While training techniques and motivational videos get the limelight on social media, recovery is often overlooked. But, science has been teaching us more about recovery than it has training, and that’s because it’s more important to our overall wellbeing.
From smartwatches to sleep trackers, there are many new approaches to health and wellness. Exhausting our muscles in the gym, or our cardio in the field, is the simple bit. But, making sure these recover for your next training session is where things get a little more nuanced.
A good example of how far technology has come is with Normatec, a device that uses air compression to massage you and improve circulation. This helps accelerate the pace in which your muscles rebuild and recover, making it a prime example of how targeted technology can make us both faster and stronger. The set-and-forget nature of it means it’s repeatable and doesn’t rely on human error – or the hourly rate of a masseuse.
The Smartwatch Revolution
Smartwatches have become ubiquitous, not just for telling time but also for monitoring various health metrics. These wrist-worn devices can track your heart rate, sleep quality, and even stress levels, providing real-time data that can be crucial for recovery.
The insights gained from these devices enable individuals to make informed decisions about their health, such as when to take rest days or how to optimise their sleep. A simple example of this is that upon waking, if your heart rate is raised by several more BPM than it’s norm, you may need to take it easy that day.
The Imperative of Sleep and Tech’s Role
Sleep is often dubbed the “third pillar” of health, alongside diet and exercise. Its importance in recovery cannot be overstated, as it’s during sleep that the body repairs tissues, synthesises proteins, and rejuvenates the mind.
Technology is playing a pivotal role in enhancing sleep quality. From smart pillows that adjust to your sleep position to apps that generate white noise, tech is making it easier to achieve the optimal sleep environment. Even wearables are getting in on the action, offering features that track sleep cycles and provide recommendations for improvement.
IoT: Beyond Smartwatches
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding the boundaries of tech-led recovery, too. Smart scales, connected gym equipment, and even intelligent mattresses are part of this ecosystem. These devices collect data and sync it to your smartphone, allowing for a more holistic view of your health. For instance, a smart mattress can analyse your sleep patterns and adjust its firmness to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, aiding in faster recovery.
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more sophisticated tools. It is already in a similar stage to the smart home market, where much of our home data can be monitored in one place – an app. This centralization makes it all the more convenient for the customer.
It’s not just recovery, but our health too. Oxygen saturation, ECG, and other medical tests can be tracked on-the-fly. Apple’s smartwatch can call emergency services if it detects the user has fallen…