You are familiar with how technology can automate many work tasks. This is good news if you run your own company. You no longer need a phone receptionist or someone to process credit cards. Voice recognition technology can do the work so much better and faster.
Undoubtedly, you’re probably also familiar with how technology can automate many of your personal organization. In effect, your iPhone is a pocket-sized computer. It can help you become a super-achiever if you use it the right way. Why? Because you have apps for almost everything you need to run your day. You can organize your schedule in a snap. Need to find a new street address in a city you’re visiting for the first time. No problem. There’s an app for that. And if you do happen to come across an irresistible offer when you’re walking through the mall–but you don’t know whether you can take advantage of the special discount–you can check on the available balance in your bank account to make an informed decision.
What’s better than amping up your personal efficiency? How about happiness, health and well-being?
Well, there isn’t an app for happiness yet, but you can transform your health and well-being. (In turn, this may put you in a great mood once you get all those endorphins percolating.)
Here’s some good news:
You can improve your health through the use of a heart monitor, an accelerometer or pedometer.
And if you don’t like to exercise, but know you should, you can change your attitude through the use of persuasive technology.
The technology you use to improve your health and fitness often comes in the form of software, this also means that it can be an app on your iPhone. Interestingly enough, technology has also evolved around protecting your mobile device. If you have an iPhone 6, you will need a phone case when you go for a run with it. An iPhone 6s case is not just a foam or plastic cover, it’s made with special materials that absorb impact and are extremely durable. If you have your iPhone strapped to your arm and fall when running, you’ll have peace of mind that your iPhone is safe from damage.
Heart monitors measure the rate of the heartbeat. If you’re in a cardiac program, you will avoid overexerting yourself. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, a competitive athlete, it can help you to push the limits. By monitoring the intensity of the exercise, you can pace yourself. Heart rate correlates with how much oxygen you take in. It is also affected by emotional stress, hydration, humidity, and temperature. The heart monitor can tell you if you are overdoing it or not doing enough. By keeping track of changes in your heart rate over time, you can track how well you’re doing.
An accelerometer will record how fast your body is moving from one minute to the next. It measures the patterns of your movement and the intensity of your exercise. It also measures how long you exercise, the duration. Over time, you can get a really good idea of the improvements in your energy expenditure when you exercise.
A pedometer will count how many steps you take in a day. This is useful if you have a sedentary job and want to make sure that you get up and walk around more. It is useful if you want to increase how far you go when you walk, jog, or run. By measuring distance, you can estimate how many calories you burn. It’s a great way to burn excess fat and help you get that trim, athletic look.
A heart monitor, accelerometer, or pedometer helps you if who enjoy exercising. It helps you to perform better. But what if you know exercise is good for you, but you just don’t like doing it. Somehow, you don’t find the idea of getting hot and sweaty exactly stimulating. How do you get motivated?
That’s where persuasive technology steps in. Persuasive technology takes a different approach to fitness. It’s designed to make it more fun. It motivates you to change your attitude about exercising, and it uses a variety of approaches to do it. Persuasive technology uses different components. It may use special equipment, say a balance board. It may use media like video or audio. And it may use social interaction like playing with someone else.
The best way to understand persuasive technology is to look at some examples.
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)
The use of a dance platform, video, and music, fascinates children. DDR persuades them to quit their sedentary activity and start exercising without realizing it.
Yoga Smart Mat
Sometimes persuasive technology can be as simple as providing feedback to performance. This calibration is motivating in itself. One example is the Yoga SmartMat.
Here is how Lauren Brousell describes it in an article on smart technology for sports enthusiasts: “It’s simple to improve your yoga poses by practicing on the SmartMat yoga mat. The mat initially calibrates some of your individual metrics after you complete a few basic poses. During your regular practice, the mat uses sensors to check alignment and lets you know if you’re perched correctly in a pose. The SmartMat mobile app displays data on each pose, including whether or not you achieved optimal alignment and balance. It also provides ratings for each pose.”
Try A Synergistic Approach
You can combine many of these technologies. This will create a synergistic effect to improve your athletic ability. By combining the heart monitor with an accelerometer, you can improve performance and get a clear understanding how much energy you need to exert to raise your heart rate.
Using the right app for the job, can make fitness fun and challenging!