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How tech can keep your health goals on track

TECHNOLOGY often gets blamed for contributing to lazy lifestyles and expanding waistlines across Australia - but it can also help keep your health goals on track.

Fitness trackers have infiltrated the world of wellbeing and weight loss and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Exercise physiologist Ray Kelly said engagement was a factor in the skyrocketing popularity of fitness technology.

"The key to anyone losing weight is engagement and that's what an app provides - engagement," Mr Kelly said.

Mr Kelly said while someone might see a personal trainer once a week, the majority of time they were on their own so fitness trackers could monitor progress and keep goals front of mind.

"They make you aim towards a goal and it keeps you focused," Mr Kelly said.

The Exercise and Sports Science Australia spokesman said gadgets that encouraged people to connect on social media and share results provided an extra push to exercise.

"People become competitive within themselves and with their friends," he said.

Given the nation's startling statistics on obesity and related chronic diseases, he believes anything that encourages Aussies to more active is a step in the right direction.

"These kinds of things can be fixed very easily by walking each day and reducing the amount of processed foods you eat," he said.

Mr Kelly said some people were so inactive they could not comprehend vigorous exercise but making lifestyle changes did not have to be complicated.

"It's more just getting people moving - get out the door and walk 20 minutes a day," he said.

He said using an app to record your diet could also help.

"Even writing things down will mean you will be more mindful," Mr Kelly said.

"It doesn't mean you will be perfect but you will be better and that goes a long way."

His advice for people wanting to stick to a healthier lifestyle is to team up with others and look to online communities for support.

"There are groups everywhere and it's all free and you can be chatting with people who are going through the same thing you are," he said.

ARM NEWSDESK



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