Digital technology has advanced virtually every corner of our lives, and the world of sport and exercise is no exception. To the everyday person, engaging in sporting activity has never been easier, more accessible and more enjoyable thanks to the technology available to us.
From calorie trackers in our watches and route planners on our phones to Bluetooth ready treadmills and virtual reality hosted sport, digitization is everywhere in clausal sports. Digitization and technology is also very present in the expanded sports arena, including nutrition, sports business modelling, sports education and the organization of festivals and events. However, there are also many non-digital advances that have, whether you have noticed or not, made a huge impact on the way that we can, and do, engage with exercise.
No longer than a couple of decades ago, the sports footwear market was relatively small. You could some ‘sport-specific’ footwear, but standard training shoes were what was most readily available.
Now, in 2020, your sports shoes can be tailored very specifically to what you wish to use them for, and to you, personally. For a number of years trainers have been able to be adjusted to your gait, your weight and your height, among other things. However, one of the most recent trends is the use of advanced technical fabrics that enable support at the same time as offering successful adjustment to the shape of your feet without an uncomfortable ‘breaking-in’ period.
Convenience in Active Wear
One of the biggest recent trends in high-street active wear is for running leggings to include a pocket for the user’s device. Although this might seem like a small thing, the integration of this flush phone pocket would not have been possible until recently.
The problem of phones jiggling around in loose pockets whilst running has been a problem for a while. This has now been solved due to advances in technical fabric technology. The fabric used in these garments is waterproof and flexible, yes, but it also has the structural integrity to hold a device firmly in place and to not warp and stretch over time.
Sports clothing technology has also advanced in terms of support and recovery. Compression technology is now being incorporated into active wear to ensure support throughout your workouts, and to aid recovery after them. This is made possible through more use of engineered fabric technology. Compression built into workout clothing can also be used to encourage blood flow, and so aid you in making your exercise more intense.
Compression technology is also important for injury prevention. One of the primary functions of compression clothing is to keep muscles from losing heat. If you are engaging in outdoor sport, especially in the winter, it is important to keep your muscles warm and your blood flowing in order to effectively reduce the potential for injury. Sports where there is a lot of ‘stop and start’, such as football and rugby, are prime examples of where compression clothing can be effectively used to prevent muscles from cooling.
A full dumbbell rack is no longer necessary, 2020 has seen an advanced adjustable dumbbell system come onto the mainstream market. These dumbbells use a simple and reliable adjustment system; just turn the knobs at either end to easily release or increase the weight. These have become increasingly popular due to their very safe and reliable design, and the fact that they do not take up a great deal of space.
When we think of technology, most of us picture digital advances; smart sports equipment, apps and trackers. However, as we can see, the non-digital side of technology has significantly changed the way that we exercise, especially in the last decade. Although digital technology has made working out and playing sport more convenient, it is arguably the non-digital advances that have been the most instrumental in making casual sports safer, easier and more effective.