Technology & Working Out

Everywhere you look these days there is more and more technology you can use to track your running, biking, swimming, sleeping, etc. I got to thinking today while I was running on my elliptical about it and how we can let it dominate our thoughts on working out.

So, today, I didn’t have to go into work until noon, so after getting my wife and kids out the door I decided that it would be a great time to get my elliptical workout in. So, I headed downstairs with my pedometer and my smartphone to start tracking my workout. Even though my elliptical also tracks the information.

It’s kind of funny that I have to use so many different devices to get the same result as just getting on the machine and doing the workout. For me, I am very analytical. I want all the information, but my pedometer program from work doesn’t work through my smartphone to track the steps, so I have to carry that extra device in order to get credit for my steps. And my elliptical doesn’t track the number of steps that I take like my pedometer or my iPhone does. So this leaves me with having to track with 3 different devices in order to get my information.

I don’t mind using the different devices, but it would be nice to sync everything together and get the same reporting. Right now, after I finish my workout, I have to manually enter how far I’ve gone in my phone although it does track my steps in my app. Maybe it’s just because I am using a lower end elliptical.

I think as we move forward with our phones tracking our every step, we are going to see a huge leap into how we interact with our data. Right now, we can collect it and play with it in limited ways, but we are seeing some real innovation in the app arena with iPhone’s new healthkit and hopefully with Google’s new GoogleFit over the next year or two. We are already getting better 24/7 activity about how we move around (as long as our phone/smart watch is on us) and I think it will allow us to integrate into much more going forward.

As we move towards a more connected world, our health data is going to become more and more valuable to different companies. Insurance companies will have a better understanding of our diet and exercise habits. Medical professionals will have new tools to help patients self diagnose and monitor many things that are very costly at this time.

So, I, for one, am excited about the landscape of technology and how it tracks our health data over time. As long as I’m feeling motivated to do my exercising and eating correctly, that is. It’s almost becoming a built-in accountability partner for me.


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