Technology is an awesome thing. Humans have moved far beyond the days of postal riders on horseback in order to communicate. Now, more than half of the people on Earth have miniature computer systems in their pockets to do everything from video conferencing to playing games. But, is this convenient world we live in conducive to health? From a fitness perspective, the things you take for granted everyday may be part of the reason why so many people are obese.
The Shape of Humanity on Earth
There are many things in the home that take away from physical activity. Most people call them conveniences to make life easier. However, easier isn’t always healthier. In fact, many things people see as making life easier is more than likely making it shorter.
Some forms of wireless technology may have it’s place in terms of fitness. For example, the GPS capability of Runkeeper keeps a lot of people motivated while tracking movement data. However, wireless tech that goes into entertainment aspects may provide less than a healthy disposition. Remote controls to your television, wireless controllers for game consoles that can turn on the device from across the room and even monitoring appliances through apps take away from physical movement.
I am an avid supporter of the Internet. However, I can see how the convenience of having information at our fingertips has made an impact on our lives. When I was a teen, we had to go to the library and search for books. There was far more physical and mental effort to find the information that was necessary. Now, most people on Earth simply go to Wikipedia or run a Google search on virtually any topic. I’m not saying that the Internet is bad, but it has impacted people through fitness – even if it was just a small amount.
Technology doesn’t have to center around electronics or computer processing power. The development of fast food restaurants can keep millions of people fed each year without anyone having to get out of their vehicles. This is bad for health in a myriad of ways from poor nutritional value to removing time spent on your feet cooking a meal. With each visit to the drive-through window, your increasing calorie and carb intake while decreasing calorie burn and cardio activity.
Fast food restaurants aren’t the only aspect of food that has made a significant impact on personal health across Earth. Processed foods and prepackaged meals are quite common place in many freezers. Instead of taking the time to make the meal yourself, it’s easier and faster to simply throw it in the microwave – vwalla…beef stroganoff. Like fast food, this activity is taking away from humanity in a nutritional and physical standpoint. Yes, I contribute to this by eating Progresso soups and other delicious microwaveable meals. However, we do spend a bit of time creating our own dishes in the house.
A hundred years ago, most games involved far more of a physical effort. Now, there are millions upon millions of people who plug themselves in to gaming systems from the comfort of their couches or chairs. This is another thing I am guilty of. I love playing online games with others. And yes, it has contributed to me gaining weight. It’s just another activity that is engaging which can keep your butt planted in a chair. On the other hand, I do play quite a bit of my Xbox recently through the Kinect – which has superior potential for calorie burn when compared to many exercise routines.
Gaining Health While Having Certain Conveniences
Although the conveniences on Earth can be quite beneficial and make life easier to manage, it doesn’t mean that you should completely immerse yourself into the idea of having everything right now. You can still take advantage of technology as long as you have higher expectations of yourself in a healthy manner.
Getting More Activity
With all of the conveniences that keep you seated, it’s more important than ever to get up on your feet. Any physical activity will do as long as it’s above an beyond your normal lifestyle. For me, it’s about setting and breaking my own personal records. Usually, we’ll sit the remote next to the television so people have to get up to change the channel. There are a number of small things you can do throughout the day that may seem insignificant. However, they will begin to add up.
Cooking More of Your Meals
Homemade meals don’t merely enhance the nutritional value of what you’re putting into the body. It’s the entire activity of spending time on your feet that adds layers of health. Not only may you be creating something that is superior in food quality, but you’re also working out various parts muscle groups while burning calories. I wind up getting one hell of a cardio workout when making homemade spaghetti – complete with my own recipe for the sauce.
Mix Up Your Entertainment
Involving yourself deep into online gaming isn’t entirely a bad thing. In fact, I could create a whole post centered around the mental benefits of playing these games. However, you might want to mix it up a bit. Although I love playing games on my computer, I also love playing golf in real life. Try to involve yourself with outside games as well as the digital world. It may actually improve how you play online since fitness practices have potential to boost your cognitive abilities and give you a competitive edge.
I love technology. It’s amazing at what humanity has developed on Earth since the early 1990s. There are thousands of ways how these developments have improved the lifestyles of people who use them. Unfortunately, it may also be playing a part in promoting many fitness-related problems in society. The next time you turn on your favorite console, try to plan something to get your heart pumping first. “Heart Attack Caused by Convenience” shouldn’t be labeled on your death certificate.
What do you do to get more out of your day in a healthy manner? What conveniences do you indulge in on a regular basis? Personally, I love online interactivity and instant Cream of Wheat.