Tracking Fitness

As I finished our Ride class here at Aatma Fitness Studios last Saturday and shortly thereafter received an email detailing the results of the workout, I began to wonder how exactly we became so metric obsessed.  I am a firm believer that from a big picture perspective it’s all been for the best and knowing where we stand will only help us to improve and get better.  However, one can’t help but wonder about the rise of these metrics, especially in fitness. 

Of course tracking one’s activity is nothing new but the technology that does all of the tracking for you is new.  Receiving immediate feedback on factors such as calories burnt or consumed, steps taken, distance cycled, heart rate and sleep quality can serve as a very effective motivational tool to change our behavior and lifestyle.  After all, the numbers never lie!  Metrics and tracking become even more important with those who have more serious heath issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.        

Members often ask me about my opinions on some of these gadgets and apps.  Being a late adopter with respect to technology (I was probably one of the last guys on the planet to get a smart phone), I found myself a bit skeptical of the emergence of technology in the fitness space.  My main concern was an over emphasis on tracking fitness activities at the expense of maintaining full body awareness and the enjoyment of the experience.  My wife on the other hand has always been very comfortable with technology and early on became an advocate of the Fitbit.  I have to admit that after witnessing her and other members’ use of the Fitbit and other gadgets here in Aatma, I have begun to see that a healthy symbiosis can exist between both inner and outer monitoring of fitness activities. Plus, I’m all for anything that motivates folks to work harder on their fitness! 

Speaking of technology, here’s where I get to plug Aatma’s use of technology in the club.  Our MINDBODY app syncs with your Fitbit, allowing you to view your activity for past classes taken.  Our Ride class uses a system called Spivi which makes use of sensors located on the bikes to communicate your activity to the system and allow you to view metrics such as cadence, distance traveled, energy produced, power and even calories burned, all while looking at an avatar of yourself in real time as you bike through the hills of Turkey, the Colorado River or whichever program the class is in the mood for!  It’s super cool but ake a class and find out for yourself! 

By Vishal Punj

Vishal Punj is the owner of Aatma Fitness Studios, a full service boutique health and fitness club in the Center Of The Universe, Seattle.

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