By Sherry Fox
Have you ever watched football players get slammed to the ground over and over again, an Olympic track athlete clear a high jump bar taller than the first story of your home, or a figure skater land soundly on one foot, on a slippery surface and think “how do they keep doing that?!”
It’s certainly something that I used to wonder, but throughout my career working with both professional and amateur athletes, I can tell you that professional athletes are human, too. Of course, they put in uncanny amounts of hard work, but professional athletes also have something that most of us don’t: access to advanced technology that can help them train harder, perform better, and recover faster. The good news is—many of these training technologies are also becoming available to the public, so you too can have a leg-up on the competition or on life.
Data Driven Training
One emerging realm of technology that is rapidly growing in popularity with professional athletes is performance data and analytics. Athletes are using motion tracking cameras and wearable technologies to train with to analyze every detail of their performance, from swing angle to knee strength to jump acceleration. Some firms, such as California-based Kitman Labs, are making a killing by providing this type of analysis to professional sports teams in order to predict and prevent injuries.
Whether you want to have a better jump shot or make sure that you’re holding your body at the proper angle while you run, there are numerous new consumer-friendly options available that can give you this information. Some popular devices include the Piq multisport connected sensor, the Blast Motion family of athletic sensors, and there is even a new line of athletic wear called Athos that has built in motion, heart rate, and temperature sensors.
Another area that dramatically affects athletic performance is clearly diet. I haven’t met a single athletic trainer who does not also have their athletes on intensive food plans to supplement what the athlete does in the gym. The good news is that if you can’t afford your own nutritionist or trainer, technology can help you eat like the pros too.
Fitness and Food Tracking Apps
Fitness and food tracking apps have been around for a few years now, but for the serious athlete, the options are expanding to include platforms with more detailed reporting on the way your food is helping your body. One of the best apps currently available is the
One of the best apps currently available is the MyMacros+ app that was made by bodybuilder Jason Loewy. This app is popular with athletes because it offers infinite meal logging per day and breaks down nutrition content for the day in protein, carbohydrates, and other key categories so goals can be tracked and met beyond just calorie consumption.
Injury Healing and Recovery
Last, a concern for every athlete is being able to recover quickly and completely after any type of injury. Whether they tweak their shoulder in throwing practice or do serious damage like tearing a rotator cuff, recovery is time-consuming and frustrating. Thankfully, technology is helping athletes get back to the sports they love faster than ever. A number of new consumer devices are cropping up that echo the kind of therapy available formerly only to the pros in clinical environments.
Ultrasound, massage, electrolysis, and infrared therapy are all methods of stimulating a speedy recovery. Firefly, Veinoplus, and others are new devices aimed at increasing circulation and helping muscles and joint return to normal.
However, perhaps the most effective of these at-home therapies is infrared light—due to the fact that it not only temporarily reduces pain and inflammation but also promotes long-term muscle and joint health by stimulating the release of healing nitric oxide within the damaged tissue cells. For infrared therapy, try LumiWave: a new consumer device on the market that can deliver clinical level results to you at home.
So you may not be a professional sports figure, but even if your greatest athletic feat is playing in an inter-office softball league, these technologies will be there to help you up your game and feel like a pro.
Sherry Fox is an entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of BioCare Systems, Inc.