What the future holds for fitness technology

by Dhiram Shah

Whether you are an elite athlete at the top of your game, or a spirited team player taking part ingames in the park, there is no doubt that the gear and apparel that you wear these days has changed from the old sweats and sneakers combination.

If you’re even a little interested in improving your health, fitness, or sporting achievements, you will probably already be looking into how technology can help you attain your goals – and improve your performance.

Technological leaps
What may have been considered futuristic – or even treated with suspicion – just 20 years ago is now used by all kinds of sports lovers, at all levels. From running shoes that have been specifically designed for individual sports to today’s smart wearables, there has been a huge increase in the use of technology in the design of our sporting goods.

The first running shoes that contained computer chips to gather information may have appeared in the mid-1980s, but it has taken a while for the technology to be widely used in a way that doesn’t inhibit the person playing the sport. Athletic companies are continually striving to design more technologically advanced garments that suit the sports in question – and today’s wearables have become especially popular in the last few years.

Everyday wear
The real breakthrough for smart apparel has been lightweight wearables that are incorporated into the clothes that you are going to wear on a day-to-day basis. Runners were especially keen on smart watches when they first hit the market, but for those who wouldn’t normally wear a watch, they may seem intrusive – or extra baggage that psychologically feels like it’s slowing you down.

Now you can pick your favorite sports brand, and it is very likely that they are producing sunglasses, tops, and even bras that incorporate technology that collects biometric information that can be used to increase your performance as well as telling you where you need to improve. You can even use these smart clothes to act as a mobile coach. By programming your goals and regime into the device, you can know exactly how well you are doing and receive support – in both senses of the word!

Professional help
Sports teams have used these wearable technology clothes for quite a while now. Soccer stars across the world can be seen wearing garments under their shirts that record vital statistics so that their club’s sports scientists and data analysts can get the very best performance from them.

There are also sensors that can be built into clothes that can track how basketball players are shooting – and if the information is there, it can be used to improve that skill as the athlete continues to wear the top.

Performance enhancing
However, technology has been used in the way that clothes are designed as well as the sensors and computer chips used in the manufacture of the apparel. Compression wear has been very popular for quite a while now, with benefits such as the stimulation of blood flow and the decrease in recovery time needed. Copper fit compression socks from a reputable brand can help with stiffness of joints without restricting motion – and also have good antibacterial qualities to help fight against disease.

The future is now
It may seem more like a scene out of a sci-fi blockbuster, but it may soon not seem that uncommon to witness athletes being followed by teams of drones that are not only recording every single detail about the performance – but also offering advice as the workout continues.

Athletes – of all levels – are using the information at their fingertips to improve their performance and discover the areas in their game (whatever the sport) that need extra work.

Being able to connect your training regimes will also become even more popular. Having all the information gathered in different areas of your fitness programs reacting to each other means that you can identify exactly what needs to be done to keep at the level of fitness that you want to attain. If both your smart wearables and your gym machines can store your data, then it makes sense that they should be able to“talk” to each other to find out how you can improve yet further.

Be the best you
Using the technology available to you will only make you a better sportsperson. As long as the information and algorithms are specifically personalized for the individual, then the sky’s the limit for your sporting goals.

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