Conversations about fitness often focus on traditional ideas about what’s natural and healthy, treating technology as something for geeks who never go outside – but technology is becoming just as important to fitness as it is to other aspects of life. It’s changing the way that people look after their bodies and the ways that they can improve them. What could it do for you?
It used to be necessary to visit a doctor or get help from a physiotherapist at the gym if you wanted to monitor the impact of exercise on your body. Now, many machines come with built-in heart monitors, and you can also get monitors in various forms – from smart watches to mobile phone apps – to help you keep track of your health wherever you are. You can check your heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, the number of steps that you take in a day, and much more. This can help you to keep track of your body’s response to exercise, reducing the risk that you’ll harm yourself by overdoing it, and helping you to build up what you do effectively so that you can increase your overall fitness levels.
If you want to get more out of exercise, it helps to have clothing that lets you get more out of your muscles by improving blood flow. This is especially helpful when you’re first starting out, if you’ve lost muscle to age or illness, or if you’re recovering from an injury, but it also has a useful role in helping you to maintain the correct posture as you exercise, thereby reducing the risk of injury. If you routinely work with a trainer, ask them to check a mobile site with you to help you work out which garments will be most useful. Otherwise, focus on areas where you’re weak and on the muscles that you need most.
Access to advice
If you don’t have a trainer, you can now get expert advice through the internet, either in written form or in the form of YouTube videos that you can play as you work out. You will need to be cautious about how you use them because everybody has individual strengths and weaknesses, so if something leaves you aching for more than a day, don’t try it again without more personal advice. Nevertheless, this is a good way to find out about new exercise options for particular muscle groups, and to get answers to your questions about how best to move forward.
When it comes to personally tailored exercise, DNA testing technology is enabling an approach that is more precise than ever. It makes it possible to identify specific health risks; if, for instance, you’re likely to develop heart problems in later life, you can develop an exercise program that prioritizes heart health and helps to keep your arteries clear. All you need is a swab of cells from inside your mouth to send off for a full DNA profile from any one of a dozen specialist clinics, and you can even test your DNA at home to find out about some kinds of risk straight away. Having a detailed profile like this really helps you to make the most of your strengths and to fight off possible future problems.
Games and competitions
It’s always easier to keep yourself motivated when there’s an element of competition in what you’re doing to work out, or when you have a friend to exercise alongside. If you don’t have anybody local who can always be there, phone apps are now making it easy for you to connect with other gym users or people who enjoy your favorite sport. You can compare your success rate with that of others even during exercise, for instance, by seeing if you can match the speed of somebody else – perhaps one of your friends – who is running at the same time in another city. You can also try making a game out of it by using apps such as Zombies, Run! This app makes your daily jog like a video game by telling you when zombies are coming and you need to sprint.
Thanks to technology like this, day-to-day exercise is becoming safer, more effective, and more fun. It’s easier to make sure that you’re on the right track and keep track of your progress, and the future promises to bring still more interesting developments. The progress of technologies like these is worth watching if you want to make sure that you’ve got the edge.