Some of us have been finding ways to get more physically active over the past few months thanks to the gift of more time on our hands, but many of us have also been experiencing stress more and unlike ever before in our lifetime. When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March it was a jolt to the life we were so accustomed to. The first month of quarantine mode stopped me in my tracks. It was hard to focus and function.  I know I wasn’t alone and the crisis continues to affect people from all walks of life and globally. Managing mental health and stress levels of ourselves, family members, friends and the communities we live and work in have become a priority.  The tools are out there and we’ve been keeping an eye out for them.

This week, Fitbit announced some exciting new innovations coming to the popular line of health and fitness smartwatch and devices. The latest news caught my attention.  Here’s just a quick topline of what’s coming this fall. There’s more to them but I’m making a note to take a closer look later.

Fitbit Sense:

The most intriguing news comes with the launch of the new Fitbit Sense — I’m very curious about this one as it focuses on health, wellness, mindfulness and stress. Not only will it monitor activity and reactions but possibly be useful to help better understand your body’s response to stress. Findings, they said at the virtual press conference, has the potential over time to help identify signs of health concerns  as well as offer tools to help adjust your lifestyle when paired with the Fitbit App. It will also hold a battery for at least six days. Three key features:

Stress Management: With the EDA (electrodermal activity) Scan app, the Fitbit sense measures electrodermal activity right on your wrist, a possible indication of how your body responds to stress.

Heart Health: The advanced tools not only monitor your heart rates (we would expect that)  but it will also be able to take an ECG (electrocardiogram) to check for signs of possible heart concerns like atrial fibrillation. It will also be able to share your real time results with your own healthcare professionals. This is a game-changer in catching irregular heartbeats as they happen. I’ve experienced frequent heart palpitations in the past – this would be very convenient.

Tracking skin temperature: the sensor keeps an eye over time of how skin temperature changes from your personal baseline and identifies any patterns and internal changes.

FITBIT VERSA 3:

I’ve enjoyed my Versa 2 for the past year. Now this best-selling and very versatile smartwatch gets an upgrade to the Versa 3 with a few additional features including a built-in GPS that offers real-time pace and distances while you’re running or riding. It will also measure the intensity of your activity in “Active Zone Minutes”  for more efficient workouts. When you’ve entered your personal target heart rate zones, the Versa 2 will let you know. Sounds like great motivation to keep things up!

You’ll also be able to download and play songs/podcasts directly from your watch in addition to receiving calls via Bluetooth, texts and notifications to keep you on top of things right from your wrist. It already had voice assist with Alexa built-in but now they’ve also added Google Assistant as another option. You’ll also be able to do a fast charge on the Versa 3. They mentioned something like a 12-minute charge will give you a day’s worth of juice to get you quickly back on track.

With access to Fitbit Premium, users will have access to even more sleep tools as well as mindfulness tools.

FITBIT INSPIRE 2:

Still a popular device for Fitbit newbies, students, and for those who prefer a sleeker design. This updated version of the slim and easy to use tracker helps with all your everyday, and night, monitoring needs. Heart rate, sleep, and it will also keep you motivated and on track.  Now with a 10-day battery life, keeping on top of fitness and health goals will be more seamless. This device includes a free 1-year trial of Fitbit Premium (for new Premium users) that will help personalize guidance and offer programs and insights for your health and fitness goals. It will also help you find a few minutes of calm any time of the day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate.

I’m excited to learn more about these devices, particularly the Fitbit Sense to help manage stress and offer tools for mental health. Something many of us needs more of.

You can find more info and pre-order here: www.fitbit.com

Here’s a quick look at Fitbit Sense…