May 15th 2016
Elvie: a fitness tracker like no other
October 12th 2015
Get ready to meet 'your most personal trainer'...
Whether you’ve flirted with a fuel band or are devoted to your Jawbone Up, many of us have dabbled in the wearable tech market, but we’ve yet to come across something that elevates women’s fitness quite as much as an app and accompanying hardware that launches today. Elevate is the operative word here, as Elvie will have you lifting your pelvic floors with more power than ever, an exercise that’s possibly more important than all those planks you’re doing, given the stats.
According to Tania Boler, sexual and reproductive health expert and co-founder and CEO of Chiaro, the makers of Elvie, 1 in 3 women suffer from pelvic health problems, and 50% experience back problems as a result of pelvic floor issues. That’s not to mention other conditions and concerns associated with poor pelvic health, such as incontinence, discomfort or a lack of pleasure during sex, urinary infections, bad posture or more serious prolapse complications, sometimes requiring surgery. Given the state of affairs, it seems shocking that pelvic health isn’t higher on the agenda. Call me naive, but I had no idea that such a high proportion of women were affected by ongoing problems, and that almost all pregnant women experience incontinence (75% according to the NCT). For a group of muscles that you can’t see, your pelvic floors (or kegels) have a lot to answer for.
Many women are familiar with the process of ‘holding’ your pee stream to give kegels a workout, but Boler and Jawbone creator Alex Asseily have taken pelvic floor training firmly yet gently into the future with the creation of Elvie. A strong pelvic floor has multiple benefits, but training up the muscles in that area is notoriously tricky, and until now exercises were vague, not to mention boring. How do you know you’re doing them right, and how do you know the status of your pelvic floor muscles in the first place? You could be a secret Iron Woman without knowing it, or have a hidden weakness that could cause problems in the future. Elvie will assess where you’re at, and more, as Tania underlines:
“The problem with most exercise trackers is that they are too passive and don’t help the user improve their performance as they exercise. Elvie is different; we use data from multiple sensors to guide women with personalised feedback as they exercise.”
Here’s the deal: with a product designer formerly of Dyson on board, Elvie’s sleek, seamless appearance is not surprising, and with development input from some of the world’s leading pelvic health experts and physiotherapists, it’s far more intelligent than its mint green, somewhat sperm like appearance lets on. To start using Elvie, you simply insert the pebble shaped pod into the vagina as you would a tampon, and in conjunction with information relayed to the Elvie app via Bluetooth, sensors will track muscle movement, from which you can calculate a score to determine pelvic floor muscle strength. The stronger you are, the higher the score, and it you need to tone up you can follow quite literally engaging five minute workouts to build up strength. If you’re not quite lifting your pelvic muscles correctly, Elvie will tell you that too. Impact sports and trampolines need never pose leakage problems again.
Weak jokes aside, the shortest workout programme on the planet is also an extremely significant development not only in women’s health, but tech too , as Alex Asseily highlights:
“From time to time a product comes along that has the potential to solve a widespread human conundrum in an elegant and uncomplicated way. Elvie is this product and its purpose lies in its brilliance and its appeal.”
If you’d like to start ‘following the gem’ yourself (all will be revealed on first use), Get The Gloss readers can receive a 10% discount on all orders using the code GTGXELVIE10 (all upper case). Simply visit the website to purchase (RRP £149), or just peruse to see what it’s all about.
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