Random Thoughts

Fitness Technology- Putting the IT in FIT

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We are currently living in a time where technology is revolutionizing the way we accomplish everything and fitness is no exception. Recent technological advancements have made living an active lifestyle more accessible and more entertaining using devices such as smart watches, virtual reality (VR) headsets, as well as apps on our smartphones. When these are combined with data crunching programs and the use of social media, we are sharing our collective information with one another to gain a level of fitness knowledge and capability that has never been seen before.

Although smartwatches have mixed reviews, when it comes to fitness, nothing can be more beneficial to their users. By using step counters, heart rate monitors, GPS, sleep trackers, and features such as music storage and waterproof designs, smartwatches can support their users to achieve their fitness goals, no matter what they are. My personal favorite brand, Pebble, which has since been purchased by Fitbit, offers a wide range of features at a significantly lower price than other models, such as the pricey Apple smartwatches.

While smartwatches provide the means for compiling fitness data, they are usually paired with an app on a smartphone, which then turns that data into useful ideas and information for their users. Mobile applications such as MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Quick Fit, and Ladder offer the user a significant number of tools that can help make any fitness journey a success. Whether it is a customized fitness routine from a certified personal trainer, dietary information and trackers, or a method to monitor your sleep cycle, these fitness apps are a must-have. Fitness apps are also transforming into products that I have reviewed in past posts, such as Tonal’s fitness machine.

Virtual reality (VR) is gaining popularity in the fitness world by giving their users a unique way to stay active. Instead of just running on a treadmill with only the somewhat dull gym scenery to look at, imagine using a VR headset to be virtually transported to a beautiful trail in the Rocky Mountains or even on the Great Wall of China. VR also offers the ability to have your personal trainer be with you, even in the comfort of your home.

One of the most excellent tools, although annoying to some, is social media. While it is true that seeing constant shirtless men and women wearing revealing clothing posting pictures with captions such as, “Monday, Gun-Day” with a thousand hashtags can be quite ridiculous, it is an crucial tool many use to help gain the confidence and continuous determination needed to keep working out. Additionally, an action such as checking in to a gym on Facebook can connect other fitness-oriented users in your area to each other, thus providing the building blocks of a community and support network that can turn the simple desire of losing a few pounds to striving to achieve excellence.

With these many advancements and changes in fitness technology, this generation has a definite advantage towards achieving their personal fitness goals, whether it be powerlifting, bodybuilding, aesthetics, or only trying to lose some weight. Through the use of the Internet and technology, people all around the world are sharing their workout routines with one another, scientists are developing new products that encourage muscle growth or weight loss, and together, we are creating a healthier tomorrow.

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