I’ve never liked exercising. There. I said it. One of the reasons why: I was bored. I wasn’t engaged enough, and even with a gym buddy it can be a task. It wasn’t until I got into my early 30s that I started liking exercise again— and why, you may ask? Tech.
As an IT consultant, I’ve said countless times that the evolution of IoT (Internet of Things) devices was inevitable. Slowly we’ve seen that become a reality from the smartwatch with fitness settings, to the Peloton bike where you can attend virtual classes with an instructor and compete against other Peloton users. We’ve also seen it with treadmills. When you go to the gym, you see rows of treadmills all facing TVs, or you can watch TV as you jog or run on your treadmill. Now with enhanced IoT and apps, you can watch Netflix, Hulu and Amazon or catch up on your social media feed.
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted several fitness devices including the Woodway 4Front, Life Fitness Platinum Club Series, Apple Watch, The Peloton Tread or the Nordic Track X22i Incline Trainer, all of which incorporate IoT tech to help users get the most out of their workout.
While the other part of my aging GenX self still retains a lot to old-school ways of doing things, I can’t help to enjoy the emergence of IoT fitness equipment. The techie side of me relishes in the fact that I can run my entire workday from my treadmill.
Still, there is another part of me that just likes getting on my bike in the springtime, the same bike I’ve had for close to 30 years, and riding around my neighborhood— just me, my thoughts and the open road. It’s this type of connection that I relish and would never turn away. However, I do have to say there is a benefit to having a treadmill in your house, and not having to truck out to the gym in the freezing cold during the dead of winter!
As time goes on, we will see more devices with IoT capability. Already there are several pieces of gym equipment with Internet interfaces. I’ve said countless times that VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality) will take over as time goes on, and the interfaces drop in price more. With VR or AR, we’ll be able to attend several classes, which will allow for an entire full-body experience— hence, we’ll get a full-body workout.
Already there are several new games and interactive Internet series that promote this new technology and encourage the next frontier in the fitness industry. But, just as this may seem like a wonderful advancement in fitness and tech— there is a downside. Just look at a recent episode of “Black Mirror” to see if this can be beneficial— or self-destructive and addictive. We shall see.