Using Technology For Better Health

55% of people surveyed use some kind of fitness tech to give their health a boost.

Published On: Jan 05 2013 03:50:32 AM EST
DETROIT -

Many of us need all the help we can get when it comes to building a new workout plan and sticking with healthier eating habits. A recent survey showed
55% of you use some kind of fitness tech to give your health a boost. Adding a little high-tech help to your fitness program seemed like a good idea to
folks at a local gym.

"Well, you'll get on a program and you stick to it, and you can look down and make sure you're going the right way you're supposed to be going on it."
said Stefano Lalicata of Lincoln Park.

"It's just so much better, like I said, you can keep track down to the calorie," added Cindy Rogers of South Rockwood.

Electronic Boost To Fitness

Steve Kidera is the spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association. He told Ruth to the Rescue, "Electronics are a great way not only to facilitate
us working out, to get us up off the couch, but also to enhance our workouts."

He showed off a bunch of products that can help keep you on the path to better fitness. Kidera says a wireless scale can help you track your weight and body mass index by instantly transmitting the information to your phone or other device.

There are also monitors, including watches, to measure your blood pressure and heart rate-- to make sure you get the most from your workout.

"It goes directly to a smart phone, so you don't need additional equipment, you can track everything, keep a history of it" said Steve Kidera, spokesman
for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Home Exercise Options  

If you don't feel like going to the gym, Kidera says video games can give you a workout in your own home. Pointing to some games from
Xbox 360 he said, "This is basically a personal trainer in your living room. So, it's supplementing the personal trainer you're going to the gym for."

He also told Ruth to the Rescue about a gadget that turns your regular bicycle into a stationery bike. It's called the Wahoo Fitness Kickr Power Trainer.
You just remove the back wheel from your bike and attach the trainer. Using an app on your smartphone, you can do different training exercises and
record all the results. The Power Trainer does cost about $1,000, but Kidera says that's less than you paid for the whole stationery bike. And, you can
always remove the gadget in the summer to go back to biking outside.

Trainers, Apps Complement Each Other

We also checked with the lead trainer at the newly-remodeled "Fitness USA" in Taylor. Ricky Brown says about 40% of his clients use fitness apps
right on their phones.  He says, "One thing apps do, it allows you to track a lot of different things that you can't do cause you're not with your trainer
every single day."

The apps Ricky recommends include <http://www.fooducate.com/-- which allows you to scan bar codes-- and get a letter grade on the foods you
eat.

There's also "Lose It" which counts the calories of all the foods you eat-- and balances them with the exercise you do each day.
   
and-- there's "JeFit"  which can design programs to help you build lean muscle.
         
Ricky Brown says using the apps is great, but even better with some professional advice. "The trainer can explain it, go over it, and make sure its right
for what you're trying to do," he said.

How Much Time Does It Take?

If you're looking to start a new fitness program, it doesn't have to take up too much time. Brown says a bare minimum of 30 minute workouts, three
days a week can help get you on the path. Even better, he suggest workouts of 1.5 hours, three times a week. And- if you want an entirely new
body, it would probably mean working out every day.

Brown says there are two things required to be a success, "Discipline and structure- You've go to have to will power and the want to do this!"