How to Get in Shape When You’re Constantly Traveling or Shifting Schedules (Brought to You by Future)

Getting in shape is hard enough without time constraints — busy schedules, jobs that require a lot of travel, or who don’t know what their schedule will look like ahead of time. If that sounds like your current lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you are destined to be out of shape or without options to achieve your fitness goals. On the contrary, you don’t even have to warp your life around fitness. You can have a fitness plan structured to fit your lifestyle on the go.

Technology continues to evolve the fitness industry, and now a personalized trainer is at your fingertips no matter where you are. Futures is a program that delivers personalized training and custom workout plans from your own personal coach who can help you reach your fitness goals in the gym, at a hotel, or anywhere else in the world. Their app, available in the Apple app store, syncs automatically with the Apple watch and allows you to track various metrics as you progress through their program.

Futures


Future is a virtual fitness tracker that offers the user a customized training program and access to a personal trainer for motivation and accountability. Choose and meet your coach, use analytics to track your efforts, and get daily check-ins to assess your progress.


So that begs the following questions: how effective is this kind of personalized technology? Is customized coaching as effective through that technology as it is in person? Let’s see what the research says.

Technology and Fitness

Wearable fitness technology has shown statistically significant increases in physical activity. (1) Frontiers in Health suggested the fitness technology’s potential for sustained physical activity increase in sedentary adults and its capacity to revolutionize physical activity research. (2)

Strategies such as goal-setting, self-monitoring, feedback, rewards, social support, and coaching seem to be especially helpful in increasing activity and healthy behaviors.

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Wearable fitness technology may improve successful training efficacy by increasing users’ daily physical activity levels via the following:

  • Identifying obstacles
  • Restructuring negative attitudes
  • Action planning
  • Modifying environmental factors
    • Potentially useful for “populations who may not know how, when, where, and with whom to start increasing their activity levels.”

It likely comes as no surprise, but adults who can identify and remove obstacles are more likely to exercise than those who can’t. Likewise, a negative attitude can inhibit workout duration for those training alone. In Layman’s terms, those with negative attitudes are unlikely to train or, if they do, are likely to train for less time than those who have positive attitudes. (3)(4)(5)

Planning ahead is an effective strategy to better ensure that someone trains. People who schedule a time to train are more likely to exercise than people who don’t plan ahead. Scheduling a training session with a partner also has significant benefits. Not only is someone more likely to show up to train if they are working out with a partner, but they will push themselves harder if their training partner is perceivably in better shape. (6)(7)(8)

When modifying environmental factors to be more conducive to training, how one perceives a training facility is as important as the facility’s capacity for effective training. If you enjoy going to the gym, training class, or a place of exercise, you are more likely to show up and train hard than if that place doesn’t appeal to you. (9)

Training in person vs. virtual coaching

In general, coaching is more likely to improve training motivation than training alone. Working with a personal trainer is expected to increase training motivation by nearly 60 percent, even if they are already reasonably motivated, particularly if that personal trainer can make their client feel comfortable in their training environment. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, fostering a “sense of social belonging can lead to more successful adherence to an exercise program.” (10)(11)

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Using online training resources to progress towards your fitness goals without a person on the other end is unlikely to garner significant changes in behavior. A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that a personalized online training program alone proved ineffective at positively increasing physical activity levels. (12) The benefits come from having a real person on the other end.

Although having a real person as a personal trainer is likely more effective than an automated program to help you reach your fitness goals, they don’t necessarily have to be in person with you to train. The added accountability to exercise seems to remain present when training alone if the training session is programmed and monitored by a person rather than a machine. (13)

Having access to technology like Futureswhich provides one-on-one coaching, where your trainer customizes a workout plan to fit your weekly schedule with your preferred exercise style, could be an effective means to train while traveling or otherwise busy.

Wearable technologies have been shown to be an effective tool for promoting physical activity and weight control when used for at least three months. What’s more, customized training programs contribute to better self-efficacy for exercise (ie, workouts designed for you are more likely to make your training more effective for reaching your fitness goals.) (14)(15)

Into the Future

If your schedule is likely to remain busy or get even busier, don’t let it deter your physical fitness aspirations. The science supports wearable technology, customized programming with a personal trainer, and accountability can help you achieve goals.

Futures

Futures

Future is a virtual fitness tracker that offers the user a customized training program and access to a personal trainer for motivation and accountability. Choose and meet your coach, use analytics to track your efforts, and get daily check-ins to assess your progress.


Don’t let odd timing, varying locations, or lack of knowledge in the gym stop you from getting or staying in shape. Futures could be what bridges the gap between your training needs and hectic schedule.

References

  1. Kirk MA, Amiri M, Pirbaglou M, & Ritvo P (2019). Wearable Technology and Physical Activity Behavior Change in Adults With Chronic Cardiometabolic Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American journal of health promotion : AJHP, 33(5), 778-791. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890117118816278
  2. Sullivan, AN, & Lachman, ME (2017). Behavior Change with Fitness Technology in Sedentary Adults: A Review of the Evidence for Increasing Physical Activity. Frontiers in public health, 4289. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00289
  3. Artistico, D., Pinto, AM, Douek, J., Black, J., & Pezzuti, L. (2013). The Value of Removing Daily Obstacles via Everyday Problem-Solving Theory: Developing an Applied Novel Procedure to Increase Self-Efficacy for Exercise. Frontiers in psychology, 420. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00020
  4. Nelson, TD, Benson, ER, & Jensen, CD (2010). Negative attitudes toward physical activity: measurement and role in predicting physical activity levels among preadolescents. Journal of pediatric psychology, 35(1), 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsp040
  5. Padin AC, Emery CF, Vasey M, & Kiecolt-Glaser JK (2017). Self-Regulation and Implicit Attitudes Toward Physical Activity Influence Exercise Behavior. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39(4), 237-248. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2017-0056
  6. Conner M, Sandberg T, & Norman P (2010). Using action planning to promote exercise behavior. Annals of behavioral medicine: a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-010-9190-8
  7. Feltz DL, Hill CR, Samendinger S, Myers ND, Pivarnik JM, Winn B, Ede A, & Ploutz-Snyder L (2020). Can Simulated Partners Boost Workout Effort in Long-Term Exercise?. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 34(9), 2434-2442. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003732
  8. Day EA, Boatman PR, Kowollik V, Espejo J, McEntire LE, & Sherwin RE (2007). Collaborative training with a more experienced partner: remediating low pretraining self-efficacy in complex skill acquisition. human factors, 49(6), 1132-1148. https://doi.org/10.1518/001872007X249983
  9. Maddison R, Hoorn SV, Jiang Y, Mhurchu CN, Exeter D, Dorey E, Bullen C, Utter J, Schaaf D, & Turley M (2009 ). The environment and physical activity: The influence of psychosocial, perceived and built environmental factors. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 619. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-6-19
  10. McClaran SR (2003). The effectiveness of personal training on changing attitudes towards physical activity. Journal of sports science & medicine, 2(1), 10-14.
  11. Wayment, HA, & McDonald, RL (2017). Sharing a Personal Trainer: Personal and Social Benefits of Individualized, Small-Group Training. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 31(11), 3137-3145. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001764
  12. Slootmaker SM, Chinapaw MJ, Schuit AJ, Seidell JC, & Van Mechelen W (2009). Feasibility and effectiveness of online physical activity advice based on a personal activity monitor: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 11(3), e27. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1139
  13. Watson, A., Bickmore, T., Cange, A., Kulshreshtha, A., & Kvedar, J. (2012). An internet-based virtual coach to promote physical activity adherence in overweight adults: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 14(1), e1. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1629
  14. Yen, HY, & Chiu, HL (2019). The effectiveness of wearable technologies as physical activity interventions in weight control: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 20(10), 1485-1493. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12909
  15. Wada, T., Matsumoto, H., & Hagino, H. (2019). Customized exercise programs implemented by physical therapists improve exercise-related self-efficacy and promote behavioral changes in elderly individuals without regular exercise: a randomized controlled trial. BMC public health, 19(1), 917. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7270-7

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