Fitness and Data: How Technology is Changing Exercise
The next time you workout, take a look around you: you’ll notice that among the other runners, lifters, and Zumba class takers, nearly everyone is looking down at their wrists. Yes, fitness trackers have made their mark, and it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon. In fact, the market is expected to more than double its market share (to $5.4 billion) by 2019. And as more and more people hop on the fitness tech train, it seems that the way we all view exercise is changing.
The Friend Factor
If you are new to the fitness tech phenomenon, you might be asking “What’s the point?” Perhaps you’re starting your journey as a runner and are more concerned with finishing a mile than finding out your heart rate. Perhaps you’ve been running for years and have been just fine without one. But fitness trackers have something for everyone.
Those of us concerned with peak performance have the ability to measure heart rate, calories burned, and improvements over time. For the exercise novices, the ability to track your progress, share it on social media, or compete with friends around the country has turned exercise into a social experience. This is a great thing! After all, friends are great for holding you accountable , which will help you reach your goals.
Anytime Is Fitness Time
There was a time when fitness and life were separate spheres. You’d do your workout for the day, then shower, change and jump back into the swing of things with work, socializing, and a little “R&R.” These days are gone. Now, with wristbands watching all our steps and counting all our calories, anytime is fitness time.
You’ve probably seen more than a few employees walking the halls at work – “Just getting some steps,” they say as they pass buy. And with fashionable, jewel-encrusted trackers hitting the scene, anyone could be counting steps anywhere – your cousin’s wedding, the office Christmas party, the intermission of your child’s school play! For those overworked people who simply don’t have time to hit the gym, this “exercise anytime” mentality can be a revelation.
Charting Your Progress – Literally
After every run, that app on your phone tells you how far you’ve run. Depending on the app, it may tell you your peak heart rate, average pace, calories burned, and how close you are to reaching your goals. Then, as you head to the kitchen for your post-workout smoothie, another app is documenting the nutritional value in your meal, how many calories you’ve had that day, and how many are still available to you. With the data collected by fitness tech devices, it is easier than ever to tweak your workouts so they work for you!
Of course, there are some who question whether or not all this data is detrimental to the real point of exercise: being healthy and treating our bodies well. What do I think? Well, in a world plagued with rising obesity and decreased physical activity, I believe fitness tech and other exercise products can be the key to getting us moving again.
Bio of Naomi Shaw:
Naomi Shaw is a full-time freelance writer who balances motherhood and entrepreneurship. Living in Southern California with her husband and three children, Naomi writes on all topics with a family and health. She transitioned from stay-at-home mom to freelance journalist to share her lifestyle passion with the world.
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Thank you to Naomi Shaw for her great piece on fit tech. It is the latest thing and it’s a hot commodity to give as a gift, particularly at the holidays! Follow Naomi for her great content!
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