What Cardio Exercise Equipment
Do You Use?
Cardio exercise equipment is certainly a popular form of exercise, particularly in winter months. However, for many people it can be quite boring, so finding ways to make the exercise session more enjoyable is certainly a step in the right direction.
At the gym where I train (Snap Fitness - Bedford, Western Australia, which a 24-hour gym) there is a variety of cardio exercise equipment to accommodate for different preferences. There are treadmills, bikes with 'virtual screens', recumbent bikes, cross trainers, rowing machines and steppers.
Personally, I prefer running on a treadmill rather than using the other pieces of cardio exercise equipment. What cardio exercise equipment do you prefer? Do you prefer the recumbent bikes because you have joint issues and can't run? Do you prefer participating in an aerobic class as opposed to using the cardio exercise equipment because you enjoy the music and exercising with a group of people?
I'm keen to get some feedback from everyone about what they prefer to do when it comes to performing aerobic exercise. The reason why I would like to get some feedback is simply because I have a friend who is involved with a company that is looking to produce a product that offers gym users a 'real' outdoor exercise experience. I would also like to know what everyone thinks of this exercise concept.
Without going into detail, it provides a 3-dimensional experience of an outdoor scene from a location around the world and you can enjoy running or cycling on a piece of cardio exercise equipment whilst watching scenery from the area so it feel like you're running or cycling in that location.
My friend asked me to give him some feedback about the concept and my comments are below. I would also like to know what everyone else thinks too. Please add your comments in the comments box at the end of this article.
My thoughts about the 3D experience for cardio exercise equipment:
The 3D attachment is quite large and considering space is limited in most gyms, especially when there are a series of cardio machines in the cardio area, this may pose a problem. This may be addressed when the 3D attachment is placed on a wall, but this may lead to other problems relating to speed of movement (discussed later).
The 3D attachment itself and then additional fees for each film pack is quite costly.
The larger gym chains (in terms of space), i.e. in Australia there are two major players, Fitness First and Good Life, are losing significant market share due to the influx of smaller, more-efficient 24-hour gyms, which are opening up everywhere. For more info on this go to: Fitness First losing market share
Therefore, the smaller, 24-hour gym chains may be a better target market for the 3D attachment.
The gyms these days are fully-equipped with TVs that offer all the free-to-air commercial stations as well as a limited range of Foxtel stations. Personally, I would much rather watch a footy game on TV whilst running, especially if the Dockers are playing, as opposed to simply watching trees go by or some other scenario.
How it compares to the real experience
Even though the 3D attachment may offer a visual (and perhaps auditory) experience for users that is far superior to other forms of virtual exercising, it still doesn't compare to the real thing simply because it cannot incorporate other the senses of touch (i.e. wind blowing, etc.) and smell (i.e. eucalyptus trees, etc.).
Speed of movement
The speed at which you appear to be moving through the 3D attachment must change based upon the speed you are moving. This would make it a much more realistic experience. I understand this would be difficult if the 3D attachment is placed on a wall in a gym for multiple users.
Overall, I think the 3D attachment is an interesting piece of equipment that can be a good addition to most gyms if it is priced right and offers a wide variety of scenes. However, I question whether it will become more popular than simply watching TV whilst exercising.
Any way, I'm keen to hear what you think. Please put your thoughts in the comment box below.
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