aware of your health and overall fitness level. Being more attuned to things like your blood pressure can help you make small changes in your day-to-day life and track the effects of those changes with ease. New technology isn’t a necessity for new year’s resolutions, but it can certainly help.