Not Just for Nerds: April 2013

As I often like to say, the purpose of technology is to help people perform tasks. In my case, I’m on a bit of a health kick. I’m 50 years old now and starting to wonder about my physical limits. And of course it has been years since I’ve done any real exercise. So about a year ago, I started a new workout regimen. Although I’ve done resistance training in the past, it was nothing like the program I’m now doing, which is called Crossfit. Crossfit mixes traditional weight lifting with high intensity, short duration, and competitive workouts.

Working out with a bunch of 20 and 30 something year olds was quite intimidating to say the least. I didn’t know if I really belonged; if I could keep up, even though there were a few guys that were older (and stronger) than I was. But I didn’t quit. Over time I found that I could push that barbell above my head, and slowly increase the number of pull-ups to something respectable (8).

On my off days I run and it’s nice to listen to music while I do so. So I bought an Apple iPod nano. It weighs next to nothing, sounds great, and come with a built-in app called Nike+. Nike+ tracks the distance that you walked or ran, and logs it so you can upload to the Nike+ website later. The website keeps tracks of your history and also allows you to set goals. If you meet them, it awards you various ‘medals’ and the ipod will play your “Power Song”. And it works with social media, so you can share all of it with your friends.

Who could have imagined this 20 years ago? This represents a lot of technology: digital music, flash memory, lcd displays, internet, cloud, and social to make this all work. And it works without a lot of thought or effort on my part.

So we’re at a point now where technology is going far beyond crunching numbers or video games. It can truly enhance our lives and health. And I thought that was worth writing about.