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New Year’s resolution trend towards fitness and new technology

It is that time of year when the bulk of the population contemplate their personal goals and aspirations for a new year ahead.

Consistently at the top of the charts for New Year’s resolutions is improving one’s health and fitness.

This year a Nielsen survey in the United States highlighted that the number one resolution was to ‘stay fit and healthy’ with ‘losing weight’ a close second.

The American College of Sports Medicine also recently published its 10th annual ‘Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016’, with the top fitness trend expected for the new year being the growth in wearable technology such as GPS tracking and measuring devices, smart watches and heart rate monitors.

So what can this mean for New Year’s resolutions for 2016 in Australia?

According to Founder & Director of Corporate Challenge Events and leading Australian fitness and running event professional, Travis Ireland, there will continue to be a positive trend in New Year’s fitness resolutions due to this growth in new and smart technology.

“Society, in general, has more of a focus these days on being able to live a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Ireland.

“Governments, at all levels, are very proactive with health campaigns and programs. This has equipped the general public with more knowledge and awareness of what to do to improve their health and fitness.

“In recent times, the development and greater simplicity in mobile and digital technology, has provided more tools for people to use to stay committed to their health and fitness goals.”

As an Australian-based entrepreneur, Ireland picked up on this trend back in 2013 and started to develop an event to help people stay committed to their fitness goals.

“My passion is to see people happy and help them to achieve their personal health and fitness goals,” he said.

“That drove me to create Run Down Under, a virtual fun run around Australia, which enables participants to run or walk when they want, where they want and how they want. It’s very simple.

“The most popular and accessible form of exercise for people is running or walking. All participants need to do in Run Down Under is run or walk and measure their distance utilising GPS technology or another measuring device, and we do the rest.

“Participants can track their journey around Australia on a virtual map and also their ranking against all other participants on a live scoreboard.

“It has proven over a short time to be a great way for people to stay committed to their running goals over a full 12 months and longer.”

In Run Down Under, the challenge is for individuals and teams to see how far they can run in a calendar year and ultimately continue their progress to complete the 14,080km virtual course around Australia.

“Many of us set goals around health and fitness as our New Year’s resolutions, and Run Down Under provides a platform to motivate people and keep them committed to their goals,” said Ireland.

“The traditional fun run comes and goes on one day, whereas Run Down Under is a continuous fun run until you complete the journey around the beautiful country of Australia.”

In October, Gold Coast-based 51-year-old fun runner Stephen Wright became the first person to complete the virtual run around Australia, finishing in just under two years.

Aside from individuals entering, there is a Corporate Teams Challenge for offices and workplaces and a Clubs Challenge for running clubs, sporting teams and social training groups.

“There is a challenge for both individuals and groups in Run Down Under,” said Ireland.

“More and more workplaces are taking part in fitness events, as it’s becoming well known that a healthier and fitter organisation is a more productive organisation.

“Run Down Under provides a simple, effective and engaging challenge for workplaces.”