This article is part of a series on weight loss using European approaches to losing weight and staying fit. This latest article on fitness technology and tools highlights how you can stay ‘exercise’ motivated by tracking your workouts with fitness applications and other tracking tools. Yes, even the French and Italians embrace these techniques-we are very smart phone friendly here! But using fitness apps and tools is only half the story on how to stick to an active physical activity plan. The hardest part is up to you and your personal self-motivation. And we have no choice, do we? We have to move our body to stay healthy and lose weight. Diet alone is not the answer to progressive weight loss.
Here is the latest installment on fitness applications and how to use them as a motivational part of your fitness plan.
Why is it important to have a tracking method in your fitness plan?
Fitness. What I love about working out and moving your body is that you can continue to improve and get stronger and faster (that is how it is supposed to work!). Having a motivation to push yourself physically even further in goals that you wouldn’t have imagined doing just months before.
Having a fitness tracking plan helps to see your goals in real terms, in real time. It gives a visual method to support your time and efforts and it is one of the easiest ways to get real feedback on your fitness progress.
And that feedback? That fitness feedback is a recognized motivational technique that motivates a person to stick to a workout plan and not getting off the wagon. And this is where fitness applications and workout tools can be used for the most benefit. Some (not all-I will get into this later) applications and tools provide instant workout feedback, can track your progress and provide goal settings: all of which are proven workout motivators.
Good motivational techniques can make the difference in sticking to a program and quitting halfway to your destination.
Exercise Motivational Techniques
It takes a lot of perseverance and dedication to have a regular workout schedule; you have to have reasons for doing it!
How do you feel when you workout regularly? Do you feel good, and have more energy? You probably like the way you look in the mirror too. These are good motivators that help keep you exercising on a regular basis.
But that is just part of the picture. Most people give up on a regular exercise program because they don’t use enough motivation to still with it.
Fitness apps are part of a tool to track your progress, but these other exercise motivators are equally important:
- having a personal reward system
- using variety with your exercise programs
- providing feedback on your progress
- having personal reasons to workout and stay fit
- becoming accountable to yourself and others
- setting your own fitness goals as a way to achieve personal satisfaction
Using a proven fitness application and tools along with other exercise motivators can help you stay on track. By using the right technology that provides instant fitness feedback, helps set goals and tracks your progress you can take advantage of the best part of technology: an objective tool that instantaneously tracks your fitness as you work out.
The right fitness applications downloaded on your smart phone are better than using our own pen and paper.
The most difficult part of using technology is finding the fitness application that uses motivators in their software. And this is where applications (fitness or weight loss) fall short: most fitness applications do not use motivators as part of their use and just teach the user how to exercise.
And that is why you need to invest time (and money) on finding that fitness application that does help you with feedback, goals and tracking.
Using Fitness Apps as Part of a Range of Exercise Motivators
Let’s say that you now have your fitness application that you love installed on your smart phone. Too bad our phone (which can wake us up!) cannot pull us out of bed, put on our sneakers and push us out the door for a run.
Only we can self-motivate to move ourselves. Keep that smartphone on you, but use a range of ways to stay on your fitness track.
How to start? First, close your eyes and think about your personal reasons to workout. And then take a pen and paper (or the notes section on your smart phone) and start writing:
- Write your personal reasons to exercise.
- Write down your short-term commitment on the frequency and duration for your exercise, such as 60 days, 3 times a week.
- Write down the reward you will give to yourself after finishing your commitment.
Other motivators that are part of the work out balance:
- Invest in some comfortable work-out gear and equipment (shoes or other) adapted to your favorite fitness pick.
- Do a variety of different exercises (biking, swimming, walking, tennis etc….)
- And then find a work-out buddy to keep you accountable to yourself and them!
Zen Habits has an excellent article on other motivators. Take a look!
Final thoughts on the balance of using fitness technology and just working out for pleasure
Fitness technology is available at a limited cost and using the right fitness application and tools can motivate you to stay on a fitness schedule. This is why I think using fitness apps is important in any exercise program, as long as it is an application that uses proven motivation in its software (feedback, goal setting and tracking).
But the beauty of just going out for a power walk, a hike, bike ride or a swim in the pool without tracking anything and just sip and savoring a sunny day is equally priceless.
Just moving, fitness or otherwise, is a way to decompress and feel the air and light, and we don’t always need to track our progress everyday.
Strike a balance between going for the full burn and exercising just for the pleasure. La dolce vita. La joie de vivre.
Like the French and Italians do.
Which Fitness Applications and Tools are the Best to Invest in?
I know you were waiting to hear about this! About 90% of fitness apps on the market do not incorporate motivational techniques into their software. The next article in this series will bring you some feedback on what fitness apps and tools are the best to put your money and get the most from your efforts.
Stay tuned! If you need more information on anything in this article, you can also contact me with any questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for one to one counseling via Skype or telephone, I also counsel private clients. Contact me and I can send you a list of my services.
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