Ditch the device or embrace the equipment?
Do the latest fitness device gadgets motivate you to exercise and stay healthy, or do they add to the daily stressors that exercise aims to eradicate?
Garmin, Fitbit, Strava apps, Apple watch: the number of fitness gadgets available has exploded over recent years. The wearable tech market is predicted to be worth £27 billion by the year 2020. The technology market is already flooded with devices that track your activity, enabling you to log kilometres run, lengths completed in the pool, miles cycled and number of steps walked. You can share this information online with your friends, family and fellow fitness enthusiasts, keeping you motivated through an online community.
For physical activity to have a positive effect on your health, you must elevate your heart rate. In fact, you should be aiming for moderate to vigorous intensity activity, which should see your heart rate achieve a minimum of 50% of its maximum heart rate. This is where heart rate monitors prove useful and enable you to get the most out of your workout and train effectively.
The designs of some fitness trackers are very stylish, only needing to take them off to charge them up. Their purpose is to simply remind you to move and not be deskbound for a prolonged period of time. “Motivation is your best accessory” is the tagline for the Fitbit Alta. Surely a stylish wristband that spurs you on to being a little more active is a good thing?
Fitbit Alta in Gold.
Part of the joy of going out for a run or diving into the pool is to switch off from technology and get the chance to clear your head. The opportunity is there to go outside and embrace the environment, taking in the park you are running through, or the street you are cycling down, rather than constantly looking down at your wrist to see the data dials changing.
It is well known that exercise has physical benefits, as well as improving our psychological well-being. There is a thought that wearing these technological gadgets whilst exercising actually contributes to our daily demands, with the pressure of having to beat our previous performance, increase our mileage or burn more calories. The release of natural endorphins, triggered by exercise, provides a feel-good emotion and sees a reduction in stress. Fitness trackers can intensify compulsive monitoring of calories burned or steps walked; behaviour associated with excessive exercising, which is often linked to an extreme examining of our food intake too.
Autumn has arrived and winter is coming. If you do not look up from your gadget whilst exercising you may miss autumn, failing to notice the changing shades of the leaves, the gradual change in temperature and the changing fashion of walking commuters and park dwellers.
Do you prefer to ditch the fitness device or embrace the equipment whilst exercising? Let us know! @tweetjanes.