As with everything else, the lockdown has changed the way that many of us view our personal fitness and healthcare routines, with many of us starting routines or regimens for the very first time. This is largely because many people still feel uncomfortable in gyms overall or because they’re overly self-conscious and could feel intimidated by the “body beautiful’ types who are further along their own fitness journeys.
What this means for those who work in the industry, however, is that there are now all sorts of exciting ways that professionals can reach individuals at home or in venues other than gyms and fitness centres.
For individuals, these advances in technology offer the opportunity to get into shape, get healthier, and be more competitive in the comfort of your home or workspace, or your local park for that matter.
Let’s discover more.
LET’S START, WITH THE EVOLUTION OF THE “SMARTWATCH”
There is no doubt about it, but smartwatches are the biggest contributors to the evolution of the personal health and fitness industries and how individuals access training programs, monitor progress and set records and achieve goals. These nifty little gadgets also interact with apps and feedback information about how active users are, heart rate information, and workout intensity.
Some life insurance companies and private medical insurance providers are using these apps to help determine risk and underwriting. Now, while this is causing something of a controversy in some spaces because these providers are being accused of being “fat-phobic”, smartwatches have irrevocably changed the health and fitness landscape and have made it easier than ever, for enthusiasts to take part in challenges and programmes.
HOW THE FITNESS INDUSTRY WENT ONLINE – AND THEN THRIVED
One of the few industries to actually thrive during lockdown was that of personal training and fitness coaching. Families signed up for Zoom classes with trainers and fitness coaches, sportsmen and women were coached online and individuals that usually were not overly concerned with fitness but were now confronted with boredom and mental health challenges realised (and for many, for the first time), just how important it is to the overall healthcare that we get moving and do so consistently.
HOME GYM EQUIPMENT
Forget the old steel bars and bench presses of the past, now home gym equipment has heartrate monitors, intensity monitors and changes in interval training and intensity training respond “instinctively” to how the user is performing. Some bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals come with 12” LED screens that allow you to take part in online classes with people from all over the world, or “cycle” or “run” some of the world’s most famous and scenic tracks and routes. Trainer-based programmes are also accessed via these online applications and users are reporting fantastic results and consistent training.
That’s probably because training is happening at a pace that is manageable but still monitored so that intensity levels are maintained in order to achieve optimum results, whereas before it was way easier to “cheat” oneself.
PERSONAL TRAINERS AND FITNESS COACHES USE TECHNOLOGY TO GROW THEIR BUSINESSES
Another “positive’ side-effect for the industry spurred on during lockdown, was the rise in the use of Personal Trainer Software. There are different types of platforms for different uses but basically, these applications allow trainers to offer online classes, book clients in advance, take payments, handle invoicing and create programs for clients that are linked to nutritional plans in some cases too.
HIGH-SPEED INTERNET DRIVING THE CHANGE
High-speed internet has made all of this possible and fancier versions of home-based programmes include virtual reality workouts, apps that monitor your calorie intake and activity levels. Then there is also the rise in the use of “wearable technology”. Certainly, in our world technology has to be fashion-focused too and we want to know that our programs are not just making us feel better and live longer, stronger, healthier lives – we want to look good. Now we have workout gear that allows customers to meet fitness objectives and goals faster than ever before because new high-tech clothing “communicates” with applications that record running data, stride, pace, intensity, cadence, step counters, and even breathing quality.
VIRTUAL & LIVE COACHES
We touched on this a little before when we discussed home-based gym equipment, but over and above those classes and group online sessions, faster internet, and smarter televisions have also allowed for clients to “meet” with their trainers virtually and in the comfort of their own homes. With interaction still possible, it means that trainers get to see more clients in a day, making their businesses more viable and lucrative, while clients who may be working from home, don’t have to lose time driving to and from sessions at a gym or workout venue. It’s all very exciting stuff.
We have all learned just how important our personal healthcare is, and responsibility for that healthcare lies with each of us, when we now consider how easy it has become to get started on a programme – there is virtually no excuse anymore. With that being said, we will always recommend that you consult your physician first before undertaking and new fitness regimen or when increasing the intensity of one you may be on already.
Technology helps us to stay motivated by giving us real-time information about what’s happening with our bodies and how much closer we are to achieving our goals. Interacting with these applications and devices is of course key, so if you’re not the disciplined type anyway, well – you can’t expect to win the lottery without buying a ticket.
From technology in track and field, all the way to just having to get out of bed and hop onto your interactive, connected treadmill that beach body for the summer has never been in closer reach. As always, discuss your circumstances and needs with a trainer and fitness coach so that you know you’re getting the right equipment or devices for you.
Technology continues to change our lived experiences in exciting and interesting ways, now if we could just get to that robot that will do the running for us…