It seems as though more people today connect with friends, neighbors and family via social media sites than call or connect with them in person. Even in your fitness facility, you likely see more people walking around with headphones in their ears or their eyes glued to the screen of their iPhones than you had in the past. With the increase in technology that is spreading into the fitness world, it doesn't seem as though that will be changing anytime soon, either.
Several cardio manufacturers have released cardio equipment that connects to the Internet. Technogym is one of those companies. As a supplier of fitness equipment for the London Olympics, Technogym will offer a line of Internet-enabled cardio equipment for all of your favorite Olympians to use, respond to emails and update their Facebook pages as they prepare for their events. I often wonder how healthy this additional level of distraction is for users--whether or not they are Olympians--although many of the manufacturers disable the Internet and email option after a treadmill reaches a certain speed, so even our speediest Olympians should be safe from trips and falls.
Despite the possible distractions of Internet-enabled cardio equipment, I think this type of equipment can help motivate users to get to the gym since it distracts from the intensity of the workout and can make the experience seem more enjoyable than the chore that many of your members see it as.
One technology application that I enjoy is the virtual-reality stationary bikes. I'm not always a big fan of stationary bikes, but when I used one of these at my gym a year ago, it made the experience more fun, and it made my time on the bike go by more quickly. I liked that you could choose your own path or race against others.
As with the adaptation of all technology, certain machines may fall by the wayside, but many of these technologically enhanced cardio machines are here to stay. So if you have not already started to invest in this type of technology for your equipment, you may already be behind the curve that your competitors have set. It's time to take a look to see which of these technologies are musts for your facility.