Health Tech

Are health & fitness gadgets really worth the hype? We take a look at the pros and cons of owning your own pocket-sized PT and therapist.

We’re all searching for ways to lead healthier lifestyles. With the rise in technology has come an abundance of health-related tech, all designed to help us keep a track of our wellbeing. As technology progresses, so do the variety of ways we can track, record and use the information recorded.

We’re being given the ability to become our own health & fitness mentors with information previously only accessible to top trainers and athletes. We can track our calorie intake, record the number of miles ran, monitor the quality of our sleep, and even record our heart rates with our trusted gadgets.

So are fitness gadgets really worth the hype? We take a look at the pros and cons of owning your own pocket-sized PT.

PROS

1.       Safety first.

A great feature to many of these apps is the way in which it can keep track of your physical state in order to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Recommending you stretch before and after workouts, reminding you to take breathers and tracking your heart rate all contribute to a happier, safer workout.

2.       See your progress.

There’s nothing more motivating than seeing how much further you’ve ran than last week, or seeing how much more weight you can lift. Tracking progress is incredibly motivational – small changes you may not have noticed in day to day life are tracked and recorded for you automatically. Seeing these changes each week will inspire you to keep going.

3.       Stay on track.

No longer will you have to rely on your friend to drag you out for that morning run, or pay money for a personal trainer to meet you at the gym. Your fitness tech has the ability to send you notifications, reminding you of your last workout and compelling you to stay on track. The friendly reminders are great if you have a tendency to “accidentally” forget to go to your weekly spin class…

4.       Care for your mind.

Not only do health apps care for you physically, but there have been more apps and gadgets designed to care for your mental health, too. Learn to meditate, become more mindful, improve your memory, and even track your sleep patterns to care for your mind as well as your body.

CONS

1.       You’re not in the moment.

A downside to relying on your fitness gadgets to track your progress is exactly that; instead of taking in the views, you’re constantly monitoring your own progress on the screen of your device. It’s hard to enjoy the moment when you’re constantly being reminded of the end goal.

2.       Tech is unreliable.

It can be a nuisance at the best of times, but imagine being close to smashing your most recent run time when… your phone dies. Or perhaps the information isn’t syncing and being recorded as it should be. Either way, it can be a total pain and add unnecessary frustration to your day.

3.       Addictive.

This can be both a positive and a negative, but being obsessed with your gadget can lead to unhealthy behaviour. Keeping track of your health should be a way of life and not just a fad, so it’s important to find balance.

4.       Demotivational.

Yes, fitness technology can help to motivate us, but if you haven’t seen progress in a while it’s just as easy to becoming demotivated and despondent. It’s important to find motivation outside your gadget for keeping fit and healthy – it should be an aid, not a crutch.

5.       You’re not a fitness expert.

If you aren’t a trained medical professional or psychologist, it’s always important to seek the advice of someone who is before embarking on any sort of new fitness or diet plan. You could easily overdo it and cause an injury if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t take the information on your fitness gadget as the be-all and end-all; do your research, be smart and stay well informed.