The resolution to get fit for the new year has become something of a running joke (pun totally intended). Ask friends who attend the gym regularly, and they’ll tell you: attendance spikes dramatically in early January, but begins dying off by the third week. By February, it’s dropped off even further, and by spring, it’s just one more thing to regret. But this year, it’s going to be different. Why? Because we are here to help you find ways to use fitness technology to keep your New Year’s resolutions this year!
Here are five ways fitness technology and fitness apps can help you keep your New Year’s resolution.
1. Fitness Technology Can Gamify Everything
What difference does a Fitbit, a wearable device or other fitness technology make in your routine? As it turns out, a pretty big one. Fitness trackers do just that — they track and collect data to let you know exactly how well you’re doing on a daily basis. Seeing this hard data — like how many steps you’ve traveled in a day, how many calories you’ve burned, etc. — can help you assess your situation and push yourself toward new goals. Best of all, this happens automatically, freeing up your time and energy for more important things (such as scheduling your next awesome workout).
2. Fitness Apps Track Your Progress
Why is logging and tracking your progress important? Because it works. Setting goals, monitoring your progress, and creating positive feedback all have proven psychological benefits for weight loss.
I’ll give you an example. At the beginning of the year, my wife downloaded a fitness app for her smartphone at the beginning of the year. Using the barcode scanner and database on the app, she tracked her food and calorie intake every day for over 250 days. Her fitness tracker logged her steps and exercise routines automatically. At the end of the year, she was forty pounds lighter and two hundred dollars richer from winning a weight loss pool at her workplace. Tracking works!
3. Wearable Devices Help You Engage in Friendly Competition
If you’re the competitive type, a wearable device can help you get in shape for the New Year by feeding your desire to win. Many fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, will rank your steps and activity with those of your friends. If you want to take the top spot from a friendly rival, you know exactly how far you have to go to do it! Numbers don’t lie…. unless you accidentally put your Fitbit in the dryer, like I once did. Fitbit thought I’d climbed 36 floors and gave me an achievement for it. Somehow my Fitbit survived. I don’t recommend this as a fitness technique.
4. Fitness Technology Makes Goal-Setting Easier
Do you love a challenge, but hate setting challenges and goals for yourself? Fitness technology like wearable devices can make this easy, too. Many fitness apps, such as MapMyRun or MyFitnessPal, have built-in challenges and goals. Just pick one, touch a button to participate, and boom, you now have a goal. Easy! Some sponsored challenges even offer a chance to win gear and other prizes, and who doesn’t crave free stuff?
5. Fitness Trackers Provide Support & Accountability
When it comes to getting in shape, some prefer to go it alone. Others enjoy lots of support. Integrating a wearable device into your fitness routine lets you pick your level of engagement with others. You can announce your goals and brag about your accomplishments, or you can opt out of ranking with your friends and measure yourself against your own goals. You can issue weekly challenges to your buddies to encourage each other. Fitbit even has a “taunt” feature, if that’s how you roll. And really, why else do we take on a New Year’s fitness resolution, if not to gloat about our success? Okay, lots of reasons. But gloating can be kind of fun.
Know of any more ways to use fitness technology to stay in shape? Do you have a success story using a wearable device or a fitness app? Share it with me in the comments below!