Fit Tip: Use Technology to Improve Your Health
Technology can get a bad rap, often blamed for the increasingly sedentary lives many people are leading. But your phone, tablet and television don’t have to be a license to sit still. They can actually be used as motivators to get and stay fit. In fact, in a global survey of exercisers, Life Fitness found that exercisers that use technology to support their workouts consider themselves to be more successful at achieving their weight and fitness goals. Try one of these tech-driven tools to lead a healthier life:
A heart rate monitor can be a great tool for monitoring workouts. Most cardio machines feature an embedded heart rate monitor that clearly displays how hard the body is working. You can also wear a heart rate monitor for indoor and outdoor workouts. To effectively us it, it’s important to know your maximum heart rate. This is the highest number of times your heart can beat in one minute and offers a key figure in determining training intensities. Using heart rate to create interval training sessions or steady-state workouts, can strengthen the heart and improve cardiovascular fitness.
Wearable Fitness Tech
One of the biggest trends in fitness technology is wearable monitoring devices. They come in the form of bracelets or clips and go beyond classic heart rate monitors. Meant to be worn at all times, these devices can measure movement, calories burned, heart rate, sleep patterns, skin temperature and even blood oxygen levels. Most also sync with mobile apps to help you track these vital statistics over time. Investing in these tools and seeing results over time can be a huge motivator. Some of the most popular wearable fitness devices include the Nike+ Fuel Band, Core 2 from Body Media, Fit Bit Flex and Jawbone UP.
Healthy Eating Apps
With the advent of apps that support meal planning, nutrition tracking and calorie counting, it’s never been easier to eat right. Find tools that fit with your lifestyle to educate yourself about your food and take steps towards a healthier diet. Not sure how healthy that granola bar really is? Apps like Fooducate will analyze the nutritional content of a product and give it an easy-to-read grade of A – F. Meal tracking has been a long trusted technique for improving eating habits, and it’s even easier today with apps like Lose It!, which features a rich database of foods to help you count calories and even sync with Life Fitness cardio equipment.
One of the greatest fitness benefits technology can provide comes through social accountability. With just a few clicks you can join an online community like Spark People or LFconnect to connect with others trying to get fit. Apps like Fitocracy and Teemo add a sense of gamification and competition with your friends. You can even take your accountability to the next level with GymPact, which charges you real cash every time you miss a scheduled workout.