(Photo: Tim Foster on Unsplash)
Consumer technology is a basic part of health and fitness these days. It is difficult to think of any area where tech and fitness do not intersect. Even the basic running shoe is not free of tech influence. Back in 2012, Nike gave us the Nike + shoe which included a bluetooth sensor that sent fitness information to a smartphone. That product did not stand the test of time. But it was one of the earlier moments where consumer tech met fitness. Today, you can get shoes that tie themselves just in case that was the bottleneck keeping you from achieving your fitness goals.
It took a while for us to get here. Now, there is no turning back. It is hard to think of a gadget that can find no natural synergy with health and fitness. LED lights that run cool and with low power requirements can be easily head-mounted and used in running and walking applications during occasions of waning light. Naturally, the safer thing to do is to never exercise at times when the sun is going down. But that is easier said than done. There are times when you will be caught out in low visibility. Thankfully, small and effective safety lights can keep you going in relative safety. Here are some other ways consumer tech can help you reach your fitness goals.
Track Your Workouts
We have been able to track certain workout metrics for a while. We have had simple step counters for a long time. They weren't very good. But that didn't stop people from using them by the millions. No matter how inaccurate they were, those trackers served the purpose of motivating people to strap on their walking shoes and head out the door.
In cold-weather climates like Denver, outdoor workouts could be a little more challenging. You can still do a search for "workout classes Denver area" to find a nearby gym where you can get your run on. You can even track those workouts using your iPhone and Apple Watch. Some integrate directly with Apple Fitness. When it comes to exercise tracking, you are not just limited to questionable shoe pucks and inaccurate step counters. From your wrist, you can get real-time heart rate feedback and blood oxygen readings that can help you make better decisions about how to regulate your workout routine. Tracking is knowledge. And as always, knowledge is power.
It turns out that photography can be a very active sport and not just a sedentary activity. When you vacation in one of the photography capitals of the world, you will see just how active it can be. You don't get the great photos by riding in a tour bus. You have to get out there and hunt for the best spots. The only time you are not moving is when you press the shutter button.
The better your camera, the more you want to go on photo safaris. The best photos are outdoors, on the trails, in kayaks, and on city streets. The waterfall is stationary. But to get the perfect photo, you might have to trek to the perfect spot on foot. That could take hours and require light climbing and boating to get where you need to be. You can take good photos by accident if you get lucky. If you want to take great photos on purpose, you have to get up and get out there.
There are a lot of diabetics in the world. It is not just the US. Tech has been an incredible boon for people who have to keep track of their glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring allows people to know their levels at any time without the need for finger pricks. The most popular sensors can wirelessly connect to iPhones and Apple Watches to provide that data at a glance. People can literally make life and death decisions about their health with precision and confidence. It is one thing to make good decisions about healthy eating and exercise. It is quite another to see the results immediately.
Right now, big tech is under fire. But let's not forget about all the fitness help it has given us in the form of fitness tracking, active photography, and glucose monitoring.
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