Top 5 ways to use technology to get fit
Technology has always been used to enhance our lives and make things easier for us. Sometimes new technology can lead to a more sedentry lifestyle which can have a detrimental effect on our fitness (e.g. escalators, cars, televisions, etc). In other times however, technology can be used to our advantage, increasing our activity and making us burn fat and break a sweat!
We've put together the top 5 ways to use technology to get fit without paying a fortune that you can do from home, see if any of them can help you improve your health (and whether you need to add some ideas to your Christmas Wish List!!)
1) Activity monitoring watches - 50 years ago, the pedometer started being used as a measure of activity, now we have much more sophisticated methods which work on similar principles; GPS tracking and heart rate monitors built into sports watches mean that now we can measure our speed and activity even more accurately.
What's really good news is that GPS tracking watches are now becoming less niche and so this is driving the costs down; big brands such as Garmin and Ultrasport are able to provide quality tracking for under £100, with options to go for simpler models which will only measure heart rate and time for well under £40.
And it's not just traditional the 'sports watch' style of wristwear which can help your keep track of how active you are - you can also purchase watches such as the Nike+ FuelBand which monitors your general daily activity and let you know if you've reached your calorie and activity targets for the day.
2) Active video games - 20 years ago, the most interactive video games could only be found in arcades or in the basic form of the Family Trainer/Power Pad. Now, games systems such as the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move are trying to put the active into interactive gaming!
Which video games are best for more intensive exercise levels? In studies, games which require your lower body as well as your upper body will have a higher energy expenditure - accessories such as dance matschallenge your lower body and should have levels which can break a sweat on even the most active Tribesports users! Games which only challenge your balance such as those played on the Wii Fit Board or only require hand or wrist movements will obviously not burn as many calories as those which require big, full body movements!
Although active video games are a lot of fun, they should be used as an addition to your recommended daily exercise rather than as a substitute - always make sure you are active for at least 30 minutes a day.
3) Free workout videos - online video sites such as Youtube and Vimeo are a great source of fitness workouts and has revolutionized a pocket of the fitness industry which was becoming very outdated. Although you can still go out and buy the latest celebrity fitness video (because who isn't aiming to look like Jersey Shore's The Situation), you can easily find fitness videos online for FREE!
Here's our old favourite in the Tribesports office - nothing says 80's like 8 minute abs!
4) Social media sites - well we're slightly biased on this one but Tribesports has definitely shown that people who join and use sports social media sites notice the difference in their activity levels! Whilst time on a computer may seem counter intuitive to the goal of getting fit and active, gaining support and a place to share your accomplishments really helps with fitness motvation.
Add in the advice, new ideas and training programs shared through sports social media and you have a recipe for fitness!
5) Health and fitness apps - with smart phones increasingly becoming the norm in the modern world, sports and fitness apps are becoming the personal trainers of the 21st century. Not only that, but personal trainers are recommending, creating and using apps too! We saved this for number 5 as sports apps have the ability to combine all of the other 4 - GPS tracking is becoming a common feature in many fitness apps, along with interactive game play (such as Zombies, Run!) which add in a level of excitement to the workout. With internet access you can use free workout videos anytime, anywhere. And as to social media, all the best sports social media site *cough Tribesports* are available as apps too!
What's your favourite piece of fitness technology? Share them here!
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