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A new range of intelligent home gym equipment makes workouts more beneficial – and stylish – than ever

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 October, 2015, 9:31am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 March, 2016, 5:33pm

Walking may be the oldest form of exercise known to man. Many experts say it is the most effective for overall health. A 12-year study of 340,000 people by Cambridge University suggests a brisk 20-minute walk each day could be enough to reduce the risk of early death – and that inactivity poses more of a health risk than obesity.

While one of the biggest barriers to exercising is lack of time, there are many benefits to working out at home. You’re already there, you can train in any weather, and it’s easier to up the exercise frequency. But forget the clunky, noisy equipment of old: a new range of intelligent home gym equipment can make the workout more beneficial – and stylish - than ever.

Introduced at Maison & Objet Paris in September, MyRun treadmill by Italian brand Technogym looks cool with its minimal, stylish design, and its compact footprint would suit smaller flats. With a dedicated app and tablet, it monitors the user’s movement, providing feedback on stride, and this machine will pick appropriate running music from your play list, based on your pace. 

HomeRun by Skandika  of Germany is a Red Dot award winner. Its elaborate design and non-slip surface area allows the workout to be combined with any activity on a notebook or tablet – and when the workout’s done, the equipment transforms into a table or sideboard.

Carving Balance by Dutch company Carver Balance also caught the Red Dot judges‘ eye for striking a “convincing balance between elegant design and functionality“. The designers assert that because the lateral movements performed on the machine put the user‘s body off-balance, the calories are burned from the resultant muscle activty generated. Red Dot judges also praised the Heimathlet (home athlete) by heimathlet of Germany as a striking piece of fitness furniture that integrates health-related sports equipment into everyday living areas, intelligently combining functionality with design. Forward-leaning rungs, gym rings provide for home fitness needs, enabling uscle-building training in confined spaces.

The Life Fitness F1 Smart treadmill from the United States can connect to the company’s “virtual trainer” website to create custom workouts, and folds up neatly  to conserve space. For serious runners, the name of the ProForm Boston Marathon Treadmill says it all. The high-definition video on its screen replicates the actual course in Boston, including the hills and dips in terrain. This treadmill also connects to Bluetooth through its SpeedRing technology, which allows you to speed up or slow down without pressing a button.

For an experience designed to be the closest thing to walking or running outdoors, researchers at Ohio State University have developed a treadmill which automatically changes speed to match the pace of the runner, using sonar. “It is seamless and feels completely natural. You just go,” says Steven Devor, the university’s associate professor of kinesiology.

It might be a bit creepy to test the formula developed by cardiologists at John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore – which they claim can estimate a person’s risk of dying, based solely on their treadmill exercise performance – but, we get it. Now, off that couch and move, people.