One of the most exciting things about the new developments in wearable technologies in recent years is how the technology could be used to create more efficient, effective, and smart methods for athletic training methods by giving us more detailed information about the human body. At a recent industry event, a team of engineers from MIT (News - Alert) announced their start-up, Humon, which could represent a big step in the use of wearables for endurance training.
In simplest terms, the Humon is a lactic acid measuring device. It is worn around the primary working muscle (so far a marathon runner, it would be the quadriceps, for a rower, it might be the back muscles) and, in real-time, keeps a log of how oxygenated the user’s blood is. By doing this, it can keep track of lactic acid buildup, a byproduct of exercising. This is incredibly important to athletes: lactic acid buildup causes soreness, and when it builds up quicker than the body can get rid of it, muscles begin to break down and athletes begin to feel the effects of what is known as “overtraining,” which causes excessive fatigue and possible injuries.
Using Humon, athletes will be able to constantly be aware of their lactic acid levels, allowing them to push their bodies to the absolute upper limit during training without crossing the line into overtraining. Whereas for past athletes, finding that limit was a matter of trial and error, athletes using the Humon can always know how hard to push themselves without going too far and overtraining.
“We give the recommendation to the athletes so you can get to, scientifically, the maximum possible performance your body can sustain,” said Humon co-founder Alessandro Babini. “We remove the risk of hitting the wall, which is one of [endurance athletes] greatest fears.”
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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