Back To Basics

As I sit watching over my gym I can't help but think of the trends and fads that have come through the fitness industry and the world of sport in general over the last 20-30 years. I can still remember the first pair of runners I purchased - a pair of flat and hard but good looking pair of Brook's. Made of leather and a thin flat and firm gristle looking type of bottom for tread! Fast forward to today and the plethora of running shoes available loaded with so -called technology to make your running experience enjoyable, safer and easier, it's hard to imagine running in those original Brook's and being able to achieve what I have over the years.

Technology and trends have taken us a long way from those days, and definitely for the better ... or maybe not?

Trends are a plenty in the fitness industry - some remain for years but drop in popularity and some last a year and become a distant memory. Those are called fads and we see plenty of them in the fitness industry.

Trends on the other hand hang around and depending on how popular will feature prominently in the industry. Just check your gym next time you are in to see what they are pushing and you'll get an idea of what is trending.

The one trend you won't have to look hard for is wearable technology. They hit big time last year and are again sitting at the top of the top 20 list. These range from the simple and cheap right through to the "state-of-art" models that could almost make you a latte and a piece of toast. If anything, these activity trackers have gotten more people moving than anything else and will continue to grow in popularity and the functions they'll be able to do.

Many "athletes" these days wear GPS trackers to record their performance in their dedicated sport. The data is collected and then analysed by the coaching staff/trainers and then used to work out where and how they can improve that athletes performance. The next step I see for these trackers is that instead of the data being downloaded by the trainers, the software in the tracker will self analyse and automatically create a program to help improve performance. It may be a bit far fetched and possibly make trainers redundant, but the one thing that can't be replaced is the interaction that will always be needed between athlete and trainer/coach.

As good as activity trackers have been in encouraging people to be more active, I feel there is are real need for people to drop the technology once in a while and get back to basics. I believe they remove fun and interactivity between people as they become absorbed by what their trackers are getting them to do. There is nothing more rewarding than training without technology - no headphones so that you can hear and talk with others as you work out, or if outdoors you can hear nature and enjoy the scenery - you become more focused on whats happening around you than when you are "tied" to you technology.

I don't advocate ditching your technology completely, but rather once or twice a week have a break from it and get back to basics and listen to your body and the world. For safety reasons I would high recommend you ditch the headphones or at least one earpiece so that you can hear what's going on around you. Safe and happy training - Change-Challenge-Achieve