Fitness Apps: Do we really need them all?

Fitness Apps: Do we really need them all?

Technology has completely changed the way we live today. It has simplified our life, no doubt, but it has also complicated life no end! The various applications we have for every little thing makes me wonder what sort of a life people lived before the arrival of the tech-age!  Did we even live, or did we simply exist! The fitness apps, for example, do take the fun out of the fundamentals of fitness!

From informing us about places where we can work out, to how many calories we burnt/steps we walked or how strong our heart is — fitness apps supply us with every such information about which our forefathers didn’t even bother! And yet, they were a lot healthier than we are, today.

Environmental changes affect our quality of life, but still, life back then wasn’t controlled by technology and, yet, they had more stamina than we do today! 

Fitness Apps: Do we really need them all?

Walking In Apps

When we strap on the Fitbit to our wrist, or enter the start-time in our smartphone to begin counting our steps, we are only interested in the end result.

We often fail to take in the beautiful sights and sounds around us, or soak in the cool breeze.

Most importantly, we fail to connect with ourselves while on a walk, or with the person who accompanies us. Exchanging our thoughts with them, or indulging in some light-hearted chitchat – all of it takes a back seat as we are either worrying about how much we have walked, or voice our concerns about the same to our companions.

After spending a busy day at work or at home, when we step outdoors, we look forward to recharging our batteries, disconnecting with our professional world and connecting with ourselves.

But, just when we begin to relax, we are distracted by the apps and their notifications they might send, informing us about something or the other.

(Forgive me, if I come across as grossly uninformed, but I don’t use a single fitness app. So, I really have no idea if the apps do send any notifications or any such information.)

How, then, are we connecting with ourselves, or giving our mind the rest it deserves after working tirelessly all day?

Being healthy does not mean just being physically fit, or being able to walk 5000 or 10,000 steps a day, or jogging/skipping for a particular amount of time. For what’s the use of being able to do so if you aren’t giving your mind a break from all the anxiety and stress?

What can you do instead?

Ascertain your fitness levels and chalk out a fitness program that suits you, your energy and your time, taking your happiness quotient into account.

If you’re looking at losing weight a comprehensive approach, eating healthy and physical activity is the only way to maintain long-term weight loss.

If you enjoy walking, wear the best fitness apps – your walking shoes—and step out. Begin with a warm-up by walking at a slow pace for 10 minutes and then increase your speed. Walk for 20 minutes if you feel comfortable and then slow down before you come to a stop.

And, all the while, when you walk, look around you; take in the sights and the sounds around you, or review your day, or think of the happy things that took place from the time your day began.

The best thing to do, would be to bask in the moment, give your mind a break and do it a huge favor by not making it work over time.

If you prefer Yoga, then practice the asanas for 20 to 30 minutes, all the while focusing on your breath and your poses.

Or, if it’s some other fitness activity you enjoy, then indulge in it without bothering about the “numbers”.  Don’t even carry your phone with you if you plan on checking it every now and then for the progress you made.

Your body is the best fitness app/tracker that will send you the correct notifications/information from time to time, enlightening you where you need to take things easy, and where you need to work hard; where you need help and where you are going overboard.

Pay attention to this app and you will be fit as a fiddle!

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Shilpa Gupte is a health and wellness blogger at Metanoia. Through her posts she tries to spread awareness about mental health and the need to speak openly about it, as well as women's health and the importance of self-care. She also writes on food through healthy recipes and her posts on nutrition. She finds comfort in books and art and her pets provide her with endless entertainment and insights on Life.

6 Comments on “Fitness Apps: Do we really need them all?

  1. Though I do agree with your thoughts , I also have felt that having some numbers / data to measure give me motivation for the walk / workout next day. At least at end of day or week , if m falling behind, I can work a little harder next day. It is about discipline / habits . whether you use the apps to help you in making the habit or to stick to it initially and later you let it go.

    1. Thanks for reading the post, Pratibha!
      As I said above, it’s our body that’s the most reliable informant about how we treat it. But, at the end of the day, it’s everyone’s personal opinion and need and liking where using apps is concerned. All I feel is that these apps take away from the joy of caring for our body and bring along added stress to “keep up”…the stress we don’t need in our already stressed out lives!

  2. I understand and like what this post is saying and yet I have five apps that track my steps: Google Fit (which I’ve been using since it launched and I use for steps and heart beats), Mi Fit (which I need for my fitness band), Notify and Fitness (because Mi Fit doesn’t have all the functions that I need), (because my gym gives me extra perks for steps taken) and Movecoach (because my company awards points for living actively and I can exchange these points for stuff). Most of this tracking happens automatically. I also track my weight in Google fit.

    Some days I feel like uninstalling the apps and stopping this madness. I’ve tried doing this before. But then I missed the stats. I wanted to know how much I’d changed. I like seeing patterns. And I went back to using the apps.

    The numbers give me something to target. I consciously try to move more. My job is very sedentary. Without a step goal, I’d probably not walk much.

    1. What you said about wanting to see the patterns and how much you have changed also makes sense, Pawan. May be I am too old-fashioned and feel that I don’t need technology to tell me how much I need to eat and how much I need to workout. My body gives me signals if I go overboard and also when I have been lax, and these signals from my body are, what I feel, better than the apps that might not know me as well!

      Thank you for sharing your experience! 🙂

  3. I completely agree with you . I once downloaded a Bon Happetee App that really helped me lose weight but on the other hand , I was obsessed with filling in details of what I ate , how much I walked etc and eventually my family found me spending more time than ever on the phone !

    1. That’s what happens with these apps, Sunita. They are more distracting than helpful, is what I feel, for we are only thinking about filing in details and getting worked up about what we need to do and when. It takes away from the joy of exercising or even eating, for that matter.
      Thank you for reading!

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