Physical Fitness: Where Technology Meets Community


While fitness has followed different trends over the past couple of decades, physical fitness is not a new concept. Today, we still put on our shoes one foot at a time and listen to our favorite music, but fitness is different than it used to be. From heart rate monitors to bikes that stream live workouts, physical fitness has evolved.

Some popular workout programs in this area are OrangeTheory Fitness, Peloton, CrossFit, 9Round Fitness, Pure Barre and Zumba. Workout programs are not a one-size-fits-all option. There is kickboxing, ballet, weightlifting, running, rowing, cycling, dancing and many more options to try when it comes to working out. There is a wide variety of programs offered, and technology is at the forefront of physical fitness. It seems that, with technology, the possibilities for fitness are endless: smart watches that monitor heart rate, apps that offer workout programs and track the number of burned calories, and even online personal training programs.

OrangeTheory has become a popular workout option because it combines technology and science to offer a modern workout experience. OrangeTheory utilizes a combination of running, rowing, and free weights to achieve a target heart rate for a certain amount of time to maximize the number of calories burned. A heart rate monitor is worn on the chest or wrist and the heart rate is tracked throughout the entire workout. 

The company Peloton offers a widely popular spin class that allows the consumer to stream spin classes in the comfort of their home. Peloton promises “a world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your own time, and in the comfort of your own home.”  CNBC reported that Peloton has sold over 400,000 bikes since it started in 2012. While this is a popular exercise for adults, it is not as popular among college students because it can cost over $2,000 to buy the bike and start classes. 

Even though workouts are evolving, and technology is becoming more prevalent in the fitness world, all of these popular workouts follow a group-centered approach. CrossFit coach and assistant women’s softball coach, Shea McDaniel, says that group-centered fitness is “a group of people working hard together to be the best possible versions of themselves.” McDaniel says that group-centered fitness creates “an atmosphere that is competitive, yet collaborative” and it “pushes people to go harder and longer in a workout.” 

McDaniel believes that the allure of these new fitness programs is that they create “a community, and people love to be a part of something that they enjoy doing while meeting others that enjoy doing the same things.”

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