Giving Thanks and Focusing on the Present Moment

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving – aside from the gift of being with my entire family, it seems this time of year always inspires reflection…And every year it can feel different depending upon what is going on in my life.

Regardless, though, I’ve learned to ground myself first – and always – in gratitude. Gratitude for the simplest — and yet the greatest of things… the love of family and friends, the blessing of good health, and that I have TODAY.

Please take a listen to this short message on how to be grateful and stay in the present moment:

Living Your Strongest Life – 30 Second Stress Buster!

Let’s face it, there are times in our life – and moments in our day – when we can feel the stress rising. It can be when you are feeling overwhelmed, you may be nervous about a presentation or project, or you might be anticipating a difficult conversation at work or with someone you love. Continue reading

Connection: The Real Secret to a Good Life

 

A good life. That’s the prize we are all working towards. To look back on life and know you did everything possible to live it to the fullest: happy, healthy and perhaps even wealthy.

There’s good news for good living. A recent study unveils the secret that could most positively impact longevity, physical health and keep our minds sharp as we age. Continue reading

Apple and Fit Tech Makers Need a New 1984 Moment

I recently wrote about my take on the new Apple Watch Series 3 announced on September 12 at Apple’s impressive new Silicon Valley headquarters, and its place in the fitness technology and wearables space.

It occurred to me after that the fitness technology industry as a whole, of which Apple is a key player by virtue of its fitness-featured smartwatch, appears to be stuck in a technology paradigm that is holding back the realization of the true promise of fitness technology as a means to help more people get healthier.

It is strikingly similar to the technology paradigm that Apple confronted in its early days; the one it lashed out against with its award winning “1984” TV ad aired during the 1984 Super Bowl. That ad helped changed the game for Apple, advertising and technology. An amazing feat by any standard.

Back then, the prevailing paradigm viewed technology as a tool whose primary purpose was to generate increasing amounts of data and squeeze out higher levels of productivity from a world of mindless worker drones. Apple and director Ridley Scott literally and figuratively smashed that paradigm to pieces. Apple championed a new technology paradigm that freed the world to see technology as something that empowers, celebrates and engages the individual.

This new approach viewed technology as an experience in its own right that improved the quality of people’s lives; revolutionary thinking that helped pave the way, and indeed fueled, the expansive application of technology as a means to engage people in whole new ways and on whole new terms. In no small measure, Apple helped open new possibilities for technology that we accept as commonplace today in areas like gaming, music, entertainment, social media and much, much more.

By comparison, fitness technology today seems stuck still in a perpetual “1983” world. The drive is for more devices collecting more data from a pool of exercise drones addicted to that data. But, to what end?

Alternatively, we have seen at Koko over the course of 20 million individually prescribed and delivered workout sessions that creating technology that directly engages people — of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels — is amazingly effective in creating new behaviors and sustainable health habits over the long term. Engagement creates consistency and healthy habits. At the end of the day, that is the only way to create positive, measurable, life-changing health outcomes for the people who need it most.

In this light, passive technologies, like TVs streaming Hulu to treadmills or data-driven activity trackers that garner lots of attention inside the industry, are not advancing technology’s potential in the fitness space. They do not change or create a new fitness experience to actively engage individuals long term in the activity of exercise. They merely use technology to capture data or distract the mindless exercise drone from the reality that what they are doing is tedious, unenjoyable and boring. It’s 1983 thinking, and it will never get the 80% of adults who don’t belong to a gym or exercise consistently to ever truly engage in fitness and stick with it long term.

When Apple aired its 1984 commercial more than 3 decades ago, no one could have seen just how relevant it would still be today. The fitness industry may be behind the curve at getting the message, but what gives me hope for our industry is the success we have seen at Koko, and the exploding need for ways to improve health outcomes for millions of individuals, the companies that insure them, and those that provide their healthcare.

Technology has impacted so many other parts of our daily lives in transformative ways. As our many thousands of Koko members can attest, it can in fitness too.

Mike Lannon
CEO & Co-Founder
Koko FitClub

Can the Apple Watch Help the Non-Fit Get Fit?

Apple Watch Series 3 Announced at the Steve Jobs Theater

Leaders in the fitness technology world eagerly await each Apple product launch to see how the company intends to help people improve their health and fitness through technology, and determine the impact it will have on the fitness industry as a whole.

From a fitness perspective, the Apple Watch took center stage at this year’s big event, the first to be held in the new Steve Jobs Theater.

Apple calls its smartwatch the “ultimate device for a healthy life,” and while the original Apple Watch was somewhat of a letdown for fitness tracker fans, the Apple Watch Series 3 includes apps and features that rival the best activity trackers out there, giving fitness enthusiasts richer ways to monitor heart rate, track a larger number of activities and biometrics, and interpret results.

By far though the biggest announcement for the Apple watch was the addition of cellular connectivity, bringing the full smartphone experience to the wrist.  For runners especially, this is great news.  No longer will you have to carry your phone and your watch on a run.  Now it’s all on your wrist.

Apple and many wearable makers clearly see the wrist as a key technology beachhead. People wearing these devices will become hooked on data tracking and, the logic goes, they will alter their daily behavior to be more active and make healthier choices because of this data.  While this wrist-up strategy may be fine for fitness enthusiasts and quantified-selfers, we see a day when the technology itself engages a broader audience — the currently disenfranchised consumer — to engage with fitness and stick with it long-term. That’s what we see as the real promise of fitness technology and we see it every day at Koko.

Our team has dedicated the past 12 years to this space, cracking the code on how to engage the 80% of the non-fitness enthusiast population in a more direct, holistic way. In other words, making technology the centerpiece of the fitness activity and experience, not just a tracking tool.  Then using the data created by those activities to not only understand what a person has done or is capable of doing physically, but to precisely prescribe and coach each individual dynamically within the experience. This is how you engage people at a level that truly drives new behaviors that lead to lasting, positive health outcomes, with quantified progress.

We are encouraged by Apple’s push to make fitness more accessible and engaging to more people as part of a healthier lifestyle through technology. We look forward to tech leaders like Apple to help us drive the fitness technology industry to the next level, to truly engage and transform those who need it most.

Mike Lannon
CEO & Co-Founder
Koko FitClub