Motion is life. If we want to be healthy, fit, attractive, strong, calm, self-confident and happy, we have to train regularly. Physical workouts, running, team sports, yoga, martial arts and other forms of training, besides making us stronger and more flexible (both physically and mentally), are also directly contributing to a better oxygenation of our entire organism. When we combine regular physical exercises with correct deep abdominal breathing, our body gradually ‘learns’ how to accumulate more oxygen from the surrounding air – oxygen that will allow it to heal faster, to overcome fatigue, to restore the normal functioning of our internal organs (including pulmonary functions) and to eliminate dangerous toxins and other forms of body waste.
On the long run, regular trainings increase our blood oxygen levels, also making our heart stronger. However, we should also be aware that strenuous physical effort (for example, long distance running) can sometimes lower our blood oxygen saturation, which can lead to mild or even severe cases of oxygen deficiency (hypoxia). This happens because during effort, the oxygen from our blood is burned faster than usual in order to help our body to cope with the effort. If we cannot supply our body the amounts of oxygen it needs during the exercise, we start feeling exhaustion, our breathing rate and heart rate increase and in some cases we can even feel dizzy and nauseous (other signs of oxygen deficiency). These symptoms are used by our body to tell us when to reduce the effort or stop the exercise. Failing to do so can have serious consequences on our health – our training, instead of making us healthier, can cause further dysfunctions.
Unfortunately, some people are not used to listen to their bodies. Being eager to attain new performances (this happens very often in case of professional athletes), they can sometimes push their bodies beyond their current level of endurance, which in turn can lead to oxygen deprivation and dangerous acceleration of their heart rate.
Fortunately, the oxygen monitoring industry has come with a convenient device which allows all individuals involved in athletic activities to monitor their oxygen saturation and pulse rate even during their training: the wrist oxygen monitor.
This type of pulse oximeter is extremely comfortable for continuous or spot-check oxygen monitoring. It is worn on the wrist (like a watch) and it has a finger sensor which is connected to the main unit with a small wire. Its Velcro fastening system ensures that the monitor will not fall even during the most intense trainings.
During running or exercising, the wrist oxygen monitor will continuously measure, display and record (optionally) the blood oxygen levels (SpO2) and pulse rate (PR) of the athlete. If these values drop (or rise) to dangerous levels, the device will emit an alarm that will warn the person that he/she should stop the exercise or at least reduce its intensity.
These devices are extremely useful for people suffering from minor cardiac or pulmonary dysfunctions. Training is very important for them as well, because it helps them gradually overcome their conditions and be healthier. However (especially at the beginning) they need to be really careful about the intensity of their exercising, because pushing their bodies too much can cause them serious problems. Monitoring their pulse rate and oxygen saturation by using a wrist pulse oximeter is a wonderful way of ensuring their safety during their daily running and/or physical exercises. The claim that the oxygen monitor can save lives is not a metaphor or an exaggerated affirmation – it is the simple truth.
The wrist oxygen monitor can also record the history of the heart rate and blood oxygen levels of the runner/athlete. This information can be later uploaded to a computer and used as a reference point for monitoring the fitness and health progress.
Fitness monitoring, however, is not the only application of the wrist pulse oximeters. Because they can be securely fastened to the wrist of the user, these oxygen monitors are also being used for sleep monitoring, especially for individuals suffering from sleep apnea. The device can be programmed to record the heart rate and oxygen levels throughout the night; later, the doctor can analyze this information in order to have a better understanding of the patient’s condition.
The wrist oxygen monitor can be used everywhere: in health centers, gyms, hospitals, at home or while running in the park. A wrist oximeter is more expensive than a simple fingertip model – its price can vary between $160 and $700.