Today we have the technology to read our bodies like a book. In exercise, we can monitor our heart rate, pace, and distance traveled through GPS to make charts, graphs and whole maps with the info. For athletes training to improve their performance, collecting data on their strengths and weaknesses while in action is invaluable. It allows for educated decisions in how to run faster, jump higher, and go farther.
For most people, however, monitoring one’s performance during exercise is simply to keep tabs on calories burned and to focus on weight loss. Obesity levels in the world, America especially, are rising constantly, and science is working to make exercise interesting again.
Meet The FitBit – it’s just the latest little gadget out there: sleek, black matte surface, Tron-esque blue trimming, only 2 inches long and a light 4 ounces, easy to tote along on a run, and even easier to forget it’s there at all. It’s a clock, a pedometer, a stopwatch, and a sleep monitor, among several other features. ”It’s the smallest fitness tracker out there,” the website enthuses. Tuck it into your waist band, your pocket, or your bra, (or strap it on your wrist at night and it will track your sleeping patterns, hours of rest acquired, how many times you woke up in the night, and more).
The little wireless gadget boasts impressively accurate 3-D motion sensors to record the exact number of steps you’ve taken and distance traveled. And once you enter your information online on your FitBit.com account (height, weight, age) the device can effectively determine how many calories you’ve burned. What’s even cooler is the built-in altimeter (recording change in altitude) which detects when you take the stairs or hike uphill, taking increased incline into account to more accurately calculate calories burned.
What’s also nifty is the FitBit’s ability to automatically update info onto the website whenever it comes within 15 feet of its charging dock.
And finally, the gadget is competitively compatible with several other fitness and health apps out there, including MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, and Microsoft Health Vault. So those tracking their meals and nutrition can combine the data with their detailed workout data from FitBit and are able to make smarter decisions to improve their athleticism and health, because they have more information available to them.
With the evolution of science comes a thirst for knowledge, it’s a cycle. People learn about there bodies, and it leads to more questions; how do we work, what makes us tick? Seeing data and figures all algorithmically telling you how scientific your body is, the minuscule effects of your workout all compounding to produce results of fitness – it shows internal results (however small they may be) while external results may take much longer to appear. For those striving to lose weight, something like the Fitbit can show those little improvements even if they don’t show on the scale yet. And for the athlete, that millisecond faster run time from yesterday is another personal success. As a global population, we’re experiencing staggering weight gain epidemics, but with the right technology, the motivation to get fit and stay fit may just happen.
By Jessica Barone (Social Media Director, SSD Nodes, Inc.)