This blog is the last of a five-part series that looks at the impact of the IoT on society. Experts say that an Olympic gold medal begins with good genes.
Author: Elly Schietse Director of Wireless Connectivity Business Unit, Qorvo.
That remains true, but today’s technology for fitness monitoring and integrated applications are a great help to push that extra mile, gain that extra second or lose that extra pound.
The IoT can have a big impact for sports and health - particularly for professional athletes. Let’s take a closer look at a day in the life of a professional cyclist and the IoT applications that support her today. (She also happens to be the daughter of the author!)
Monitoring made easier with the IoT
The first thing in the morning, at the instant the athlete opens her eyes, she will tap her Fitbit and measure her pulse at rest rate. Great cyclists generally have an extraordinary heart capacity, and a lower heart rate at rest typically implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. It can also indicate if the athlete has any infections or circulatory problems.
This morning, the athlete has a very low 37bpm (beats per minute): all clear for a good training day.
She starts off with a well-balanced breakfast of granola, fruit and yogurt for a total of 550kcal. She enters the food and its weight in a food calculator app and shares it via the IoT with the nutritionist who’s a part of her athletic support team.
The nutritionist then optimises the athlete’s food intake for the required output, based on three types of days: training, racing or rest. And indeed, less weight on the bike equals less resistance and better results, so continuous monitoring and follow-up are key.
Honing a training plan in the lab
Before the cyclist ever gets on her bike for the day’s training ride, the cyclist’s support team has previously analysed both her equipment and her fitness levels to maximise every possible variable:
All this real time information shapes the cyclist’s individual training plan so that she can focus on what’s most important: her riding.
New levels of training efficiency with IoT
When it’s time to start her training session, our cyclist will put on her training clothes, shoes and helmet. But her equipment is optimised by technology and the IoT:
But the cyclist isn’t alone on her ride - her support team can monitor it in real time using the IoT. The trainer can follow the cyclist with the GPS tracker as training sessions are automatically shared as live streams. The trainer checks heart rates, speed, power - and discipline. Nothing goes unnoticed, and skipping a training becomes very visible.
In the past, trainers only looked at average speed during training sessions. Today, they look at distance and speed, power output and explosivity, velocity, resistance or help from tail- or headwind, and many other variables (like weather) - which can all influence the result of a training session.
Athletes today have access to a plethora of technology, tools, instruments and applications to measure performance and progress and share it with their support and training team:
The team analyses all gathered data to further optimise the most precious instrument the cyclist has: her body.
Good genes can only do so much - but the IoT can help enhance them
No one is born to be a world-record holder. People are born with certain abilities and talents, but they must work with those abilities to become the best. When technology kicks in to optimise an athlete’s performance and bicycle, in close collaboration with the supporting medical and care team, the IoT has a nice growth path in sports.
And for the rest of us who aren’t professional athletes, connected IoT devices and applications can still bring the same benefits. We can use different apps and wearable devices like a Fitbit or Apple Watch to track our own fitness, monitor progress toward goals, share our achievements and stay motivated, as well as convey information to health care providers. At its heart, the IoT can bring more information and more data for sports and health - no matter your fitness level.