The evolution of technology has not only changed the way we live, but has transformed the way we approach exercise and our health. Fitness-based technology such as wearable trackers, GPS devices, smartphone apps and fitness games have made monitoring personal health and fitness and goal setting, simple.
According to Garmin Australasia General Manager Adam Howarth, the global market for wearable trackers has grown significantly and these tech devices have become mainstream instead of just appealing to an athletic user base.
“For many years, Garmin itself used to focus only on high end activity trackers for triathletes and other niche areas; however today, we offer much more – from basic activity trackers to high end multi-sport devices.”
Tracking data from your workout can be as simple as counting steps or calories burned, monitoring heart rate, reaching personal bests, or tracking stress levels.
“You can go from an understanding of what you are doing from a caloric burn or how far you are moving in a day and if you are using one of our high end devices, essentially you can use it as a personalised coach,” Howarth said.
Is technology taking over PTs?
Although Howarth doesn’t think technology will ever replace the personal aspect of a coach and the human element that personal one-on-one coaching provides, there is something to be said about the convenience of having exercise instruction, programming, and motivation, at the touch of a keypad.
“Trackers definitely motivate, but it’s a different type of motivation. A wearable or computer can be used as a benchmark,” Howarth said. “You are able to see where you need to improve, and when you see that improvement, that continues to motivate you.”
Howarth added that motivation also stems from users having access to online communities where they can compare fitness results with peers. Communities like Garmin Connect allow users to share and plan activities, and create training groups where they compete, challenge and encourage one another – it’s like having your own social support crew!
Garmin Creative and Social Media Manager, David Badaoui, recommended the vívoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch, as the best all-rounder from the vivo health and fitness tracker range for anyone to use on a daily basis as it is water-resistant (up to 50m), has a heart rate monitor for land activities, up to 50 native sport profiles built in and GPS functionality to map your routes, amongst other features.
What about for the future of technology and exercise, you may ask.
Howarth said, “there’s always something to look forward to and potentially, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. As we move forward, the technology will only get better and better.”
Currently, Garmin has a range of high-tech trackers that you can choose from, designed to complement a variety of different exercises and activities.
Here are some cool ways you can use a fitness tracker to take your workouts to the next level:
- Go stand up paddling with the Vivoactive 3: Use it to gain insight into the time spent vs distance covered, total strokes, distance per stroke, your average speed, total calories burnt and view a GPS log
- Take a yoga class with the Vivoactive 3: Use the heart rate variability tracker to monitor your stress levels
- Go swimming with the Forerunner 935: Create your own custom swim workout and get feedback on your stroke type, distance, rate, efficiency, lap times and overall indication of your pool stamina
- Train for a triathlon with the Forerunner 735XT: The multisport feature allows you to transition disciplines with the touch of a button
- Create a custom running workout with the Forerunner 645 Music: Get feedback on your running form with detailed running dynamics like ground contact time balance, vertical ratio, stride length and running power.
Garmin’s newest model, the Forerunner 645 Music GPS Running Watch, also includes features like Garmin Pay Ready contactless payment functionality for convenient payments and storage for up to 500 songs.