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Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ Category

We’re Embracing Winter With These Health and Fitness Products For December – POPSUGAR

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As we head into December, the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and our schedules get busier with all the holiday celebrations. Our editors are staying on track with their healthy lifestyle through it all with their favorite clothing, gear, and snacks. Check out what we're coveting this month.

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We're Embracing Winter With These Health and Fitness Products For December - POPSUGAR

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The health and fitness trends of 2020? Here are the movers and shakers – The Times

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The food, gadgets, exercises and outdoor pursuits that will shape you over the coming year

This year the health and wellness industry has brought us the rise of oat milk, LIIT (low-intensity interval training), nutrient meso-dosing and, of course, the domination of the Peloton Bike at the high end of home fitness. Its a market that is forecast to be worth more than 20 billion in the UK by the end of next year, and never fails to surprise with innovation about whats on trend. So what will we be trying in 2020 to keep spirits up and creeping pounds at bay?

The rise of digital fitnessFrom apps that get you into classes to online workouts, the trend for interactive digital fitness really took hold in 2019. However, Peloton, which offers live-streaming spin classes you take on a luxury

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The health and fitness trends of 2020? Here are the movers and shakers - The Times

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Best Cyber Monday 2019 deals for health and fitness still available – CNET

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Theragun This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season's best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

Black Fridayand Cyber Monday have passed, but that doesn't mean there still around sales around, or that those sales are limited to justheadphones,iPads and gadgets. The holiday season is also a time of deep discounts on health and fitness products and services. We've got a line-up of some of our favorites below, making the holiday season a great time to help yourself or someone you love get a start on their New Year's resolutions. We're seeing plenty of sales and deals on everything from DNA testing kits to treadmills to percussive therapy guns and more. It's time to take those plans for a healthy 2020 to the next level!

Update, Dec. 3:As indicated above, this deal is no longer available. However, new subscribers are now eligible for a two-week subscription.

The fitness class company is offering a free three-week subscription for first-time users. All you have to do is sign up online.The offer begins at 7 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and lasts until Monday, Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. PT.

Update, Dec. 3:As indicated above, this deal is no longer available.

Get the top-of-the-line percussive therapy massager Theragun G3PRO for only $399 (usually $599). It's also discounted the G3 for $299 (save $100), and the new Theragun Liv for $199 (save $50). This deal ends Dec. 4.

When we reviewed Mirror, the home fitness system that hangs on your wall and delivers on-demand workouts from Mirror's Elite fitness instructors, our primary beef was with its high price. But this discount takes $467 off of that high sticker price. Use code HOLIDAY19 through Dec. 5to get the discount.

Update, Dec. 3:As indicated above, this deal is no longer available.

Stay hydrated with the Larq UV light self-cleaning water bottle, using codeCBSBFto get 10% off your order. Spend $125 or more and that discount goes up to 20%. The sale ends Dec. 2.

Save 10% off cardio machines from Horizon Fitness. Sale ends Dec. 8.

Omron Healthcare's site-wide holiday sale is starting now. Save up to 30% off your purchase, no code needed. Sale ends Dec. 31.

Update, Dec. 3:As indicated above, this deal is no longer available.

Get 25% off all Sakara plant-rich, ready-to-eat meal delivery programs and Clean Boutique wellness essentials. Offer ends Dec. 2.

Nebula Genomics is DNA testing centered around privacy, users retain control of their own genomic data. Nebula's DNA prints are personalized art created from the user's sequencing or uploaded data and can be used as stunning home decor. Get 1 Year of Nebula Explore + DNA Art Print for $100. The sale ends Dec. 31.

Get 23andMe's Health Plus Ancestry DNA Testing Service for only $99 (usually $199). You can also get the Ancestry Plus Traits Service for only $79 (usually $99). Special pricing was supposed to end on Dec. 2, but was still available when we looked on Dec. 3!

Living DNA's comprehensive test covers your overall ancestry, motherline, fatherline and now with family DNA-matching. This was another sale that was supposed to end on Dec. 2, but was still available when we checked on Dec. 3!

Now playing: Watch this: How to get great deals on Black Friday

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Best Cyber Monday 2019 deals for health and fitness still available - CNET

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Pilates approaches fitness from the inside out – MetroWest Daily News

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Maybe youve been focusing on your career and are just starting to think about incorporating fitness into your life. Maybe youve been working out regularly, but feel a need to do more.

Whats the best workout for you? What will give you maximum results, while keeping you healthy? What will make you feel better, more confident, and better able to deal with work and family issues?

The best answer in both cases may be Pilates.

When asked to describe a good, physically challenging workout routine, youre likely to think of someone bench pressing a bar stacked with weights. Strength training with weights adds power, but it takes more than bulging biceps to become physically fit.

The human body has more than 650 muscles. Theres a tendency among fitness enthusiasts to focus on the most visible muscles, such as biceps, quads and pectoral muscles, while ignoring the core muscles around the spine.

It is better, though, to approach fitness from the inside out. The core muscles around the spine provide the foundation for a healthy body. Like the foundation of a house, the core muscles support the whole structure. If they are not strong enough, your body will be vulnerable to spine and musculoskeletal injuries.

In addition to preventing injuries, Pilates will strengthen your core, including your abs, obliques and back muscles. You may even develop a six pack or at least a flatter stomach.

One way to strengthen your core muscles in my opinion, the best way is by adding Pilates to your exercise regimen, whether youre a man or a woman. Its also a good place to start if you have not been working out regularly.

Pilates revitalized as Stott Pilates

Pilates was initially developed a century ago by Joseph Pilates, but refined and made popular with the introduction of Stott Pilates in 1988 by Canadian dancer Moira Stott Merrithew and her husband, Lindsay Merrithew.

Stott Pilates exercises are not as physically taxing as working out with weights, but they require more mental concentration. Movements are more nuanced.

Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat, but are even more effective when practiced on a Stott Pilates Reformer, which resembles a bed frame with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs that are used to regulate tension and resistance.

I discovered Stott Pilates 11 years ago, shortly after opening The Core Connection, when I was looking for a way to help clients struggling with back pain. It was easy to learn and easy to explain, even to people who did not exercise regularly. Most important, it helped address back pain. Joseph Pilates used bed springs to help people get out of bed and relieve back pain, so Pilates has always been curative.

Benefits of Stott Pilates

Pilates can help improve a persons health and fitness in many ways. It can increase flexibility, muscle tone and strength, which is especially important as a person ages, because muscles toughen and resemble beef jerky instead of filet mignon.

Pilates helps improve balance and coordination, too. It can help balance muscular strength on both sides of the body, improve stabilization of the spine, enhance muscular control of the back and limbs, and improve a persons posture.

In addition to helping to prevent injuries, Pilates can help rehabilitate injuries related to muscle imbalances, as well as joint and spinal injuries. Physical therapists almost always prescribe exercises for strengthening the core. Pilates also promotes relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back, and can help reduce stress.

Even if you dont achieve six-pack abs, your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks will be toned and strengthened. Working out with weights builds short, bulky muscles. Pilates elongates the muscles, improving elasticity, flexibility and joint mobility.

Five principles of Stott Pilates

Scott Pilates is based on five principles:

Breathing. Breathing deeply inhaling through the nose and filling your lungs with air until it expands your rib cage helps activate the support muscles deep in your body, while relieving tension and oxygenating your blood. Youll find that you have more energy if you breathe properly while working out.

Pelvic placement. The pelvis and lumbar spine should be stable both statically and dynamically, which will make movement more efficient. The pelvis may be in either a neutral position or an imprint position.

In a neutral position, the lumbar spine is in the position of its natural curve. It promotes efficient movement and is the best shock-absorbing position.

In an imprint position, the pelvis and spine are closer to the mat or the Stott Pilates Reformer. The normal curve of the lumbar spine lengthens and the oblique abdominal muscles are engaged to flatten the spine. The imprint position is preferred when a stable neutral position cannot be achieved.

Rib-cage placement. Because the abdominal wall attaches to the lower ribs, abdominal muscles are used to maintain proper alignment of the rib cage and thoracic spine, which connects the lumbar spine in your lower back to the cervical spine above. The rib cage tends to lift when a person lies down and it typically juts out when a person is sitting. Contracting the oblique muscles ensures proper alignment.

Scapular movement and stabilization. Unless the scapulae, or shoulder blades, are stable, the muscles around the neck and shoulders will be overworked. The shoulders should be stable, instead of rounding forward or squeezing together.

Head and neck placement. Most often, the lower spine when in neutral position should stay in a straight line to the upper spine, even when a person is flexing, extending or rotating. When in neutral position, the upper spine should hold its natural curve with the skull directly above the shoulders. A pillow or other support may be placed under the head to prevent overextension and reduce tension.

To achieve the full benefits of Stott Pilates, form is especially important. Working out with a certified Pilates instructor in a small class setting or a personal trainer, where the instructor can ensure that your form is correct, is highly recommended.

Rita Matraia is the owner of The Core Connection, a boutique fitness studio in Northborough. She is a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor, a Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist, a Certified Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, and a Healthy Foot Practitioner through the Nutritious Movement Center. She can be reached at rita@thecoreconnection.com.

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From mental health gyms to intuitive fitness: the biggest fitness trends of 2020 – Telegraph.co.uk

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If the general slip-slide into Christmas is leaving you feeling a little bit panicked, you might take heart from the news that in 2020, we are going to be taking things at a steadier pace. Along with a rise in mental health gyms, trendspotters believe that we are going to be exercising intuitively which means that we will be paying more attention to our bodies as we work out. Even those midlifers who favour punishing workouts will be more attentive to their joints, it seems, by doing extreme resistance training in the swimming pool.

Meanwhile, fitness tech will continue to keep us in check, from connected clothing (think yoga leggings that can tell you how youre feeling) to at-home spinning...

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From mental health gyms to intuitive fitness: the biggest fitness trends of 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

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Virtual Health Partners in Partnership with Fitness Formula Clubs Launches FFC On Demand: A Revolutionary App Offering Virtual Fitness, Nutrition and…

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CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicagoland-based Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) has been helping Chicagoans achieve their fitness, health and wellness goals since 1984. With 11 locations, eight within the Chicago city limits and three in the near Chicagoland suburbs, FFC is known for its hub and spoke network of locations near train, bus and subway commuter transportation centers.

"Close to Home, Close to Work" has long been the company's tagline, referencing the tried-and-true notion that convenience is key to developing and maintaining a healthy fitness regimen. In the past several years, more people are accessing health and fitness through technology. Mobile devices and apps have brought a whole new meaning to convenience.

With that in mind, and in keeping with two of the company's Core Values, Improvement and Superior Service, FFC has invested in leveraging this type of technology to create the FFC On Demand mobile and website app through our technology partner, Virtual Health Partners.

FFC On Demand allows FFC to expand its services outside the clubs' four walls to bring users exclusive access to virtual fitness, nutrition and lifestyle classes - anywhere, anytime.

The FFC On Demand Essential Package is $14.95/month and features:

"Our commitment is to meet the health, fitness and wellness needs of Chicago and the surrounding communities while delivering a consistent overwhelming value proposition at an ultra-convenient location," said Gale Landers, FFC Founder & CEO. "With this launch, ultra-convenience has been redefined. We are thrilled to be able to extend our service offerings with FFC On Demand."

For more information and details, or to try the FFC On Demand Essential Package at no cost for 14 days, go to ffcondemand.com.

About Fitness Formula Clubs

Established in 1984 by Founder and CEO Gale Landers, FFC owns and operates 11 upscale, mid and large size multi-use health, sports, fitness and spa centers in the Chicago area. The company provides corporate wellness programs, health insurance reimbursable nutrition therapy services, signature group fitness programs, spa treatment services, individual and group training, physical therapy and medically-based rehabilitation programs. Each Chicagoland location is dedicated to supporting the local community. FFC is recognized by the fitness industry for creating a distinct member experience delivered by its staff professionals. For more information, please visitwww.ffc.com.

Contact: Merikay MarzoniFitness Formula Clubs - CommunicationsTel. (312) 648-4666 x 235mmarzoni@ffc.com

About Virtual Health Partners

Virtual Health Partners is an innovator in health and wellness, providing condition-specific support within a contained ecosphere of care. Through a proprietary, HIPAA-compliant platform, VHP offers clients live, virtual nutrition, fitness and lifestyle modification supportanywhere, anytime. The company's business model provides a SaaS & PaaS solution that is offered exclusively to users through a network of participating partners, including Hospital Systems, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Nutrition Supplement, Insurance and Fitness Companies.

VHP Corporate Contact:Annesophie.quantin@virtualhp.com877-586-1733www.virtualhealthpartners.com

SOURCE Virtual Health Partners

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Tracee Ellis Ross’ Fitness And Health Habits Of 2019 – Women’s Health

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Tracee Ellis Ross has been completely killing the Instagram game lately. The Black-ish star regularly shares snapshots of herself looking strong and confident in a bikini, going hard at the gym, and generally being her awesome, hilarious self. At 47 (yup, forty-freaking-seven), it seems like Tracee is really hitting her stride, health-wise. Here's *everything* she's shared about what she does for her general wellness and fitness on the reg to maintain such fantastic shape, inside and out.

1 She makes sleep a priority

Tracee has made it clear that getting enough Zs is a huge thing for her. "Ive tried to choose sleep over working out, which I think is the right choice," she said on Instagram.

2 She celebrates and embraces getting older

"I LOVE getting older and I LOVE my life," Tracee captioned a photo series on Instagram of herself in a bikini.

She went on to say, "Im so grateful to be living this life Im in. Ive worked so hard to feel good in my skin and to build a life that truly matches me and Im in it and it feels good. I remain curious and teachable and so it will all keep getting better." Heck, yeah!

3 She's kind to herself even when she has to slow down

In one workout video on Instagram, Tracee confessed that she hasn't been working out as much lately. Then, she did herself a solid with this nugget: "Im trying to be really gentle with myself."

4 She tries to work out regularly

Tracee has a full schedule, but she still works out three or four times a week, she told Health in 2017.

5 But she's okay with taking breaks here and there

Sometimes you can't work out as much as you'd like to, and that's okay. "Life is in progress and sometimes that means stopping your routine. And thats ok," Tracee said on Instagram.

6 She loads up on water

Tracee doesn't mess around when it comes to hydration. She makes a point to have about four liters of water per day, People reported.

7 She takes workout classes

"I have to say that Tracy Anderson's workout the last five years has been really good for me," Tracee told Health.

Tracee is also not afraid to switch things up and try new forms movement (which she did with Tracy Anderson). "I find that, as adults, we stay so regimented in our movement, even if we get on a treadmill. The music changes all the patterns, and my body gets to move freely, so you feel amazingwhich is ultimately the point of the workouts, too."

8 She eats foods that make her feel good

Tracee told Health that she has a "rule" about eating. Her food has to pass two tests: "Not only taste good in my mouth, but it also has to feel good in my stomach," she said. "So a lot of foods that are good in the mouth, 10 minutes later? I'm cursing myself."

9 She gets inspired by other people at the gym

The feeling of watching a confident woman do her thing at the gym or in life can be contagiousand is worth celebrating, per Tracee. "One of the things that's most encouraging is you see a roomful of women working their asses off and looking beautiful," Tracee told Health. "You see women in their 40s wearing jog bras and their stomachs out proudly, walking in a stance that says, 'I love my body,' and that's exciting to me."

10 She laughs...a lot

In one Instagram video, Tracee outlined her "five commandments for staying young." First up? "Giggle as much as possible."

11 She has lots of workout buddies

Tracee coordinates her sweat sessions with several other very fit, and famous, friends. Earlier this year, she hit the gym with Gabrielle Union and Mary J. Blige, and posed for a badass selfie.

"I was soooo tired and not in the mood to work out this morning, so thank you @gabunion and @therealmaryjblige for the motivation and sister vibes, and @heartandhustlegym for the environment," Tracee wrote.

12 She has plenty of sex

Another one of Tracee's five commandments: "Have as much sex as possible. Sorry, Mom, but its true! Brings out the best in your skin," she said, before cracking up. (Tracee added more specific instructions with text on the video: "consensual, connected, yummy, good & safe sex. Not just any sex.)

13 She's not afraid to love

Tracee's final commandment: "Love with a full and open heart. Youll stay young forever I swear."

14 She tries to work out even when she *really* doesn't feel like it

Some days, it can be tough to even get your butt to the gym. Well, Tracee knows the deal. She shared in one Instagram post that she was "WORKIN THRU THE JETLAG."

It appears that Tracee doesn't force a workout if it doesn't feel good on her body or helpfulbut when it's just a bad attitude that's in her way, she fights through it and comes out stronger.

15 She mixes up her fitness routine

"New program," Tracee captioned a too-funny Instagram video of herself doing a Tracy Anderson Method move and fake crying. My body is like, what the f is going on?

16 She gets creative with kettlebells

Tracee regularly hits up the boutique gym Heart and Hustle, and she's found cool ways to use kettlebells beyond swinging them. Tracee's used them for squats and bicep curls, among other moves.

17 She lets herself indulge

Tracee told People that she allows herself a once-a-week indulgence at one of her favorite restaurants where she enjoys a glass of wine. It's all about balance, folks.

18 She stocks up on seasonal produce

Tracee told People that she's big on simple, whole foods, like seasonal produce from the farmer's market.

19 She eats when she's hungry

My favorite meal of the day is an early dinner/late lunch between 4 and 6 p.m., Tracee told People. Still, she added, "I dont restrict my eating to firm meal times."

20 She avoids foods that don't work for her

Tracee avoids dairy entirely, she told People, although she'll splurge on cheese once a year. (This isn't to say that anyone and everyone needs to ditch dairyeat what works for you and your body/goals.)

21 She has fun with food

"I eat in the same philosophy that I live with: joyfully! Tracee told People.

22 She has a post-workout bite

After she works it at the gym, Tracee told People that she likes to fuel up with a Berry Power protein drink from Erewhon. (It contains almond milk, bananas, blueberries, dates and Vega protein powder, in case you were wondering.)

23 She's smart about snacking

Tracee has several snacks a day to stay properly fueled and energized, per People, like a Pink Lady apple and peanut butter, avocado toast, and chips and olives.

24 She views exercise as self-care

Tracee says being healthy is a form of self-care for her. "Exercise helps make my body strong enough to do what I set my heart and mind to, I carry myself differently when I feel strong," she captioned a photo for International Self-Care Day.

25 She thinks of should as a curse word

"It's literally worse than 'f,'" Tracee told Health. "'Should' has so much shame in it. There's nothing good. 'You know what you should do?!' It's awful! As I get older, I'm having fun being me for the first time."

26 She takes it easy on caffeine

Tracee doesn't do coffee. "I tried coffee once in high school, and it was a bad thing," she told Health.

27 She makes little tweaks to her favorite dishes

She may not eat dairy, but that doesn't mean she cuts out every dish that traditionally has dairy.

"I don't eat cheese anymore, except on Christmas," Tracee told Health. "But I love cheese. So now what I do is eat all the things you eat with cheese that make me feel like I'm eating cheeseso I'll eat the olives, eat the prosciutto, eat the dried fig, have the Marcona almond."

28 She watches her sugar intake

Tracee has learned that she and sugar don't work well together. "Cake? I feel bloated. I get, like, hives from the sugar, and I feel like I'm having an anxiety attack," she told Health.

29 She eliminates negative self talk

One thing Tracee's learned? She needs to "talk nice" to her body, per her interview with Health.

30 She practices mindful exercise

Tracee doesn't just think of exercise as a sweaty calorie burn; she tunes into how movement and activity actually make her body and mind feel. "I feel the best when I work out," Tracee told Health. "I feel very strong."

31 She's incredibly body positive

"I am on TV, and I don't want to lie to anybody. I'm not at my skinniest, I'm not at my fattest, but I live my life," Tracee told Health. "This is my body. Health and the functionality of my body are more important than what it looks like."

32 She shows her butt some love

It took her into adulthood to appreciate certain assets. "In my 30s, I started to get comfortable with the largeness of my personality. The same thing with my butt. I tried getting really, really skinny, and I learned that no matter how thing I got, I was still gonna have a butt," Tracee told Health.

33 She isn't afraid to s.w.e.a.t.

Tracee makes a point to *bring it* during workouts. "I don't starve myself, but I work my ass off at the gym," she said.

34 She focuses on her glutes

"Gravity makes [my butt] drop and spread, so I try to lift and tighten," Tracee said. "[My trainer and I] specifically target it to make sure my butt is looking lifted and full. And I switch it up with other workouts, sometimes squats and lunges and deadlifts."

35 She practices mindful eating

Tracee has made it clear that she loves food, but she's also mindful of what goes into her body and tunes in to eat bite. "I am aware of what I'm eating," she told Health.

36 She drinks alcohol in moderation

"I don't drink a ton of alcohol. Alcohol makes the folds go deeperone glass of wine is like being on 17 airplanes; it just dries you out," Tracee told Health.

37 She embraces the body she has in the moment

"Love the body you got now, because in 10 years, you're gonna be wishing that you had it," Tracee told Health.

38 She makes up for lost workout time

Sometimes Tracee's workout schedule makes it tough for her to workout as much as she'd like. "Was underwater on Blackish and workouts were not possible. I took 3 weeks off," she wrote on Instagram. "This is from yesterday - day 2 in a row. I will be doing 5 in a row, 1 day off and then another 5 in a row. I'm not f---ing around!"

39 She's learned to be okay being alone

"Im very pleased with my existence these days," Tracee told InStyle. "Have I had to learn to make friends with loneliness? Yes. I think if I were in a relationship, it would be the same.

40 She's learned how to say 'no'

"Self-care does not mean going to the spa. Its learning to say no," Tracee told InStyle. "Its knowing yourself so you can make choices that are an expression of you. Thats self-care.

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Global Mobile Health and Fitness Sensor Market Analysis, Trends, New Innovations and Growth Potential In The Future and Forecast to 2024 – Statsflash

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Mobile Health and Fitness Sensor Market Size, Status and Forecast 2024 -> This report offers a detailed view of market break by end user sections, product sections, sales channels, key republics, and import / export dynamics. It gives details about market size & forecast, growth drivers, emerging trends, market opportunities, and investment risks in over various segments in Healthcare Business Intelligence industry. It provides a comprehensive understanding of Healthcare Business Intelligence market dynamics in both value and volume terms.

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The key players covered in this study -> Honeywell Bayer Fujitsu Abbott Laboratories Acute Technology, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Johnson & Johnson GE Healthcare Adidas Analog Devices Philips Qualcomm Bosch LifeScan Medtronic OMRON

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The secret to better sex, sleep, stress and fitness in your 60s – Telegraph.co.uk

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As you reach your 60s and the heady promise of retirement, you might think it's time to take things slowly. While it is important to relax, whether by reading a book or doing a spot of gardening, you still need to make a conscious effort to keep your body fit and strong.

Forget the myths that sexagenarians need less sleep, that theyshouldn't push themselves to do exercise, and that their sex drives are dormant. Your 60s are, in fact, a time to thrive you and your partner have the house to yourselves, since your children have long since flown the nest, and, with retirement on the horizon, there are so many opportunities for things to do in your spare time.

To help you make the most of these,...

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The secret to better sex, sleep, stress and fitness in your 60s - Telegraph.co.uk

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Zenia is using computer vision to build an AI-driven fitness trainer – VentureBeat

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As in just about every area of the health and fitness market, technology is increasingly infiltrating yoga, with startups and investors pushing to capitalize on the $80 billion market. Last year, Germany-based Asana Rebel raised more than $17 million from notable backers that include Greycroft to grow its virtual yoga platform, while New Yorks Mirror has raised sizable funding rounds for a connected mirror that delivers virtual fitness classes, such as yoga and Pilates.

Zenia recently entered the fray with a mobile app that leverages machine learning, computer vision, and motion tracking with the promise of helping improve your yoga poses. The company calls it the worlds first AI-powered yoga assistant, and plans to expand its technology to cover all areas of health and fitness.

Zenia was officially founded out of Belarus in May of this year by software engineer Alexey Kurov, and the company has secured an undisclosed investment from such notable backers as Misha Lyalin, CEO and chair of Russia-based game developer Zeptolab, and Bulba Ventures, a Belarusian venture capital (VC) firm that invests in AI startups.

Bulba Ventures is the investment vehicle of Yury Melnichek, a serial entrepreneur who cofounded mobile mapping service Maps.me and sold it to Russian tech titan Mail.ru in 2014. He was also a founding investor in Belarus-based computer vision company AiMatter, which created a popular funky photo-effects app known as Fabby. AiMatter was acquired by Google in 2017.

As an aside, Eastern Europe has been a hotbed of AI activity in recent years, withFacebook acquiring video selfie app startup Masquerade, which is also based in Belarus. And Russias Prisma gained widespread attention for its computer vision-powered art photo app, which was among the most downloaded apps globally for a while.

Zenia quietly launched its first app on iPhone a couple of weeks ago, and VentureBeat caught up with Kurov to see how it works and where the company will go from here.

After installing the app and creating an account, you can place your phone with the front-facing camera angled toward the space where youll be doing yoga. At launch, Zenia features four courses for beginner and intermediate levels and 14 guided practice sessions to build strength and improve flexibility.

Above: Yoga courses in Zenia

Zenia can recognize 16 joints across the body, and a built-in voice assistant provides feedback on your yoga practice. The software also adapts to each users pace, and it monitors progress over time to offer metric-based feedback.

Above: Zenia recognizes 16 joints on the body

In an age when data privacy violations are rarely out of the news, Zenia is quick to note that it uses edge computing and that all of its processing takes places on the users phone.

Convolutional neural networks are at the core of our technology, Kurov said. We use an hourglass-inspired architecture that weve optimized to run on mobile devices.

According to Kurov, the company collected more than 200,000 yoga images as part of its training data and developed its own custom labeling tool for faster and more precise annotation. The training data set included both correct and incorrect asanas (yoga postures) so that it can better identify when a student is doing something wrong. Professional instructors were also used in the training process.

We worked with certified yoga teachers to define the parameters that could help machines to identify the level of execution of asanas, Kurov added.

Perhaps another major selling point for Zenia is its straightforward business model, which is based on hard cash rather than user data. The first month is free, but after that it costs $15 per month or $100 for the year.

Zenia is positioned at an interesting intersection in technology trends. There has been a marked increase in AI-powered features across the smartphone realm, tackling everything from categorizing photos to recommending new apps. And apps and services designed to help people work out from home have also been on the rise. Aside from Asana Rebel and Mirror, which we highlighted earlier, New York-based Peloton has raised bucketloads of investor cash for connected bikes that deliver virtual fitness classes and went public a few months ago.

While its too early to say whether Zenia will succeed, it has the advantages of entering a proven money-spinning industry and bypassing the need for human yoga instructors. But the bigger picture is perhaps whats most interesting here, as the underlying technology will likely be reapplied to other domains yoga just happens to be the first use case.

Kurov envisages a time when its platform could be used to analyze a runners posture, a weightlifters stance, a tennis players serve, and more.

Above: How Zenia could be used in the future

Some members of Zenias founding team also have backgrounds in physiotherapy, which hints at potential future applications in the medical sphere.

Above: Zenia could be used as a physiotherapy tool

Although Zenia works independent of human instructors for now, Kurov said that fitness or yoga instructors will in future be able to use it as a remote tracking tool to chart their students progress.

We envision Zenia becoming a platform that connects people who want to lead a mindful, healthy lifestyle, Kurov said. The app aims to go beyond the scope of regular training and become a personal assistant who motivates [you] to practice constantly.

Read this article:
Zenia is using computer vision to build an AI-driven fitness trainer - VentureBeat

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December 9th, 2019 at 7:41 pm

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