Fitness technology is booming, and with all the different devices and apps out there, it can be hard to keep up with the latest offerings. With holiday gifts and new year’s resolutions in mind, here are some things to know about tech trends to help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals:
Mindfulness and meditation. It’s becoming more apparent that mindfulness improves mental health and overall well-being. There are apps that can guide you through mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises and meditation practices to enhance your mood and mental state. For many people, being
able to access affordable support and skills to help battle stress and anxiety at the touch of a button is life-changing.
Tracking health metrics. This isn’t a new concept, but what we track and how definitely is. Smart devices work with apps to monitor and record calories burned and consumed, heart rate, metabolic rate, sleep quality, GPS location, even what type of macronutrients you’re burning and how efficiently you’re using them. You can take this information to your health-care provider to show trends over time and get a better sense of what does and doesn’t work for you. Also, seeing changes in data can be extremely motivating.
Finding community. Being accountable to someone else should be motivating too, and can drive consistency. Community forums in apps are becoming more popular, helping provide a sense of belonging. Tracking your progress can also create friendly competition and keep you on course for your fitness goals. By providing you with a digital team, apps provide a community for you even if you don’t have one at home.
Assessing body changes. Body scanners can measure a variety of things, including weight, fat, muscle mass, bone density and hydration. They vary in accuracy, price point and convenience. Gold standards like DEXA scanners are the most accurate on the market, but they’re expensive and time-consuming. Many gyms have bioelectrical impedance analysis machines that can measure body fat and lean tissue, but they can be inconsistent because they are based on hydration levels. New is the use of body scanners via apps, which capture a 3D body visualization that assesses changes in your body’s measurements to track your progress.
Getting versatile. One of the biggest changes in fitness tech is the adaptability of products. With the sheer volume of content and platforms, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which apps to use for what, making it desirable to find a one-stop shop for all your wellness needs. Compatibility among activity trackers and smart devices has also increased, giving consumers access to the most convenient products and data on the market all in one place instead of toggling between several apps.
Army veteran Jennifer Campbell is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in nutrition education. She is past commander of the California American Legion’s 24th District and Hollywood