The Convergence of Technology and Fitness

by Matt Klassen on January 14, 2013

Two weeks into the New Year and many of our well-intentioned resolutions have likely fallen by the wayside. But if you’re still packing around those extra holiday pounds and inches, the unprecedented convergence of technology and fitness is attempting to make achieving your fitness goals easier than ever.

Let’s face it, sticking to our lofty fitness goals is tough, particularly if such health resolutions are something foreign to our usual lifestyle choices. The problem is that fitness goals are often long term projects, with weight loss and muscle growth often not noticeable in the short term. This lack of apparent progress has many dropping the weights in favour of that delicious donut far too quickly, and thus the cycle continues.

The fitness technology industry has seen a veritable explosion in product advances over the past year, and as we’re seeing at this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas, it’s a trend that businesses and fitness conscious consumers are wholeheartedly embracing. Whether it is wearable tracking and monitoring technology that can give you real-time fitness information burn to fitness-centric games that make you forget you’re working out at all, technology may, in fact, be the great motivator we all need.

The digital fitness trend is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry as a whole. “By 2016, the mobile [health] application market is expected to reach US$400 million, and the expected number of body monitors that will be worn is 300 million, so this is starting to become a major topic of discussion,” said Julie Sylvester, co-producer of Living in Digital Times.

The attraction of fitness technology is that it is able to provide users with several key tools that most of us find lacking in our daily fitness routines. The first tool fitness technology is able to provide: motivation. At this year’s CES one of the key fitness products on display is wearable technology, changing the sorts of technology that we use while we exercise.

While there’s nothing particularly new about heart rates monitors or portable MP3 devices to play us our favourite tunes while we workout, wearable technology delivers another important facet of our digital lifestyle to fitness: integration. We are now able to track our fitness goals in real time, seeing the micro and macro results on whatever platform we want. Of course add to this the inherent motivation of social networking, and the average couch potato has just that much more motivation to head to the gym.

But for those who may not have the time, motivation, or money to invest in wearable fitness technology, there are other digital fitness options available. In fact, the digital fitness trend is providing a boost to a increasingly stagnant consumer electronics industry, as gaming consoles, computers, tablets, or even smartphones are now able to provide engaging and effective fitness content. For those who simply hate working out, what better way to get in shape than playing interactive games?

Of course fitness technology isn’t without its downsides, for as with everything in this modern ‘connected everything’ age too much information can ultimately be deleterious to our success. The problem with giving users unprecedented feedback is that often times they lack the knowledge to properly interpret the results, leaving many tracking the wrong things and misinterpreting the data in front of them.

Nevertheless, as users become accustomed to how to interpret and apply the immediate feedback fitness technology is able to provide, our gadgets, gizmos, and games will increasingly become part of our healthy lifestyle. Let the digital fitness revolution begin!

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Wearable Technology: The Future is Here, but will it Stay Long? —
February 22, 2013 at 5:42 am

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