US20100234184A1 - Method and apparatus for controlling physical exertion - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for controlling physical exertion Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100234184A1
US20100234184A1 US12/722,995 US72299510A US2010234184A1 US 20100234184 A1 US20100234184 A1 US 20100234184A1 US 72299510 A US72299510 A US 72299510A US 2010234184 A1 US2010234184 A1 US 2010234184A1
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apparatus
exercise session
exercise
exercising
method
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Abandoned
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US12/722,995
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Frederick LE PAGE
Gabriel MARECHAL
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Le Page Frederick
Marechal Gabriel
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Priority to US12/722,995 priority patent/US20100234184A1/en
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Abstract

The present relates to a method and an apparatus for controlling physical exertion during exercise. For doing so, the method and apparatus collect at least one physical parameter of a user over time during an exercise session. The method and apparatus store the collected at least one physical parameter over time. During another exercise session, the method and apparatus measure the at least one physical parameter of the user, compare the measured at least one physical parameter with the collected at least one physical parameter with respect to time to obtain a variance, and determine a required adjustment in the another exercise session based on the variance.

Description

    FIELD
  • The present relates to exercising, health and fitness, and more particularly to a method and an apparatus for controlling physical exertion.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Exercising is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. As physical exercise has been promoted in the past twenty years, the exercising industry has experienced an incredible booming. A large number of exercising apparatuses have been designed, numerous sports centers have been opened, and various types of training programs have been developed. It is thus now possible to train at home, at a gym, and outside.
  • Typically, people exercise to achieve one or several goals: lose weight, improve energy level, have a better posture, improve general health, improve physical performances, etc. It usually takes a certain time and motivation to reach the desired goal. Many people become discouraged because of the amount of time required to reach the desired goal. Additionally, the exercise program developed to reach their goal is sometimes not customized to their specific needs, and as such, does not deliver targeted results.
  • Exercising is even more important for patients recovering from accidents, injuries or illnesses. In such cases, their physical efforts must be closely monitored and gradually adapted to ensure safe recovery.
  • Athletes also require specific physical training. To reach their maximum, athletes often have to combine various training programs and work on various types of exercising apparatuses, cross-training being an example. However, customizing and combining such training programs is not simple, as each athlete reacts differently to training.
  • There is thus a need for an apparatus and a method for controlling physical exertion during performance of an exercise.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the following description, the following drawings are used to describe and exemplify the present apparatus and method:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of an apparatus for controlling physical exertion;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a method for collecting at least one physical parameter of a user over time during an exercise session; and
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a method for controlling a physical exertion.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The present provides an apparatus and a method for controlling physical exertion during exercise.
  • For doing so, the present apparatus and method design or preset an exercise session to be performed by a user by adjusting at least one physical parameter of the user over time, based on the same at least one physical parameter collected over time during a former exercise session performed by the user.
  • In a first aspect, the method comprises collecting at least one physical parameter of a user over time during an exercise session. Then, the method stores the collected at least one physical parameter over time. During another exercise session, the method measures the at least one physical parameter of the user, and compares the measured at least one physical parameter with the collected at least one physical parameter with respect to time to obtain a variance. The method then determines a required adjustment in the another exercise session based on the variance.
  • In another aspect, the apparatus comprises a monitoring module, a memory and a processor. The monitoring module is adapted for monitoring over time at least one physical parameter of a user during an exercise session, and for monitoring over time the at least one physical parameter of the user during another exercise session. The memory is adapted for storing the at least one physical condition over time. The processor compares the measured at least one physical parameter during the another exercise session with the measured at least one physical parameter of the exercise session with respect to time to determine a variance, and determines a required adjustment in the another exercise session based on the variance.
  • To facilitate reading of the present description, the following terminology is being used:
  • exercise session: any exercise or succession of exercises performed, comprising an exercise program, a physical effort, or an improved exercise.
  • physical parameter: refers to any measurable physical and/or physiological parameter or derivation thereof of a user which may change during the course of an exercise session.
  • examples of physical parameters: electro-encephalogram, electrocardiogram, leg stride length and consistency, leg turnover rate, speed, pace, METS (metabolic equivalent of task), oxygen intake, CO2 released, perspiration rate, body temperature, perceived effort, biorythm, heart rate, pupil's dimension, glucose level, maximum air breathed out at a first second, lactic acid and lactate level, motion/position capture data points, power output (in Watts), weight variation, body fat in absolute (in kg) and relative values (%), calories and blood pressure.
  • Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which depicts an exemplary apparatus for controlling physical exertion during exercise. The apparatus 100 comprises a monitoring module 110, a memory 120, a processor 130, a communication module 140, a user entry module 150 and an input/output module 160. The apparatus may further other components not described herein. The apparatus 100 may consist of a device carried on by a user performing an exercise session, may be part of an exercising apparatus, or may be divided in sub-components, some of which accompany the user, others are affixed to the exercising apparatus, and others such as the memory are centralized on a server or on the internet.
  • The monitoring module 110 may comprise one or several specific physical parameters monitoring devices. Shown on FIG. 1 are a heart rate monitoring module, a calories burned monitoring module and a blood pressure module. However, depending on the physical exertion to be controlled, various specific physical parameters monitoring devices may be combined. Any known physical parameter monitoring device available for measuring any of the examples of physical parameters provided may be used. Depending on the use of the present apparatus, the monitoring module 110 may be carried by the user, included with the other components of the apparatus within a casing, or affixed to an exercising apparatus.
  • The monitoring module 110 monitors over time at least one physical parameter of the user during an exercise session by means of its specific physical parameters monitoring devices. Furthermore, the monitoring module 110 is also adapted for monitoring over time the at least one physical parameter of the user during another exercise session. Each of the specific physical parameters monitoring devices of the monitoring module 110 may monitor the physical parameter continuously, at a specific rate, or randomly. When multiple physical parameters are concurrently monitored, each of the multiple physical parameters may be monitored with respect to time independently. The present monitoring module 110 thus allows flexibility in the physical parameters measured, and the rate at which the physical parameters are monitored.
  • The memory 120 is adapted for storing the at least one physical condition over time. For doing so, the memory records the measured at least one physical parameter along with an indication of time. The indication of time may comprise for example a timestamp, an indication of the time the recording is performed, or any other indication of time which provides meaningful information as to when in the exercise session the at least one physical condition was monitored. Various types of memories 120 may be used for this purpose. Examples of memories that could be used include: a USB flash (USB 2.0, Wireless USB, SuperSpeed . . . ), a memory card (Compact Flash, Smart Media, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital, a Memory Stick, an xD memory, . . . ), a Random Access Memory, a Read-Only Memory, etc. It could also be possible to store the at least one physical condition over time on multiple memories concurrently. The memory 120 receives the monitored physical parameters and time indication either directly from the monitoring module 110 or through the processor 130, electronically or wirelessly.
  • The processor 130 is adapted for comparing measured physical parameters with respect to time between a former exercise session of the user, and a current exercise session performed by the user. By comparing physical parameters of the user between a former exercise session with a current undergoing exercise session, it is possible to determine a variance in the physical exertion imposed to the user.
  • The processor 130 is further adapted for determining a required adjustment in the current undergoing exercise session based on the variance. The processor may further take into consideration one or several user's exercising objective. The user's exercising objective may also be stored in the memory 120 and accessed by the processor 130 to determine the required adjustment. For example, if the object is to increase cardiovascular capacity, and the variance indicates that the heart rate is lower than during the former exercise session, the processor 130 may determine that an adjustment is required so as to increase the heart rate, thereby reaching the exercising objective.
  • The processor 130 is also capable of determining the required adjustment further based also on a received or selected training program to be performed or related to the former exercise session.
  • The processor 130 further communicates with the communication module 140. The communication module is adapted for informing the user of the required adjustment. The communication module 140 may comprise one or several of the following: speaker, a display, a light or a vibration mechanism. The user may then perform the adjustment, or manually change the operating parameters of the exercise apparatus to correspond to the required adjustment.
  • Alternately or concurrently, when the undergoing exercise session is performed on an exercise apparatus, the processor 130 may also be adapted for communicating the required adjustment by means of the input/output module 160. The input/output module 160 may communicate with the exercise apparatus (not shown), by means of a USB connection, a WiFi connection, an Ethernet or Internet connection, Bluetooth, or any other type of connection either wired or wireless. The input/output module 160 is thus adapted for handling any required communication protocol, and specific protocol of the exercise apparatus. Additionally, the input/output module 160 may be adapted for receiving information about the operating parameters of the exercise apparatus, so that the processor 130 may use the operating parameters when determining the required adjustment. The input/output module 160 may further be adapted for communicating with a website or any electronic address such as for example internet address, SMS address, Blackberry messenger.
  • Additionally, the processor 130 stores the required adjustment along with an indication of time in the memory 120.
  • The processor 130 also communicates with the user entry module 150. The user entry module 150 may comprise one or several different entry sub-modules allowing the user to enter information during the exercise sessions. For example, the user entry module 150 may comprise specific buttons information regarding his/her perceived effort, or information related to the moment pain occurs (or sets in), or information related to the moment he/she attains his/her second breath or information related to the moment he/she gets into the “Zone”, . . . . The user entry module 150 could also be presented to the user as a graphical user interface on a display such as a touch screen.
  • The apparatus 100 may be used with multiple types of various exercising apparatuses, such as for example a treadmill, a step machine, an elliptical exercise machine, a rowing machine, an exercise bicycle, a cross-country skiing machine, a skating machine or any other cardiovascular exercise machine.
  • Furthermore, the apparatus may be used for collecting physical parameters and determining a variant for various types of exercise sessions, such as a running program, a hiking program, a walking program, a biking program, a swimming program, a skating program or any combination thereof.
  • The apparatus 100 may be embodied as a portable device, incorporated within exercising apparatuses, or a combination thereof. Additionally, as many electronic devices comprises motion detectors and different types of monitoring devices, the present apparatus could be offered as a software to be installed on the electronic devices, thereby using the monitoring modules, the memory, the processor, the communication module, the user entry module and the input/output module. In this particular aspect, the apparatus could be implemented in the form of software installed on a computer, a cell phone, a Personal Digital Assistant, a smart phone, an iPod™, or any other similar electronic device. The apparatus 100 may further be adapted for communicating through internet to a website that provides training programs, offers training advice, tracks monitored physical parameters, etc.
  • Because of its portability and flexibility, the apparatus 100 can be used for exercise sessions performed inside with or without exercising apparatuses, or outside. As the apparatus monitors the physical parameters of the user, the former exercise session and the current exercise session may be performed on the same exercise machine, on different exercise machines, one on an exercising machine and the other performed without an exercise machine, both performed outside, etc.
  • Reference is now concurrently made to FIGS. 2 and 3, which respectively depict a block diagram of a method for collecting at least one physical parameter of a user over time during an exercise session, and a block diagram of a method for controlling a physical exertion.
  • Upon actuation of the apparatus, the method starts with collecting at least one physical parameter of a user undergoing an exercise session. The physical parameter is collected over time, along with an indication of time as previously described. The collected physical parameters and time indication are stored 220 in memory. Then, a verification 230 is made as to whether an entry is received from the user. If an entry is received from the user, the entry is stored 240 in memory with a corresponding time indication. Concurrently, a verification is performed to determine whether the exercise session is completed 250. If the exercise session is completed, the apparatus is deactivated 260. Otherwise, if the exercise session is not completed, the method continues to collect the at least one physical parameter 210.
  • Then, when the apparatus is used subsequently during another exercise session, the method continues in FIG. 3 with establishing a connection with an exercising apparatus, when the apparatus is to be used with an exercising apparatus. Additionally, connections may also be established with web service, electronic addresses, or any other desired remote device. The method continues with measuring 320 the at least one physical parameter of the user. Then, the method compares 330 with respect to time the measured at least one physical parameter with the formerly collected at least one physical parameter to obtain a variance. The method determines 340 the required adjustment based on the variance and as previously described. Optionally, the method may inform 350 the user of the required adjustment. Then, if the current exercise session is performed on an exercising apparatus, the method performs 360 the adjustment by sending a corresponding command to the exercising apparatus to modify an operating parameter of the exercising apparatus. The method may further store the adjustment and a corresponding time indication.
  • The present apparatus and method have been described by way of preferred embodiments. It should be clear to those skilled in the art that the described preferred embodiments are for exemplary purposes only, and should not be interpreted to limit the scope of the present apparatus and method. The scope of the present apparatus and method should be defined by reference to the appended claims, which clearly delimit the protection sought.

Claims (20)

1. A method for controlling physical exertion during exercise, the method comprising:
collecting at least one physical parameter of a user over time during an exercise session;
storing the collected at least one physical parameter over time;
during another exercise session:
measuring the at least one physical parameter of the user;
comparing the measured at least one physical parameter with the collected at least one physical parameter with respect to time to obtain a variance; and
determining a required adjustment in the another exercise session based on the variance.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein determining the required adjustment in the another exercise session is further based on at least one user's exercising objective.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising modifying at least one operating parameter of an exercising apparatus based on the required adjustment.
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising informing the user of the required adjustment.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein informing the user is performed by means of at least one of the following: a voice message, an audio message, a graphic message, a visual representation, a sound signal, a light signal or physical stimuli like vibration.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one physical parameter is one of the following: electro-encephalogram, electrocardiogram, leg stride length and consistency, leg turnover rate, speed, pace, METS (metabolic equivalent of task), oxygen intake, CO2 released, perspiration rate, body temperature, perceived effort, biorythm, heart rate, pupil's dimension, glucose level, maximum air breathed out at a first second, lactic acid and lactate level, motion/position capture data points, power output (in Watts), weight variation, body fat in absolute (in kg) and relative values (%), calories and blood pressure.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein at least one of the exercise session and the another exercise session is performed outside.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the exercise session is performed on a first exercising apparatus and the another exercise session is performed on a different exercising apparatus.
9. The method of claim 3, wherein the exercising apparatus is one of the following: a treadmill, a step machine, an elliptical exercise machine, a rowing machine, an exercise bicycle, a cross-country skiing machine, a skating machine or any other cardiovascular exercise machine.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the exercising session and the another exercising session are one of the following: a running program, a hiking program, a walking program, a biking program, a swimming program, a skating program, a revolving stairs machine or any combination thereof.
11. An apparatus for controlling physical exertion during exercise, the apparatus comprising:
a monitoring module for monitoring over time at least one physical parameter of a user during an exercise session, and for monitoring over time the at least one physical parameter of the user during another exercise session;
a memory for storing the at least one physical condition over time;
a processor for comparing the measured at least one physical parameter during the another exercise session with the measured at least one physical parameter of the exercise session with respect to time and for determining a variance, and for determining a required adjustment in the another exercise session based on the variance.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, 2 wherein the processor determines the required adjustment also based on at least one user's exercising objective.
13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein:
the processor is adapted for determining a required adjustment to an exercising apparatus on which the another exercise session is performed by the user, and
the apparatus further comprises an output module for communicating the required adjustment to the exercising apparatus.
14. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a communication module for informing the user or other individuals of the required adjustment.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the communication module comprises at least one of the following: a speaker, a display, a light or a vibration mechanism.
16. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the at least one physical parameter is one of the following: electro-encephalogram, electrocardiogram, leg stride length and consistency, leg turnover rate, speed, pace, METS, oxygen intake, CO2 released, perspiration rate, body temperature, perceived effort, biorythm, HR, pupil's dimension, glucose level, maximum air breathed out at a first second, lactic acid and lactate level, motion/position capture data points, power output (in Watts), weight variation, body fat in absolute (in kg) and relative values (%), calories or blood pressure.
17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein at least one of the exercise session and the another exercise session is performed outside.
18. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein:
the exercise session is performed on a first exercising apparatus and the another exercise session is performed on a different exercising apparatus; and
wherein the exercising apparatus and the different exercising apparatus are one of the following: a treadmill, a step machine, an elliptical exercise machine, a rowing machine, an exercise bicycle, a cross-country skiing machine, a skating machine or any other cardiovascular exercise machine.
19. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein:
the exercise session and the another exercise session are both performed outside, and
the exercising session and the another exercising session are one of the following: a running program, a hiking program, a walking program, a biking program, a swimming program, a skating program or any combination thereof.
20. An exercising machine comprising the apparatus of claim 12.
US12/722,995 2009-03-14 2010-03-12 Method and apparatus for controlling physical exertion Abandoned US20100234184A1 (en)

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