Technology has become pervasive in the modern fitness industry. While most people don’t think of workout equipment as technology, they can indeed be considered “machines” that enhance the quality of human activity. Over the years we have seen a dramatic development in the technology that forms the fitness industry. But this made me question whether the digital impact on the fitness industry has been as effective.

Man on gym bike by Pixabay, Via

The introduction of the new technology revolutionised the fitness industry. In 1968, Dr Keene Dimick crafted the first piece of electronic exercise equipment — the Lifecycle stationary bike. A rather standard piece of machinery that comes at a heavy expense, $4,000, no doubt because of the date it was materialised and the revolution it crafted. Fast-forward to the current day, the Integrity Series, includes digitally connected Discover SE3 consoles that interface that allows users to access popular fitness apps, music and other entertainment options. Each machine provides access to workout results, TV programming, the internet and interactive courses, and Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to synch workouts with other devices. The modern machine allows users to share and publish their daily results in connection with Social apps such as Facebook to boast to their online following and show the hard work they have been putting in. Ultimately, users can digitally monitor their progress and link the machines to their smart devices for optimum usability. Devices such as the Treadmill later experienced similar developments. There is no doubt that that fitness machinery has seen a significant upgrade making it easier for millions across the globe to work out and lose weight, with each item you use in the gym has been upgraded within the last ten years.

News fitness technology, Via FiTNishMedia

However, The new era of fitness is one of the latest victims of digitalization. For decades, the prophetic lens of American cinema has provided us with a glimpse of what our fitness future may hold. Data-rich devices, and so-called “immersive fitness”, are starting to make once dull workouts fun and more motivating than ever before. Immersive Fitness is an experience that projects cinema-quality video content onto the screen of a purpose-built studio, while instructors cue exercise revealed that adding visual effects to your workout session can help create a more immersive fitness experience as moves synchronise perfectly with the music and graphics. The research, which was published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal showed that these visuals helped by helping you feel more satisfied with your workout and may even make newbies to the exercise game feel like they’re exerting less effort. Elderly individuals can also benefit from a properly designed aerobic exercise program. Recently, the basic exercise guidelines recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for healthy adults and the elderly place additional emphasis on resistance exercise.

The introduction of the augmented reality in fitness really brings the notion of American cinema to life materialises a sense of nostalgia as we used to see this on the big screen when growing up. Although in the beta stages, it feels like we are now in the utopian future of the Hollywood blockbusters, which indicates how much digital technology has impacted the fitness industry.

Applications on an iPhone, By Tracy Le Blanc, Via

However, it is not just the digital immersive system that has had an impact on the industry. What companies such as are capitalising on, is the increasing use of smartphones and tablets for self-help and health development, and a higher demand for ease when it comes to learning a new skill. For a number of people fitness is a chore, perhaps it will be down to technology to change that. The increasing demand for technology has led to the introduction of the apps that has further taken the entire world by storm. These apps provide easy access as well as assistance to a few things as they vary in terms of categories. Thus, there are a number of apps that are totally dedicated to fitness. Using these apps, you can consult various elite fitness nutritionists and can also get several health and fitness tips in order to keep yourself fit and healthy. I won’t go into detail about the apps specifics as I would like to dedicate a blog to that in the future.

Personally, I use apps that measure my steps, my calorie intake and outtake and the percentage of fat I manage to burn, as a result of this the app will tell me how much I need to work out. The fact that we can use our smart devices to track our progress, shows how far we have come and the notion of how far we can go with it really leaves an exciting future.

Fit bit activity tracker, Via

Nonetheless, technology such as Fitbit, the digital health and fitness startup sphere is set to yield a market size of $233.3 billion by 2020.  That’s right, the FitBit was introduced in 2008 by co-founders Eric Friedman and James Park in San Francisco. In short, it’s a 21st-century pedometer.  The equipment is deceptively simple. About the size of a clothespin, the Fitbit is shaped like a clip, which you can easily slide into your pants pocket or onto a bra strap, as it’s only around 2 inches (5 centimetres) long and about half an inch (1.2 centimetres) thick. The device that aims to track your steps taken each day. Fitbit is everywhere. Almost everyone has a friend or family member who uses one. The brand is so ubiquitous, sales escalated from almost 60 thousand units sold to over 10 million in the space of four years. Fitness wearables that connect to the devices we use daily, surely demonstrates how far the industry has come.

I myself don’t use social media apps such as Instagram in regards to fitness but I’m aware pose a completely different impact on the Industry, which I analyse on my next blog on Friday.  The next blog I will be changing the usual format over and breaching out towards an audio blog. So, my next blog post will be a podcast so leave your comments on what you think we should cover before next Friday.