The Ups & Downs of Step Apps – Spa Therapy Fitness Tips
It’s great that technology brings us so many options to monitor our health and improve our fitness. Our phones and watches give us valuable nags to increase the amount of exercise we do, but its important not to rely too heavily on the stats they give us or, for example, to skew our activity away from full body muscle groups to just counting steps. Here are just a few things to consider before handing over management of our fitness to get-fit gadgets:
Whether they use GPS tracking, motion sensors or other monitors to track our activity levels, apps and gadgets can get things wrong. You may be delighted, but suspicious, to learn you’ve completed 12000 steps and climbed 20 flights of stairs during a deskbound office day. Some pedometer apps have been known to record a mini-marathon when a phone has been left bouncing round on a spin drier and many are fooled into believing an escalator ride has been a breathless run upstairs.
Increased activity is always a positive, but some users of step counters report a building obsession with beating the previous days’ total. This gets tied in with the idea of sweet food or alcohol “rewards” for a good day. Whilst walking does burn calories, it is not the best fat burning form of exercise and we are effectively simple car engines only needing enough fuel for the trips we make. Some apps also enable you to link with friends and family in the hope that a competitive spirit will lead to you all improving fitness levels. The downside to comparison is despondency leading us to give up altogether when it seems we can’t win or when doing well a reinforcement of the “reward” binging previously mentioned.
Variety for Vitality
Concentrating on walking alone, does not exercise all muscle groups or deliver rounded cardiac fitness. Some users report taking lunchtime walks to “beat the clock” of their pedometer record, when they would previously have joined the workplace yoga session or taken a swim. If our apps are increasing our exercise and fitness then that’s great, but focussing on tracker activities only puts us in danger of reducing our all-round fitness.
As with so many things, moderation and common sense are crucial. Summer will see our scores soar with sunny hikes for miles, but exercise on a few square inches of yoga mat are just as effective and work well in winter. Don’t let your fitness be a fair-weather fad. Zen Ten Spa offers a range of sports therapies and fitness assessments. Book now 07709 101010.