“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
– Albert Einstein
I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I know it is necessary and important, but I often wonder if we, as a society, are becoming too reliant on it. Although not everything that Marty McFly and “Back to the Future II” predicted may have come true (just yet), we are in an era in which technology is dominating the world. The fitness industry is no exception.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYTHING
It seems like every week there is another app, device or piece of equipment to measure something. If you want to use technology, choose wisely by defining the specific goal of what you want to get out of the device.
Do you want to know how many steps you are taking in a single day? If yes, what will that information do for you?
Do you want to know how much sleep you are getting nightly? OK, why? How will that affect tomorrow?
Do you want to know what your heart rate is during your workout and how many calories you burn? That’s fine, but is that information helping you achieve a long-term (or even a short-term) goal?
Client No. 1
“After meeting with my doctor, she noticed that I’ve been having high blood pressure, so she asked for my maximum heart rate during exercise to be no more than x beats per minute.”
Client No. 2
“I’ve been really tired the last few months and I have not been getting much sleep nightly, around five hours. I want to concentrate on getting more sleep and setting a more consistent bedtime.”
Client No. 3
“I don’t know much about quantity and quality of calories in foods and I’ve been having trouble losing weight. I want to make a conscious effort to learn more about nutrition and be more aware of how many calories the foods I am eating have.”
These clients sound encouraged adopting new healthy habits. Part of my job is to help them attain the information they need and use it to make the necessary behavior changes. Once the changes are established, maybe the technology that got them started in the right direction is no longer necessary.
USE IT THEN LOSE IT
It may be that we have gotten to a point where we rely so heavily on technology that we are actually losing our ability to think for ourselves and to take ownership. We mindlessly use a GPS to get from point A to point B. Since the advent of automatic dialing, compare how many phone numbers you can remember with the numbers you could recall 10 years ago.
As children, we are continuously weaned off relying on our parents so that we can become self-reliant individuals. As a coach, I strive to wean clients off the technology that may have initiated their new start.
Can we survive in this world without using technology? Yes, but it would be difficult. Maybe we can start relying on our technology a little less. Or maybe the Cubs will win the World Series as “Back to the Future II” predicted. Well, I guess the film can see into the future pretty well.