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The Continuous Clash of Fitness + Tech: A 3-part Series!

Updated: Jan 19

Blog Entry 1: The Basics

We are going to keep this pretty simple, but cover some serious ground as technology has found its way into the fabric of health & fitness (we'll cover the literal meaning of that later).


Let's start out simple, exploring fitness trackers that give us the data and metrics of our workout and the apps that offer specialized fitness experiences on a virtual platter with motivational coaches. Devices sync with apps, apps sync with other apps, so the information is widespread and readily available. We live in a super connected landscape where our every move can be tracked, traced, analyzed as well as compared to anyone else's on the planet. No longer do we need to be in a "live" group fitness class, be physically next to our personal trainer or even try to figure out how to meditate or what would be a healthy alternative to Chipotle. There are virtual coaches and individualized guidance at our fingertips (at the ready) with any workout, recipe, hip opener or motivation our body may need that day. Then there's another yogi, nutritionist or meditation guru ready to entertain, train, challenge and ultimately change us for the better the next.


Fitness Trackers: A fitness tracker is a "wearable" activity tracker that monitors and tracks fitness-related metrics such as heart rate (your pulse), distance walked or ran (pedometers) as well as your speed (accelerometers), sleep patterns (actigraphy), laps swum, calories burned (kcals), stairs climbed (altimeters)...These watches (or rings) download this information via bluetooth into an app (on your device) for you to graphically see after your class or run. How accurate are they? This is still up for debate, BUT the more specific the data you enter and more consistent you are with your input, the better these wearables are at extrapolating the data - you have to give to get!


Top Fitness Trackers/Wearables of 2019:


Health & Fitness Apps: Download onto your mobile device and get fit anywhere - anytime! Since 2015 there are now more than 165,000 fitness apps out there! Pick the workout you want to do from HIIT, Running, yoga, barre to meditation with an inspiring, personalized coach. Monitor, track and record your workouts + nutrition as well as your progress. Add in music and motivation and you're more than ready to crush the WOD (workout of the day)!


Yoga Apps: Many of these "Yoga" apps offer more than just exercise. Many offer guidance for sleep, music for motivation, meditation as well as education and growth. Meeting us wherever we are in our practice or journey. The idea of many of these offerings is delivering content that best serves our ever-changing needs. It's often thrilling to work with coaches and teachers from around the world in the comfort of our home, gym or Airbnb.


Running Apps: Whether you're a new runner or seasoned athlete there is a running app out there for you, you just need to click on a few of the ones I've listed below and decide which speaks your Love Language. WeavRun and Zombies, Run! struck me as fun and unique as WeavRun is a music running app that adapts songs to your strides, the faster you run the faster the beat of the music and visa versa. With Zombies Run!, you are out to save humanity, gathering supplies and rescuing survivors. You hear your mission and music through your headphones and when you're being chased by Zombies - you need to RUN FASTER!


Functional/Coached/Hybrid Workouts: Of course a few celebrities + influencers are getting into the fitness app game such as Australian actor Chris Hemsworth with Centr and Australian personal trainer/influencer Kayla Itsines with Sweat. Many of the apps below allow you to train with top tier coaches from all over the world in multiple genres from HIIT to strength training, boxing, cardio, yoga, nutrition and more. Many will offer workouts that adapt to the props or equipment you have at hand and have algorithms that understand your abilities and build upon your past workouts.

Fitness Classes (Various Modalities): Group Fitness Classes are my jam! Cramming into a class with other sweaty fitness junkies fuels my soul. BUT, I have to say, getting up on a rainy morning and opening my laptop to a packed virtual class with a stellar, rock star instructor fills my immediate need. I'm paying a monthly nut for this service (on top of all my other online subscriptions, gym and studio fees) but I'll pay it to just take a class or two a week because "I want it when I want it," and am greatly rewarded physically and emotionally after I experience it.


Sleep/Meditation Apps: Some of these apps literally track sleeping patterns and wake you up during light sleep while others offer white noise, sounds of nature as well as meditation and focus exercises. Calm offers "Sleep Stories" to help you fall asleep narrated by actors such as Mathew McConaughey.


This was a bit exhausting because every time I thought I listed the last app or device, I kept on saying "just one more!" There are so many ways we can eat right, get fit, track our progress, join or compete with friends around the globe, meditate on our work break, beat our Personal Best, build muscle, learn to box or master "crow pose". We Just need to find the app(s) and tracker(s) that best fit our DNA, and spend a little cash + time investing in these products to get the results we desire.


Next Entry - Health Club's Virtual Class and Personal Training offerings. Then final entry, the emerging world of Connected and Adaptive Fitness in Cardio + Strength Machines.


Be Well,

Ann Marie

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