Fitness Tech Makes Exercise Fun Again

Getting back in shape with a new direction isn’t easy. Smart devices know this too. That’s why there’s fitness tech.

Yes, that was a video game reference. Smart devices have also taken notes from the interactive medium for their fitness tools.

Summer marks an opportunity to start making progress. For inner athletes looking to come out of hiatus, going hi-tech might be that new direction. But having an AI buddy brings something handy: numbers that don’t lie. The ongoing pandemic doesn’t help with increased screen time; something fitness tech could leverage to bring warmer workout days back.

It shouldn’t have taken 12 years for me to take running seriously again. Save for moments of chasing a bus or occasional sprints to be on time. My high school days of cross-country ended without knowing how I really fared. Without tech, a gym subscription, or any drive but to earn a varsity jacket, running was a surprisingly neat gateway. The sport can happen literally anywhere with a focus on cardio, exercising lungs, heart, steps and endurance. This also amounts to thousands participating in marathons, runs and charity events annually.

A work-organized 10 km run across Toronto just happened to be my push. What started off as a chance to bond with co-workers turned into more than something I bargained for. A one-time run seems oversimplified. I didn’t realize the gravity of a 10K until the words “training” and “did you start running yet” hit my ears by veterans.

According to Runner’s World, it can take months of running for a smooth 10K event. This, combined with a steady pace and goal lead to progress. Reaching 10K was the goal. Training for it meant not crawling to the finish line. Memories of winging my last run at cross country made me shiver. I didn’t practice enough all those years ago. How was I going to pull this off the right way?

Spoiler alert: fitness tech saved more than just me. It’s no surprise athletes spend just as much time on screens as they do on exercise. But this might have been the key to beating a first 10K and doing 15-year-old me justice. Apps including Samsung Health and Nike Run Club were some of the tools a first timer like myself dove into. My generations-old Galaxy Note 8 still kept that Samsung Health app a proprietary one. That’s because it was secretly a free trainer sitting dormant in my pocket for years. Like other apps, the first-party Samsung Health is complete with a brief “consultation”, pre-made plans and coaching.

The “consultation” part comes with using apps like Nike Run Club and Samsung Health for the very first time. Both setups ask for the essentials. Age, weight, height, and diet seem awfully specific for an app to learn. But these pieces of info progress as users do. The setup also measures goals which are tailored with do-able steps. In other words, users can pick any type of activity they want. A good fitness tech app in 2022 uses that physical info to lay out bite-sized exercises without killing users.