Working out is a popular pastime that has become increasingly important in our sedentary world. One of the most popular ways to exercise has been going to the gym. This might take place a few times a week or much more often, especially for the gym rats out there.

And then 2020 happened. The coronavirus entered the picture and in a flash gyms the world over had shuttered their doors. Some of these have tentatively reopened but, truthfully, it isn’t a pretty picture. Thus far, the future of the classic “gym workout” remains murky at best, leaving millions of people in search of a new exercise routine.

The Need to Develop Sustainable Long-Term Workouts at Home
Rather than stopping their exercise routines altogether, many people have responded to the current pandemic by shifting their workouts to the homefront. This is a wise decision, but it naturally creates some challenges.

For instance, it can be difficult to stay focused and accountable when working out from home. In addition, workout resources can be scarce, limiting the effectiveness of your routine. Sure, going for a jog outside or using that old set of weights that you picked up at an estate sale can be a great way to initially keep things going. Eventually, though, things like cold weather, basic equipment, or sheer boredom are going to make your workout difficult to maintain.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: technology. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to maintain creativity in your routine or looking for ways to stay active during the winter months, tech has your back. Here are some of the best ways that you can integrate tech into your workouts. When implemented, they can make that home exercise session as rewarding as any trip to the gym could ever be.

1. Get the Right Equipment
Things like home gyms, treadmills, and rowing machines have been available for consumers for decades. However, just because something that can plug in and keep you moving doesn’t mean you’re capitalizing on the technology factor.

Tech-powered exercise equipment has revolutionized the market in recent years. For instance, electric cruiser bikes have enabled urban and suburban dwellers to ditch vehicles for their local transportation. Even if you live in a hilly area where biking is difficult, eBikes can incentivize pedaling practically anywhere. 

In addition, many cutting-edge at-home exercise bikes and treadmills also come with fully integrated screens and internet access. The Peloton or NordicTrack models help you watch training videos and remain in touch with trainers as you exercise.

2. Track Everything
Along with upgrading your equipment, technology can have a tremendous impact on how you track your exercise. This is especially important when you’re working out at home. It’s easy to lose track of how often you’re actually putting in time “at the gym” when you’re at home. Everything blends together when you work out in the same space that you live, relax, and possibly even work remotely.

Helpfully, there is a plethora of different devices available to help you with the workout logistics. Some are simple, affordable, and effective, such as a FitBit or other fitness trackers. Smartwatches can also be used to help. They can monitor your health through EKG analysis, watch your heart rate, take your temperature, and even track your sleep.

3. Use Youtube
One of the simplest (and affordable) ways to integrate technology into your home exercise routine is via YouTube. If you look for a solid YouTube workout channel, it can instantly plug you into a good routine. 

If you’re tight on cash, this is also an excellent way to use the resources already available to you. All you need is the internet and a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This gives you access to videos that can indefinitely keep your workout fresh and exciting.

4. Gear Up with Gaming Consoles
Running for miles on end or always doing the same dull repetitive exercises can quickly become dry and uninspiring. Staring at the walls of your living room or home office while doing so only exacerbates the problem. If you find this is the case, it may be time to add some fun to the mix. Try breathing new tech-driven life into your routine by embracing the gaming factor. 

Gaming consoles and their various fitness-focused accouterments are an exciting way to spice up your workouts. Tools like the Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure, Dance Dance Revolution, or Xbox One Kinect sensor, provide an excellent opportunity to shake things up. Rather than plodding along in an uninspired manner, these games infuse your workouts with a unique sense of interest and purpose. They can be the perfect solution to revitalize a cooped up home workout regimen.

5. Access Entertainment and Accountability
Finally, two of the simplest-yet-effective ways to use technology have very little to do with the exercise itself. Rather, they focus on two things: entertainment and accountability.

A good smartphone or tablet and an internet connection can give you instant access to an infinite amount of entertainment. This can keep your workouts interesting and engaging over time. It can even help you look forward to working out, regardless of the setting. Resources such as podcasts, audiobooks, movies, and television shows can all be utilized. Each of these serves to keep your mind focused and busy as you exercise each day.

On top of that, if you used to meet up with friends or colleagues at the gym, use tech to stay in contact with them from afar. Technology provides a myriad of different communication options. Many of these can be used to regularly stay in touch with workout accountability partners. Don’t just chat, either. Set up genuine accountability systems to ensure that everyone is following up on their exercising commitments. You can do this through daily emails, monthly video chats, or using an app, like GroupMe. The simple act of staying in communication can do wonders in keeping everyone on the same page.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate tech into your workout. Getting the right equipment, tracking your health, and utilizing videos, gaming, entertainment, and accountability are all worthy of consideration. We live in an era where “going to the gym” has largely been replaced by home workouts. Whether this is permanent or temporary remains to be seen. 

Regardless, the current situation has made fitness tech more valuable than ever before. So consider your situation and look for ways to start integrating tech into your routine. Do you need help keeping your workouts on track? Your body in shape? Both? You can only create positive change by taking the initiative yourself. If you can create that spark, you’ll be able to get your life moving in a positive direction — pandemic or not.