Fitness Calculators

Written by Robert Mac
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Fitness calculators have developed greatly in the last decade, thanks to the advancement of digital technology. Now even the smallest wristwatch can handle multiple functions--and then upload this data to a printer or computer. Other healthcare devices that were once only available at the doctor's office are now small enough to pack in a briefcase.

The Industrial Revolution ushered in the machine age, allowing for the creation of exact measuring instruments like precision stopwatches for auto-racing, for example. These devices remained relatively the same until the digital age, when information was broken down to zeroes and ones. With tiny built-in microprocessors, stopwatches could now do much more.

When Stopwatches Became Digital

Stopwatches were originally designed for the sporting world: to time boat, car, and human races. When they added processors, though, stopwatches could measure much more and even calculate data that they collected. For instance, with a touch of a few buttons, you can time many races at once or figure the average time of your morning run over a period of weeks.

Wristwatches aren't just digital timers now, either. They are complete fitness calculators, capable of figuring your heart rate, your calorie expenditure, or even your location if you have one with a satellite transceiver installed in it. Since they are digital, you can program them to tell you when you've run three miles, 30 minutes, or 300 heart beats.

Using Fitness Calculators to Improve Your Health

Having this great technology at hand is one thing, but if you don't use it properly you won't accomplish anything. Today's fitness calculators are fully programmable for your unique fitness level: some monitor your heart rate and let you create heart rate zones that you want to work within. The second your heart rate is out of that range, an alarm beeps and gets you back on track.

If you are going to spend time and money on these devices, be sure to have a plan in mind. If you don't have any fitness goals, the data these machines store and process will be meaningless, so create a workout plan. One advantage of digital equipment is that you can store sets of data with ease; compare this data with your fitness objectives, and you can track your progress over time.

Other Features of Fitness Calculators

Some of the features of high-end fitness calculators are overwhelming. There are portable devices that measure your blood pressure and analyze your body composition--even determining your body fat percentage. Other devices have satellite sensors, so you can get lost in the wilderness and find your way back by following "electronic breadcrumbs." Don't be scared off by these high-tech gadgets; there are simpler fitness calculators for simpler workouts.

For example, there are a number of pedometers that only count how many steps you take for those who are starting the simplest exercise program of all--walking. As your fitness level increases and your heart is able to distribute more blood per beat, you can try more demanding workouts. For whatever exercise regimen you do, there are a number of tiny fitness calculators that can monitor your fitness statistics and motivate you to improve them.

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