When we think screens, we tend to think couch potato! But technology doesn’t always mean unhealthy sedentary behaviour. Increasingly, tech solutions are supporting people on their journeys to fitness. We took a look at five ways technology is supporting exercise and good health – to inspire you for the new year.
1. March to the beat of your activity trackerWearable activity trackers like the Fitbit have taken the world by storm. They help you to trace your exercise progress, but also motivate you to do more and better – and to never let yourself have an off-day.
While the Fitbit is the most well-known of these devices, there are many on the market, including the Misfit, the Polar, Garmin, Suunto, TomTom and Apple and Samsung watches. These are now also all compatible with Discovery’s wellness programme, so you can take your pick, and wear your commitment to fitness on your wrist.
Look out for the features you most want from an activity tracker, including step counting, floors climbed, calorie counting, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, wireless connectivity, water resistance and aesthetics. The more features, the more you pay, but you can get an entry level device for around R1 000.
2. Get inspired in the social spaceLiving in the Instagram generation, it’s possible to get a lot of visual input from other people to inspire you on your fitness journey. Follow these accounts for a high-octane boost:
Letshego Zulu and Khethi-we Mglangeni founded PopUp Gym to show the world that you can work on your fitness routine anywhere – your office, a parking lot, your living room, garden or the beach.
Known as the “Fitness Bunnie”, Sblahle’s message is that people should prioritise gym the way that they prioritise any important meeting.
Riaan Barnard is a regular guest on The Expresso Show, where he delivers a creative take on fitness and working out.
For general fitness posts, follow hashtags that appeal to your fitness needs and interests. Pick from these to get started: #Cardio #FitFam #FitLife #GetOutside #Sweat #Workout
3. Get the benefits of working with your medical aid providerYour medical aid is in the business of keeping you as healthy as possible. For this reason, they motivate you to get fit with rewards and points. It may require a bit of admin on your part, but if you work the programme, it’s worth it.
Discovery Vitality rewards you for living well by encouraging you to exercise regularly, eat well and do the relevant health checks.
4. Ain’t nothing like an app to get you goingYour phone can offer you so much more than a calculator and Candy Crush. Crush your fitness routines with these apps designed to take you from zero to hero and keep you there.
C25K 5K Trainer
This app promises to take you from couch to 5km runner in two months. It starts your running routine with a combination of jogging and walking and builds you up so that you can manage that whole 5km.
My Virgin Active
This is your fully interactive gym companion. It offers gym schedules, goal setting and challenges and will integrate with your activity tracker to deliver a full view of your workout routine.
Leading personal training software for exercise enthusiasts, Jefit provides data analysis to let you know what you’re doing right and what you can adjust to do even better.
5. Get yourself a virtual personal trainerYour personal trainer doesn’t need to be with you at every workout. In fact, you can get an entire workout routine, feedback, motivation and tips from someone you only interact with online. Consider signing up with one of these South African fitness coaches:
Veronique’s team of online fitness clients are known collectively as the V Pack Vixens. Join up to receive meal plans, workout and supplement guides, fitness hacks and online support.
Andrew Hudson is a professional bodybuilder with over a decade of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition advisor. He’ll even coach you on how to take photos to track your progress.
Tammy Dreyer holds multiple SA Bikini Champion titles and has been personal training for over a decade. She’ll tailor-make a routine to help you achieve any fitness or weight-loss goal. Her motto is “Get up! Show Up! Never give up!”
What are you waiting for?With a team and tech like this behind you, you’ve got nothing to lose. Get connected, get motivated and get fit this year – technology will make all the difference.