Remember when working out with music meant lugging around a clunky Sony Walkman and wearing headphones that would constantly fall off? Or perhaps you’re younger and to you, music and workouts meant heavy iPods and ill-fitting earphones.
We’ve come a long way from such antiquated technologies. Thanks to an array of wireless and IoT innovations, personal fitness has become smarter than ever before. I’ll share 5 such technologies that are transforming fitness in this article.
- Cheap Bluetooth Headphones
Wireless headphones used to mean a large RF receiver and thick headphones to accommodate the transmitter. The few Bluetooth headphones that were around were either exorbitantly expensive, or too large and unwieldy. Limited range and battery life meant that you could barely use them in your own house, forget about taking them to the gym.
Fast forward to 2018 and the market has never been more saturated with wireless headphones. Some Bluetooth earphones cost less than $50 and boast a battery life of over 8 hours, all the while maintaining a form factor that’s perfect for working out.
It’s proven that listening to music can improve workout performance. So if you’re feeling a little unmotivated to hit the gym, or just want your favorite tunes on the treadmill, pick out a pair of cheap Bluetooth headphones today.
2. Smartwatches with Cellular Data
When Apple released the Apple Watch 3 last year, it turned the smart watch industry upside down. Until then, smart watches depended entirely on the phone to connect to the internet on the go. If you didn’t have your phone in your pocket, there was no way to go online with the smartwatch alone.
That changed with Apple Watch 3. Since it has built-in cellular data, you can grab a data plan for it. This effectively turns the watch into a tiny wrist phone, giving you access to 4G data on the go.
While this has a lot of benefits, the biggest impact is on personal fitness. You no longer have to lug around your phone when you’re out on a run. Your Apple Watch alone will connect you to the internet and make your favorite tunes available to you. Pair the watch with Bluetooth earphones and you won’t have to worry about your phone again.
3. Lower-Priced Fitness Trackers
If someone asked you 10 years back what your heart rate was at any time, you’d have to pause, whip out your watch, and count your pulse for 60 seconds.
This is now a thing of the past, thanks to the ever-decreasing prices of fitness trackers. From $300 luxury items, the price has plummeted to the point that fitness trackers are often as cheap – or cheaper – than low-end watches.
This has made a range of metrics available to fitness buffs. From heart rate to total steps and calories burned, you can now know exactly how you’re performing towards your fitness goals. And as the prices have dropped, the accuracy of these metrics has improved as well, making fitness more affordable and accessible to everyone.
4.Smart Fitness Devices
There is a massive range of smart IoT innovations in the fitness space. From Wi-Fi enabled scales to smart mirrors that check for exercise form, there seems to be an IoT device for every aspect of fitness.
While these are not nearly as popular as fitness trackers, these devices have unlocked new potential in niche fitness pursuits. If you’re a powerlifter, a camera mounted inside a mirror can record and analyze your form. If you’re a runner, a smart device implanted in your shoe can show you when you’re falling off the ideal running form (as well as the impact of each step).
Essentially, no matter what your fitness pursuit, you can probably find a smart device that will help you get better at it.
Fitness, health, and wellness is as much about your genetic makeup as it is about effort and motivation. Cheaper gene testing from services like 23AndMe has made it possible for virtually anyone to test themselves for issues and capabilities. If you’re more susceptible to certain health-related issues and illnesses, these tests can help you spot and diagnose them early.
At the same time, gene testing can help you determine what sport or fitness activity you’d be better at. If you’re genetically primed to have more oxygen in your blood, you might succeed at distance running. If you are genetically programmed to have more fast-twitch muscle fibers, you’d excel at sports that require speed and power.
Combined, all these technologies are set to change the way we approach fitness and sports. From superficial improvements such as access to better music, to deep changes offered by cheap gene testing, all these technologies are already transforming personal fitness.