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Staying Fit With the Latest Technology

When Fitness Tracking Becomes Overwhelming

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In this Courageous Conversation, KOLR10 set out to answer the question: what does self improvement look like in 2018?

Physical health often starts with exercise and we found technology has changed how we move, track and measure success. At a local gym, the entire workout centers around new tech.

Everyone has their own theory as to what workout will help you become the fittest, fastest, and overall healthiest version of you. Crossfit, Zumba, and Hot Yoga have all taken a turn as the top fitness trend. But a relatively new movement has made its way to Springfield, and its theory is bright orange.

Nicole Liljenquist has been coaching at Orange Theory since it opened in town.

“Right now we’d be in gray because we’re just standing here chatting. Blue is our warm up, and then we spend class in green, orange and red,” she said.

The franchise strives to compete against fitness tracker giants, like the Fitbit and Apple Watch, which all operate under the same theory — that numbers motivate.

“So the big thing that makes us different is that we wear heart rate monitors,” Liljenquist said. “And that helps our members get to different zones. It allows them to push themselves a little bit harder and your results are displayed in real time. We’ve got big screens up in our studio so they can see where they are at.”

Somehow the orange theory team convinced KOLR10’s Lauren Barnas to throw on some workout gear and a heart rate monitor, as Head Coach Shane Koehler explains why orange is the magic color.

“Orange theory likes for us to shoot for 12 splat points or more, ” Koehler said. “The way we get that is the total number of minutes in the orange and red zones.”

Mercy Dr. James Rogers says the real-time status update of how many calories you’re burning, or steps you’re earning, is enough to get some people off the couch, but staying consistent is key.

“A lot of times people will say, well my Fitbit died, it died, and so I stopped exercising,” Rogers said. “My advice frequently when they give me that reason or excuse, is that it’s time to get a new Fitbit.”

Watching the results happen can also provide some distraction.

“It gives you something else to think about while you’re working out,” Liljenquist said. “So even though you might be running on this 5% incline and you’re hating it, it allows you to stop thinking about that for a second and keep going to make it through.”

But Dr. Rogers says not to push too hard.

“We’ll see people come in with strains, sprains, tendonitis, from over-doing it,” Rogers said. “And they’ll confess, ‘well I was trying to get 20,000 steps instead of my normal 10,000.”

A healthy fitness habit can even become a compulsive disorder if you’re not careful creating more self-harm than self-help.The topic made headlines at CNN, with university researchers, and various lifestyle magazines. Dr. Rogers says his standard suggestion is 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week.

Orange Theory offers a free class for anyone to try out. Memberships begin at $59 per month, and on the high end you’ll pay $159 each month for unlimited classes there. That will also get you into other Orange Theory studios across the country.

In comparison, unlimited Hot Yoga costs about $100 per month on average in Springfield. Crossfit will run you about $105. Whereas you can still walk for free, lift weights at home or stick with whatever fitness routine that’s working for you.


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