COPD Patients and Exercise: All About Activity Trackers

Even those who don't have any chronic illnesses can have a difficult time keeping up with an exercise routine. One of things, besides an exercise calendar or journal, is an activity tracker. Many people use activity trackers to keep an eye on the physical activity they get, whether they are going about their day and trying to take the stair instead of the elevator, or if they are doing their scheduled exercise.

What is an Activity Tracker?

An activity tracker is a small electronic device that can be worn around the wrist that monitors and records your physical motion during any given amount of time. They can read the directions in which you're moving, how many steps you've taken, as well as monitor calories burned and your heart rate. This is very helpful, whether you want to just make sure you've taken plenty of steps during the day and got enough movement, or if you just have a targeted heart rate that you need to reach.

Is an Activity Tracker Right for Me?

Your doctor will help you determine which activity tracker is right for you, as well as which exercises you should be doing. If you have COPD, you should always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen. There are many on the market, with different features.

Your doctor may also help you decide on which activity tracker is right for you, depending on what exactly you need it to do for your individual needs. Not everyone's exercise needs are the same. While some might want to raise their heart rate and burn as many calories as they can in one exercise session, others might want to just monitor their motion throughout the day and keep an eye on their blood oxygen level.

How Much Do They Cost?

According to PC Magazine's website, the most trusted ones on the market range from $24.99 to $199.99. The mid-priced ones work well for most people, including the “Fitbit Zip”, which can be clipped on to your belt or pocket and is compatible with the major computer and smart phone operating systems. The Fitbit Zip is $48.43 on Amazon, and monitors activity but does not have a heart rate monitor.

The Garmin Vivosmart is worn around the wrist, and records heart rate and also has a sleep tracker. This one goes for $169.99 at Best Buy, and the battery will last for up to 7 days. These two price comparisons should give you a basic idea of prices, as well as what you can get for the price.

How are They Read?

Some activity trackers have LED screen displays, and buttons that can switch back and forth so you can view the different readings (steps, heart rate, blood ox, etc.), while others show all at once, or like the Vivosmart, the reading shows up right on the top of the band itself. Shop around to make sure you find one that you are comfortable with, that meets your needs.

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