Friday, December 12, 2008

Equipment Goes High-Tech with TVs, Aromatherapy and More

“Workouts were never intended to be entertaining. Entertainment, however, is slowly creeping into the fitness world. Which, consensus is, is making workouts more entertaining and, in the long run, more beneficial. It is now possible to walk down a tree-lined path with the smell of orange blossoms permeating the air and the sound of soft music filtering in from a distance and never move more than a few inches. Or watch a favorite movie while climbing; listen to favorite music while pedaling; watch the latest news while running or seeing one team play another, live, while lifting weights from the comfort of an anatomically correct seat. Fading fast are the days when walking on a treadmill meant staring at a blank wall or lifting weights was shared by minutes of idle time, just sitting on a bench, between repetitions. Workouts can be boring, said Rick Strout, manager at the Metro Executive Fitness at The Gateway, ‘but new technology is bringing in the entertainment factor, which is, in turn, making fitness training much more enjoyable.’ Beyond the entertainment features, new high-tech fitness equipment also makes it possible to tailor training programs for each individual for better results. ‘New cardio lines, for example, have cross-training-type programs, meaning you can do weight-loss programs, heart-rate-zone training, cardio testing, set different goals, monitor the heart rate and, on the new treadmills, enjoy aromatherapy,’ he noted. Studies have shown that fragrances can alter both emotions and mental behavior. Aromas, it is said, bring mind and body into a state of equilibrium Egyptians used it as far back as 2890 B.C. and the Chinese dating back to 2000 B.C. Romans were famous for using aromas in bathhouses. Eucalyptus is probably the most commonly used scent. Strout said he chose a citrus scent for high-tech treadmills, "because it is both pleasurable and invigorating. The pleasurable smell tends to keep people going and feel more excited about what it is they are doing. It also helps people be more focused in their training. ‘Studies have shown that the citrus scent is the most beneficial and most effective aroma in helping to stimulate people during a physical activity. Workout can be a little boring. The citrus smell gets your mind off the workout.’ The treadmills with aroma features are made by Technogym, an Italian company that has supplied fitness equipment for the past four Summer Olympic Games. Metro Executive Fitness is the first to introduce Technogym equipment.”,5143,705269299,00.html

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