Note from wife to husband:

“Bye babe, I’m off to train. When you’re off the elliptical, could you go online and check the tracking order of my fitbit? I’m taking the iPad with me (client SJJT app is on it). Text if you need anything! I’ll skype the girls at 7. XO : )”

Could you imagine a 1985 reaction to this? Unreadable.

Technology has rapidly become prevalent in our lives. For those of us 30 years of age or older, we’ve been witness to some drastic changes: devices, apps, equipment, services, medical and communication advances, and programs that promise to help manage your fitness business. All have had an enormous impact on our field. Just for a moment, though, quiet the noise (airplane mode, everyone) and ask yourself the most important question of this trillion dollar industry, “Is the use of technology helping or hurting?”

We each vary in use. I, for example, enjoy my devices, while one of my mentors still uses a flip phone. So I’m not going to praise or trash any one element. What I’m suggesting is an assessment of your current use.

Consider the following:

Social Media

What is the return on investment of your social media efforts? Have you obtained new clients? Held on to old ones? Built a brand? Made connections? Or wasted precious time? Shared conflicting posts or messages? Ignored the page that you started? Some of us are wizards at social media, some of us are just trying to keep up. In assessing where you are at, look at your time commitment and results. Determine if your use of technology is delivering the results you’d hoped for. If not, limit your investment and focus on learning how to do the most important piece better. If it is producing results, be clear about what exactly is working, pour your time into more of that and be open to experimenting further.


Have you taken the time to know your equipment? Played with it? Made some mistakes and improved what’s not effective? From activity trackers to tablets, do you set them up properly and learn how they work? The gorgeous commercials sell a whole lifestyle in moments, but none of it delivers if you don’t lay the groundwork. Backups (please tell me you back up), preferences, updates, training, syncing, storage and a little bit of research go a very long way to increasing the capacity for devices to make your life easier. Know how you want to use these devices and get the right information to make it happen. Feeling overwhelmed and under-informed? You’re not alone. Reach out for help on the most important problem and ride it until it’s fixed.

Implications for Health

In the fitness industry, it’s rarely the gadget or app that delivers long-term results. With all of our technological advances, some argue we are unhealthier than ever. Yes, these items make our lives easier, but when we look long-term, they are just tools to maximize our efforts and track our performance. I hold firm that the individual, whether the trainer or the client, is the most important underlying component of a healthy life. My mother, an accountant, has always said, “QuickBooks is only as good as the numbers you put into it.” Even if you’re not entering the data, she still has a point. For healthy living, the instrument/app/machine is only effective if the person makes the change or stays the course.

It is easy to get swept into the hype of the latest and greatest, but the real money is how technology delivers results for your business and improves the lives of your clients. Take the time to evaluate what’s working and make sure your use of technology is working for you.


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