2018 has become the year of glorious breakthroughs in technology, some of which include the iPhone XR, AI, and smart watches. Among these remarkable feats is the rise of fitness technology. Influencing many aspects of our lives, fitness technology has become more sophisticated and personalized than ever. As we ease into 2019, it’s time that we look into what the future holds.
Wearable technology has become a trendy craze for today’s athletes. These modern devices have numerous capabilities, aiming for comfort and convenience. “Smart” accessories, such as a ring produced by the tech company Motiv, are designed to track heart rate, physical activity, and sleeping patterns. They are not only used in the gym, but also in day to day life, demonstrating how plenty of non-athletes opt to wear smart gear to keep track of their health.
In addition, smart clothing is being designed to expand beyond the mere strapping of gadgets. In fact, the medical tech company Athos offers a range of training clothing embedded with sensors that detect activity. Simply by wearing sweat absorbent shirts or leggings, athletes can receive insightful details of their workout through a smartphone. As health and wellness are central focuses of current society, this fitness gear is what you’ve always desired.
High-profile sports teams are becoming aware of how a data-driven approach can maximize performance and minimize injury. Sports wearables are able to identify early signs of injury by detecting unusual heart rates or muscle contractions. This information is a valuable indication of the athlete’s health when conferred with a doctor. Suppose an athlete is wearing a pair of “smart socks”. The socks can detect a muscular imbalance when the athlete is running, and once the data is analyzed, the training may be adjusted accordingly.
Regarding football players, by wearing trauma-monitoring stickers, impact on the athlete’s body may be measured, which is crucial in the trek towards a better understanding of concussions. Without a doubt, smart clothing could revolutionize the way we address injury prevention and fitness.
While receiving real-time feedback during a workout is impressive, the hidden downside of high-tech fitness gear is impossible to overlook. Without intending to, tech that is worn during the day could pressure the wearer into staying in shape, potentially harming the athlete’s mental health. Seemingly, we have to be willing to share everyday decisions with the devices we’ve invited onto our bodies.
Ultimately, however, fitness technology aims to boost progress and promote wellbeing. This Spring, find the right pair of shorts, compression sleeve, or smart watch, and kick off the season by finally initiating your recurring new year’s resolution!
Rachel Kahng, Grade 10
Seoul Foreign School