Workout tech

From scales to smartphones to social media, technology has become a necessary addition to our workout routine.

Those advanced workout gadgets act as the perfect gym buddy

These days, no matter where we go, we’re plugged into at least some sort of electronic device. Whether it’s our smartphones, our GPS, our Apple Watch, or our tablets, we bring technology with us pretty much everywhere.

In recent years, the push for the incorporation of technology into our fitness regimes has made the realm of health and wellness no different. Technology has a hand in our everyday life, and with the popularization of wearable technology, social media and new advancements in exercise equipment, plugging in while working out has never been easier.

Bryan Montgomery, director of Capon Bridge Fitness Center, said that in his facility, technology is woven into folks’ fitness routines.

“We have TVs and most everything works off WiFi,” Montgomery explained. He also noted that when it comes to active use of devices and technology in the gym, it could be an added source of encouragement for folks to keep themselves on track.

“It really comes down to your drive and your ability to commit,” he said. “Being in a gym itself is a motivational atmosphere.”

The use of smartphones in the gym is “constant,” Montgomery said, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trina Cox, director of Hampshire Wellness and Fitness, said that through their doors, they see lots of people donning wearable technology in addition to having their smartphones fully charged and ready to help in their workout.

“When I think of technology and fitness, I think of Fitbits,” Cox said. “I think for me personally, it reminds you to move, to count your steps, your heart rate. This little thing makes me accountable in a different way, and it’s like technology that I can’t even fathom sometimes. I think that’s the biggest thing we see here.”

Montgomery added that the wearable fitness tech, like Apple Watches or Fitbits, are “good motivational tools” while working out.

In addition to the wearable tech, the use of fitness applications and social media, if used smartly, can supplement your fitness regime.

Montgomery and Cox both acknowledged that some apps, like Tabata, can guide your workout and tell you when to rest, time your intervals and keep your workout on track. Social media can also be a beneficial tool, but considering the source of information is a step that many people skip when finding workout tips, tricks and videos online.

“I do think that mostly, social media reflects the quick fix items,” Montgomery said. “We live in a society that always wants a quick fix.

“We all want to enjoy our life and lengthen it as much as possible. Why wouldn’t we enjoy our journey to a healthier lifestyle and fitness level?”

The rise of social media has added another dimension to how we get and stay fit, because it connects people from around the globe on a digital platform. Cox said that she pulls ideas from influencers on social media platforms, but that there’s another side to that coin.

“Sometimes when I’m watching the social influencers, it’s like, what’s safe? What’s doable for your fitness level, so you don’t hurt yourself? Are they offering modifications?” noted Cox. “That’s the benefit for coming to most gyms, because you’re getting qualified certified people who can offer modifications and safety precautions and if you go down, know what to do.”

While wearable fitness technology, music, apps, social media and more are woven into our workouts these days, the advancement of technology can also help us be aware of and keep track of our results.

With tools such as home scales that do so much more than just measure body weight, it’s easier than ever to check your progress. Many home scales now measure weight, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage, and are programmable as well.

At Hampshire Wellness and Fitness, they use a tool called the Tanita scale, which measures fat percentage, fat mass, muscle mass, total body water, bone mass, metabolic age, visceral fat rating (fat stored in the abdomen) and more. All someone has to do is step on the scale, and the tool measures the electric impulses in their body.

“It’s the electric impulses traveling though your body when you step on the scale,” Cox explained. “If you think about your body as a highway, the less fat you have, the faster those impulses can travel, whereas if you have more fat and clutter in your system, then it slows down.”

It doesn’t matter whether your tech use during your workout is limited to jamming out while you lift or if you’re plugged in on multiple fronts, using apps, social media and syncing it all to your Fitbit. Without a doubt, modern technology is emerging as the must-have workout partner.

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