5 Ways Technology Can Make You Fitter

By Camille Styles

It’s here! the much-hyped Apple Watch finally landed on my front porch 3 weeks ago, and I’ve been (mostly) wearing it ever since. It’s really my first foray into wearable technology; Adam gifted me a Fitbit for Christmas a couple years ago, and I must not have really understood the strap mechanism since it fell off and disappeared exactly 24 hours later. Everyone’s asking me if I love my new Apple Watch, and to be honest, I feel like the jury’s still out. I love the way that it looks, and it’s proven really useful in a few circumstances when I didn’t have my phone out (paying for coffee at Starbucks, answering phone calls while I’m driving), but the one area that I haven’t fully taken advantage of is the health app and fitness tracking capabilities. Not sure if it’s due to laziness or pure intimidation at not knowing how to use it, but now that I’m fully on the “get fit after baby” train, I’ve decided it’s time to avail myself of the tech tools that can get me closer to my goal. I took an informal poll of a few of the healthiest people I know to find out what they’re using — so click through the slides to find out 5 ways that technology can make you part of the fit crowd!

Instagram #Fitspiration.

Since many of us are constantly checking our Instagram feeds already, following accounts that post healthy recipes, workout ideas, and inspirational bodies can be an easy way to get a steady stream of fitness motivation throughout the day.

Our executive producer and fellow fitness lover Chanel turned me on to @fitgirlvideos, which posts inspiring clips of girls getting fit in every imaginable way impossible.

Marnie is the creator of my favorite studio workout (with the amazing bod to prove it), and is hooked on @twobadbodies, @mistyonpointe and @shauna_harrison for their athletic prowess, videos, fitness fashion, and nutrition tips.

Kristen is a super fit gal-about-town and PR account exec to some of my fave wellness companies, and she recommends @fitnessontoast; activewear lines with amazing inspirational posts like @onzie and @splits59. And she stays up on the local (Austin) scene with fitness inspiration from @modfitness, @ride_indoorcycling, and @onnitacademy.

Which Instagram accounts give you guys a dose of #Fitspiration? I’d love to add some to my list!

Fitness apps

The best mobile apps, in my opinion, make daily life easier — and that’s certainly no exception in the fitness and nutrition categories. Here are a few favorites:

Kristen: I use MyFitness Pal, which is a great, user-friendly app that helps me keep track of workouts and what I eat everyday. I love that it serves as a great reminder for making good choices throughout the day. I also love the Tone It Up app for another easy way to access their fun workout routines anywhere. I recently heard about an app called 12 Minute Athlete, which I am excited to download!

Marnie: My husband introduced me to SWORKIT. It’s easy to use with a clean interface and you can choose cardio, strength, yoga and stretching workouts. It’s perfect for the mom on the go or busy working professionals that have a small window to workout.

Kelly, our wellness contributor (and major cycling enthusiast), loves Strava for measuring her progress every time she goes for a ride, plus following pros and mentors on the bike.

Runners should check out popular apps RunKeeper, Endomondo, and Nike+ Running, which all track your distance, time, pace, and calories burned.

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Wearable tech

Wearables have been all the rage in both the tech and fashion industries this year, and there is certainly no shortage of options if you’re looking to add to your accessories collection. Marathon runner and my uber fit cousin Sarah says, “I use a Garmin GPS watch when I run to track my pace and distance. It keeps me accountable for both and measures my fitness levels.” In addition to the much talked about Fitbit and Apple Watch, here are a few other wearables that have piqued my curiosity:

Sense Sleep Tracker is “a simple system that tracks your sleep, monitors the environment in your bedroom and reinvents the alarm, so you can sleep better.”

Basis Peak does the usual step and calorie counting, but takes it up a notch by measuring sweat dissipation, body heat, and heart rate.

Push Band is the first fitness tracker aimed at measuring strength.

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Online videos

With a new baby, it can be tough to make it to a class or studio for regular workout sessions, so I’ve been taking advantage of some of the great online videos that bring the studio right into my living room. Two of my faves are the Physique 57 and Ballet Beautiful videos, both available for streaming, while Kristen loves the Tone It Up and Kayla Itsines videos. “These ladies come up with fun and motivating workouts that I can do anywhere, which is especially great when traveling.”

I’d love to hear any recommendations for online videos or great fitness-focused YouTube channels that you guys love!

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Scheduling software and ClassPass.

Of course, sometimes there’s no substitute for being in a real-life studio or gym — you can’t beat the energy and accountability that comes with a group workout! Luckily there are some great apps and software out there now that make signing up a breeze. Sarah says, “I use my gym’s app to decide which classes I’m going to take each week. Putting them on my calendar as an appointment keeps me accountable to going to the classes I’ve chosen.”

Have y’all tried out ClassPass? Chanel is a devotee to this service that lets her pay one monthly fee of $79 and try out tons of different fitness studios around the city. For the variety junky, it’s a game-changer.

I’d love to hear in the comments: how do all of you use technology to make you fitter?

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