With the recent explosion in mobile technology over the past decade, never before have expert tools been so readily available for the average consumer. Basically, to get the sort of feedback that we now have access to, you’d need be a high profile professional athlete, an expert in fitness, or a graduate with a nutrition background—but this is no longer the case.
Whether you actively participate in fitness or you’re new to the lifestyle, health tracking applications and wearable devices are among many tools that can help you learn more about your body in a shorter period of time. And most exciting, the real potential around these devices will come when users can see all their data in one place and gain meaningful insights to make improvements. Learn where this craze came from and explore how technology has changed the health and fitness industry for the better.
Years of Health Knowledge at Your Fingertips
In the not-so-distant past, understanding your own body could have meant affording one-on-one access to a personal trainer or a tremendous dedication to studying fitness during your personal time.
While this expertise certainly doesn’t come overnight now, with the advances in mobile technology and our near constant connection to a smartphone, we have never had our health questions so easily answered. Health trackers and fitness apps, such as MyFitnessPal and others, quickly became popular go-tos for many people interested in a better understanding of their health or those trying to lose a few pounds before summer.
Over time, these apps developed strong health-focused communities and the products evolved to accommodate users’ needs—from complicated advancements such as sharing data between several fitness trackers to syncing fitness activity from wearable devices.
Can we now replace the hands-on approach of a personal trainer? Well, yes and no.
For many people embarking on healthier lifestyles, personal trainers and even gym memberships can be out of budget or even downright intimidating. With health apps, there is a sense of anonymity that helps protect users during what can be a vulnerable period in their lives. Not feeling healthy, being overweight, or even the feeling of needing someone else’s help can challenge even the strongest human’s pride—a pain point that millions of people struggle with every single day.
With access to fitness apps, there are no dumb questions, no feelings of judgement from peers, and users can still have access to some of the most widely recognized health knowledge available. Additionally, users can now engage with trusted health communities online, and share real time data—as specific as their daily macronutrients—from their fitness exploits.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how amazing and powerful that data can be.
It’s Only the Beginning of The Fitness Craze; Do You Care?
The digital fitness craze has been quite extraordinary over the last decade (and even overwhelming for some of us), but this is really only the beginning. With additional fitness apps jumping into the market and a constant stream of data being collected by users, the competition and market size points to more growth throughout the industry.
The big question remains: Why should you even care?
Whether you are a seasoned fitness professional or you’re just sliding off the couch to run your first 5k, digital apps and wearable devices are an important element to consider for your health regimen. While they unfortunately won’t do all of the hard work for you, they can alleviate many of the burdens associated with good health.
Furthermore, these devices can provide a complementary set of features to teach you how to become more in tune with your body, learn more about fitness, and stay motivated during the process.
For example, someone with no nutritional background that is interested in trimming calories to lose weight, could have access to all of the macronutrients from their meals, with just a few simple taps inside an app. This in sharp contrast to the past where this same person would need to either jot down all of the nutritional facts by hand, consult a nutrition expert, or simply take a wild guess.
The automation of these previously tedious tasks has engaged users to begin developing healthier habits by empowering them with the tools they need to succeed.
Creating these habits is one of the key elements of the fitness app craze—these apps, devices, and nutritional tracking platforms can play an important role by making many fitness processes easier to understand and more accessible to users everywhere.
For some, it may only take a few days to learn a new healthy habit; however, for many others, this isn’t necessarily the case and the additional support from fitness apps or their associated communities is often warranted.
Further driving the craze, when people begin seeing results from their dedicated efforts, they understand that it was their hard work that made it possible and this can lead to some of the most rewarding accomplishments in their lives. When people feel this genuine excitement, they tend to begin sharing the news and they can start to yearn for more.
With a mass of expertise and advanced personalized tracking platforms readily available within fitness apps today, health professionals and everyday users now have access to new tools that can motivate healthy change and globally influence a generation of health conscious people globally. While a good start to motivating users, the real opportunity to use devices to improve will come when you can see all this data in one place, allowing us to use that information to realize and work towards our true potential.
What changes in the health and fitness community have you noticed with the rise of mobile health apps and wearable devices? Where would you like to see these technologies advance?