Personal Trainers Vs. Fitness Devices
We’ve all seen the ads for the cool new gadgets and apps designed to help assist with personal fitness. Whether it’s the FitBit, Nike Training App, Apple Watch, or a step counter, the industry is exploding right now and people are increasingly relying on them to assist them in keeping active and staying fit. While I applaud any initiatives to help people succeed in their fitness goals, using them exclusively does leave me with a few concerns:
- Lack of Motivation
One of the greatest advantages to personal training is the accountability and motivation it provides. Showing up every time, no matter what, no excuses, and doing each exercise to the fullest of your ability is not something most people can adhere to on their own. A personal trainer is much more equipped to make this happen than any app or device—no matter how cool it is.
- Little Attention to Form
A main job of any personal trainer is always to ensure you are in proper form throughout your activities. It’s the best (and sometimes only) way to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk of injury, as well as ensuring your exercises are effective, thereby increasing your results and decreasing any potential discouragement. Which brings me to my next point…
- Reduced Effectiveness
With less motivation and attention to form, all of the sudden a workout’s overall effectiveness goes out the window. If this happens, you probably won’t get the results you want and will start to become discouraged. Most often this is the point when people want to quit altogether, which is the worst-case scenario for all involved, and ironically, it’s the opposite of what the app or device was intended for.
- Potential For Breeches of Privacy
If you share details of your exercise program actively while you are actually working out, you open yourself up to a few privacy risks. These include details of where you might be alone, and when you’re away from home for an established period of time. Accidentally sharing sensitive personal details could end up in the wrong hands and pose risks that are not as inherent with a personal trainer.
At the end of the day, your workout should be based on your preferences and what works best for you. If that includes fitness apps and devices, great! I only wish to urge caution to those who might be jumping on that bandwagon without properly assessing both the risks and the benefits to traditional vs. technological approaches.
Photo 1 Courtesy patrisyu / freedigitalphotos.net
Photo 2 Courtesy Health Gauge / Flickr Commons