More technology could create better gym experiences

It’s a lack of knowldge, not laziness, keeping some people on the couch

By Amelia Naismith Black Press

Few things, outside of the realms of extreme and tragic, are more daunting than going to the gym. Especially when one hasn’t gone in … forever.

They’re loud, they’re busy, they’re full of ripped men and women who make you feel about as fit as a potato, and row upon row of sinister looking machines that look as if they could easily belong on a spaceship or in a torture chamber which do nothing to ease anxiety.

These days, equipment in gyms are incredibly high tech. Gone are the days of my grandmother’s stationary bike where features such as resistance was adjusted with a dial.

Now they can be adjusted for weight, count calories burned, are programmable to different goals, offer YouTube, Facebook and audio services, or even include scenery videos for those who don’t want to stare at a stationary screen.

It would take very little effort for fitness centres or equipment manufacturers to include short tutorial videos to go along with the machines. We already have the technology, literally at our fingertips, and costs could be kept low by using in-house services if the fitness centres were going to offer the videos themselves.

If linking the videos to the actual machines proves too costly in the way of additional technology, gyms could look at providing members with a login or password to tutorial videos on line. However, this will not be effective for newbies who don’t know what the machines are called or would like to be able to refer to the videos as the stumble their way through their first couple of workouts.

Providing the additional information would result in less improper use and wear and tear on the machines, and in providing a less intimidating workout space drive membership sales. It’s a win-win situation. It would also save the confused from having to try and decipher stick men hieroglyphics that barely make sense.

Gym intimidation is a very real issue for many people. The National Academy of Sports Medicine in Arizona states a lack of knowledge ranks high on peoples’ list of fears when it comes to getting their sweat on.

Amelia Naismith is the reporter for The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca

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