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Tue, April 24, 2018 | Lifestyle

Healthy Technology

So… You’re likely to be reading this blog from the comfort of your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or PC.

The information we seek in order to improve our health and lifestyle is generally found through an internet search; whether via a search you perform yourself or through word of mouth from a friend who has looked into it themselves. There are, of course, issues with the quality of the information being posted and the interpretation of that information so, as we always recommend, it’s best to “seek the advice from the correct professional” before putting that information in to practice!

Firstly, let’s look briefly at the potential negatives of technology.

Even as personal trainers, whose job you would assume is to be ‘healthy’, we spend a large portion of our time sat on our ASSES! We sit and plan training programmes and macronutrient plans, we research conditions and, the big one, we post informative videos and pictures on social media (and then, just like everyone else, we mindlessly scroll through the drivel that is laid out before us 24/7)! A friend recently asked me “when scrolling through your social media feed do you think you’ll find the Holy Grail of posts that will satisfy your need to continuously and needlessly absorb snippets of others’ lives; the lives of people who, most likely, you would not stop to talk to in the street”? This resonated with me on a personal level and really changed my perspective on the time I allocate to using social media.

Furthermore, working with technology goes hand in hand with being seated for prolonged periods of time and being exposed to high levels of light stimulation. This is certainly a contributing factor to issues such as crossed postures, excessive curvatures of the spine and much more but, sadly, it is essential to today’s way of life!

So, having considered the negatives of technology, let’s take make a conscious decision to use it to our advantage!

There are an abundant number of exercise apps, fitness trackers, nutrition logs and anatomy apps available today that can support and improve our lifestyles. Of all the apps available, I currently use a select few that I highly recommend to all of my clients and to all of you reading this blog;

  • Fitbit(an app that tracks the number of steps you take, your heart rate, the calories you burn, the number of floors you climb, the exercises you perform and the distance you travel)
  • Myfitnesspal(an app that tracks your food intake, macronutrients, micronutrients and weight)
  • Tabata Timer (an app that times and structures your workouts)
  • Visual Body(an app that guides you through your anatomy)
  • The Apple Watch (measure steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. It also show you how many minutes you’ve been active during the day, tracks your progress over time and can store historical data, and set daily goals for yourself)

These are some great tools that help me understand all aspects of how my body is working; from my daily activity levels and food consumption to tracking my workouts and understanding which muscles I am working. Previously, I have found it hard to set goals and measure them effectively. Now, setting myself goals and monitoring them daily has become much simpler and has made a huge difference to the amount of time and energy I spend each day tracking my food and activity levels.

With regards to learning your anatomy, I typically recommend around 30-90 minutes of study per week on a topic of your choice in order to further your knowledge and keep your training and nutrition methods current. Making this commitment myself has allowed me to train more effectively and enjoy a greater return on investment whilst maintaining the time I allocate to training.

In summary, there are many cons to today’s technology-heavy lifestyle, but we can all use it to our advantage when it comes to getting in shape and improving our health. So, make sure you are utilizing the tools around you to effectively manage your programmes, activity and nutrition.

Tommy Owen

Want to find out more? Whether your goals are to lose weight, build muscle or just start leading a more healthy lifestyle, get in touch with Tommy and the rest of the Starks Fitness Team and find out how you can start getting fitter today; info@starksfitness.co.uk

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