Fun Fitness Health

How Technology Can Help You Improve Health and Fitness

As everyone’s fitness needs and goals change, how we exercise and play sports takes on new forms. Fitness technology is instrumental in those innovations.

Technology has revolutionised many aspects of our lives, and our approaches to health and fitness are just some of them. Fitness enthusiasts are constantly exploring ways to improve their overall well-being with the help of technology, helped significantly by emerging new facilities and venues to practise their passions.

Those looking to improve health in 2024 now have a plethora of innovative tools to track progress, work out virtually, enhance performance, recover, and make your fitness journey more immersive. Not only can you gain invaluable data and insights, but you can exceed your health goals in ways you never thought possible. 

This article explores some of the creative ways that technology is helping people achieve their fitness objectives. What will ‌your health journey look like in 2024?

Understanding wearable technology’s quirks

Wearable technology like smartwatches and fitness trackers are devices that people can wear all day long. They are equipped with sensors to track and monitor user activity and movement, proving to be one of the more innovative and fast-growing technologies powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Understandably, fitness tracker data is highly intricate and specific, not to mention the fact that the underlying hardware is designed to sync with other tools and apps. The data moving laterally is stored in the cloud, and many users may express concerns about their location, financial information, health history, and so on, being accessed by others without permission. 

While fitness tracker privacy is covered under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it doesn’t hurt to take extra precautions to maximise privacy. As a cyber security expert at Redscan explains: “When it comes to personal devices like mobiles phone and fitness apps, users must be vigilant to hacking and opportunistic cyber attacks. The key is knowing how to restrict access to personal data with multi factor authentication (MFA) and when to turn off location tracking to guard devices from security vulnerabilities.”

Reading the metrics to reach fitness goals

The software in your smartwatch or fitness tracker is inherently designed to help you achieve your fitness goals. An essential component of that is data.

Women wearing fitness technology

[Image source: Deposit photos]

Looking at the real-time data within these devices allows you the opportunity to closely track vital metrics, from heart rate and body temperature to granular sleep patterns and states. This could prove instrumental in how you adjust and optimise your training and recovery processes, whatever your form of exercise.

Here are just a few examples of data-driven tech:

  • Heart rate monitors give real-time feedback during training sessions, allowing you to train in specific heart rate zones for optimal effect. Target zones – based on height, weight, and age – help improve cardiovascular fitness safely and efficiently, and also give you a benchmark to aim for. Calculating your target heart rate is a great first step, particularly if you’ve suffered a heart-related incident or have a history of such.
  • Sleep trackers can reveal issues that impact recovery and rest, such as unexpected heart rate increases or extended periods of restlessness during the night. Sleep is crucial for performing at your athletic peak, and with the help of sleep-tracking tech, you can uncover ways to get better quality sleep.

These are just some of the top-level metrics you can uncover with the help of user-friendly apps and software in your tracker. Popular brands like Fitbit have accelerated in recent years, with huge brands like Android, Google, and Apple capitalising on opportunities. Taking control of your health and fitness with tech starts by utilising readily available tech from household names.

Gaining an edge with performance analytics

Professional sports have incorporated greater use of detailed data analytics to help athletes and performers enhance their game. Data and insights are crucial in highly tactical and endurance-based sports like football, but these are not exclusively restricted to professional athletes. The need for such razor-sharp data has led to the emergence of a specific niche department at the UK Sport Institute.

Those who pursue sports recreationally or sporadically can also tap into open-source tools like Kitman Labs and Catapult One to step up their performance. Tools and technology can capture nuanced measurements, skill metrics, and situational statistics. All of this is then processed quickly through built-in software to uncover an athlete’s strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. 

For example, court-based sports like tennis have systems to track metrics like first-step quickness, agility, vertical leap, shot velocity, acceleration, and tempo, as well as dimensions and surfacing. While many of these metrics may not be urgent for those practising tennis as a hobby, for those trying to break into the professional side, they can prove incredibly useful. Coupling these metrics with specific guidance from coaches can give you actionable feedback that you can use to strategically develop and refine your techniques and physical abilities. 

Making nutrition simple with food logging apps

Proper nutrition is the backbone of any training regime – as they often say, you cannot outperform a poor or unbalanced diet. Not only is nutrition essential for getting healthier but it can fuel recovery and enhance performance even further.

Managing the details of macronutrient goals, balanced meals, adequate hydration, and others can be challenging for some. 

app to track healthy nutrition

[Image source: Deposit photos]

Food logging apps have alleviated many of the headaches associated with sticking to a sustainable workout plan. Fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life have waxed lyrical about the effectiveness of apps like MyFitnessPal to help them stay in calorie deficits for weight loss, hit protein goals for strength improvement, achieve better hydration, and so on. 

These apps include features such as:

  • Image and barcode recognition to easily log food products and meals
  • Databases with accurate nutrition info for thousands of foods, including macronutrient splits
  • Tying in seamlessly with trackers and smartwatches to align macro, nutrition, and training goals
  • Patterns, graphs, and charts providing insights like averages, weight loss over time, and more
  • Aligning with sleep trackers to identify optimal areas for improvement
  • Hydration tracking with notifications for when to drink
  • Meal preparation tips, recipe ideas, and configurable real-time alerts to hit calorie or macronutrient targets by a certain time
  • Quick log shortcuts for your frequent meals, saving you time and effort

Automating many of the tedious and time-intensive parts of nutrition tracking frees you up to dedicate more time and energy towards meal preparation and mindful eating. 

Harnessing tech for long-term healthier habits

Wearable devices accomplish many of the goals that most people need to start developing a better exercise regime and pursuing healthier habits. In turn, this can guide training and provide a holistic and retrospective picture of someone’s habits beforehand, acting as a good reminder of progress should they encounter any setbacks.

Integrating devices and apps through centralised apps like Google Fit, Apple Health, and others is a great first step in taking greater control over your health and well-being. Understanding how the numerous facets interact and influence each other will position you on a path of healthier habits and sustainable fitness. 

It’s evident that tracking physiological aspects of our fitness and health is crucial for self-improvement. Hopefully, this article has highlighted some of the straightforward and achievable ways that you can harness technology for the benefit of your health and to perform at your best. What other solutions can you think of that can make technology more accessible and usable to promote greater health and well-being in our communities?

About the author:
Annie Button is a professional freelance writer who has written for a variety of prestigious online and print publications. She specialises in lifestyle, business, digital marketing and branding.