It is a race in the world of technology to see who can create a smart device to wear on the wrist that accurately tracks multiple data points of an individual’s health. This data will allow many people to live better lives through technology because their smart device on their wrist will prompt them to exercise, breathe, sleep better, and even monitor their heart for a more in depth analysis of bodily functions.
When it comes to all of the smart devices, the characteristic that interests me the most is the ability to track heart function. The heart is like an engine that powers the body, so it is so important to know your heart perspective on your health. New science has discovered large amounts of compelling information as to how heart health relates to overall body health. Let’s go over a few of the many things that our smart trackers can tell us about our health through heart rate monitoring.
1) Your Body Is Stressed
Stress on the human body comes in many different forms. It can be from a physical, psychological, or toxic trauma to the body. When the body is under stress the sympathetic nervous system kicks in. This is the part of the nervous system that we refer to as the “fight or flight mode”. This sympathetic state is designed to keep us alive as our body perceives threats, but when this state becomes chronic our bodies can suffer greatly. In the sympathetic state our heart beats more rapidly to prepare us for a stressful event. With an abnormally high heart beat we can see that our body is under stress. Studies show that those who have chronically high heart rates are more likely to suffer from disease and even death. After a long day of work you may find yourself fatigued, and maybe not feeling so hot. There is a high possibility that your heart rate may be very high as well. This tells us we need to rest because our body is fatigued and stressed.
2) Are You Getting Enough Exercise?
When we exercise we strengthen bone, muscles, and ligaments. Did you know that the heart is, in fact, a muscle that needs to be worked out? When we exercise we strengthen the heart muscle so that it can increase its performance. An obese individual will often have a higher resting heart rate. This is because the heart is working much harder, due to not being strengthened through exercise, and having to push a larger blood supply to the fat. In a fit and trim individual, their heart rate is often low. Well trained athletes often have resting heart rates below 60 bpm.
During physical activity, we can also monitor our heart rate to see if we are “in the zone”. This will allow us to push our limits and get the most out of the time we spend in the gym.
3) Is Chronic Disease in Your Future?
It is estimated that 29.1 million people suffer from diabetes and 8.1 million people have it but remain unaware and undiagnosed. Many studies link diabetes with an increased heart rate. We also know that if you suffer from diabetes then you are much more likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. Thus, through an abnormally high heart rate, we can correlate the possibility that you are, or may be in your near future, suffering from a serious disease.
4) Your Medications Are Interfering
It is estimated that 49% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and that 10% of people are on 5 or more. One thing we know for a fact is that these medications are not tested together to determine synergistic effects that could prove to be very dangerous. Many of these medications can either lower or speed up your heart rate. Check with your doctor if your medications are altering your heart rate in an unhealthy manner.
5) Monitoring food and drink
When you consume food and drink it should not send your heart into frenzy. In the past, I had an individual share his story with me that after consuming an energy drink his heart had started racing so fast that he began having palpitations and wound up in the emergency room. If you find your heart rate significantly increasing after consuming certain foods or beverages, I would suggest the discontinuation of eating or drinking of those products.
6) Thyroid Problems?
Due to an onslaught of toxicity and many environmental factors, more people are suffering from Thyroid issues than ever before, especially woman. When you suffer from hypothyroidism the thyroid is sluggish and not pumping out enough hormones, ultimately lowering your heart rate. Conversely, when you suffer from hyperthyroidism the thyroid is overactive and can cause your heart rate to increase. Though you will need further testing to determine if this is actually the case, your smart tracker can be a window into a potential issue.
7) Are you properly hydrated?
As you become dehydrated, or even overly hydrated, the minerals with an electric charge, or electrolytes, can become imbalanced. This messes with your body’s chemistry potentially resulting in arrhythmias. This will manifest with a higher heart rate, so be sure to consider hydration levels when your heart rate varies from the norm without good reasoning.
In the future, I would love to see devices like the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Embrace, and Oura Ring start monitoring more heart metrics such as heart rate variability. This can give even more detailed data about overall body health. Ultimately, the best health data we can receive will still come from scientific based lab testing.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. I would love to help you start tracking, or to hear about how tracking your health has improved your life.