Sport and technology, a team for success
Doing sport is a resolution for some and a philosophy of life for others. More and more people are encouraged to incorporate healthy habits such as physical exercise into their routine. A routine in which technology, which is already part of many areas of our life, becomes an ally to help us achieve our goals.
Hiking, jogging, yoga or swimming are some of the activities that have formed a perfect tandem with digital tools. Wearables, for example, monitor our steps, control our heart rate, calculate the distance we travel or the calories we consume. Thanks to these, we have a great variety of data about our training that allow us to know our strengths and weaknesses.
Another benefit of technology applied to sport is its motivating effect, since knowing our results encourages us to continue and set new goals. If you are thinking about getting fit and let technology accompany you on your runs, walks or in your exercises, follow these tips to get the most out of your digital training:
Get a kit of connected clothing
Imagine having a T-shirt that records your physical activity, your exercise time, even your heart rate and that sends all that information to your smartphone so you can assess your progress. This is no longer something of the future, but of the present, and the textile industry has been one of the first to join this trend. An example of this are companies such as Gymwatch, a pioneer in launching garments made with a smart fabric able to connect to other devices and measure our vital signs. Smart wristbands are another star complement for athletes, among which brands like Fitbit, Samsung or Polar stand out. 3D scanning technology also gives us information on the folds in our body and allows us to tailor garments, like with Speedo swimsuits.
Analyse your physical state
One of the priorities when starting to get in shape is to know our physical condition. The most advisable thing is to have a medical check beforehand, but there are also digital tools that can help us know and control our blood pressure, heart rate, the type of food we eat and the daily exercise we do. Samsung Health, Google Fit or the Apple Health App are some of the applications with which you can know your physical ability to start doing your favourite sport without fear of overdoing it.
Warm-up and stretching
Two essential exercises in any training routine that allow us to tone our muscles, improve our flexibility and, above all, avoid the dreaded injuries and pulled muscles. If you do not have time to go to the gym or do not know what specific stretching exercises you should do, you can do customised exercises with applications like RunnerStretch or Sworkit.
Watch your sleep
After a good training session there is nothing like falling asleep in bed. Sleeping is one of the most important activities to achieve maximum performance. Technology has no limits and proof of this is a smart pyjama that restores your muscles and measures the quality of your sleep. This is TB12 Sleepwear from Under Armor. Another wearable that we can take to bed is the Sunrise Pillow, a smart pillow that analyses how we sleep.
However, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, stress or day-to-day worries take us away from that much deserved and desired break. But luckily, if this is the case, we can rely on Apps that help us fall asleep with relaxing sounds, like A soft murmur or Relax & Sleep.
A wearable for every activity
Wearing the built-in technology makes doing sport a more enjoyable and personalised experience. These are some of the activities that you can get the most out of with electronic devices:
Those passionate about outdoor walks can find an inexhaustible number of routes around the world in the Wikiloc application. With this it is also possible to create GPS routes on your own smartphone and share them with other hikers. Another of the most-used Apps is MapMyHike, which is very useful for designing routes, making a list of favourites and even for connecting to some types of shoes.
Water sports also have their own technology. An essential wearable for swimmers is Garmin Swim, a device resistant to depths of up to 50 metres that allows data such as distance, efficiency or the number of strokes to be monitored, like having a personal trainer under the water
Pulsometers or apps to monitor routes are very useful devices for cyclists, but if there are some that are really important, they are those that ensure their safety. Last year, at the Invention Fair of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, a smart bicycle was presented capable of measuring how overtaking occurs and the interaction between vehicles and bicycles. Another ingenious invention is the smart jacket for cyclists, the 'Project Jacquard', created by Google and Levi's.
Although yoga consists precisely of disconnecting, the truth is that technology has much to contribute to this oriental discipline. The latest thing: Nadi X, smart tights that correct our positions as if they were a teacher.