Tracking Health With Technology
Jan 08, 2018
Each January, roughly one in three Americans set a goal to get fit and lose weight as their New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, studies show that 80 percent of those resolutions end up failing. Technology can be used in many ways to help you stay on track with your fitness and can also make it harder to come up with excuses for not being motivated.
In the past few years, wearable fitness trackers have become popular because of the immediate feedback and data they provide regarding step count, calories burned, heart rate, and distance traveled. Research has shown that wearing a fitness tracker can increase a user’s activity levels by 30 percent.
“Fitness trackers are a great way to motivate us to get active, but always consider the type of functionality you need,” said Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Samantha Schewe. “They can provide sensibility and accountability to any new exerciser.”
There are two general types of trackers: all-day trackers and training trackers. All-day trackers are beneficial to those who want to measure steps taken, active minutes, duration of exercises, and sleep time. Training trackers offer everything all-day trackers do plus measure heart rate, altitude changes, miles traveled, breathing patterns, and even provide the option to control music. They should be worn all day for accuracy, but can also be worn only when doing a fitness activity.
There are hundreds of options when it comes to buying a fitness tracker. When selecting one, it’s important to accommodate your fitness goals, fashion sense, budget, and lifestyle.
Fitness Mobile Apps
Whether you have an iPhone or Samsung, there are thousands of mobile apps available for download; however, the apps you choose depend on your goals and whether you want to track fitness, food, or both. Some apps are free to download and some cost up to three dollars.
A recent study found that those who used fitness apps had a lower body mass index because the apps helped them gain a better understanding of what fitness consists of.
Most basic fitness apps require that you enter your statistics and set goals in order to monitor your progress. You can also set a workout plan, watch video demonstrations ofvarious exercises, and log food.
Couch to 5K
This app provides an easy and fun eight-week program for those who want to start running, but also have no idea where to begin. It requires beginners to spend 20 to 30 minutes working out, three times per week. The app also allows users to share their progress on Facebook, monitor distance and pace progress in graph displays, and log workouts.
Do you find it hard to keep track of everything you’ve eaten in a day? MyFitnessPal can help! This app allows users to log their daily diet. It has a database of more than six million foods and nutrition information from more than half a million restaurants. It also provides a breakdown of how many carbs, fats, and protein are in each meal.
The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
Are you in a constant rush? Don’t like going to the gym? This app is perfect for those who want to squeeze an exercise into their day at an intensity level that’s best for them. You will only need two things—seven minutes and a chair. Users are timed and coached through each workout which can include exercises such as crunches, planks, tricep dips, and jumping jacks, among others. The app also provides the option for users to create their own custom workout routines.
There are many reasons why people wear fitness trackers or use fitness apps, but in the end, gadgets and apps can only do so much for you. They are only beneficial if you use them correctly and commit to making lasting changes to your health.
“These types of technology provide us with trends and patterns of our fitness progress, so it is most helpful when trackers are used regularly,” said Samantha.