How Technology is Transforming Fitness
by Frank Trevino
How Technology is Transforming Fitness
As a digital strategist in emerging technology, it comes as no surprise how digital technology continues to improve the quality of life for people. Some digital technologies tend to come and go, while others offer a long-term solution with great benefits. One key area that I am always looking at, like most people today, is health. We must balance our lives around a health-conscious environment. Staying physically healthy can help us maintain a positive mental state of mind, which helps us cope with stress and fight off illness.
When we talk about staying healthy, it is no surprise that we each have our approach to exercising. We all talk about staying fit, but some talk more than do. Those tend to start the new year with a gym membership that goes unused after our first couple of trips. Others view exercise as part of their lifestyle and make it a habit to stay active. Regardless of what camp you are in, there are always opportunities to leverage digital technology to monitor, track, simplify and analyze our efforts and results to motivate and inspire us to stay healthy.
With the advent of smartphones and smartwatches, digital technology has ushered in a new way to assist us in our exercise efforts. From calorie counter apps, heart rate monitors, and sleep monitors to more sophisticated solutions such as neurostimulation, and pain recovery. But sometimes, it’s the simple digital technologies that we don’t think about that offer us the best solutions. Tracking distance and pace helps us record our efforts and find areas of improvement. Using a workout planner helps us stay organized to get the best results during our exercise. One technology we don’t think much about as it has become a norm for us is listening to music. Music helps us stay focused, pass time, and offers a source of motivation. According to research, it maximizes our workout while making your exercise feel like less effort.
always opportunities to leverage digital technology to monitor, track, simplify and analyze our efforts and results to motivate and inspire us to stay healthy.
While technology helps us improve our efforts to exercise, the truth is technology is giving us the tools to personalize our exercise efforts. This personalization allows us to identify our areas of strengths and weaknesses. It provides us personalized data from our efforts, the results, and possible paths to improve our training. New digital technologies are now using artificial intelligence/machine learning in various fitness devices to achieve personalized fitness goals. Through various AI-enabled fitness applications, people can improve their performance and stamina in doing a specific exercise. It is helping enthusiasts, as well as amateurs, do more around fitness.
For example, an AI yoga app analyzes body movements, monitors progress, and provides real-time feedback on the user’s performance. Sensors can easily fit within your workout clothes, smartphone, smartwatch, and even stationary sensors placed on surfaces. All these sensors track your movements and are then analyzed to provide personalized insights to improve your exercise efforts.
While we talk about sensors and applications today, the future is still open for new ideas to improve our exercise efforts. AI/ML is still in its early stages to help analyze and improve efforts around fitness. Advanced materials are being developed to reduce weight and friction in our clothing. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is also creating new opportunities to offer personalized gear to mold and shape around you. Take all of the technology opportunities and add IoT sensors and now personalization takes us to the next level of performance.
While I look forward to seeing where technology will improve our health and fitness, I also must remember that no amount of technology can ever replace our mentality and personal drive to keep us moving forward.
AI/ML, digital transformation + sustainability strategist, & digital marketer with 20+ years’ combined global corporate & startup experience in emerging technologies. IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, NASA iTech, USAF Cyberworx and USAF AFWERX innovation participant.
Frequent speaker on AI/ML including the recent Digital Transformation World Series 2020 and Yahoo Finance. Frank is a Master of Science (MSc) candidate at the University of Oxford.