2010 High Tech Fitness

If it sounds too good to be true ...
A power pad that translates your lower body moves to the court; an HD screen that puts you in the US Open against the best with adjustments to let you build up to world class quality and sound-around to bring the audiences to their feet. There you are, all alone in a room having the game of your life.
How about some kickboxing with Billie Blanks, step programs designed for your height, weight, current level of conditioning and weight loss goals. Yes, that’s got to be the ticket.
Vibration plates work your muscles with minimal physical movement. Gyroscopic equipment pumps you up in half the time with a short range of motion. Video games, computerized workout modules, interactive diet programs--we have them all at the touch of our fingers.

It Is What It Is

High tech is beckoning people with the promise of fun, easy and sometimes automatic physical benefits that include strength, tone, endurance and weight loss. If you take a closer look at the advertising, you’ll find they all advise the use their state-of-the-art equipment to be in addition to a regular program of exercise and caloric reduction. Even bariatric surgery states clearly that it will not work without a regular exercise program and healthy eating.
In the 1970s, Arthur Jones promised people fitness in 20 minutes on his Nautilus Circuit. Twenty newsstand magazines touted the training routines of the fitness stars to transform your body in weeks. In the 1980s, most women had at least 10 aerobic videos to get in shape in their own home in front of the TV. The exercise boom was born; but we still got fatter and fatter.
The 1990s promised less sweat and more weight loss with Pilates. Yoga made a much deserved comeback, and by the 2000s a record number of women were training on 20 minute circuits, no more than three times a week.
As a nation, we got heavier and heavier.
A little exercise is better than none; which is why the circuits work. They appeal to a large demographic of women who have never exercised before. They most likely bought video workouts, performed them once or twice, then shelved them. The “live action” of the circuit clubs and the human interaction brought most of these women in touch with fitness for the first time in their lives. And it worked like all initial forays into fitness; to a point.

Why High Tech Won’t Make a Difference

The new gimmicks and gadgets--like all that have gone before--may have some legitimate health benefits for those individuals who use them in conjunction with conventional exercise modalities. The Wii Fit fans will get bored as did the video fans, and the gyroscopic and vibration machines will have rehab benefits that will be around for years, but they will quickly fade from the average person’s workout because on their own, they have limited results.
It will all come back to the basic principles of aerobic and resistance exercise. Progressive resistance exercise was first defined by a young man named Milo in Greece. He would take his cart to the Plaka everyday to sell fresh vegetables. On that cart he would load his calf. As the days and months went by, Milo would lift the growing calf onto the cart, until one day he was lifting a cow, and became known as the strongest man in Greece.
Progressive resistance remains the only way to build muscle and bone. Endurance, lung capacity and heart health is achieved, maintained and improved through sustained low-impact exercise for 20-50 minutes a day, such as running, swimming, walking or cycling. These daily needs of the human body will not change until the human body changes, which will take millions of years.