Wireless connections and the Internet of Things can seem a little like an expectation rather than a luxury these days. We expect to be able to connect our devices with ease and reach out to our social connections online. So, it is no surprise that so many fitness fanatics are drawn to smart WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled machines for their home gym. There are a few obvious benefits in doing so.
WiFi connectivity to other devices that you own
First of all, there is the connection to other devices. Wireless streaming overs a brilliant two-way connection between your machine and any other devices that you might have in your possession. There are two benefits to this. If you have a fitness tracker of some kind of fitness app on your phone or tablet then you may be able to create a strong connection between the two. The machine will be able to send all the relevant data to your mobile device about your session. This could include the number of miles walked/jogged on a treadmill, your stroke rote on the rower or the theoretical calories burned with your exercise bike. This then creates a detailed log that you can access whenever you need to. All data can then be used in other ways on your mobile device for other means, such as planning meals and schedules.
Another benefit to having this sort of connection, such as a direct Bluetooth link to your mobile device, it the ability to stream media. Not all machine have music systems; some do but only have a simple port or an MPS player. Smarter machines may allow for wireless streaming of music to the console. This is perfect for creating the perfect workout playlist or maybe listing to a motivational podcast as you work out. The easier it is to lose yourself in something else as your work out, the easier it becomes to work that little bit harder and push through barriers.
WiFi connectivity to apps and programs within your consoles
With that in mind, there is the other benefit to having a wireless connection on the console of your smart exercise machine. You might find that it is better to have a machine where the apps and media on offer are within the console. Many of the smartest exercise bike systems, rowers and treadmills have clever apps built-in that provide clever programs and other tools.
One great example is the ability to link up to Google maps on a fitness app and create a fun new route. This can be more interesting that just pretending to row or run in a straight line. You can key in courses in real locations and use the console as an inspiration to get to the finish line. This can be perfect for those that need to train for specific distances or events. These smarter console may also have those fitness apps built-in so that you can log everything that you need to know about a session without having to rely on your phone.
WiFi connectivity to other people
The final benefit of having an exercise machine with smart connectivity is a connection to other people. There is a growing trend now to use the consoles on these exercise bikes as a way to connect with other riders and coaches. You can think of it as taking part in a spin class from the comfort of your own home. You get the right guidance and a great workout but you don’t have to face quite so many “real” people and can build on your confidence.
These wireless smart exercise machines do come with their downsides for some users
Of course, these smart machines with wireless connectivity aren’t going to be for everyone. There is an issue of cost, as the smarter they are and more diverse, the higher the price. There is also the fact that you need to be sure of a strong power and WiFi connection for the machine and the data sharing to get the most out of the session. Drop-outs 20 minutes in can be a real pain to deal with. There is also the issue of all the light and noise. Some people struggle with the constant beeping and flashing that comes with some intense consoles. This can take it to another level. However, if you do feel as though this sort of wireless connection and Bluetooth enabled machine is the right approach, there are some key consideration to keep in mind.
Always check the specifications and reviews before choosing a machine with wireless or Bluetooth connectivity
Check the specification on the machine to make sure that it has all the right features that you need. This means looking at the programming and the details of the apps. How much is included from the start with the basic price and how much is subscription-based as a bonus expense? Are there any noticeable restrictions with compatible devices? It is also important to check user reviews for these machines to see if there are any obvious problems that the company won’t tell you about. There may be a group of users that struggled to get a strong connection or that found the console difficult to use. There is also the risk that new, next-gen models may have teething problems that need patches.
Is this the right approach for you
In short, there are a lot of benefits in going for a smart treadmill, rower or exercise bike with wireless connectivity. But, this is only the case with the right machine and if you are sure to make the most out of all the features. One final point to remember here is that these machines are only going to get smarter and more diverse with time. Eventually, a large proportion will be made under the assumption that we all want to stay connected to the outside world at all times. Your workout could either get a lot more complex and overwhelming or a lot more diverse and beneficial. Take your time to find the model that suits your needs the best.