Tracking fitness, burning calories and good health - Dr Shreeedhar Archik

Dr Shreedhar Archik - Orthopedic Surgeon Mumbai Dadar

Tracking fitness, burning calories and good health….

Diwali has a special place in my life. I get gifts and usually I get something unique every year. This year was no exception. One of my nephews from USA gave me a fitness tracker as a Diwali gift. He actually is the product manager for this particular brand and wanted my feedback on this product. I was always curious to use one such band but never got around to ordering one.

I started using it every day and found that the technology used was amazing. First of all it had no buttons! I had to pair it with my mobile phone using Bluetooth and download an app from Google play store. It has a battery which easily lasts up to 5 days in one charge. It comes with an USB paired simple charger.

This band tracks the steps I take every day and also monitors how well I sleep. It monitors my heart rate all the time as well. We all know the importance of 10,000 steps a day to remain fit but we really do not know how much we actually walk every day. I go for a morning walk but I did not know how many steps were taken. We doctors have recently realized that sleep deprivation is one of the most common factors for almost all lifestyle diseases i.e. heart attacks and hypertension to type 2 diabetes. We all have different sleep patterns but do not know if we sleep well. REM or rapid eye movement sleep is an important part of our sleep cycle and before this tracker I had no way of knowing what part of my sleep cycle was REM , what part was my deep and what part was light sleep. My tracker calculates how much time I take to fall asleep, how many times I wake up and the duration of my 3 types of sleep. I have an integrated coach to tell me about my progress.

The best part I liked was the “DUAL” part. One can have a 3 day or a week long dual with a friend. I can for example say that I will beat my friend in the number of steps i take in 3 days. The tracker keeps telling me the amount of steps I take versus my friends pace! I set up a dual with my nephew who is in IT industry. He is 32 and a father of two. We both soon realized the benefits of this dual. He realized how sedentary he was and started going out for a walk every day. I used to panic at 6 pm if he had already overtaken me by that time. I no longer wait for lifts in the hospitals I visit but climb stairs all the time, just to make sure I beat him. I used to park my car in my clinic building. My clinic building is under repairs and I have to park my car on the road. I now park my car as far as possible now just to make sure I beat achieve my goal of 10000 steps.

We all know that we need an incentive to exercise and this is one of the best ways to increase your calorie burn. I also get a weekly report on my registered email id. If I am doing well my band tells me that my resting heart rate is improving and I am doing well. The band actually has a function called “smart coach”. Smart coach also gives you smart tips about how to fall asleep quickly and can detect dehydration ( it will ask you pointed questions like “ did you have a lot of alcohol last night?’).

If you explore further it can even give you healthy food recipe’s on the web! The resources are unlimited.
The cheaper bands start from INR 3000 and the more sophisticated ones are about 17000 INR.

Take home messages:

1. You can actually track your physical activity
2. Provides stimulation to be more active
3. Helps improve sleeping pattern
4. Helps to reduce weight scientifically
5. Extremely cost effective
6. No complicated gadgetry
7. Ideal gift for someone you love
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