Conway Regional shares the latest tech to help reach fitness goals in 2024

Fitness technology continues to be all the rage as 2024 dawns and fitness enthusiasts are shopping for the best phone apps and personal fitness devices for their goals. The tech selection extends from watches, rings and other wearable devices to upgrades in the exercise technology at local fitness centers.

“The biggest things that most people use these wearable devices for are your steps. Did you get 10,000 steps per day? People also measure their calories and sleep with watches,” said Amanda Castillo, member experience manager for the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center. Amanda has an Apple Watch and an Oura ring. The Oura Smart Ring analyzes steps and body temperature. Dubbed a sleep tracker, the ring can also detect when the person wearing it is about to get sick.

Christy Beacham, a member of the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, uses fitness trackers to learn more about the impact her exercise routine has on her health.

Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center member Christy Beacham is attached to her Oura ring. She purchased a Garmin fitness tracker years ago, fueling her drive to learn more about the effect of her exercise routine on her body.

“I’ve recently purchased an Oura ring, and the insight it shares regarding my body and fitness is above and beyond,” said Beacham. “I’m learning things that I would have never paid attention to, from the shifts in my body temperature to sleep patterns, stress insights and my recovery. Reading it on the screen helps me understand the impact of all the different things that affect my day-to-day performances.”

Hunter Little, a certified personal trainer at the fitness center, wears a Whoop fitness tracker on his bicep. The Whoop also tracks sleep and recovery after exercise and has a heart rate variability scale that detects the wearer’s overall sleep efficiency, health and wellness. The Whoop measures five distinct aspects of health, including respiration.

Little began wearing the Whoop to assist him in adjusting his sleep habits. He prefers the Whoop because it can determine when he is about to get sick. “I can increase my vitamin intake to slow the sickness or hopefully stave it off,” he explained. Little has a degree in exercise science, a specialty in corrective exercise, and a keen interest in health and fitness research. He also assists with youth sports performance training and medical fitness programs.

Fitness technology does not end with personalized devices and wearables.

For instance, Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center provides members with 11 state-of-the-art Matrix Fitness treadmills connected to entertainment with 22-inch touchscreen video display screens. 

The Matrix treadmills also offer: 

• An app interface for streaming services like Netflix.

• A Virtual Active feature—footage from exotic locations that match your pace.

• Pre-programmed workouts and fitness tests.

• Bluetooth capability.

• Wireless charging for devices.

“What’s nice is that on these treadmills, you can also create an account to track your workouts and progress,” said Castillo. “You can log in to any Matrix treadmill to show your previous workouts. It is like having your own smart treadmill.”

Jeramie Hinojosa, director of the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, said the Matrix treadmills were chosen because of the company’s heavy investment in fitness technology to create an immersive experience with the cardio equipment.

“Their ability to integrate not only fitness tracking apps but also entertainment apps like YouTube, Netflix and others is impressive,” he said. “This, along with the 60+ virtual courses our members can take advantage of, creates an extremely enjoyable workout experience with endless possibilities.”

“The positive aspect of all of this technology is that it can support you with the calorie counting and tracking steps, but I tell people to focus on your diet, drink your water and move,” Castillo said. “There is an app that can track your water and breathing. These will track heart rate and tell you what zone you are exercising in.”

While fitness apps, smart watches and other devices can monitor exercise intensity, Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center also recommends following the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines to ensure success in meeting those health and fitness goals in 2024.