Exercise Gadgets of the FuturePosted: Jun 07 in Lifestyle & Behavior by Staff
Robots, special exercise suits—do these modern tools actually help with fitness?
As long as humans have gained weight, we’ve been thinking up new, unusual and often absurd ways to lose it. Because losing weight with diet and exercise can be very difficult, many of us are on the constant lookout for the next miracle weight loss cure that will provide us with the most advanced technological solution for the problem of an expanding waistline.
Along with a troubling list of other concerning comorbid conditions, obesity is a huge contributor to the symptoms of acid reflux. Macon residents who struggle with excess weight may have the added discomfort of GERD, which often makes weight loss one of the most effective methods for relieving reflux symptoms. Though time constraints and frustration with lack of progress may lead us to seek the weight loss silver bullet, unusual exercise tools that purportedly help us lose weight faster may not necessarily deliver on their promises.
We live in a time of technological marvels beyond most of our wildest dreams. Despite the many tools available for weight loss, we aren’t necessarily any better at losing weight than generations past, but it can still be fun to take a look at some of the newest workout gadgets and just how effective they really are. Here are a couple interesting ones that may show promise for our weight loss future.
The Gravity Plus Suit
Though the name may make you think that this workout gear has the power to manipulate the laws of time and space, our technology has, unfortunately, not yet advanced to that point. Instead, this suit of weighted sleeves, chaps and Velcro can be adjusted to weigh between one and 70 pounds, making you work harder while also serving as compression gear. The idea sprung from research that shows increasing the weight you bear as you exercise can help you burn calories and improve bone density, and other research that shows the efficacy of garments that compress your muscles in improving physical performance and muscle recovery.
The Verdict: Experts say that while there is some scientific foundation for the suit’s claims, determining its effectiveness and safety will require extensive testing and peer review, although it has received FDA approval. Despite its weight variability, the suit seems most appropriate for those who are already physically fit, as those who need exercise help the most already have the excess weight that the Gravity Plus Suit provides. Still, the concept is intriguing and may have applications for weight loss and rehabilitation.
Still think robots are a thing of a distant, dreamed-of future? Take a look at the Joggobot, a flying drone that serves as a mechanical jogging buddy. Though it looks like little more than one of those overpriced, quad rotor, remote-controlled helicopters you may have seen at Sharper Image, the Joggobot is controlled by your smartphone and follows you by focusing on orange and blue squares on a special t-shirt. It has two settings—one that adjusts its speed to follow the runners pace, and another that encourages you to run faster by pulling ahead.
The Verdict: Though an interesting enough idea, the Joggobot’s usefulness is fairly limited. You won’t get anything out of this device that you couldn’t get out of a workout partner—in fact, you may get much less considering the lack of interaction and highly-limited encouragement provided by the robot. However, the concept could be modified in the future to serve as a much more capable coach. As technology advances, we may see training robots become more able to help us amp up our workouts by measuring heart rates, providing music, scheduling training times and setting a pace using more data than just “fly ahead of me slightly faster.”
New gadgets like these give us an interesting view of what may become the workout tools of the future, but they certainly don’t seem like the best tools to lose weight and solve reflux issues in the present. Have you seen any other interesting modern workout technology? Tell us about them in the comments below.