In 2007 the first smartphone was released to the public, and with it came a whole new world of interacting with others. Instead of having to boot up your computer to access the internet and social media, now, with a quick search, you could have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.
Fitness companies, in particular, had to think outside of the box to get users to continue their interactions with them. As we are now firmly in the digital age; we have more apps and fitness aids than we know what to do with. It does bear the question: Does technology have a place in fitness? We will do a full review and see if you should leave the technology at home or whether it will help you in the long run.
With fitness enthusiasts looking for ways to boost their performance all the time, wearable technology does a lot in helping to track progress and keep you motivated. Let’s take a look at some of the good aspects of technology and fitness.
Using an app or a wearable keeps you accountable. Usually, when setting up your profile, they will ask for goals for the week. Then during the week, you will receive updates on your workout schedule and how much you need to do to reach your goals. Having this accountability will give you the determination to work out.
We all like to see how we are progressing in our workouts. Having a visual representation goes a long way in seeing your progress. Many of the apps and wearables give you a breakdown of how long you are active, calories burned, distance, and a lot of the time, it can measure your heart rate.
Looking back at your workout history and being able to see how you improve will go a long way in helping your overall motivation.
While there is an argument that technology lessens people’s engagement with one another, it can also work the other way as well. If you and a friend are using the same app or wearable, you’ll be able to connect, set up challenges, and keep each other motivated.
There are also communities online for people using the same technology that you can become part of, making them more engaging than you would initially think.
Setting goals for any challenge in life is essential. Having an app or fitness tracker helps set and maintain those goals no matter what they may be. The goal setting will allow you to view your progress weekly to keep on track of your training.
All good things have some bad points, and fitness technology does have a lot of drawbacks. There is still a long way to go with fitness apps, and many don’t like having to set up a GPS watch/ a belt/ or bring their phone with them. Here are a few of the downsides when you combine technology and fitness.
To put it simply, having to set up your watch/belt/ phone when you want to work out can be annoying. Sometimes you may want to just workout without anything else hindering you; being tied to your phone or wearable can be irritating, and the effort of setting it up for the workout may seem like more effort than the actual workout.
It is one of the major cons. As with anything, there is a risk of becoming obsessed with the technology they are using. Tracking your stats and where you may be on the leader board is okay once; when you finish your workout, you can close the app and continue about your day. Being obsessive about it can be bad for your health.
It goes for both your phone and mental state. Using these apps are great, but they do take a lot of your battery. Tracking may take a lot of your mental battery also. Using an app will make you push yourself harder, which is excellent, but it can lead to burnout if you don’t take a break.
Sometimes having too much data can be bad. Fitness apps are competing with one another, so they are all putting more into their technology. It can lead to having more data than you originally wanted. It’s essential to focus on narrowing the information down and making the data functional so that you can put a plan of action together for your next training session.
While there are free alternatives out there, many apps come with a cost. If you are using a wearable, they can also get expensive depending on the brand. It can become quite costly when you want to go on a quick run or do some weights.
Now that we know the good and bad of technology and fitness, it’s time to look at a few options you can get that are popular on the market and see our verdict on them.
MyZone has two different options that are popular at the moment the MZ-Switch and the MZ-3. The switch can be used on your upper arm, wrist, and chest, while the MZ-3 is only used across your chest.
This belt and app use your heart rate, so no matter the fitness level, you have the chance to win if you are in a challenge. It is recommended that you either know others who have it or join a community challenge to fully benefit from this belt.
If you want to know more about this, check out our blog—Everything You Need To Know About Myzone And The MZ-Switch.
Our Verdict: 8/10
MapMyRun is an app that uses Google Maps as its base. It’s pretty simple in its design and gives you your average pace along with distance ran. As a fitness app, it is okay, and while it is good, the distance can sometimes be incorrect. For their create route section on their website, though, this one gets a good review from us!
Our Verdict: 6/10
iFit is a great app for when you are using indoor workout equipment. It does require a subscription, but when you buy any iFit compatible item, you will get a 30-day free trial. It is a great app that you can use to enhance your training at home, and there is an entire library of trainers that you can choose from at any time.
If you want to know more about this, check out our blog— Kickstart Your Training With The iFit Experience.
Our Verdict: 9/10
Preva is run by Precor and is for cardio workouts. You can add a portfolio along with other popular apps, so, you can go between checking your progress and watching your favourite shows while you work out. The app seems to rival its competitors and is one to watch out for.
Our Verdict: 9/10
Overall, using technology with your workouts seems to enhance rather than hinder. Technology helps your overall ability to keep track of your goals while giving you motivation to keep going. There are new apps constantly coming out and being updated, so who knows? This might just be the beginning of fitness apps!
Technology does have a place in fitness, and right now, technology and fitness seem to go hand in hand, although working out it is still often an individual experience. There is no rule stating you need to use technology while working out, but there are more benefits than downsides to it in general.