Smart Home Technology is all about making your home more efficient, saving your time and effort. As a direct consequence of that you may find that it’s even easier to become that couch potato you’ve always felt was looming in your future. The solution becomes the problem, so how about using Smart tech to get you up and active, improving your fitness for the New Year?
The automated home is all about letting you find ways of controlling everything that happens around the home either remotely or by simply speaking and electronic devices obeying your commands. Unfortunately one thing the latest technology can’t do for you is get fit. For that you really do need to get up and active. But how can smart tech help you achieve that? Well, for a start they can make the experiment fun and interesting. The things that put people off of regular exercise are that it is that it is dull, unpleasant and doesn’t show immediate results. Some people are a natural fit for the gym because they love the endorphins which are released by working out, the rest of us are simply glad that it is over. But tech can help with that.
Don’t Just Measure Movement, Analyse The Data For Real Health Outcomes
Not long ago people started buying pedometers in the hope that they would encourage themselves to do more exercise. What actually happened was we heard somewhere that 2,000 steps a day was equivalent to a work-out at the gym so walking from the desk to the kitchen to make more cups of tea suddenly seemed like a great way to get fitter. At the same time serious runners joggers and Iron Man types were using wearable GPS trackers to keep an accurate record of their times and distances. Fast forward on to today and the wearable tech including fitbits, activity trackers and smart watches make exercising interesting.
Instead of simply measuring the distance covered or the number of steps taken the latest devices make you feel like you’re bionic! You can measure, record and map your activity, get accurate up-to-the-moment data on heart rate, temperature, calories expended, and then calculate your oxygen use, project fitness outcomes and distances covered too. You can set goals, get encouraging reminders, and even track your sleep if you’re always too tired to work out because you’re burning the midnight oil watching movies or keeping up-to-date with social media.
The Best Tech Delivers Both Style And Substance
Older monitors do tend to look like the tags sported by people who’re more likely to have an ASBO than a gym membership, but the latest smart watches are sleek, elegant designs which anyone would enjoy wearing which also double up as training devices.
If running isn’t your thing, and I know people who are dedicated runners who will admit that, despite loving it, it can be incredibly boring, there are monitors which can track the benefits of up to 80 different sports including canoeing, cheerleading, hiking, golf, even fishing and yoga.
However, for the type who would beat the boredom by listening to music, there are headphones which not only track your fitness activities without the aid of a smartphone while also giving you encouraging slogans and helpful tips as you go. But make sure you get the right pair for you. Personally I can’t imagine owning wireless earphones, especially for running, as I’d never remember to charge them, and lose them within hours of taking them out of the box.
Not Into Running? There Are Plenty Of Other Ways Of Improving Fitness
But if, like me, you absolutely abhor the very idea of getting dressed up and pounding the streets then what other ideas are out there that will help you get your heart pumping and your body sweating?
If your natural inclination is to slob around on the sofa shouting instructions at your electronics in order to save yourself from getting up to find the remote or turn the lights on. (I’m describing myself here!) then you’ll need something that is going to reward you for your effort, but without making you dress up in Lycra and go outdoors. Especially at this time of year.
Alexa and Google Home both have fitness regimes you can follow which can be synched to your fitbit. They can coach you through numerous routines and play the best tunes to move to, and suggest routes to places so you could walk, jog or run a measured distance to your usual hang-outs instead of taking the shortest route, or worse yet, driving. They can be used to update your calendar so you can’t use the excuse of never being able to find the time and also check the weather for you so it it’s too cold and wet to go out, you’ll have an indoor alternative already arranged for you.
The perfect work-out for me is the 5-Minute Plank on Alexa and Google. Five minutes of staying very still while working on my abs, biceps, quads and pecs is completely do-able and shows fast results if you keep it up. Another app for the easily distracted is Sweat Roulette: you don’t know in advance which of a range of routines you’re going to be presented with and the app gives you instructions and motivation so it’s great if you’re tired of routine or you’re worried about overworking a particular group.
Weighing Up The Benefits
Finally Smart scales give you the added satisfaction of a digital report of a gamut of other details each time you step on them. If you’re developing muscle mass then simply being told your weight can be anything from deceptive to irrelevant. Smart scales will tell you about your bodyfat percentage, your hydration and water percentage, muscle mass and, if they know your height, can determine your BMI if that’s a metric you’re interested in. Once they have your profile they can also determine your visceral fat, that’s the fat that surrounds your internal organs. This is the fat lard is made from and an excess in humans has been linked to a variety of health problems, particularly as we age, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
The data is sent over Bluetooth to your smartphone or whichever device you’re running the app on so that up to four members of the household can keep track of their overall physical data, recording fluctuations, gains, losses and thereby identify your individual fitness trends.