More and more South African gym goers are using smart technology to track and boost their fitness regimes.
For those who haven’t done so yet, Virgin Active’s National Group Exercise Manager, Ignus Oosthuizen urges them to get with this trend. “The benefits are clear in terms of individualised monitoring of your performance and motivation to improve fitness, while some of them also link to Rewards programmes”.
Smart technology refers to gadgets, apps and other products that operate interactively and autonomously to give you information and assistance. Smart tech in the fitness world can offer a way to track your workouts with more accuracy than ever before, and use information like your sleep patterns, step counts and other daily activities to inform the exercise that you need to stay fit.
In the health space, smart technology mainly takes the form of wearables – gadgets that can be worn – and apps. However, more types of equipment and other environments are increasingly getting the tech treatment. Ignus says getting started with health tech is not an intimidating process and offers three first steps.
1. Get App’d
You can start with the basics on your smartphone by using the built-in health app. Most can track your heart rate, your sleep patterns and count your steps, once you’ve given the go-ahead by inputting a basic bio.
The My Virgin Active app allows you to keep all the logistical information about your workout routine and classes in one place. Easily look up class timetables and reserve a place, plus access your membership details straight from your phone.
In July, an upgraded version of the app will be launching and will include new features like a Challenges and Leaderboard section, allowing users to set challenges, or try to beat the best! The new app will also be able to track indoor and outdoor activity, and will have an improved process for both viewing and booking classes on a club’s timetable. Users will also be able to use it with almost any fitness device.
You could invest in a wearable fitness tracker like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. The benefit of having a wearable on your wrist is being able to track information in real time to adjust your workout intensity accordingly. Most wearables offer smartphone integration so you can have a closer look at your data after your workout, and the data is synced with whatever your health app has picked up.
3. Ride smart
Available at select Virgin Active health clubs, experience the Wattbike – described as the world’s most intelligent bike. It analyses everything about the way you ride – power, cadence, technique and heart rate.
All Virgin Active clubs offer free wifi to members. Find your nearest club at www.virginactive.co.za
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.