Connected health and fitness
Last week saw another International CES show showcase the latest technological developments in health and fitness. Amongst the innovations presented over the past few years one trend that continues to grow ever stronger is connected health technology.
Where past generation fitness tracking merely offered a personal record of an exercise in isolation (i.e a basic pedometer), the ability to then sync with opened ended and online platforms such as mobile phone apps opened the door to the possibilities of connected health. Current generation solutions include the smartphone apps and online dashboard connected to popular trackers such as the Nike+ Fuelband SE the Jawbone UP24 and the Fitbit Flex.
Where some of these tracking platforms then advanced was to link food diaries to exercise. Here users could get a breakdown of macronutrient inputs and how that compares to calorific expenditure to provide a more holistic picture of our health and fitness.
Understanding that many of their customers include both gym based and outdoor workouts within their fitness regime, many of the fitness industries leading equipment manufactures have develop a range of cloud based platforms that enable users to link to all aspects of their fitness.
Technogym, a world leading company supplying fitness and wellness products, services and solutions, developed mywellness cloud, the first and only open platform that allows fitness enthusiasts and operators to see all of the information collected from their third party fitness apps and devices in one location. It boasts the most comprehensive list of third party fitness and device partners in the current marketplace so end users can seamlessly measure and aggregate all of the data surrounding their physical activities, both inside the gym and out, along with their daily movements and their evolving body measurements. With the mywellness cloud, consumers can manage their workouts in the gym (in concert with Technogym equipment & Unity consoles), outdoors on their mobile devices, at home via personal computers or Technogym home equipment, on holiday or wherever they train, for a truly personalized and seamless wellness experience.
All of this ladders up to Technogym’s “Wellness on the Go” philosophy, which is at the heart of everything that Technogym strives to achieve from a technological, lifestyle and holistic standpoint. Made possible by the Unity console, the Android-based display for cardio equipment that allows users to customize the information and entertainment options on Technogym cardio equipment much like you customize the screen on your mobile devices, in combination with Technogym’s mywellness app, which stores physical activity in the mywellness cloud on a variety of devices. Technogym provides a fully integrated personal health and fitness system for everyday use on the mywellness cloud.
All of these components are integral parts of the Technogym Ecosystem, the first integrated system that incorporates interconnected equipment, services, content and programs. Through the mobility and interconnectedness inherent in all these products, fitness facilities can now offer their members “Wellness on the Go” packages and connect with them on Technogym equipment anywhere in the world, whether inside or outside of the gym. Technogym’s mywellness cloud can now be integrated with a suite of popular products, including Fitbit, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Polar, RunKeeper, Strava, Withings and Garmin.
Octane Fitness has also developed The SmartLink custom app for smartwatches which now enables runners with a premium smartwatch to track outdoor runs as well as indoor sessions on the Zero Runner, including pace, distance, calories, and more. Runners now can bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor workouts without losing useful data – enabling them to log miles outside and then on the Zero Runner to minimize excessive repetitive impact. With this technology, runners benefit from specificity of cardiovascular endurance and muscular training while protecting the joints and the body from potential overuse and injuries.
Originally launched in 2014 for use with an iPad, the SmartLink app delivers customized workouts, exercise tracking and multiple features that enhance fitness regimens and stimulate results. It connects to Octane’s standing and recumbent home ellipticals, and the Zero Runner, from the iPad, and will be compatible with Android tablets and iPhones in March.
Exercisers simply identify their goal and can specify a period of 30, 60 or 90 days, and SmartLink creates a customized plan designed to achieve it. Programs begin with easier workouts, and add challenge as fitness improves; the app also recalibrates mid-plan if necessary to ensure progress. If exercisers miss a workout or want to add a session, adjustments are simple. On the Zero Runner, SmartLink also incorporates innovative stride tracing that enables runners to monitor the health of their stride to ensure consistency and good form throughout workouts. On select Octane machines, SmartLink enhances the exclusive Cross Circuit program with a comprehensive library of hundreds of strength training and flexibility exercises, along with multiple workout routines. Workout Boosters on select Octane models are illustrated via video with coaching tips. Workout history is tracked and results are recorded in the cloud so that individuals can easily monitor progress, set new goals and share successes on social networks.
Beyond fitness equipment makers, fitness industry brands are also getting in on the action. Premium fitness brand Under Armour today unveiled UA Record, the latest addition to the world’s most comprehensive health and fitness network. UA Record simplifies your personal health data with fitness activity tracking tools, connects you to your digital community and keeps you synced with your fitness goals 24/7/365.
Data features include motion and GPS activity tracking from mobile sensors and third party devices, analysis from individual workouts and a total snapshot of your progress – including steps, sleep, caloric burn, heart rate and weight.
Members can invite up to 20 friends within their network to compete in customized health and fitness challenges centered on specific goals. Challenges are based on workout count, total distance, total steps and calories burned. These daily, weekly or monthly competitions provide real-time updates, leaderboard progress and an open conversation forum for group participants.
The ability to share content, such as videos, photos and workout stories is built into the app along with access to original content on nutrition, training methodologies, injury prevention and more directly from leading health and fitness experts.