Today, we use technology to do almost everything, to perform a variety daily life chores. Mobile phones are the most used technology from keeping an update on your emails, keeping in touch with friends and family, drooling over internet for hours for every source of entertainment, knowledge, news and anything you are interested in.
Have you ever got alarmed on watching the increasing weight on your weighing scale? Are you being constantly advised for weight and health management? Do you feel the pressure of the adverse health effects due to increased weight? You certainly, don’t have to worry now. All Mobile health and fitness apps have come up with a new and exciting concept to your rescue which is quite helpful in managing your weight and health. Though, these apps cannot do the physical work for you but they can obviously become of source of inspiration, motivation and knowledge providing ways to push yourself, manage your diets, track physical activities and calories burnt and consumed thereby, ultimately letting the app users reach the desired fitness goals set for yourself.
The rising number of fitness and health apps are coming everyday out there that can complement your workout schedule reaping the health benefit being it physically, mentally or general well-being. There are number of apps out there in the technology market that you can download on you mobile devices and follow them as per your requirements to stay healthy and fit with adoption of new and exciting types of cardio, better resistance training routines, managing daily stress levels and monitoring your sleeping patterns and problems. Some of the best fitness and health aps of 2019 trending over the world and being widely used are:
- Beachbody on Demand
- Move GB
- Lose It
Also, here are few of the areas discussed where technology is bringing about a change in health and fitness.
Moving and counting the steps
Most of the fitness tracking apps have the ability to count your walking steps and track the entire distance you have covered for the day. It ensures improving your workouts by pushing yourself to cross your limitations of previous days thereby setting personal fitness goals. Some apps act as a constant reminder to make you aware of sitting idle for hours and sends you notifications to get up and move to stay active.
Workouts schedules and regime
Many apps build your workout schedules according your desired and set goals of fitness and health and to achieve weight loss. There are different workout forms for losing weight, toning body muscles, gaining strength, core exercises, stretching exercises and whole body workouts. These provide you full and detailed step by step instructions to follow the workout regime.
Calorie counting/ calorie tracking
The most effective way to track your desired fitness and health goals is the calorie measurement by these fitness apps.it measures the calories burned during any specific activity or a form of workout with estimation based on individual’s age, height, body measurements and heart rate. Therefore, by tracking your calories being burnt, you can adopt a certain set of workout in routine to achieve fitness goals.
People suffering from sleep disorders mainly insomnia are adversely affected in terms of health with low energy levels and ability to achieve desired fitness goals. Fitness app allow you to track your sleep and send you notifications offering information about sleeping patterns and ways to get good sleep and much more.
Body and weight measurements
As a weighing scale weighs only body weight but with the fitness apps weighing scales can offer more information that you can upload to an app on your phone. They can calculate your body measurements which includes the BMI and body fat percentage. This helps in knowing your body well and achieve fitness by targeting body parts owing to goals.
The apps offer virtual training programs which provide fitness instructions for performing exercise regimes and providing basic knowledge about weight training. They also give important information on providing specific exercises for different body parts to achieve fitness goals. Many types of trainings such as resistance training are provided through step by step guidance in finishing the set of exercises.
With the 24 hour availability, technology helps us to workout anywhere anytime accessing the fitness apps. Anytime Fitness makes it possible to access the gym and workout outside within the comfort of home or outdoors or even any place specially focusing on cardio workouts, offering exercise help during office hours and much more.
Fitness gadgets and technologies
Fitness gadgets let you measure your activity levels while exercising, monitor your heart rate and track various other mechanism of your body. Technology offers many gadgets and machines helping tracking health such as blood pressure monitors, kitchen juicers such Philips with added fiber and soup makers with effective ways of cooking healthy food and also are the gadgets to relieve pain and let you exercise better as Firefly that is wearable. The most famous wearable gadget gaining popularity and being widely used is the sports wristband as they keep a track about the overall progress of your levels of fitness while walking, running, and exercising and whenever on the go.
Technology for fitness and health is constantly changing and improving, therefore, it should be properly studied or consulted with a trainer or a representative at a gym for reliable source of information about the latest tools that can help you achieve fitness and health goals you have set for yourself.
Pro and cons of technology in health and fitness
Monitor your workout routines
The fitness apps let you track your calorie intake, daily routine, eating habits, sleep, and fitness regime. They keep you focused and motivated to follow a healthy lifestyle by keeping you updated on the workout regime and being a guide and instructor to follow certain exercise plans.
Affordable and accessible fitness regime
There are many apps suiting your fitness goals and pocket that can be downloaded on your mobile phones easily. Some of the apps offer free month trails to let you figure out what suits you best in terms of fitness goals and ability to workout. There are workouts for beginners and advanced level fitness enthusiasts that you can select as per your needs.
Diet management through healthy methods of cooking
Along with apps for losing weight and improving overall health, there are many apps that let you monitor and manage your diet. These provide you healthier options of food to choose along with sharing healthy ways of cooking food with detailed description of the amount of calories per serving and health benefits of the food consumed.
With GPS tracker on your phone, few apps track your mileage and speed with an automatically generated progress report to motivate and guide you to achieve your fitness goals. Strava, MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper are such apps that track your progress and gives insights on it. Tracking your progress lets you stay focused and determined to achieve the desired goals.
Apps like Nike Training Club and may other fitness apps offer tons of workout ideas depending on your fitness goals and current level of fitness and above all the desired workout intensity of your body. These workout ideas can provide the app users, assistance in training their body with new and exciting ways. Many types of intense, core and HIIT workout are available to choose from and make yourself fit and healthy.
Yoga has been an important and famously adopted worldwide for developing strength and flexibility. With the growing popularity, yoga classes have been expensive, therefore yoga apps such as Pocket Yoga is a great app providing you instructions and diagrams in learning dynamite yoga routine on your anywhere and anytime. They provide step by step guides to performing yoga postures effectively with greater results as an outcome.
Live Virtual coaching
Live coaching available at any time of the day through video streaming is effective for weight management while performing workouts without a miss as these can be done according to your convenience, preferred time and place of interest.
Cons - Limitation of the health and fitness mobile apps
Besides many pros that technology and fitness app offers, there are cons attached to them as well posing heath risks and limitations.
Not for beginners
Fitness apps are not for beginners with lack of knowledge about health and fitness. A person should have some previous knowledge or have performed various workouts before.
Not reliable source of information
With the launch of apps and websites on fitness and health as a part of growing business and money making, there is no reliable source and authenticity of the information. A person downloading the app follows it blindly without searching about the knowledge. This can conclude to health risks and wastage of money.
No programming or research
In actual sense the fitness apps are created for those having a need of quick workout without personal trainer. They do not provide fitness motivation, drive to push yourself and programming or research as through a personal trainer present and guiding you physically in front of you. A fitness app restrict you to your limits or full potential.
Loss of effectiveness and interest
People tend to lose motivation, enthusiasm, and drive when they don’t get the desired results after performing exercises and adopting a good diet. This is because people workout alone using the fitness apps and there is nobody to count on their progress and check the level and intensity of workout being performed whereas people working out under the guidance of a trainer or any workout buddy tend to stick to the workout regime for longer because someone is counting on them.
Pose health risks
These can prove to be dangerous without the lack of knowledge and gaining only limited or superficial knowledge through apps. They can pose health risks when you perform wrong postures as there is no one to guide or see if you are doing the movement correctly. This would lead to injury and thereby causes bad body mechanics overall.
No reliability of Fitness gadgets
As these are electronic and they require to be charged at regular intervals, you cannot rely on them all the time. Depending on the gadgets totally can lead to effective workout regime following when the gadgets are down with low battery or due to certain technical issues. They can also indicate wrong calorie counts which will hamper your fitness and health goals and most importantly the diet plans you rely upon.
Apps make you dependent
Sometimes when the mobile is off or cannot be charged due to some problems or errors, this would lead to low emotional drive as you tend to be constantly dependent on the apps for your workout. You might not tend to do your workout better due to psychological issue. Constant reliability on the apps can lead to reduced learning experience through no search and no guidance from professionals in the fitness industry.
No accountability and corrective coaching
These fitness apps are obviously an inexpensive alternative to the personal or professional coaching in person but they have no accountability and cannot provide correct coaching to avoid injuries, correcting posture movements, ensuring best suited body type workout with suitable weight and above all the motivational feedback.
With these pro and cons of the fitness apps, it is essentially required to search well and download and follow the app that suits you the best way and helps in providing correct information in order to achieve the set fitness goals. Prior knowledge about the app should be gained through searching over the internet on your own terms.
There is no doubt that technology is changing the outlook and ways of fitness and health industry and believe it, there is a lot more happening to bring out revolution in this field of health and fitness.
Nimarta, a post graduate in life sciences, working as a content writer.