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Life-Changing Technology

by Rob Francis » on May 27, 2011 4

I was debating what I should do for my next post and began brainstorming by putting all my ideas into an app on my iPhone called Mind Map.  When I got home and had some time, I loaded the Mind Map I had made by downloading it from DropBox onto my Mac.  I gradually realized that I had been using a fair bit of technology to write my blogs and in my life in general.  This lead me to wonder if other people who wear VFFs are as interested and friendly towards leading edge technology and ideas and whether they use it as often or more than I do.

This isn’t only about different phones, or which is better; Mac or PC.  This is about people being more open to leading trends in technology which in turn exposes them to more ideas that they might not have been exposed to if it wasn’t for technology.  Many ideas revolve around health, and the technology we use every day has allowed to us to be exposed to these novel ideas on health.  My own exposure to VFF was on a fitness website and not by seeing them on someone in my area.

Internet and Gadgets

One of the biggest enablers of people sharing ideas and communicating has been without a doubt, the internet.  This has then led to a whole host of things such as laptops, smart phones, tablets, social media like Twitter or facebook, and websites and blogs.  The list goes on and you get the idea.

Screen shot of the heart rate app I use.

My heart rate App displaying my resting heart rate.

I love my iPhone and have had one since Dec of 2008.  The iPhone was way different than my previous not-so-smart phone and it enabled me to do so many things and use it in so many ways that I would be severely distraught if it got lost.  I use it to develop ideas for this blog, notes at work, Twitter, facebook, GPS, maps, weather, To-Do lists, and I even make the occasional phone call with it, too.  Most importantly I use it to find my workout of the day, track what food I have been eating, monitor my resting heart rate in the morning, log my hours of sleep and it has my Tabata timer on it too.  My iPhone is an important part of my physical fitness and I consider it essential for overall fitness, just like my FiveFingers and a water bottle.

The internet enables us to see what is new in health and fitness through a variety of websites and social media like Twitter.  I frequent several websites per week (Marks Daily Apple) and several daily (CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance).  I still find it amazing that my daily workouts are scheduled by someone in California and I get diet and health advice from Malibu; the opposite side of the continent I live on and in another country entirely.  I even saw my first pair of VFFs on the CrossFit Endurance website which resulted in me eventually buying a pair of VFFs and using them as my main footwear for fitness.  The information that travels on the internet has directly contributed to my overall health and fitness and I am sure I am not the only one.

Technology and Health

All this technology enables the massive amounts of information to be shared by people who have never met and most likely never will.  While some people complain that technology is making us shallow and have short attention spans, there is also the flip side that we are able to access a wide range of information that we can use for our health.  It provides us with information enabling us to make informed decisions about our health on a scale that we have never had before.  When I was younger, new running shoes meant going to the mall and buying a pair from a sports store from the selection they had and that was it.  Now I can browse thousands of pairs and even order one without ever actually touching them.  This also allows us to make smarter choices.  Why wear shoes with marshmallows for bottoms and that have no research backing the claims that it is good for your feet, when you can find research supporting the idea of the less shoe you wear, the better off you are.  You can search and see the amount of research, first hand accounts  and even talk to people who wear VFFs via the web and make a decision based on this information.

The same goes for diet.  Without the internet, I, and many others, would never have been exposed to the claims and research that the diet being espoused by the government may be the diet that is contributing to the obesity epidemic.  I would never have heard of Paleo, The Zone, or South Beach Diets or heard of people like Gary Taubes.  Not that I advocate one diet over the other, but the fact that I can read research and make decisions for myself is incredible whereas before I had to rely on other people or what I could find at the local library.  Knowledge is definitely power and allows you to make your own decision.

How About You?

I am curious if others here are just as interested in technology and willing to adapt to leading edge technologies and all the advantages that come with it.  In what ways do you use new technology?  In what ways has technology affected your health?  I look forward to comments on this, and I can be followed on Twitter at .



  1. Mikey

    May 27th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I really like Run Keeper. Its so accurate, and the data is actionable and helpful in tracking my performance over time. I can’t believe I ever ran regularly without it!


  2. Anthony

    May 27th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I’m an editor for Android and Me. One of our founders recently did a post on how he lost 100 pounds with Android. Nice story on how tech can be used to promote/assist in weight loss.


  3. Dan

    May 27th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Nike+ app for the iPhone has gotten a lot better, but Run Keeper is also nice.


  4. b87

    May 31st, 2011 at 3:22 am

    I use CardioTrainer for Android every day. Just love it.


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