Whilst many would argue that technology has had a negative influence on physical activity, especially in the young, with children often choosing X-Box over a boxercise class, or gaming or playing a physical game.
And it’s true in some adults too, that scrolling through social media on the sofa or streaming a film on your tablet is oh so appealing, especially in the winter months.
However, while we totally agree that children and adults should experience the outdoors and engage in physical activity, technology can be a wonderful way of keeping you active. At least, when it’s used properly!
Technology has advanced to the point where people are able to carry around their phone in the form of a watch. Products such as Fitbit and Apple Watches are two of the most popular type of watch-devices, with the ability to:
- Provide all-day activity
- Exercise tracking
- 24/7 heart rate tracking
- Sleep tracking & tools
- Nutrition & weight
- Motivation & Friends
It’s like having your own little personal trainer!
But physical devices are just the start of staying active.
It’s not just devices that are keeping people active, but the apps installed on phones and tablets too. Leisure providers promoting health and fitness have certainly gotten creative in regard to encouraging people to get moving.
Online fitness classes, live-streamed and on-demand are brilliant at offering an alternative, whilst the gyms and centres are closed.
Digital coaching, online challenges, virtual challenges and immersive experiences, which are the next big digital offering, allow you to personalise your fitness experience.
Exercise and your immune system
While being fit won’t prevent you from catching the virus, it does have many other protective effects. Physical activity releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that revitalize your mind and body, and it can help to improve all aspects of your health. In addition to boosting your mood and improving sleep, exercise can also strengthen your immune system, something that is particularly important at this time, especially for older adults who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
But don’t overdo it. While moderate physical activity supports immune function, too much intense activity—especially if you are not used to it—may have the opposite effect and suppress your immune system.
If you use exercise to keep up your energy and spirits in trying times such as these, you might be less inclined to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking too much, which can also wear down your immune system.