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Tag Archives: Fitness

Jawbone’s UP Wristband Does Far More Than Encourage You To ‘Livestrong’

Jawbone's UP Wristband (Image courtesy Jawbone)
By Andrew Liszewski

While the Livestrong wristband fad might have faded ages ago, you could be seeing people sporting a new, more advanced wrist adornment, this Fall. This wristband isn’t supporting a charitable cause however. It actually comes from Jawbone, makers of mighty fine Bluetooth earpieces and speakers, and is chock full of technology designed to improve the wearer’s general well-being.

It’s designed to be comfortable enough to wear 24/7, which is important because motion sensors inside the band are constantly tracking your movements and motions, sending that data to an accompanying application on your iOS or Android device. That information is then processed and used to make healthy living recommendations when it comes to sleep patterns, exercise and just generally being more active. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the wristband connects to mobile devices over Bluetooth, and since it seems to be pretty passive in terms of how it operates, I imagine you don’t need to recharge it that often. Unfortunately pricing info and a specific release date isn’t available just yet, even though Jawbone has apparently been developing the UP for over 2 years now.

[ UP by Jawbone ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer Powers Itself, And Your Home

SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer (Image courtesy SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer)
By Andrew Liszewski

There are obvious benefits to using an exercise machine on a regular basis. All that health and fitness stuff. But a company called SportsArt has created a machine that can actually save you money too. Well, in the long run at least. Their S770 Pinnacle Trainer comes with a pretty steep $8,499 price tag, but besides getting you in shape it’s also able to harness the energy you’re putting into exercise and convert it into usable electricity.

The machine has a built-in heart rate monitor and on-board computer for tracking your progress, which are all powered by the trainer itself. There’s never any need to plug it into a wall. Unless your home is setup to allow devices to feed electricity back into the grid, since the S770 features an external power inverter that generates electricity from your workout. Apparently up to 2,000 watts during a rigorous session, which can potentially save you thousands of dollars on your power bills if you stay dedicated to using the machine throughout the year.

[ SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer ] VIA [ Inhabitat ]

GymyGym Chair Doubles As A Workout Machine

GymyGym Chair (Images courtesy GymyGym)
By Andrew Liszewski

It turns out that scrolling down a web page doesn’t provide as much of a physical workout as I had once hoped. So my dreams of getting in shape while doing nothing but surfing the web now solely rely on this fitness-friendly office chair known as the GymyGym. Besides providing a comfortable place to sit through the use of a “flat-bungee seating system” which promotes proper posture throughout the day, the GymyGym also incorporates 4 different ‘exercise stations’ for lack of a better description.

Underneath the seat are a few extra lengths of the aforementioned bungee cord attached to handles and velcro straps that allow you to do a series of strengthening exercises for your legs, arms and other muscle groups. The different routines are performed while standing or sitting, depending on what part of your body you’re working out, so you may not necessarily be able to get a full body workout while browsing your favorite website. But thanks to a couple of tension control systems also located beneath the chair, you can crank things up to 11 and really feel the burn when you do manage to sneak in a couple of reps. At $599 the chair is a bit pricey, putting it in competition with more lust-worthy models from Herman Miller, but the fact that it’s made from 95% recycled materials should appeal to eco-minded fitness enthusiasts.

[ GymyGym Workout Chair ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

VelEau Bicycle Hydration System (For The Rider, Not The Bike)

VelEau Hydration System (Images courtesy Showers Pass)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve never ridden in anything that can remotely be considered a bike race, but apparently things can get so intense that even reaching for one’s water bottle can cost the rider precious milliseconds on their time. At least according to a company called Showers Pass who’ve created a sort of bike mounted CamelBak system called the VelEau.

A canteen/tool pack mounted to the rear of the seat holds 42 ounces of water which is made accessible to the rider via a frame-routed tube system that ends in a tethered valve held securely to the handlebars with magnets. This allows the rider to grab a quick sip while not having to worry about reaching or properly replacing a bottle in a holder. And on a hot day it keeps a heavy pack full of water off their backs. Available sometime in July with an MSRP of $79.99.

[ VelEau 42 Bicycle Hydration System ] VIA [ Bike Snob NYC ]

Monte-Carlo Underwater Exercise Bike

Monte-Carlo Underwater Exercise Bike (Image courtesy Monte-Carlo)
By Andrew Liszewski

Looking for more resistance than your standard, dry-docked exercise bike offers? The Pool Bike from a company called Monte-Carlo is designed to be ridden in the shallow end of your pool, or in a particularly generously sized bathtub. The deeper it’s submerged the more intense your workouts will be, but a spinning wheel in the back fitted with adjustable paddles allows you to increase or decrease the resistance in as little as 2 feet of water. Made of nylon, ASB plastic and fiberglass the bike is completely waterproof, including its built-in LCD display which monitors your time, distance, speed (in knots maybe?) and calories burned. And you can pick one up from Hammacher Schlemmer for $899.95.

And do you remember The Oatmeal comic: How A Web Design Goes Straight To Hell? Well I have a feeling that’s exactly how the Monte-Carlo website came to be. (Yes, there’s music too if you wait around long enough for it to load.)

[ Monte-Carlo Pool Bike ]

Finis Swimsense Performance Monitor Is Smart Enough To Distinguish Between Stroke Types

Finis SwimSense Performance Monitor (Image courtesy Finis)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s probably not a guaranteed way to reach Phelps-like levels of performance in the pool, but if you’re curious about your lap times or stroke count and don’t have the sponsorship dollars to pay for a swim coach, this wrist-worn monitor from Finis appears to be just as capable. Using accelerometers, magnetometers and proprietary algorithms the Swimsense is able to automagically distinguish between backstrokes, breaststrokes, butterfly and freestyle strokes, in addition to tracking distance, split times, laps, pace times, stroke rate and even calories burned.

The Swimsense also comes with a charging/syncing dock which replenishes its rechargeable battery for 24 hours of use after a 2 hour charge, and also allows the results of the last 14 workouts (the watch’s max capacity) to be uploaded to an online training log site where your stats and performance vitals can be further analyzed. $199.99 available directly from Finis.

[ Finis SwimSense Performance Monitor ]

GreenGoose System Turns Your Whole Life Into A Video Game

GreenGoose Gaming System (Image courtesy Green Goose)
By Andrew Liszewski

Do you have trouble feeling motivated to do anything besides play video games? Well it turns out your constant pursuit of high scores and unlocking achievements is exactly what could save you from your slothenly lifestyle. The Green Goose system, originally developed by a company of the same name to illustrate how an eco-friendly lifestyle could save you money, has been re-purposed to turn the activities of everyday life into a sort of video game. At least when it comes to tracking scores and unlocking rewards.

The system is centered around an egg-shaped sensor connected to your router that reports back to a website where your stats are tracked. The sensor accepts input from a wide variety of peripherals like a credit card sized pedometer you carry with you, a toothbrush monitor and a set of accelerator and radio-equipped stickers which attach to items like water bottles, floss or even your vacuum. As you go about your daily routines your use of these items is tracked and converted to lifestyle points tracked on their website, with more points being earned for consistency and intensity. Available soon as a starter kit (including what’s pictured above) for just $24.

[ GreenGoose ] VIA [ ReadWriteWeb ]

Fraunhofer’s Electronic Fitness Trainer Makes Sure You’re Doing It Right

Fraunhofer's Electronic Fitness Trainer (Image courtesy Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft)
By Andrew Liszewski

Exercise is less effective when you’re not properly going through the motions, and there’s even the risk of causing bodily harm when dealing with things like weights if you don’t have the proper technique. But at the same time, not everyone can afford a personal trainer to monitor and provide feedback on their exercise routines. So as part of the ‘FitForAge’ initiative sponsored by the Bavarian Research Foundation, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed an Electronic Fitness Trainer that’s available to anyone with access to a smartphone, computer or even just a TV.

The system is a combination of a customizable app and a sensor equipped suit that’s able to track the wearer’s position and movements while they’re exercising. The routine they follow is initially setup by a trainer or a physical therapist who ensures that it’s tailored to their needs and capabilities, and that they’re performing the various exercises properly. After that the app takes over, showing a virtual 3D avatar of the person in the suit and providing feedback when their motions or position don’t quite match up with what the trainer had specified. The system allows for trainers to be of assistance to more clients, while not requiring them to always be around during their actual routines, and ensures that the exercises they’re doing are as beneficial and effective as they can be.

[ Fraunhofer – CeBIT 2011: Electronic Fitness Trainer ]

HEX Announces A New Nike Plus Friendly iPod Nano Watch Band

HEX Sport Watch Band (Image courtesy HEX)
By Andrew Liszewski

It seems like there’s a new watch band accessory for the 6th generation iPod Nano popping up every week, and for the most part they rarely bring anything new or interesting to the table. However the new Sport Watch Band from HEX is the first one to accomodate the dongle required for the Nike Plus in-shoe pedometer.

I mean it’s not exactly the most ground-breaking innovation, but since the 6th gen Nano has become so popular for workouts, particularly when paired with a watch band, it’s a small improvement that’s sure to make the Sport Watch Band very popular among fitness types. And it will be available in April, probably comparably priced to their existing $29.95 Nano watch bands.

[ PR – HEX Announces Sport Watch Band Compatible with NIKE Plus ]