Technology is revolutionizing every aspect of our lives, including the way that people workout.
Smartphones and the apps that fill them are ubiquitous today. They make life more fun in a lot of ways, not to mention bringing people together across distances.
While we’re accustomed to new technologies causing people to become less active, new trends in tech are actually making it a lot easier to become more active, or at the very least more aware of our level of activity.
In fact one of the biggest trends in technology is in tech that supports individuals in attaining their health and fitness goals.
Related: 10 Best Activity Trackers
How Technology Supports Fitness Goals
Achieving overall health and wellness can be daunting. Setting goals is one thing, making them happen is entirely a different story.
In order to make the most of your workouts, technology offers supports that are unmatched in terms of being easy to personalize and scaffolding your ability to move forward.
Planning: Working out doesn’t just happen – it takes serious planning. The more you put into figuring out how to structure your goals, the more easily you’ll find it is to make progress.
Goal setting: Figuring out what your goals should even be can be as challenging as working out itself is. How can you know what you need to do in order to make it all happen? Fitness technology is truly a wonder in this regard. There are some remarkable apps that will allow you to enter in your information, your timeline and your goals and then tell you how many calories you need to eat and how much you need to work out in order to get there. You can calculate your body fat percentage, your BMI and more with just a few clicks. Goal setting for workouts has never been easier!
Timing: Don’t have time to workout? It’s a common reason that people give for not reaching their goals – they just don’t have room in their schedule. One of the best ways that technology can support your goals is through helping you to find the time in your schedule to get it done. When you parse it out, you’ll find that you do indeed have enough time to fit in the workouts that will help you reach your goals.
Technology offers innovative and integrated ways to plan your workouts and it’s much easier to access than pen and paper when you’re on the go all of the time. With technology you can pull up your workout schedule from anywhere and at any time.
After a couple of weeks of digging in you’ll find that working out is just another part of your routine, like picking up the dry cleaning or brushing your teeth. Before long you’ll see that you’re making progress towards your goals while also lowering your stress levels and improving your sleep quality.
Motivation: Becoming motivated takes a wide variety of forms and is an intensely personal part of the process. Technology offers a number of ways to give you motivation in your workouts.
Social: People are social creatures and it’s been proven again and again that support from friends is a key to being successful in fitness for most of us. Whether you join an online community that shares the goals or methods that you’re using, connect with friends through a fitness app or chronicle your success through social media, you’ll find that you’re more accountable during for your nutrition and workouts if you’ve got a strong network of others to help you along.
Music: Tech has been helping people to reach their fitness goals since the invention of the Walkman, propelling them forward as they work to get into shape. Listening to music that’s got a great beat during a workout is one of the best ways to get an extra boost that helps you take it a bit further and work a bit harder. It’s also a perfect way to banish boredom during a session at the gym, while out for a bike ride or during a run. On the other side of the coin, music can help you to push through if you’re struggling to keep going.
Related: Best Headphones For Working Out
Try putting on tunes that you don’t mind but that aren’t your favorite so that you’re able to work out without becoming distracted.
What’s most important is a quick beat that helps to set a brisk pace if you’re doing cardio or weight training. Yoga, Pilates or Qigong might call for more mellow music that offers enough rhythm to support deep and steady breathing.
Technology Tracks Fitness
Wearable fitness technology has come a long way in the last decade, from the days of tech that basically amounted to a digital pedometer to trackers that can measure heart rate and calorie burn.
It’s now possible to track just about everything that you need to know in order to reach your goals.
Fitness trackers have really flooded the market:
There are an incredible variety of trackers available that offer various functionality, and depending on your pricepoint and needs you’ll be able to find what works for you on every level.
Check out the features that are available for wearable fitness trackers before you start shopping so that you can get the tech that’s got exactly what you need.
Here’s how wearable technology helps you track your fitness.
While it’s common for people to track the number of calories that they’re taking in, figuring out how many calories you’re burning presents much more of a challenge. Being aware of what you’re burning is easy with wearable fitness technology, which can clue you in with just the touch of a button.
No matter what your goals are, being knowledgeable about the amount of fuel that you’re using is an integral part of reaching them.
Figuring out how much you’re actually moving is much harder than it might seem. Knowledge is power when it comes to just about anything, and that goes for fitness as well.
When you know how much you’re moving, you can take steps to increase your level of activity.
Most people are surprised to find out how little they’re actually moving, and by that same token they’re surprised to find out how simple it is to increase their level of activity just by making small changes like walking to the mailbox or going for an evening stroll.
Even though our hearts are always right there in our chests, beating away, we’re generally unaware of them. Knowing your heart rate and how it changes as you move and work out can help you to take your fitness to a whole other level.
You’ll be able to set heart rate goals for your workouts, maximizing the calories that you’re burning and ensuring that your heart is healthy. If you’ have medical limitations of any kind, a heart rate tracker can give you peace of mind so that you don’t push yourself harder than you should.
Wearable fitness technology is integrated with apps and websites that allow you to view your progress during workouts. You’ll be able to see if you’re getting the time in that you have committed to and that will help you to reach your goals.
The most beneficial part of this process is that it increases your accountability. You can connect your fitness tracker to friends, family or even your personal trainer so that you can get the praise that you deserve for working hard or the support that you need if you’re not doing as much as you should.
By far the most overlooked part of the fitness process is sleep. Most of us see sleep as at least somewhat expendable and if we’re strapped for time then it’s the first thing to go.
We often don’t even realize how little sleep we’re getting, but a fitness tracker gives you a powerful window into understanding your level of shut eye. Most wearable tech not only tracks how many hours you’re asleep, but will also analyze the quality of sleep that you’re getting.
That kind of information will clue you in as to whether you need to make changes to your sleep habits in order to be successful.
If you’re working out then sleep becomes even more important. Your workouts will be far more productive if you’re getting good rest and you’ll also be more likely to make smart food choices if you’re not fighting exhaustion.
Technology Teaches Fitness
While it would be fantastic if we could all hire a personal trainer or fitness instructor to teach us personalized workout routines, there are financial and time constraints that make that pretty well impossible. That’s where technology comes into save the day.
There are many of apps out there developed by fitness experts that will help you to learn how to work out if you need some guidance.
With over 750 pre-programmed workouts available, FitnessBuilder Plus lets you drag and drop over five thousand exercises with pictures and video that you can drag and drop to create your own.
You can also livestream personal trainers who do real time workouts. Available for iOS and Android, this app is free for the first month and $6.99 per month after that.
GAIN Fitness Cross Trainer
Free for iOS, Gain Fitness Cross Trainer gives you customizable fitness routines that you can tailor to match your goals. You’ll find routines for just about everyone, with audio guidance to help you learn how to execute your fitness routine. A-list personal trainers have put their stamp on this app, which is amazingly comprehensive.
Nike Training Club
Developed by one of the most recognizable names in sports, the Nike Training Club app is free on iOS and Android. You can earn bonuses and unlock rewards as you move towards your fitness goals and increase your level. Enter your fitness level and your goals and this app will match you with a few of the more than one hundred exclusive workouts that are included. Workouts come with step-by-step audio guides and videos to take you through all that you need to get going.
One of the most popular fitness apps out there, Couch-to-5K helps beginning runner to plug and play in order to get moving. At $1.99 for iOS and Android, this app helps those who are new to hitting the pavement learn the ropes an get ready to run 3.1 miles (5K)in only nine weeks. Users can choose from one of five coaches to motivate them through audio guides that are available throughout the workouts. The app also lets you log, track and share your progress.
Tech That Makes Fitness More Fun
Now for the best part – technology meets fitness meets fun. There are truly some cool fitness gadgets hitting the market, allowing you to not only workout smart, but to workout with a smile on your face.
Fitness tech can get you excited about your workouts and help you stay motivated and onboard for a longer period of time.
Whether you want to show off the latest fitness tech in order to look great at the gym or because it just makes you giddy to feel like you’re part of the future, the bottom line is that cool gadgets get you going, which is all that matters.
The following fitness gadgets will not only make working out easier, they’ll also get make it more enjoyable.
Technology is only as good as it is functional. One of the biggest drawbacks of tech is that it usually fries out when it gets wet, wasting money. Sony Walkman come out with a waterproof mp3 player that pairs with its swimming earbuds, all of which are hearty down to two meters under the water.
Whether you work out in the pool or like to run in rainshowers, this fantastic piece of durable tech will add some tunes to keep you going.
You don’t even need a key! A bluetooth padlock will keep your clothes and whatnot safe and secure when you’re working out at the gym, and unlocks when your phone comes nearby. Should your phone run out of battery or if you accidentally lock it in, don’t worry because you can still gain access with a manual combination.
Getting on the scale can be rough stuff when you’re trying to make changes in your fitness routine.
One thing that can make that whole process a lot less painless is using a smart scale. There are several smart scales on the market that provide you with all kinds of information that’s well beyond just how much you weigh.
Some connect automatically with your wearable fitness tracker or with downloadable apps to make reaching your goals easier and more intuitive. Others can check your heart rate, tell you the weather forecast, or even give you information about air quality!
Smart Jump Rope
This jump rope isn’t what you remember from the playground. Tangram has released a sleek and modern version of the classic jump rope that displays you your fitness data on an LED screen and links to an app that tracks your fitness and lets you share your information with your friends. Jumping rope is a whole body, cardio powered workout, but you can think of it as playground 2.0.
Pretty Fitness Trackers
Fitness tracking technology doesn’t have to look boring, it can be beautiful. You can find monitors that are shaped like hearts or leaves, or even stunning jewels. If you’re drawn to wear your tracker more because you love the way it looks, then you’re more likely to take advantage of the benefits that you’re going to get from it. Fitness trackers don’t do any good if you never wear them, so get one that you love!
Yes, even our socks are smart these days. Sensoria socks provide runners with invaluable information about speed, calories, foot landing technique and more. The bundle comes with two pairs of socks plus the anklet that does the heavy lifting. It will identify whether you’re running in ways that will make you more prone to injury, and the mobile app will even offer you audio feedback to improve your run in real time.
The Apple Watch
It seems like everyone is still talking about the Apple Watch, and with good reason – it’s cool. However if you’re interested in enhancing your workouts, then it’s also incredibly useful. There’s a sport band option available which will allow you to wear the watch securely during workouts and there are apps that will do everything from track your heart rate to suggest healthy foods to give you cues about your workout. That’s of course in addition to everything else that the Apple Watch does.
Smart Workout Mat
The SmartMat is the first yoga mat that actually teaches yoga! It works both in class and at home, sending the user visual and auditory cues depending on what the settings are. In conjunction with a phone or tablet, the SmartMat is provides a real time heat mat of each yoga session, allowing you to make adjustments and improvements in your form. Think of it as having your own personal yoga instructor with you wherever you go.
Smartphone Bike Mount
All of this amazing technology isn’t worth much if you can’t access it. For cyclists, that’s where a bike mount for your smartphone comes in. You’ll be able to glance down at routes, turn on some workout tunes, or check your cycling app. Be sure look for one that’s water resistant so that you never have to worry about shorting out your phone in the rain. Not into cycling outside? Try a mount for your exercise bike or treadmill.
Smart Water Bottle
Drinking water is an absolutely essential part of getting a good workout, and it’s one that people often overlook. Smart water bottles track how much you drink, connecting to your phone or tablet in order to remind you to drink more. Bottles can also check the temperature of the water.
Do You Really Need All of This Technology?
Of course you don’t really NEED all of this technology. People have been getting great workouts in forever, without any new fangled equipment at all.
However all of this technology DOES make working out a lot easier. There’s often a small distance between success and failure when it comes to working out. You might just need to hold on for another week or another month before you find that getting the result that propels you forward or the boost that makes you feel great about working out.
Starting a fitness routine isn’t easy and getting off the couch requires a good deal of initiative. Technology can be the catalyst for change, and for that reason alone it’s well worth trying out. Often a fitness tracker given to someone for their birthday is the impetus that gets them going.
Even for people who are in the groove of working out, it can be all too easy to fall off of the wagon. A graph on a fitness tracker that shows just how close you are to the next level or an innovative workout that you find through an app can enliven your workouts and push you forward.
Technology can be thing that thing that pushes a person over the top and into becoming passionate about fitness, not just for today but for the long term.
Keep reading: Gym Equipment Guide For Beginners - Names and Pictures