As a mom to a very observant toddler, I do my best to avoid staring at screens and technology too much while in her presence. I can’t say I’m a total pro at this; however, it is something I’m working on. But it’s somewhat unavoidable; we’re always surrounded by lots of technology. Between phone screens, computer screens, and television screens, it can be a lot. And then when you think about adding a smartwatch on top of all of those screens, it might seem unnecessary. After all, it’s just yet another (tiny) screen to stare at for information.
Full disclosure: I used to work at Fitbit, so I may be more strongly on the side of team smartwatch than most people, but it is for good reason. And though I’ve been wearing some sort of smartwatch or tracker device for many years, when I became a mom, I saw just how positively it impacted my health.
If you haven’t yet bought into the smartwatch world and are curious why some people are obsessed, I’m shedding some light on why I think smartwatches are a particularly helpful tool for moms.
Note: there are a number of brands that sell smartwatches (and I’m sure they are all great!), but here I’m going to focus on Fitbit and Apple, as these are the two brands I’ve tested and can personally vouch for.
Smartwatches encourage you to be more active
Maybe you wake up an hour before your kids to get in a workout before the craziness of the day kicks in. And that’s amazing. But it’s also important to stay active throughout the day. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re probably chasing your kids around the house, giving you plenty of steps. But if you work outside of the home (or remotely), there’s a good chance that you stay seated for incredibly long periods of time and don’t even realize it. Apple Watches and Fitbits both have an option to vibrate as an hour comes to a close if you haven’t taken enough steps. This can be a helpful reminder to step away from your desk, even if it’s just to go to the bathroom or refill your water glass.
I found this feature particularly helpful while I was pregnant. With an achy body growing another human, it was very tempting to lay on the couch uninterrupted for long stretches of time. But after hours in one position, once I did get up, my aches and pains were worse than before. By making sure to move every hour, my body didn’t become quite as stiff and in the end, felt more comfortable.
These small steps are just a piece of the full health puzzle, but an important part nonetheless.
Smartwatches can help you to set and reach goals
If you like to actually see your hard work pay off, you’ll probably be obsessed with the stats on smartwatches, like hitting your 10,000 steps on Fitbit or closing all your rings (which show how many active calories you’ve burned, how many minutes you worked out, and if you took enough steps each hour) on the Apple Watch. You can adjust these goals to fit your current lifestyle and fitness level.
I loved being able to see my step count during the fourth trimester. My fitness had understandably taken a huge nosedive as I recovered from childbirth, but seeing my steps allowed me to make very small and attainable goals as I slowly got back into an active lifestyle, starting with walking 1,000 steps a day and building upon that. I was shocked by how hard it was to walk in those first few weeks. I literally could not make it around the block. But eventually, my step count started to increase, which was incredibly motivating.
Smartwatches can keep you off your phone
So, I realize that by looking at your smartwatch instead of your phone, you’re essentially replacing one screen with another, but hear me out. I can have my phone in another room and can instead very quickly reference my watch for the time, the weather, to be notified if someone is calling or texting, can get an alert if I have a meeting coming up, and can get important news updates. A fast glance at my watch gives me the information I need.
If I try to do the same on my phone, I inevitably get sucked into something else. If I just want to check the weather, I somehow end up taking a peek at my inbox, maybe taking a scroll through Instagram, and suddenly I’ve spent 30 unnecessary minutes on my phone, simply because it was there.
Smartwatches can help you get better sleep
One of my favorite features of many Fitbit models is the ability to track the amount and quality of your sleep. As a new mom, sleep deprivation is usually a given, but once your kids get older, you (hopefully) have a bit more control over your sleep habits. Seeing just how little sleep I was getting thanks to this data encouraged me to set a bedtime alarm (which you can also set on many of these watches) that signaled it was time to start winding down. We might all assume we aren’t getting quality or enough sleep, but when you see the numbers in black and white, it’s a real wake-up call that you might need to change some habits.
Smartwatches can provide insightful health data
Over time, smartwatches have really become, well, smarter. What used to be a device that gave a few basic stats now can tell a real health story and can even signal if something might be amiss. Fitbit recently released the Fitbit Sense, which is a more advanced smartwatch that helps users with stress management, heart health, skin temperature readings, and with its ECG app can access heart rhythm and can detect unusual cardiac symptoms. Similarly, the Apple Watch 6 has a blood oxygen app and can also identify irregular heart rhythms. Simply put, by wearing a watch, you may be alerted to a health issue you didn’t even realize you had. They don’t replace visits with a doctor, but the insights are still empowering.
Will wearing a smartwatch make you instantly healthier? Of course not, but it can help to motivate you and can also help to track important health issues. And for busy moms with a lot on their plate, it’s nice to have a tiny motivator on our wrists. This helps to keep our own health and wellness top of mind, when often it’s the health of those little ones around us that’s our main focus.
And lastly, smartwatches can be an investment. Think about which features are most important and will be most motivating to you. Fitbit smartwatches range from $179.95 up to $329.95 (though you can opt for a basic tracker and pay under $100), and Apple Watches range from $169 up to $499. You don’t necessarily need the newest and fanciest model. You can also look into refurbished or used options. While it may seem pricey, it’s something you can wear every day (giving it an amazing cost-per-wear price) and quite likely will have a positive impact on your health and wellness, which is always worth investing in.
Shop the Post