As the world gears up for this summer’s games
, it’s not just Olympic competitors who are working towards achieving their personal bests. Recreational athletes, too, are dedicating themselves to physical fitness goals. No longer relegated to being humiliated by trainers at the gym, more people are seeking out digital media and online tracking tools
that guide them independently toward peak performance.
NBA Baller Beats:
Wii Tennis was reputed to be a viable form of cardio
when it was first introduced (a notion that has since become debatable
), but it’s unlikely that anyone has improved their backhand on the court because of it. NBA Baller Beats
, an upcoming Xbox 360 title scheduled to launch this fall, purports to offer basketball players a very real method of improving their hoops skills. The game, which uses the Kinect motion sensor to track body coordination and ball movement in tandem, challenges players with levels of increasing difficulty that are designed to help them take their dribbling and ball handling talents to championship heights.
Nike+ Kinect Training:
Announced at E3
earlier this month, Nike+ Kinect Training
is a new personal training program, also for Xbox 360, that allows ordinary people to get in shape under the guidance of some of the world’s most revered professional athletes, including LeBron James and Rafael Nadal
. The program is designed to help users reach their unique fitness goals, no matter how out of shape they may be at the outset. The Kinect technology assesses each user’s movement style and level of athleticism in order to identify areas in need of improvement and an appropriate workout plan. Real-time feedback ensures that half-assed sit-ups will not be tolerated.
Most people don’t pay close attention to the fluctuating state of their health unless they're seeing a doctor, but now they can do so without leaving home. Inside Tracker
is a “human dashboard”
that allows people to track their vital bodily functions in order to improve general wellness as well as athletic performance. Registrants first complete a survey of fitness habits and goals, then have blood drawn at a LabCorp
clinic. The resultant analysis delivers tailored nutritional recommendations based on biomarkers like folic acid and glucose. The service is gaining traction among pro and college athletes, including record-setting track cyclist Sarah Hammer, who apparently used it to reverse her vitamin D deficiency