Momentum is really building in the area of entertainment, virtual reality, and immersion during a daily fitness routine. The most helpful of these advances is the most recent update that Icon is using to push iFit subscriptions called iFit Coach. It is truly a good advance to allow you to virtually interact with a personal trainer. As usual, companies think it is so good they push it on us.
It reminds me of the early entertainment options that tried to make exercise part of a video game experience. Just like most of the recent introductions, it is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Exercise for most people, is not a primary experience. Just like driving a car is usually not a primary experience, exercise is something you must do but you want to do something else to help pass the time.
For me, that has become the use of my iPad when working out. You get on the treadmill and 30 minutes later, you might have surfed the web, checked email, or perused some topic you heard on news report earlier. I’ve done all of the above and more. These days, the entertainment and immersion options have a big “gee whiz” factor that helps separate one product from the other on the sales side but in reality, most people want to just get on a machine and go.
The problem is many of these factories are building in a “gee whiz” set of technologically advanced features and if the underlying technology fails, the machine is useless. That’s a big problem if originally you just wanted something to get on and go. It also defeats the purpose of trying to keep a regular routine of exercise and can trip you up when you are trying to develop a regular habit of exercise.
This is not to say that some of these tools are useful but rather to point out, more as a reminder to the factories, that if you have high tech features, make sure to build in a system whereby the machine can operate even if the tech fails. The fact remains that even though some of these machines really can mesmerize you when you see them, the underlying tech that actually makes everything work is over 100 years old.
Overall, the machines have become better and the materials that are used can produce a better-quality product at a lower price, but the fact remains that a treadmill is ancient technology and the tech used to produce an elliptical or stationary bike is even older. The factories don’t want you to believe that, but it’s true.
In our race to make everything high tech, we might want to pause to remember the all-important goal…and that is to make sure people have every opportunity to establish a healthy, regular routine to exercise consistently to improve their longevity and their quality of life. That’s what exercise is all about.