Exercise Gadgets And Gizmos

I am not a big exercise gadget person. I believe in the KISS theory of:  Keep It Simple Stupid.  My experience is that all the entertaining value of gadgets and gizmos wear off before their cost is justified.

While there are some cool gizmos out there, I believe that they can only make the blood, sweat, and tears you shed during a workout more entertaining.  The distraction and/or motivation that they offer, is about all they are good for.  Exercise is exertion, and even if you are equipped like Mr. Gadget, you still must put forth the effort to get results.  For that reason, I keep it simple and do not have the greatest knowledge of the trendy gadgets.

But an excellent exercise gadget that will always stand the test of time is a heart rate monitor.  In order to get your body in the fat burning zone, you have to have your heart pumping at the right intensity.  Most of us, consciously or unconsciously, exercise at a lower intensity level and thus are robbing ourselves of good fat burning results.

Heart rate monitors have turned high tech.  They can now track your cadence, speed, distance, and even stride length of your run or walk.  If you really go high-tech, they can monitor the changes in elevation as you trot through the hills of Cincinnati.  I like the simplicity of alarms they have that alert you when your heart rates goes too high or too low during your training.  This keeps you perfectly in the fat burning zone.

Another neat invention is in the video game industry and it is Wii Fit.  This is an interactive video game that now has exercise software.  I have had a couple of clients who really enjoy it, and you can a demo video of it with the link seen below.  Wii Fit uses a weight-sensing platform that you stand on and it senses your weight distribution and changes in it.

With the Wii Fit platform you can perform several exercises utilizing your own body weight, perform some great balance challenges, and also perform techniques seen in Pilates and yoga.  While this will not enthuse the kids for long, the snowboarding simulation will. The overall toning benefits of the Wii are limited with only body weight exercises, and the weight loss benefits are even more limited. A population that I think would benefit greatly from the Wii Fit is the elderly.  If performed in a safe environment, the balance exercises can be done safely and offer great feedback for improving their balance and preventing falls.

The practical fitness gadget is the heart rate monitor, as it will always be a useful and valuable tool for every form of exercise, for life.  The exercise toy would be the Wii Fit, innovative and entertaining but as with any other video game, you might get bored with it over time and it will soon become dated as improved versions will certainly coming out soon.

Home exercise equipment, no matter how big or small, no matter how cheap or expensive, no matter how high-tech the gizmo or gadget, often becomes an expensive dust collector.  I am a very disciplined fitness trainer and I sold all my home exercise equipment because I never used it with all the distractions that home brings.

Learn from my, and many others, costly mistakes!  Before you buy a very expensive dust collector, make sure you have established the discipline and motivation to use it.  If you don’t have that, you need to skip the gizmos and gadgets and buy the low-tech accountability of a personal trainer.


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