aving basically no social life or commute has done wonders for our fitness regimes, with many people getting into exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown. But there’s one area of fitness that is regularly overlooked and can be the difference between a PB and an injury.
The key is recovery. It’s may not burn as many calories or look as good when you screenshot your Apple Activity stats but it’s just as crucial to keeping you healthy in the long term.
These are the apps and gadgets that will aid your recovery and help you stay on track.
Therabody Theragun Pro
You may have seen Theragun’s Instagram ads but there’s a reason the tool is such a favourite with athletes. The idea is that Theragun’s handheld device can provide deep muscle relief, like the type of service you can get at a chiropractor but in your own home.
Theragun’s devices provide percussive therapy to treat soft tissue pain. This helps accelerate the growth of tissues and repairs them by providing strong, rapid, short pulses deep into the body. This can increase your flexibility, decrease inflammation and help aid faster recovery.
The new Theragun Pro is quieter than previous models, with customisable speeds, and app integration which includes three app-guided preset routines for new starters.
For Apple Watch users, Training Today is a must-have app for your Watch. The app uses the data the watch collects to advise how intensely you should exercise that day as well as when to rest so you can build an effective training schedule.
It does this by using heart rate variability data. The app combines this data with an algorithm to create a Readiness To Train score, on a scale of 1-10, as well as handy hints such as when you should recover, and when you should aim for a fitness goal. You can make the app available as a Complication so you can always see the reading.
Founder Ian Blackburn used his Apple Watch to train for IronMan Triathlons and wanted to use its fitness data to train smarter. “There are days when you can almost hear your body telling you to stop, but feel like you should stick to your training plan and those are the days when you’re most likely to sustain an injury. There are also days when you feel pumped but your training plan dictates it’s a rest day.
“We created Training Today to help people make more effective training plans based on their own body’s health data, rather than following a general training plan,” said Blackburn.
Free, Apple App Store
Hyperice Vyper 2.0
If you can’t stand foam rolling, maybe this will be the gadget that helps you make it part of your routine. Hyperice makes a variety of recovery tools but in particular, the Vyper 2.0 can really help your recovery game.
The roller features a powerful 40w motor to deliver vibrations to the body which allows you to warm up and recover faster than using a normal roller. The cordless design means you can charge it up and take it on the go with you, whilst the smooth and grooved exterior helps you massage those hard-to-reach areas.
If you’re not a fan of the Apple Watch and Fitbit-style fitness trackers, then Whoop could be for you. The discrete strap logs movements, average heart rate, calories burned and all sorts of activity cues to offer a recovery score on how you’re doing and when you need to take a break. The device also includes sleep tracking which is crucial for any recovery plans.
“There are secrets that your body is trying to tell you that you don’t feel,” explained founder Will Ahmed. “Whoop is trying to tell you those things.”
Whoop’s tech isn’t helping people make smarter choices about their body, it’s also offering an insight into their health. Recently the company partnered with CQUniversity in Australia and Cleveland Clinic to analyse Whoop data to understand more about Covid-19.
Using information around respiratory rates during the daytime as well as in sleep, Whoop has been able to develop a novel algorithm that can detect 20 per cent of Covid-19 illnesses two days before people experience symptoms, as well as correctly identify 80 per cent of symptomatic cases by the third day of symptoms. The research is undergoing peer review at the moment but it could allow for widespread early detection of the virus.
“We have always believed in the value of research and validation in building WHOOP,” said Ahmed. “This published research shows that WHOOP can be used as a non-invasive leading indicator to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We are incredibly proud to help humanity beat this virus.”
Subscription including band from £22.62 a month, whoop.com
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