High tech or old school? Working out in 2018
I’m an old fashion girl at heart
Friday mornings are my favorite. Not only is it the start of the weekend, it’s the day I teach a group fitness class. I love the happy energy created when people come together for a workout. Laughter, silliness, movement.
But times are changing, and new gadgets and virtual options for workouts have me pondering the pros and cons of technology in fitness and what that means for working out in 2018.
Wearable technology is one of 2018’s top three fitness industry trends. While FitBit has been around for more than a decade, newer biometric devices give the consumer options. Motiv monitors eight metrics through a ring, Spire monitors breathing in addition to steps, and “hearable” headphones use artificial intelligence to coach you through a workout.
Virtual streaming workout programs are also growing. Some are free and others rather pricey.
Peloton has transformed the old-school idea of a stationary bike workout into a fast-growth business worth over $1 billion, and now offers streaming classes without leaving home. But the bike costs about $2,000, and the monthly subscription is $39.
Just last month, Mirror announced that it raised $13 million to bring its product to market. The company has developed a responsive device that looks like a full-length mirror and will stream a range of on-demand personalized workouts, including yoga, Pilates, cardio, strength, and boxing to your home without the bulk of big equipment like bikes and treadmills. The cost of the Mirror has yet to be released but my guess is that it will also come with a high price tag.
Not every technology-inspired workout comes with a cost though. Subscriptions for streaming classes such as Gaia, Les Mills, and Beach Body offer a variety of options. You can even tap into some free fitness options online, such as The Walking Book Club, our online community of book lovers in sneakers. We connect through email, Facebook and Zoom.
There are certainly multiple “pros” to technology in fitness.
Biometrics are great for accountability and assessment. When I work with clients on Healthy-Body, these devices can help us set goals and track progress.
Options for exercise at home also provide flexibility and time savings – getting several hours back into your schedule can be a big boost to overall happiness and health.
But do these advances replace the benefits of physical face-to-face connection? I guess this is where I’m an old fashion girl, because I believe real human interaction still has a huge role to play.
When I teach group fitness or take a walk with a friend, friendship grows, connection and community deepen, laughter occurs, and sweaty hugs can be exchanged. None of this is possible with apps, devices or pricey equipment alone. For me, real smiles from real faces beat technology every time.
I like technology as a supplement, not a replacement. We can use it to make exercise easier, more efficient, and more likely to happen at all. But as Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
What about you? How does technology fit into your recipe for a Healthy-Body Happy-Mind?