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Market research suggests that 61% of wearable technologies are sports and fitness trackers. A new generation of smart clothing has also been introduced to help people better manage their workouts. Smart coaching involves online personal trainers using data from gadgets and smart clothing to assist their clients, and is likely to become the future of fitness for a number of reasons.
Smart clothing provides many of the same benefits as a watch or other wearable gadget without the bulk or added inconvenience. Manufacturers have already developed clothing that can monitor heart rate, breathing, posture, muscle effort and more to help you better maximize your workout. There is even a sports bra for women that will measure the distance you run, and running shorts that calculate cadence, pelvic rotation and stride length to help you avoid injuries. Until now, this information was not available to online personal trainers, but advances in technology now make it possible for them to obtain important data in real time.
The number of online smart coaching professionals has increased significantly over the past few years. Online fitness coaches provide flexibility in scheduling, and are very cost-effective. However, working remotely does have its disadvantages, as it can be difficult for a trainer to know whether or not a client is using correct form or maintaining the proper heart rate. However, when clients are wearing clothing items such as the Heddoko smartshirt, coaches can view a 3D image of that person’s form in real time by using a smart phone app. The Hexoskin shirt captures similar data, and can provide it to a smart coaching companion app or to another fitness app such as MapMyRun.
Consumers have long relied on watches, pedometers, and heart rate monitors to help them better manage their workouts. The problem with these items is that they are often bulky and unreliable. Smart clothing on the other hand is sleek and comfortable, containing only tiny sensors that are virtually unnoticeable when wearing. Although they are small, they have the ability to capture and store vast amounts of data to better help people track their progress. When used in conjunction with a smart coaching app, the information can be used to make adjustments to a workout in real time, and can therefore be especially helpful when it comes to preventing injuries.
Several manufacturers are currently working on smart clothing prototypes, meaning that this type of workout gear will likely become mainstream in the near future. Researchers at the University of California San Diego recently received a $2.6 million grant to develop clothing that would maintain skin temperature at 93 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of clothing would allow online personal trainers to worry less about heat and cold injuries so they could better focus on providing advice and feedback.
Advances in smart clothing technology will help online personal trainers provide better services to their clients. As such, there is likely to be an increase in demand for smart coaching services in the years to come.