Almost everything we do today has one technological element or another involved in the process – talking to friends, reading, ordering food, and even exploring new cities. It’s 2015 and we are as tech savvy as it gets, at least for now. The maintenance of one’s physical health is no exception, with the rise of technology one wonders should personal trainers stay home?

Countless electronic gadgets have been developed for the sake of staying fit and healthy, which, in the majority of cases, is leading people to replace their personal trainers with their blood-and-flesh-lacking, virtual colleagues. It has become a normal part of our daily lives as having a cellphone fall flat on your face while you are scrolling through your Instagram feed in bed.

Every time I decide to start working out, I get a little too discouraged simply because I already know how boring it is going to be doing it all alone. Eventually, I succumb to laziness and procrastination; maybe even watch a TV show or some movie. The reason behind this is the lack of human-to-human interaction. With personal trainers, the case is different. They are always by your side to teach you, let you know if you are performing an exercise incorrectly, and show you how to do it the right way – they tell you what is good for your health and what is not. But, above all, they give you moral support.

The local as well as regional fitness scenes are in no shortage of such services. Kuwait has plenty of centers like FusionFit, which provides clients the luxury of having a personal trainer train you “in the comfort of your home.” Another gym is Inspire, which assigns you a personal trainer to train you on their premises and offers a 10 percent discount at all Nike stores in Kuwait exclusively for their clients. In the Gulf region, the Dubai-based Symmetry Gym offers similar services.

Due to continuous developments in technology, however, people have started to overlook those trainers’ services. For most of us, the problem mainly lies in the fact that personal trainers can be quite expensive in the short-term let alone the long-term, as opposed to the use of cost efficient electronic gadgets and consoles.

Amongst shelves overflowing with electronic devices, you will find a cluster here and there of gadgets dedicated to losing weight and staying fit. Fitbit’s The One is a small, very-much-portable device which can be clipped onto your pocket or shirt that keeps track of steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, hours slept, distance traveled, and quality of sleep you have had. It even has a built- in alarm, which makes the device vibrate to wake you up from your deep sleep. It automatically syncs your data with your PC and graphs it to give you a clearer picture of your progress. Furthermore, Fitbit’s second gadget, the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, calculates your weight, BMI, and body fat and like its counterpart sends all the information to your computer. Similarly, the Nike+ Fuelband operates in a likewise manner as The One, keeping track of your activities day and night. As for the Adidas gadget, the miCoach Connect, it also acts as a heart rate monitor.

Fitness gadgets are able to target individuals of both genders of any age and leading any lifestyle. With a booming regional video gaming industry here in the Gulf region, good old PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii consoles are fit for the job as well. With creations such as the Move Wand and PlayStation Eye Camera, Microsoft’s Kinetic, and Wii Fit and Wii Balance Board respectively. All of them come with their own games, let us just call them that – boxing, tennis, volleyball, even UFC-like training. This is what has come to be known as “exergaming.” It is a rapidly growing market as more and more people are choosing to buy these products instead of hiring a personal trainer; and the results are nothing less than fruitful. Many people have benefitted greatly from them.

On the other hand, according to CBS 2, there is a cheaper alternative. You could buy the gadget, use it, sync your data, and then allow your trainer to access it. They could monitor your progress, all of it. Various gyms are providing such a service, and accordingly, it is making it a simpler and enjoyable task for the clients. But this does not dismiss the need for sessions with the trainers.

All of these are before looking into phone apps, and when it comes to fitness there really does seem to be an app for everything from walking, regimes, diet, sleep, and tracking all of those meticulously.

With so many electronic fitness solutions now available it really does seem like personal trainers could be on the road to extinction, however, I do not think that this will be the case. No technology, yet, can compare with human interaction; no app could ever emulate a personal trainer, who can motivate a client, give them emotional support, and get them active. There is no good or bad, more what fits your needs best and what doesn’t. So if you think you need that extra motivation from a personal trainer then go ahead and get one, or if you’re confident in your own discipline then seek out some technological solutions.

– Ayat Abdulla

Artwork by Reema Abood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like