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Health, Fitness and Technology: Where did we come from and where are we headed? By Jay Cattron

posted by Michelle Bell | June 20, 2018

Let’s face it, technology has changed the way the world works and operates. Anything can be bought, taught and sought on the World Wide Web. Health and Fitness is no different. You can create new exercise routines, track your calorie intake and even review your REM sleep patterns. Health and Fitness is now interlocked with technology more than ever before, and it is scary where it is headed.

Remember back in the day when you wanted to track workouts or calorie intake? It was all done by pen and paper. I have a friend who still writes in his notebook 40 years later to track all of his runs, distances and times. And I thought I was bad when it comes to owning technology (just got my first smartphone in September 2017).

Then computers came out! Everything switched from pen and paper to; yep you guessed it……a spreadsheet! WOW what is this technology? How do I use it? You mean I can sort by any data field? How did we ever live without this? Oh my, what could be next?

Yep, wearables—Fitbits, Polar monitors, Moov Now (underwater trackers) and the list goes on and on. How did we ever live without these notifications?

  • Nice job you hit 10,000 steps!
  • Keep going, you’re almost there!
  • You did not sleep very well last night. Only 4 hours of REM sleep. (Yeah, I know I didn’t sleep. I still feel exhausted.)
  • Way to go! You did 20 minutes on the elliptical! (Nope, I was painting. Thanks though!)

Yes, you are correct; I am not a huge fan of the wearables. Contrary to popular belief, remember that you still need to do the work for the thing to work. Also, most of them are not as accurate as they claim to be (think calorie expenditure read outs on treadmills, or elliptical). Anyway, that is another blog topic.

Where do we go next?

What if I told you swallowable capsule technology that talks to your smartphone app? Yep. Shocked? Me too. But it is out there and it is coming to the masses…maybe. It has been approved by the FDA in medical trials and currently is being tested and administered in the mental health field. The sensor capsule you swallow can detect heart rate, lung capacity and breathing, as well as determine the best time for your body to release the medicine out of a patch on your skin. All of this information is then sent to your smartphone for you and your doctors to track.

Yes, there is a long way to go before the capsule could be permanent in your system (if that is the idea). It currently lasts for two days then gets flushed out. Yes, it is only in medical testing for medications and vital sign detection. But, you can see where this is technology is going. Yep, no more wearables to track exercise, calories and sleep. Only a capsule that talks to your smart phone and tracks your macro and micro nutrients, tells you when you need to eat before you are hungry and keeps track of your hydration level. What about if it notifies you before you get an injury, or lets you know you have worked out too hard for too many days in a row?

Who knows what is next, but are you ready for it?

-by Jay Cattron, Physical Director ​