It’s an exciting time to be engaged in a fitness program. There are so many amazing gadgets and trinkets that have made working out and staying healthy easier than ever. From smart watches to interactive fitness videos to headphones designed specifically for working out, there is something for everyone.
It used to be that to get your heart rate, you had to shell out a large amount of money on expensive equipment. The equipment had dubious results at best, and it often hampered your workout.
We are living in the sensor age, and wearable tech is no longer just for exercising. It’s fashionable, functional and integrates into your life in a seamless and beneficial way.
Let’s Look at Technology For:
Getting Started and Motivated
Before you even start working out, you have to, well, start working out. This is often one of the biggest obstacles for people. Most of the time, if you can just get into the gym or out on the track, you’ll be able to start working out and have a productive workout. Getting to the right place for your workout to begin is the hard part for many people.
Researchers are beginning to understand that small triggers can be the difference between starting and skipping your workouts. Smartphone apps can help you schedule your workouts, and you can use a specific tone that is exclusive to your workouts. When your alarm goes off, it can act as the trigger you need to get started on that workout. The premise is based on the idea of giving you a little nudge out the door to help you get started on your exercise routine.
Need a little more motivation? If zombies are your thing, you can try out apps like Zombies, Run!. This app uses GPS data, and you’ll be able to collect supplies along the way to help you boost your defenses and survive the zombie apocalypse. Fun apps like this are one way to have more fun, stay engaged and most importantly keep you active.
Nutrition apps are making it much easier to track your nutrients and maintain the right levels of macronutrients. Apps like MyFitnessPal, are making it easier than ever to track what you’re eating and see how your eating habits influence your health. You can mody every aspect of your eating schedule, and work towards getting the diet that supports your fitness goals.
Nutrition apps let you track all of your calories, carbs, protein, vitamins and even water intake. You can include your weight, see how it’s changed over time and use complex graphs and informational tools to get a better idea of how your diet affects your fitness goals. Many of these apps make it really easy to input the nutritional information by scanning the barcode of any item into the app. You can also create recipes to quickly input meals you eat frequently.
Advanced fitness enthusiasts know that their weight can fluctuate within a range of about two pounds throughout the day, and many people swear off the use of a scale because it doesn’t take into account any lean muscle mass you may have added on. Additionally, delayed onset soreness and swelling may also contribute to weight gain giving you a false picture of your actual weight loss efforts.
Now, you have more than one way to monitor fitness goals. You can track your daily steps and use more advanced scales that fairly accurately determine your overall body fat percentage. Tracking this information lets you determine how you’re progressing towards your fitness goals.
If you’re not seeing the weight loss you want, there is a new technology available in the form of ultrasound melting. This technology costs approximately $1,200 per treatment, but the technology has been used in Canada for years and was recently approved for use by the FDA. This option could be a good way for people with the means to achieve their fitness goals more quickly.
Exercising More Efficiently
Most people know about the FitBit and other similar technology. However, wearable tech is beginning to expand into very specific niche products that are designed to help you get even more out of your life. Where FitBit will work to track your general activity, products like the Atlas Wristband are designed to be a workout companion for serious weightlifters and bodybuilders.
The wristband works to accurately track your exercises as you work out. Not only that, it provides feedback along the way to help improve your overall form and avoid injury. With this watch, there is no more writing down your exercise routines in a diary and analyzing them after the workout to improve future workouts. This watch allows you to enter information in real-time, and in many cases, it automatically detects what exercise you’re doing.
One of the biggest issues for people is staying hydrated. When you become dehydrated, you may lose the ability to perform at your best. On the other hand, too much hydration can also affect your performance. Drinking enough water is crucial to helping your muscles repair and perform at their absolute best. Smart Cups connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology to automatically sync.
The goal of the Smart Cup is to help you track your liquid intake, but it also reminds you to drink water throughout the day to maintain optimal levels of hydration. In the past, doctors used to say that drinking water wasn’t essential since you got enough water from your foods. However, we’re increasingly realizing that this is not true for active people, and most people should drink in the range of 10 cups per day. The Smart Cup helps make sure you’re getting the right amount of water for your body and activity level.
If you’re a runner, you know how running can be a difficult exercise to get into. Getting to that first 5K is a major accomplishment for many runners. The Couch-to-5K app has been around a long time, and it has helped thousands of people get to the fitness level required to run longer distances.
The app can also be used to help you with interval training. By choosing one of the introductory programs, you can alternate between sprinting, running, jogging and walking at regularly spaced intervals. While running continuously is great for building endurance, it’s not the best way to improve your times. Interval training can help you build muscle, become stronger and even decrease your workout times.
Once you get up to a 5K, there are other programs available to help you meet your goals. Train for that half-marathon or start preparing for a marathon in a healthy, effective manner that will have you enjoying every step of the way.
A Few Examples of Smart Exercise Equipment
Even our fitness equipment is getting an upgrade. These handy devices are designed to help you get the most out of your workout.
Jump Rope Smarter
You can purchase a smart jump rope from Tangram that is designed to help you track your fitness data. You’ll be able to see how intense your jump workout is, and you can share the data with your friends easily.
Intelligent Socks for Runners
Sensoria offers a pair of smart socks. These socks give you crucial information about your speed, foot landing technique, calories burned and much moe. YOU’ll get two pairs of socks, and it will help you determine if you’re running in a way that might make an injury more likely. In the past, this kind of information was only available to people who had a professional training coach. You’ll even get audio feedback in real time that is designed to help you improve your form and run.
A Better Yoga Mat
Yoga has always been great fun with a group and a professionally trained guru, but now you can also use a SmartMat to help you learn yoga. It sends you visual and audio cues that are designed to help you maintain the correct form and get more out of your session. It’s like having your own personal yoga instructor.
While this may not help with your workouts, it’s really cool. A bluetooth padlock can make it easier to lock up your equipment, bike or locker and get going quickly. When you come near your equipment the padlock unlocks. There is no need to remember a combination or risk losing your key. If your phone dies, there is no need to worry. The lock also comes with a manual combination so that you can access your gear even when the phone is not available. This can help save time and get you in and out of your workouts more quickly.
Get a Virtual Personal Trainer
Let’s say you’re new to working out and you don’t know what exercises you should be doing to maintain a high level of fitness. A real-life personal trainer is one way to go, and they can help you stay motivated. There is also the added benefit of knowing that you’ve paid for a session, so you’re more likely to show up. However, for those who enjoy their alone time, there are also apps that can act as your personal trainer to help you achieve your goals.
One app developed by fitness experts is the FitnessBuilder Plus program. This program, and others like it, can provide you with over 750 preprogrammed workouts. It lets you drag and drop from thousands of pictures and videos to customize and prepare your routine. You can also get a live personal trainer who does real-time workouts. This can be a great way to stay motivated.
Nike Training Club is better suited for those who don’t have the necessary experience to build their own workouts. You’ll answer a few basic questions about your goals and current fitness level, and then the app will give you recommendations for pre-built workouts to meet your goals. This is a great way to train, and you can select from all of the most popular types of workouts. HIT, yoga and pilates are just a few of the workouts that are ready for you to take advantage of.
The End of the Day
You’re tracking everything else in your life, so why not track your sleep? Apps like Sleeptracker are able to monitor the quality of your sleep and how long you’re sleeping. This can help you diagnose any issues with your sleeping schedule and ensure you’re getting the restorative sleep you need to be healthy.
Sleep trackers work by detecting your movements and sensing the changes as you go in and out of REM sleep. They can be set to wake you up during the lightest stage of your sleep. This way, you can wake up more refreshed and ready to face the day. With the right sleep app, you may even discover that you no longer need that morning cup of coffee because you’re already halfway to being in an alert state.
Sleep is a crucial part of your workout routine, and you’ll be able to have more energy to put into your workouts when you’re getting the right kind of sleep. Additionally, when you get the right amount of sleep you’re less likely to make poor food choices in an effort to battle exhaustion. It can also give some insight into how that glass of wine or beer or how a late-night meal affects your sleep.
An Integrated Life Brings Better Health
As we learn more, we’re beginning to learn that the workout is only one part of getting in shape. What you eat, how you sleep and the number of steps you take each day are all aspects that we need to pay attention to. Technology is giving us more information, and it’s making it possible to help us make better choices. By using technology, you can improve your life and enhance your workouts. By doing this, you can more easily isolate and anomalies that may be hampering your progress.