Technology has been utilized in every way imaginable. It can be used to help us make our lives easier and more convenient, and help us to achieve what we want to. One of the clearest examples of this is the strong role in technology in helping people stay in shape.

As we have written about before, technology and healthcare are heavily intertwined. But what are the ways that technology can help you stay in shape?

The first example of technologies used in this way, are, of course, fitness programs. This trend has been around for decades, with the workout videos we attribute to the eighties, the programs meant for you to follow at home. They aid in working out in what is meant to be an effective way, with a teacher or instructor leading you on the proper moves and exercises to do for it to be the most effective. These instructors serve also as encouragement, with their regular assurances that you can do it. In more recent years, these at home workout DVDs are not as common. Their replacement is online videos on streaming services, such as Youtube. “On the internet alone there are an infinite amount of videos available on various social media websites. I typed in “Zumba videos” into a search and there were nearly 27 million videos on just that topic! On YouTube, there’s just about any exercise routine you can imagine including the standards like yoga and circuit training.” This abundance of different fitness and workout options can be overwhelming, but it also means that the option to work out in a way that works for you as an individual is that much more accessible.

With the invention of cell phones, and apps, this market shifted to the fitness apps that we are all so familiar with and have today. Most phones, in fact, start with an app that helps you to track your fitness, things such as how many steps you take in a day, or how many hours you sleep every night. There are apps that track more details than just those, such as ones that help you track how healthily you are eating, or how much exercise you are doing, and of what types of exercise. These apps can often function as a sort of replacement for a personal trainer, a guiding force to those of us who might want to get in better shape, but not know exactly what to do or how to get started.

Yet another example of technology aiding in staying in shape, and the most obvious, is the technology of workout machines. As years have gone by, more and more machines have been created with the best possible workout experience in mind. Treadmills that monitor your time, distance, and speed are the blaringly simple of these. They have expanded further into machines that have built in video to make it feel like you are running outside, fans to cool you off, adjustable inclines, and various other features that help in getting a workout specifically tailored to you. Treadmills are not the only example of this expansion, of course. Workout bikes, elliptical machines, weight machines, all of these have expanded to have more options to specify the exact parameters of your workout in order to make it the most effective for you.

Wearable technology has also expanded in a similar way. Smart watches and bracelets are the clearest examples of this. Watches have become less about specifically telling time, and more about easy, quick information at the turn of a wrist. Many watches offer models that track your steps, your heart rate, the temperature, your text messages and phone notifications, and countless other conveniences on top of the time. Many of these smart watches and bracelets offer a goal setting system that keeps you motivated to keep earning as many steps as possible, and that motivation aids in keeping in shape.

Throughout the time since technology became so increasingly prevalent in our world, there have always been concerns. Technology, such as phones, TVs, and computers are often worried to be a cause of a lazier generation of people. People who purely want to sit inside, in front of these technologies. The use of these technologies in staying in shape are the flip side of that coin. Phones, TVs, computers: all of them can be incredibly helpful in a fitness journey for someone. As with everything, there are two sides to technology, but remembering that this good side exists allows a more optimistic outlook than would be had otherwise.