Spinning and Yoga Get the High-Tech Treatment.
As the new year kicks into high gear, it may be time to hit refresh on your current exercise equipment. Send that shredded yoga mat or rusty stationary bike packing and tap into these high-tech products that will not only motivate you but could also help make your yoga or spin routines more effective:
Peloton: If you’re looking for a convenient, turnkey, at-home workout set to a killer soundtrack, then the Peloton stationary bike may be for you—if the $2000 price tag isn’t already too steep of a hill to climb. However, Peloton offers what no one else does: Remote access both to live streaming classes from their studio in New York City and to archived sessions via a built-in tablet. At a $39-per-month subscription fee, it can quickly work out to be substantially cheaper than a $30 per in-studio class cost.
Peloton allows users to track their individual progress by competing against other riders via a Flywheel-like leaderboard. The bike charts distance, resistance, calorie expenditure, cadence and rider output while the class format emphasizes exertion as well as recovery. According to Peloton co-founder Marion Roaman, this kind of training is beneficial for cardio health, which helps us to breathe, sleep and function better overall. Plus you don’t have to worry if your leggings look a little ratty.
SmartMat: A responsive yoga mat that promises personalized instruction, something that practitioners don’t always get in crowded yoga classes. SmartMat, which recently completed a successful crowd-funding campaign and is targeting a July 2015 delivery of pre-orders, consists of a layer of micro-thin pressure sensors embedded in what looks and feels like a traditional mat. The sensors link up with a mobile app to give users “a real-time heatmap” of their yoga practice. What you get are audio and visual corrections on both alignment and limb-specific balance—whether you’re practicing at home using one of their pre-programmed classes or in a group class (you can set the mat to visual cues only so as not to disturb your fellow practitioners). According to Maziar Sadri, co-founder and product lead of SmartMat, their focus is to help beginners ease their way into yoga by familiarizing them with the poses and proper alignment as well as to motivate moderate yogis to practice more often because they will be able to see how they’re improving over time as the system records your sessions.
“It’s great that these companies are thinking of new ways to stimulate people, mix up their fitness regimes and help them burn calories,” says New York City Celebrity Trainer, Joel Harper. However, Harper cautions that users should be careful not to let themselves get so distracted by the equipment that they’re no longer paying attention to how their bodies feel during their workouts. Being in touch with your body, perhaps initially with the help of a fitness professional, is the way to make any workout safe.