By: KELLY SHERIDAN
Often, it is said that technology is considered a detriment to the overall fitness of modern American society. It is the reason that people sit at computers all day fulfilling social media addictions and playing video games. Without technology, there would not be any wide-screen televisions to spend hours watching, or a feast of processed food to munch on during a favorite show. According to popular opinion, technology is a great contributor to Americans’ largely unhealthy lifestyle.
So much emphasis is placed on the negative aspects of technology that people often do not pay attention to the ways that it can improve healthy living. Sure, having a bunch of gadgets such as televisions and laptops can increase laziness, but they can also make health improvement easy and enjoyable. Using technology, one can plan and keep track of a fitness routine. iPods and MP3 players not only provide motivating music, but can track the number of miles walked or run, as well as the calories burned during a workout. Technology helps the health-minded individual find healthy restaurants, keep track of calories consumed, and plan nutritious meals.
The following technological advancements will help everyone from the laziest couch potato to the most dedicated fitness and nutrition enthusiast maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Social Media: Sharing goals via Facebook and Twitter automatically provides users with accountability, and instantly increases their motivation to succeed. After sharing a goal with hundreds of other people, it will ultimately be more rewarding to achieve this goal and spread good news, than admit to failure.
- Map a Run: There are multiple means of measuring the distance of a run, walk, or bike workout. This can be done by means of a simple pedometer, or something slightly more advanced, such as the Nike+ app that synchronizes with an iPod to chart miles traveled and calories burned. Gmap Pedometer and Map My Run are both great tools for measuring a workout.
- PumpOne: At PumpOne, users can customize workouts to suit their individual needs. It takes into consideration strength, flexibility, endurance, heart health, and uses this information to build workouts that will help to achieve weight loss goals.
- iTrain: Fitness program iTrain brings Hollywood fitness trainers to users’ computer screens. This tool allows users to download different fitness programs, including stretching, cycling, and boxing. As an added bonus, programs come complete with music soundtracks to add to the workout!
- Choose My Plate: This convenient site is perfect for those who want to begin eating healthier. Choose My Plate takes into consideration the user’s age, weight, and activity level, and calculates proper daily serving sizes from each food group.
- Self Nutrition Data: Like MyPyramid, Self Nutrition Data helps users calculate daily nutrition requirements. In addition to this, the site features a calculator that determines the nutritional value of any food. Users can also create personalized recipe lists and compare different foods so as to maximize healthy choices.
- Spark Recipes: Given the hectic nature of everyday life, some may find it difficult to plan and prepare healthy meals. Spark Recipes allows users to input recipes and determines their nutritional value. For those who are unable to think of a dish to prepare, it also offers a variety of healthy recipes.
- Chubby Grub: Perfect for health-conscious individuals on the go, Chubby Grub offers nutritional information for a variety of popular restaurants. Since many restaurants are known to pack an overwhelming amount of calories into their dishes, this is convenient for those who want to stay healthy while dining out.
It’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate how technology is viewed in relation to fitness. The blame for America’s laziness should not be directed towards technology, but rather how it is used. A sedentary lifestyle consisting of television and video games can be considered a result of technology. However, without technology, one could not measure a six-mile jog, chart fitness progress and calories burned, or share their health goals with the world. Progress in technology can facilitate progress in adapting a healthy lifestyle.