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Technology has had a long-standing tradition of removing common objects to working out. Hate to listen to other gym-goers grunt and pant? That’s an easy fix: Just pop in those AirPods so you can sweat to tunes or podcasts rather than your workout partner’s noises. No time to commute to your upcoming yoga lesson even though you put it as “high priority” on your calendar? Check your membership. It just might include free virtual classes available online with your favorite instructor.
But those advancements are just the beginning. Below are some other tech breakthroughs that are transforming the fitness scene to help time-pressed professionals everywhere.
1. Tech is paring down the time needed to get a workout
Wouldn’t it be great if you could condense your 90-minute workout by a third? That seems to be the promise of focused electrical muscle stimulation. Electrical muscle stimulation sends artificial signals through the skin to cause muscles to contract involuntarily. It’s been used successfully in medical settings such as during physical therapy treatments. Lately, though, Fitness leaders have begun exploring electrical muscle stimulation’s applicability as a helpful tool to slash workout times without sacrificing workout quality.
2. Tech is making it easier to track and measure success
In business, there’s a saying that what gets measured gets managed. For many people who want to prioritize and manage their health, seeing progress improves motivation and compliance. In addition, it can be hard to visualize what success looks like without a little help.
A wide range of startups has aimed to solve this issue. Many offer subscription-based apps that present visual representations or “gamified” elements that reflect the user’s health journey. Since more than half of all people with smart devices already use them to gather their health data, making the most of that data will no doubt seem intuitive. But do people use them? Doctors think so. In fact, Northwest Primary Care research suggests 93% of physicians believe apps Encourage users to stay on track. So if you’re driven by being able to see your progress, you may benefit from a trip to the App Store.
3. Tech is connecting experts with exercisers.
Peloton. Does the product make you cringe a little? Certainly, the brand received some tough criticism after posting a pre-pandemic advertisement that the New York Times and others called out as being potentially sexist. And it has since had to weather unflattering depictions in pop culture and widely publicized layoffs. Nonetheless, the company rose in popularity when people began staying at home more. Whether or not it remains viable doesn’t matter: Peloton opened everyone’s eyes to how exciting and thrilling the feeling of being pushed by a live instructor could be.
You might counter that the opportunity to compete virtually against other racers or runners has been around for a while. You’d be right. However, being able to enjoy one-on-one sessions or take classes from top fitness trainers is much different than racing against a nameless, faceless opponent. Additionally, virtual reality and the promise of the Metaverse are encouraging some interesting online exercising choices.
4. Tech is shortening post-exercise recovery.
Has all this talk of working out left you feeling drained and exhausted? Well, tech has another answer up its sleeve in the form of infrared light technology (IR). When used correctly, IR devices can reach deeper into your muscles than you could get if you plunged into a hot tub. And IR devices can include anything from pop-up tents to saunas.
Another product targeting the tired is the percussion massager. Delivering penetrating pulses into sore muscles, massager units do what no masseuse could: knead quickly and consistently to relieve and relax tight muscles. When investigated in a clinical setting, percussion massagers fostered an improved range of motion for study subjects. Like many health-focused tech products, they’re being sold at the consumer level to allow exercisers to get their anytime and anywhere. So you have less of a reason to skip your next workout due to lingering soreness.
So if you keep making workout resolutions only to say goodbye to them within a month, consider getting a little help from technological innovations.