Technology is everywhere. And technology can help you get fitter faster. We use it to communicate, we use it to entertain ourselves, we use it to shop, we use it to share memories, we use it to educate ourselves.
When you stop and really think about it, there are very few aspects of our lives that haven’t been transformed by technology. We have faster access to more information than any generations before us.
Gone is Blockbuster Video, replaced by Netflix. Gone are volumes of encyclopedias, replaced by Wikipedia and Google.
While we might wax poetic and experience nostalgia for the places and things replaced by technology (and while we certainly argue that not all technological advances are for the best), we’d be foolish to not take advantage of any technology that can help us live healthier, happier and longer lives.
You don’t listen to music by popping a cassette tape into your walkman anymore. You don’t call an 800 number for the time and temperature anymore. So why are you still wandering into your local gym without a plan and expecting to reach your fitness and wellness goals?
The ways in which technology can help you be more effective and efficient in reaching your goals are endless. But I’m going to share 5 ways you can start using technology TODAY to get into the best shape of your life without wasted time and effort.
- Document your progress. It might be a number on the scale. It might be before and after photos. It might be a physical exam at your doctor’s office. Whatever you do, make sure you choose something you can measure that matters to you. And then measure that to chart your progress and document your achievements. Personally, I think a 3D Body Scan is the absolute best way to document your fitness journey because a few short minutes can give you hundreds and hundreds of pieces of personalized information to track from your starting weight to your body composition to your posture. This method has the least room for user error, and the most data to work with that I’ve come across so far, and the 3D imaging is super motivating. Documenting your progress allows you to objectively compare before and after measurements and see real progress in black and white.
- Use technology to make a commitment. Sign up for training sessions or boot camp or classes and do it digitally whenever possible. Then share your reservation via social media. A huge number of people who fail to reach their fitness goals site lack of accountability as a major contributor to their failure to reach their goals. Find a class or club that allows you to simply register for an activity online and then hit the ubiquitous social-share buttons to keep yourself accountable for getting your workouts in.
- We used to workout and then wait for results to see if our workouts were effective. Now we can use science and technology together to use heart rate training to we know IN THE MOMENT that we’re doing exactly what we need to be doing to meet our goals. Even better is that a lot of heart rate training options will also track your calories burned eliminating the all-too-common practice of overestimating the number of calories you can consume based on how many you THINK you burned while working out. Heart rate training allows you to monitor and adjust your effort in real time making sure that not a minute of your workout is wasted.
- Use technology to reward yourself. Whether it’s promising yourself a special treat after logging x number of workouts, or using an automated reward program like the Perkville program, find a way to reward yourself for the behaviors that you know while help you reach your goals. For example, Elevate Fitness Clubs in Syracuse will reward you with points that can be redeemed for rewards for things like checking in to the gym, taking classes and meeting with your trainer. Positive reinforcement works when you’re training dogs, and it works when you’re trying to build the habits that will get you to your fitness goals.
- This last one is for folks who are looking to lose weight or maintain their weight. Most of us don’t spend hours preparing the perfect meals with well-balanced macros and nutritional content every day. Now, meal preparation IS gaining in popularity, but even if you’re prepping, chances are it’s easy to slip up and make mistakes in your diet that are counterproductive to your fitness goals. That’s why I suggest using an app like MyFitnessPal to track the calories you consume, which when paired with the monitoring of your caloric expenditure through heart rate training, can ensure that you’re achieving the ideal caloric balance or deficit each day. The saying is, you can’t out-train a bad diet, and a little support from simple tech will make sure you don’t end up trying to do just that!
Until technology reaches a point where we can download an app and set our fitness levels in the settings, we still have to put in some good old-fashioned sweat to get to where most of us want to be. But while we’re sweating it out, why not let technology do some of the work for us so that we can focus on what really matters – living a healthy lifestyle so that we can enjoy life.
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