Article 26: Working out with Technology

The stereotype of the computer user is that guy who sits in his cubicle all day right? Spare tire gut, coke bottle glasses, starts breathing heavy after climbing the stairs… False. Computers and technology are part of our lives now, so we can use them for many more things than sitting, working, playing…
Welcome back to the Modern Nerd. This week, we’ll be looking at the various options you have to help you stay healthy, fit, and moving when you are forced to spend some or most of your day working at a desk.

Headphones, Smartphones, and the basics…

The most intuitive thing that you can do with the modern smartphone is put some headphones in, blast some music, and work out. I enjoy this immensely at times, but here comes your basic safety warning. Running, biking, or lifting while you are not 100% focused on yourself and your environment is extremely dangerous. Please make sure that you are paying attention to everything around you. Stay safe guys.

But this is the just the start. Let’s look at some cool extras. Some of these things are apps, some are free, some are paid, you get more with a paid app but I would recommend trying the free version to see which interface you like, which options are for you, etc. The coolest part of the free trial app system is the ability to try it out first.

Apps like MapMyRide are great for cycling. It tracks distance that you’ve gone, time, and even your climbs and descents. It works pretty well for running as well, which is helpful for those without a nice bike or who prefer running.

There are also packages that you can purchase that work with your smartphone, like Nike+ iPod. They include a motion tracker that interfaces directly with your phone to track your calories burned, steps, and distances when you input your personal information.

Beyond the Smartphone

The array of options available to you is not limited to your phone. People looking for a single piece of tech that is not tethered to their phones should check out something like Fitbit. Fitbit, and several products like this, are electronic versions of step counters that keep track of your activity during the day and just need to be synced at the end of your day. Running, walking, sports, and much more can be counted out by the physical work your body does.

If you have a goal in mind for the amount of calories you want to burn in a normal day, this is a great way to track your progress in real time and get feedback on how you can improve.

GPS – The Cadillac of Tech   

Let me set the record straight. Smartphones don’t work on GPS. Cellular towers provide positioning for apps like the ones that I have described which work great for the casual user. If you are ready to step it up a notch, track your progress with military precision, or just out-do the competition, get yourself a GPS system. Watches are common, but all forms of tech that are officially GPS can let you track your position over time, and then go back and review with software designed to let you see your progress and how to improve.

Staying healthy and active is something that I value very much because of my background in both martial arts and rugby. Even though I love working with my technology and seeing how it can improve, I don’t miss an opportunity to listen to music and go run outside on a beautiful day. And with that said, I’m going to go run right now. Thanks for reading as always, check out our blog for more of The Modern Nerd and other cool tech things, updated every week through The Computer Fixer. Bye!


Aaron Krick
Blog Contributor at The Computer Fixer


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