From smartwatches and virtual training sessions to personalized at-home exercise sessions, the digital transformation of the fitness industry is becoming commonplace. Recently, technology and fitness experts have seen a shift in how fitness users engage in technology. The COVID crisis is forcing many people to stay home, as a result digital workout classes are becoming popular.
Here are some ways AI is changing the fitness industry.
1. AI-Based Personal Trainer
AI-based personal trainer apps like Zenia and Freeletics are finding new users as the COVID crisis makes people more aware of their need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition, people who never felt comfortable working out in gyms are moving more at home. A large percentage of sedentary people never felt comfortable in gym environments. Others were priced out of gym memberships. Affordable, workout-from-home apps have met the needs of this group.
Freeletics found that roughly 50% of 2,000 surveyed Americans are using fitness apps for the first time. The survey also found that 56% of those surveyed do not intend to renew their gym memberships after the pandemic eases.
Unlike other AI-powered fitness equipment, Zenia and Freeletics are affordable and users can choose from a range of exercises that will provide a customized workout for their skill level. With over 5 million workouts and 3.5 million options, users can rely on personalized algorithms that adjust to their fitness needs. Algorithms can adjust as needed, taking into consideration user preferences. Up to 85% of surveyed users found that their AI-derived exercise routines left them energized and not exhausted. Without the need to publicly perform, users are meeting fitness goals that are right for them.
The questions many fitness users ask is whether or not they will be able to perform exercises correctly. A human fitness coach can correct form and provide feedback to mitigate injury. Fortunately, developers have devised AI-powered technologies that combine sensors with algorithms to detect how accurately users perform certain movements. This technology is only improving as the field becomes more competitive.
Zenia’s virtual yoga platform has raised over 7 million dollars in funding. The platform incorporates AI motion tracking and computer vision to give users feedback on their form in order to address areas of weakness or provide a positive correction. Other apps use human pose estimation technology to further isolate body movements in order to provide optimized AI fitness coaching.
2. Smart Clothes and Wearables
Ease of use is an essential element in launching a product. Many prototypes fail to make it from experiment to household product. Wearable exercise tech had made it from an experimental prototype to a mainstream fitness necessity. Advances in textiles and smart sensors have made it possible to track movements effortlessly via wearable technology. From yoga pants to running socks and torso tops, wearables are becoming more mainstream.
Nadi yoga pants are lightweight, form-fitting yoga pants that seem identical to typical yoga pants. However, Nadi yoga pants feature embedded sensors that track and guide movement using gentle vibrations and monitoring technology. Wearers simply sync their machine-washable, smart yoga pants with the company’s app. Once the exercise session begins, the user is guided through the movements with vibrations. AI algorithms log the user’s progress to provide feedback on their pose positions.
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Another company in the growing fitness wearable space includes Sensoria. Sensoria’s garments include socks, tops and pants that assist runners and weightlifters with performance feedback and monitoring. Thanks to innovative developers and fitness niche products, wearables are being designed for specific movements and fitness routines like resistance bands, basketball, and other sports.
3. AI-driven diet planning
Staying at home may provide people with time to exercise and a desire for physical activity, but time at home also contributes to a disruption in eating schedules and habits. Restaurants are happy to deliver to those stuck at home while snacking becomes an easy escape from work-at-home stressors. AI-driven diet planning tools help users design a diet that is both enjoyable and healthy.
Apps like FitGenie employ AI technology that has the ability to sift through multiple factors. These factors are analyzed and adjusted to suit a person’s nutritional needs. The FitGenie algorithm was designed by tech developers working in concert with nutritionists. The result is an app that goes beyond simple calorie counting. Based on a users’ weight, body shape, exercise levels, and health goals, FitGenie’s AI algorithms and machine-learning aspects hone in on personalized recommendations. The app’s algorithms spot user trends, collect user data, and provide adaptable, personalized diet recommendations on a weekly basis.
FitGenie’s model takes into consideration the psychological needs of its users. By seeing changes in outcomes and changes in applications, users get a sense of making progress without falling into mundane routines. The same holds true for other AI-powered nutrition apps. Thanks to the competitive nature of the space, users can choose between different apps to find the one that works best for them.
Most nutrition apps center on calorie counting. AI algorithms adjust according to users’ caloric needs and exercise routines. Some apps are leveraging visual recognition technology so that users can find out caloric estimates of unusual items like fruits, vegetables, or even restaurant dishes.
These apps can be used at home but are also easily adapted to user behaviors when outside activities, especially dining, are resumed.
The latest AI innovations are changing the fitness culture and landscape. Instead of relying on gyms, users are learning how to stay active at home and outdoors. In addition, people are becoming more independent in their fitness choices. They are trying new routines like yoga or strength training that can be done in small living spaces. They are able to transform their bodies without worrying about their appearance while working out. Thanks to AI-driven design personalization, users are able to make informed choices regarding their health and wellness. As the AI fitness technology sector continues to expand, it is likely that AI-powered garments, apps, and other tools will be in high demand.