Uses for Apple Health and Google Fit data do not seem to go away or digress any time soon. So why not implement wearables health data tracking in your training?
Technology like smartwatches and their nifty, matching apps helps take some work out of personal training or fitness coaching. How? You ask.
Well, think about the average amount of time you spend on each client collecting information to track their metrics. Then think about the amount of time you spend on graphing and calculating those metrics. Now, think about the time you are not spending with your clients and unable to ensure they are staying active outside of your personal training sessions.
Apple Heathkit and Google Fit data bridge the gap between sessions with personal training clients and allow trainers to access more detailed information on their compliance.
Not only that, but trainers don’t have to manually track detailed metrics and assessments on their clients. You no longer need to do the calculations through different software or by hand.
What Apple Health and Google Fit data is collected?
These apps collect a great deal of data on the user, especially paired with a wearable device. Let’s list out what data these apps and devices can collect and break down how you can implement them in your training.
Health Data Most Often Used
- Vitals – Vitals are vital to training. (*Buh Dun Tsss*) I probably do not need to explain the importance, because I’m sure you’re a well-educated trainer, but I’ll say this: you have to understand how the client’s body is functioning to understand how to help them improve their fitness or wellness.
- Activity – Data from this category will provide the most help for you as a trainer. You can fill the gap of knowledge of how much activity your client is actually doing outside of your sessions. Activity data will also aid in understanding how your client’s body responds to certain workouts.
- Walking and running distance
- Stairs climbed
- Exercise minutes
- Cardio fitness
- Cycling distance
- and more
- Body Measurements – these measurements are just about the most important for a trainer to use in client tracking. Most often, fitness coaching clients want to work toward some physical change along with other wellness goals. Therefore, an app that tracks these measurements without needing the trainer to manually collect the data every week gives the trainer much more time to work on getting the client the results they want.
- Height and weight
- Basal body temperature
- Body fat percentage
- Lean body mass
- Waist circumference
- Heart Health
- Cardio fitness
- Heart rate variability
- Resting heart rate
- Walking heart rate
- Double support time – the amount of time while walking when you are on both feet. When you spend less time on both feet while walking, then you have a better balance.
- Respiratory – You want to make sure your client’s breathing is on track with their exercise. Charting these vitals through exercises is extremely important to understanding the client’s capabilities and not overexerting them through the exercise. It may also be beneficial to gain perspective on what causes lung disease to better address your client’s needs. Understanding these assessments for a client with conditions like COPD and asthma is most important.
- Blood oxygen
- Cardio fitness
- Inhaler Usage
- Respiratory Rate
- Nutrition – take more time out of tracking the food and macro intake your clients are doing by using this technology to aggregate data your clients’ input and display it for you.
Health Data Less Often Used
- Cycle tracking for menstrual health – clients may come to you with a specific need to reduce the effect of period cramps and other symptoms through special exercises. It could be beneficial to have them track their menstrual cycle to design nutrition and workout plans that best suit and relieve symptoms associated with mensuration.
- Mindfulness – A tremendous benefit of personal training is becoming more mindful and self aware of the thoughts and actions you are taking
- Sleep – Clients may have difficulty regulating their sleep, and exercise can influence that tremendously. Therefore, sleep tracking is another way this form of data collection can aid in your training or coaching.
- Abdominal cramps
- Appetite changes
- Body and muscle ache
- Chest tightness or pain
- and many more that trainers would be interested in tracking.
Google Fit Data:
Google Fit is notable for its simplicity, but clients have free rein over their journal entries. Therefore, they can manually track what activities they have completed and file them in one place.
- You can keep a journal
- Enter data for an activity you have completed – there is a long list of activities to choose from to label the type of activity that is completed.
- Calories burned
- Heart Rate (BPM)
- Count reps of pushups, situps, and squats.
Google Fit data may not be as robust in options for collection and tracking, but you can integrate the information collected from Google Fit to Apple Health.
With all that information, data can make for much more powerful and effective training. Nothing noteworthy or highly referenced is notable without the science and data to back it. You probably wouldn’t trust an article telling you about the effectiveness of running on all fours if there isn’t any data to back it.
Therefore, this health data can also be helpful for converting potential clients into paying clients. With the permission of your clients using these apps, you can use their progress data for testimonials and establish further credibility in your training.
How is this data collected?
Apple Health and Google Fit Data are collected from user input and wearable technology with sensors. Sometimes it’s still baffling to think about the fact that watches with heart rate and other advanced sensors exist.
Watches are the number one wearable technology for collecting fitness data, but other objects like smart scales and glasses can make a difference in training. Smart scales can send your weight data right to your phone and smart glasses, right now, can just play your favorite tunes while working out or have basic controls over your phone.
Let’s make a quick note of the importance in using music to fuel the energy through your client’s exercises. Les Mills has carefully constructed all of their classes around music and is noteworthy for its success.
BUT, that’s beside the point of wearables health data tracking.
Here are a few watches that integrate with what app so you can instruct your clients on what to use:
- Apple Watch (of course)
- SUUNTO 7
- Garmin Watch
- Xiaomi Mi Band
- Misfit Ray
- Wear OS by Google
- SUUNTO 7
- Xiaomi Mi Band
- Misfit Ray
Check out this article for apps that integrate to collect and share Google Fit data.
Another app that has a handy dandy Google Fit integration is yours truly, FitSW. FitSW collects and displays data in client profiles and on their dashboards.
Motivation and Milestones Using This Data
This wearables health data tracking gives you as the coach or trainer more opportunity to get creative with your training!
For the client, using these apps regularly is one form of habit coaching. Regularly maintaining this data is a great way for the client to stay involved with their own progress rather than looking to the trainer for the leading hand.
Data input is one form of creating a challenge for a client. The ultimate reward is their results over time, but by inputting and viewing this data, the client has notable milestones to look back on for inspiration moving forward.
It’s also the simple habit of completing the data entry that solidifies the client’s pursuit of their goals. Forming one positive habit can lead to forming many others.
Plenty of room exists for creating challenges around the metrics these apps collect.
The ease of tracking through automated graphs, like in FitSW, makes these apps ideal for keeping up with multiple clients and their milestones.
The only downside to these apps is the lack of community. That is where trainers can come in and form groups with their clients or help clients make connections with others who have the same fitness and wellness goals.
In the future, it will be possible for trainers to group clients and have a social media-like atmosphere in FitSW. For now, however, create Facebook groups where your clients can post their milestones and draw support from their peers.
Use wearables health data tracking to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your training. Getting clients to form simple habits around data entries can translate into forming better habits around their overall wellness growth.
Not to mention, with consistent data tracking and automated graphing, you will spend much less time breaking down and graphing their results. Through these apps, data is easily shared, so it also encourages your clients to communicate with you more often about their milestones.
If you don’t believe me, then try it out for yourself, especially if you are already a FitSW personal trainer or fitness coach. Explore how the integrations that FitSW has with Apple Health and Google Fit can help you better manage your clients!