Important Message from The Joint Chiropractic regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - Read More

Fitness Technology: Wired to Excel

By Genevieve Cunningham

Fitness Technology: Wired to Excel

Technology is taking over the world. Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but not by much. No matter what we’re doing, you can bet that technology will be involved.

There are many areas of our lives where technology just makes sense. Work? Absolutely. Education? Tech can revolutionize the way we learn. But fitness tech? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

It started with things like radar for tracking the speed of pitches in baseball and stopwatches to detect the exact millisecond a person finishes a race. But now, it’s available to the masses.

Is it even necessary, or are we better off sticking to the tried and true fitness staples? Let’s plug in and find out.

What is Available in Fitness Technology?

Before we can determine whether fitness technology is right for us, we have to find out what’s out there and available. Many are surprised at the technology available in the fitness industry. It’s a lot -- and it’s growing every day. A quick internet search will bring up millions of results ranging from phone apps to smart watches to high-dollar equipment. Just a few of the most popular options include:

  • Apps - These are the easiest and most accessible piece of fitness technology. Everyone has a smartphone. Download an app, follow along, and you’re good to go.
  • Smart Equipment - There are treadmills that track your speed, your heart rate, and your distance. There are bikes -- hello, Peloton! -- that allow you to follow a teacher or race through the countryside. There are smart rowing machines, smart weights, and even smart boxing gloves. If you’re willing to pay big bucks, the options are incredible.
  • Virtual personal trainer - All you need is an internet connection and you can have personalized training in your living room.
  • Heart rate monitors - These are wearable devices that can be worn around the chest area or on the wrist, and they keep track of beats per minute, fat burning zones, and can be connected to various other devices. They are good for keeping track of the general health and patterns of your heart.

How Effective Are Gadgets to Monitor Health and Fitness?

Once you take a good look at what fitness technology is out there for you, it’s time to determine whether or not it’s effective. This can depend heavily on the product and the brand, but most fitness tech has been proven to be beneficial in tracking heart rate, weight loss, and even sleep. But here’s a harsh truth: Fitness tech is only as effective as you allow it to be.

You can have all the newest gadgets and gear, but if you don’t use it, it won’t work. Fitness technology is meant to be used on a regular basis. Tracking your heart rate for one workout won’t tell you much about your health. Heart rate can be affected by a million factors, including the weather, stress, quality of sleep, intensity, and more. Only by tracking it consistently can we make educated decisions about our health.

How Effective Are Smartwatches in the Health Field?

Perhaps the most popular piece of fitness technology is the smartwatch. It seems as though everyone has a smartwatch, or at the very least, knows someone with this gadget. They’re relatively affordable and easily accessible. They’re not just for fitness enthusiasts, but instead are easy enough for everyone to use. What’s not to love? But the question that matters most is pretty basic: Do they work?

Whether you have a Fitbit, an Apple watch, or something off brand, the evidence is the same. Smartwatches can be incredibly effective. And it’s not that smartwatches do anything super special, it’s that they allow us to self-monitor our own health.

These devices can help us set and keep up with step goals. They can track heart rate and calories. They can tell us how much sleep we’re getting and whether it’s quality sleep or interrupted. We can even set reminders to drink water, work out, go to bed -- whatever kind of reminder we need. The truth is that if you’re interested in fitness technology, starting with a smart watch may actually be a really good choice.

What is Heart Rate Variability and Can It Be Measured By a Smartwatch?

One of the more important tasks of the smartwatch is to measure heart rate variability. What does that mean? Heart rate variability is the measurement of the time between heart beats. Many believe that our heart should beat steadily, but variation is actually good for us. Variation suggests a healthy heart and a healthy autonomic nervous system. Our heart rate should change based on each individual situation.

Is the smartwatch effective at tracking heart rate variability? It can be, and the technology is getting better and better. To track this health data, you’ll want to monitor and store the information over a long period of time. If you have concerns, you can take the information to your healthcare professional to help determine the overall health of your heart, central nervous system, and body as a whole.

What Fitness Gadgets Are New or On the Horizon?

The interesting thing about technology is that it’s constantly changing. As soon as one device becomes available, it seems to be almost obsolete. That’s the way of the tech world. So what’s on the horizon?

Even though fitness trackers have been a staple for a while, you can expect them to get better and better at health monitoring. You can expect new fitness-centered game systems, new smart equipment, and even a few options that may not make the cut -- things such as Google glasses that don’t quite reach the masses.

You can expect to be bombarded by technology. Do you need it all? Truthfully, no you don’t. Fitness technology can absolutely help you in your fitness journey and get you closer to reaching your fitness goals. Use it wisely. Plug in to fitness technology when necessary, and you may be plugging in to fitness success and better health along the way.

Download your offer today and save!

$29 New Patient Special, Consultation | Exam | Adjustment

Offer valued at $45. Valid for new patients only. See clinic for chiropractor(s)' name and license info. Clinics managed and/or owned by franchisee or Prof. Corps. Restrictions may apply to Medicare eligible patients. Individual results may vary.