Las Vegas Review-Journal

Wearable fitness trackers’ pros, cons

- Email questions for Mike Roizen to youdocsdai­ly@

Gwyneth Paltrow, Mindy Kaling and Carrie Underwood all swear by their wearable fitness trackers. In 2022, wearable technology was the No. 1 fitness trend around the globe.

But do these hi-tech gadgets live up to their hype? On the pro side, says Johns Hopkins Medicine, studies show that they help lower LDL cholestero­l and blood pressure and influence how much you exercise. One recent meta-review that looked at 400 published studies found that pedometers, other types of wearable devices and smartphone apps encourage users to spend around 40 more minutes a day walking.

If keeping track of time spent exercising, calories burned, your heart rate and/or your blood pressure boosts your commitment to improving your health, well, there is nothing bad there.

However, it pays to be aware of the potential downsides of wearable fitness trackers. In 2020, a study found that these devices can increase anxiety about diagnosed health conditions. For folks with atrial fibrillati­on, for example, the researcher­s said that can lead to unnecessar­y visits to the emergency room. And for anyone, heart rate monitors worn on the wrist can be inaccurate since they measure blood flow away from the heart, and light hitting the sensor can reduce accuracy.

Fighting cancer with exercise

Australian researcher­s have been exploring the anti-prostate-cancer benefits of high-intensity aerobics. They discovered that over six months, guys with prostate cancer can boost the level of tumor-growth-suppressin­g proteins called myokines that are produced by skeletal muscles by doing 34 minutes daily on a stationary cycle. And in their most recent research, the researcher­s found that in patients with incurable cancer, the exercise-induced production of these tumor-fighters prolonged survival.

For all cancer patients, the researcher­s suggest that 20plus minutes daily of high-intensity aerobics accompanie­d by resistance training best maintains the anti-tumor effects. Avoid cancer altogether with this program:

■ Do aerobic and resistance exercise regularly.

■ Take an after-dinner walk.

■ Get vitamin D and omega-3s and half a multivitam­in-multiminer­al twice daily.

■ Ask your doc about taking low-dose aspirin.

■ Avoid diabetes, midlife obesity, high blood pressure and hearing loss, along with not smoking.


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