'MVP' (Minimum Viable Phitness)
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'MVP' (Minimum Viable Phitness)

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

MVP (Minimum Viable Phitness)

"A version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development"
"A version of yourself that allows you to satisfy your body and fulfill your daily activities/tasks without pain, discomfort, or the abolishment of your long-term health goals"

As I've continued to drift into adulthood and my fitness levels have become a lower priority of mine, I've found myself constantly asking why do I continue to workout?

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So I put together a small list of all the reasons I could think of as to why people exercise on a regular basis:
  • For the looks
    • To lose body fat
    • To gain muscle
  • To be healthy (now and in the future)
    • Reduced risk of heart diseases
    • Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels
    • For brain health
    • For bone health
    • Reduction of cancer risk
  • Because it's fun
    • If it isn't fun for you, you're doing it wrong!
  • It feels good
    • Improves mental health/mood
    • Improves sleep

If I missed any obvious reasons please let me know here:

While trying to answer this question, I came across this definition of 'fitness':

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The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task

Proof that
Proof that fit-tech is growing!šŸ˜‚ (Google Ngram of 'workout')

I don't know about you, but I found this definition oddly liberating. This means that our 'fitness' is purely subjective to what is 'suitable' to an individuals goals and lifestyle. This is why I thought of the term MVP (Minimum Viable Phitness) - with one main question in mind: "What is the minimum amount of activity we require, and at what point is our fitness levels at an acceptable level for our current lifestyle?"

Please note that I am completely aware that there are so many different variables when it comes to being a 'healthy' indivudal, and fitness is just one small component of the larger complex system that is our body. However, let's just say ceteris peribus (everything other than the physical health is optimized in Maslow's hiearchy of needs), how is the MVP defined for each individual?

Here are a variety of examples of lifestyles that I've pre-defined, with each their own subjective ideal MVP:

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9-5 office job & 5-10 gamer
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Stay at home mom
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Construction/manual labourer
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Olympic gymnast
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It's obvious that for each of the personalities above, the MVP would vary tremendously, and although I'd like to believe that the majority of people participate in some sort of physical activity/movement on a regular basis, there are unavoidably people that follow a similar lifestyle to the gamer up there. Now, let's just say you could optimize your fitness plan, and it was possible to be given the minimum amount of maintenance work to keep your body in healthy condition, would you do it?

With the various fit-tech technologies being sold in the market today, I believe that this is possible. As we move towards a more remote workforce, meaning more time being spent at home, it opens up new opportunities to take care of our physical health. This has led to a surge in various at home workout equipment:

Tempo

Mirror

Tonal

Before you ask, no I did not forget Pelaton, I chose to display these products because of the potential they have to customize and tailor exercise routines based on an individuals needs. If you want to learn more about other home workout products, this article gives a solid overview of what's out there and how they all work.

It will require a tremendous amount of research, but eventually there will be programs tailored to very unique lifestyles that one lives. Let's say for example that you're the 9-5 & gamer I mentioned above. This is how I envision the flow would be for you as a user (using Tempo for this example):

  • During set up of device, you enter all your personal information, i.e your weight, age, daily activities, any pains you have, goals with the product etc.
  • Based on information given, Tempo creates a set tailored workouts to help 'bullet proof' your body. For the 9-5 & gamer I would imagine the exercises would be focused on:
    1. ā—
      This is the part that would change dramatically based on what your lifestyle and goals are
    2. Strengthening postural muscles
    3. Activating muscles not used while sitting (glutes, core, upper back etc.)
    4. Addressing chronically shortened & lengthened muscles/tendons (hamstrings, quads)
  • While doing these workouts Tempo uses 3D motion sensors and AI technologies to track your movements and give you personalized feedback

Until these technologies come out, we'll all probably continue to live our current lifestyles and only address our physical problems as they arise. I know the point of this post was to discover what our MVP would be, but for now, if I had to give some quick pieces of advice to maintain physical health they would be:

"Our bodies are built for movement, and in turn movement keeps our bodies healthy. It is a symbiotic relationship that has allowed our species to survive"

How I be going to the gym at 7 am