The Technology of Exercise

by Neil on October 21, 2008

Faith & Aaron running (front)_2702c
Creative Commons License photo credit: hoyasmeg

Exercise is the one area’s of my life that I know I need to improve on. I understand the benefits of it and I enjoy the results. However, I find I don’t enjoy the process and I make every excuse possible to avoid exercise. One of the sure fire ways to succeed with exercise is to have a partner. I’ve always found that having someone to motivate you and help track progress made it easier for me to get into the gym or go for that jog. However, having a workout partner isn’t always possible. While browsing Newsweek today I discovered the following article, Four Ways to get Physical – Digitally. It illustrates some of the new innovations with technology that allow us to bring our workout partner to us.

The Newsweek article illustrates four ways that technology has revolutionized the way we look at exercise. Increasing the Fun Factor, Connectivity, New Ways to Compete, and New Ways to Track. However, I feel the real success of these technology innovations is how they develop community while encouraging physical activity.

There is no denying that Nintendo’s Wii has revolutionized the way families view video game consoles. With Wii Sports and Fit families can play different sports and engage in activities which boost the heart rate, work on balance and hand eye co-ordination. The greatest part is it’s fun. While I wouldn’t recommend any of these as a serious exercise plan, they do encourage families and friends to engage in physical activity together. The great part is it helps build up the feeling of community.

In addition to exercising with family and friends, you are also able to compete! My wife and I play Wii Sports from time to time. We enjoy the playing tennis as a team, however my wife loves to knock me out in boxing! She usually does too! She has a really good left hook, I never see it coming. My wife is a very competitive person so the ability to beat me and have results tracked appeals to her.

The reality is that they develop community far beyond just the immediate family and friends. With the Internet we’re able to share results with a much wider community. The article highlights the Weight Watchers program that allows users to send in food eaten and exercise to supplement their program. This allows members of the program to share their accomplishments instantly with the rest of their group. It allows for a form of instant gratification.

The Newsweek article provides an interesting look at how technology is providing innovative ways to exercise. Now, if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll see if I can win a round of boxing!

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