3 Ways Technology Can Help You Stay Fit

Staying healthy takes hard work, motivation, dedication, and planning, but technology can make it a little easier. Here are three ways technology can help you stay fit.

1. Distraction
Be honest—sometimes exercise is boring. There are ways to make it more fun(taking a salsa dancing class, hiking in a nearby canyon, etc.), but if you are stuck doing something less exciting due to a small budget, bad weather, or limited time, you might need a distraction.

Smartphones, tablets, and iPods have made it easy to watch a movie, read a book, or listen to music while you run on the treadmill or ride your stationary bike. If distractions are what it takes to get you through the last few minute of your workout (or to get you to the elliptical at all), pick something fun to watch or listen to and finish strong. You may even find yourself running further so you can hear your favorite song or riding an extra mile to finish your TV episode.

2. Tracking
Smart phone apps have made it incredibly easy to track your diet and exercise habits. You can track calories andsteps taken or map your runs. Popular tracking apps include:

  • MyFitnessPal: You can use this app to track your workouts, but where it really excels is diet tracking. You can find foods already in their system or add your own. It lets you set goals and tracks your calorie intake and expense, but it also tracks other nutrients like sodium, potassium, and calcium, and helps you see how much of your diet is carbs, fats and proteins.
  • MapMyRide and MapMyRun: These apps track your route as you run or bike. You can see your speed, distance, and elevation changes and you can easily share your progress with friends on social media.
  • RunKeeper and Nike+: Both of these apps give you audio encouragement as you run. They can also track your pace, distance, and calories burned.

Find a tracking system that suits your lifestyle and workout goals. Tracking your diet and workouts keeps you accountable and makes it easier to see progress as you work toward your goals.

3. Feedback
One good way to stay fit is to set goals for yourself. This is especially true if you are involved in competitive sports. Follow the example of coaches who record games and replay them at team meetings to discuss strategies. If you are working on your skills at home, things like professional video analysis for pitchers allow athletes to record their efforts and then analyze the data to find areas where improvement is needed.

If you aren’t an athlete but still want to set goals, track progress, and get feedback, consider a wearable fitness tracker. They can help you analyze your sleep patterns, count your steps, and remind you when you’ve been idle for too long. They also pair well with smartphone apps to track progress.

Take advantage of the available technology to stay healthy and fit. You have plenty of tools at your disposal; now you just need to determine which ones will work best with your lifestyle and which will help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.

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