Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
The beauty of technology such as cell phones, tablets, or tech gadgets, is that people can now track their health like never before. Notice that I said, “track” your health! That’s right, new technology is great for tracking your calories, physical activity, sleep, heart rate, and even recovery in athletes. However, these devices do not do the work for you.
A common misconception for many people is that technology-driven fitness content from fitness apps and the internet equals quality exercise and this will lead to better health and weight loss. According to a new research study, almost every app tested for quality exercise content fell short of achieving the adequate amount of exercises needed by the American College of Sports Medicine.
While these apps sound great and you may think they are beneficial for you because you can follow a workout on your phone, the research results may surprise you. Research showed that only three of the apps tested could actually help improve your aerobic endurance, while only four of the apps showed the potential to improve your strength if, and only if, you are just beginning to exercise. These apps may be out of the question, or even useless, for more advanced fitness levels.
The bottom line to this story is that if the apps help you become more active or help motivate you, then GREAT! Use them to help you. However, be careful getting caught up in the thinking that these exercise apps are your answer to great exercise that will magically help you lose weight and become extremely healthy.
Downloading cell phone apps and using techy gadgets do not automatically equate to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles are achieved by many factors, including mainly diet and exercise. The addition of cell phone apps and tech gadgets could be used to help you in your quest for good health, but are not the single answer to achieving good health.
Modave F, Bian J, Leavitt T, Bromwell J, Harris C, Vincent H.
Low Quality of Free Coaching Apps With Respect to the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines: A Review of Current Mobile Apps. Journal of Medical Internet Research 3(3); 2015.