The struggle to get off the couch is real. While there are plenty of natural fitness enthusiasts, even the most diligent of us can find it a challenge to hit the gym as often as we should. But while technology provides many distractions, it can also offer fitness solutions for motivation. Try these technological solutions to inertia and balance your weekend Netflix binge with some healthy exercise this week.
Remind and prompt
Having trouble sticking to your new year new you plan? Many of us have great intentions of getting out there but find it’s easy to get busy and distracted. Before you know it, the week’s over, and you’re trying to do seven days’ worth of workouts in one intense session – and risking an injury to boot.
An practical solution could be using a fitness app to schedule workouts and send reminders. On the D.I.Y. side, this could be as simple as a calendar alert. But if you find that too easy to dismiss, try an app or wearable. Current solutions will even track how long it’s been since you last moved and prompt you to get out of your chair and look away from the screen, making for a healthier day to day experience.
Guide and teach
Another use for apps or browser-based technology is your workout routines. Whether you struggle with the boredom of repetitive workouts or need some ideas for how to get started, custom sites and apps can help.
Popular apps include high-intensity interval training, bodyweight routines, short sprints, and yoga. Pick something that’s challenging, but not punishing, and scale up slowly to avoid injury.
Equip and support
While many technological fitness solutions are app-based, cutting-edge technology goes far beyond mobile devices and even wearables or peripheral mobile-connected devices. Look for next-generation gear including sensor-infused tools and technical gear. A posture shirt, for example, encourages safe, optimized movements while supporting injury-prone joints with pro-grade quality. Compression and support gear options are available for core, limbs, and joints to get you through your workouts in top shape.
Footwear is another increasingly high-tech option in your fitness arsenal. The right fit for you supports any preexisting injuries or instability, while also meeting your specific activity patterns. Lifting, jogging, and circuit training all come with specialized footwear to enhance your workout.
Share and compete.
If you’re on the extroverted end of the spectrum, you probably already look for opportunities to meet up and workout in a group. But even the introverts among us shouldn’t overlook the power of social influence in starting and maintaining healthy patterns.
Technology supports positive peer pressure via social media or in-app communities who can provide accountability, celebrate achievements, and offer encouragement. For those who are more motivated by a little healthy competition, the ability to share progress and see the achievements of others can spur on more regular and more intense workouts.
Track and measure
Competition can be motivating whether it’s against others or your past results. Track fitness progress and goals regularly and measure your results to achieve a sense of progress – and identify any areas that need attention.
A simple spreadsheet will get the job done, but there are two dimensions to effective tracking. The first is social, as per the previous point – sharing your results and getting community engagement and encouragement is meaningful for many. The second dimension is immediacy. If you can enter results as soon as possible after a workout, you’re more likely to keep up with the measurements and put in accurate results. Even better is using a mobile device, wearable or peripheral to track your progress automatically as you work out, put it into a useful format, and share with the community of your choice.
If you find measuring your progress and competing against your results or others’ motivating, you may also want to look into apps or communities that set up games and challenges to keep you engaged and push your limits.
Distract and divert
Finally, technology offers many solutions to take your mind off your exercise routine. Workouts in front of the TV and listening to tunes when on a run have been popular for a while, but you can take things to the next-level with next-generation apps and content to distract, divert, and maybe even boost your results.
A fun and useful solution for runners is fitness programs that tell a (thriller-based) story that encourages intensity: think being chased around the city by zombies or bears! Entertaining and motivational games combine the fun of taking your mind off what you have to do with the extra push you need.
Find the right technology-based supports by considering your fitness goals and preferences. Look for apps that combine features you’ll want, such as community and tracking goals alongside entertainment or routine prompts. Gear up with supportive, performance-enhancing equipment to avoid injury and stimulate better results. Bring the right motivation style for you to bear, whether it’s competition, community, or just a regular prompt to get you on your feet and start moving.