4 Interactive Systems To Try

“What is your opinion on treadmills? Are they boring? Are they fun?”

I am sure that, at some point, each runner has had the occasion to express his or her opinion about treadmills during a conversation with other runners. Some love it, others hate it, and the rest of the crowd prefers keeping a neutral position in the debate.

If you’re reading this post, it means you’re considering exploring the advantages of treadmills. I want to put my 15 years experience with treadmills to good use and help you find your own answer to this question by sharing the 4 treadmill interactive systems that have made my exercising more fun.

iFIT Live

ifit live

From my point of view, iFIT Live is the top of the interactive systems of the moment that allows you to control both workouts and your diet information. This feature connects the treadmill console to your own iFIT account through a wireless Internet connection and downloads from there trainer workouts, Google Maps workouts, event and competition workouts.

Once you download the workouts in the console, you start running. You can access your iFIT account from any computer or your iPhone to schedule the workouts for the next days, weeks or months.

Results will be recorded in the treadmill console and then be sent back to your account through the Wi-Fi connection, so you can keep records of your progress from one place. The fun part is when you use the Google Maps workouts with the automatic terrain simulator option. You may run in Paris, London, Boston, New York, on a mountain trail or wherever your heart desires. Time flies quickly when there are so many workouts options. Plus, you get to see your progress and the ‘surroundings’ while you exercise (the 10 inch display is the nicest view of all).

To use this system, we recommend NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills.

Your costsare currently $144 for the first year. At the end of this period you can renew for $72/year.

Life Fitness Virtual Trainer

Life Fitness Virtual Trainer

Life Fitness has thought of a useful way for users to create workouts and upload/download them to treadmills consoles, no matter if they use a compatible machine at the gym or at home. This is how Virtual Trainer works: you create an account with them, customize workouts, plugin a regular USB and save on it the exercises from your account. Through the same USB, you upload the workouts in the treadmill’s console and start running.

The fun part is the iPhone/iPad application that communicates and synchronizes data with the Life Fitness account and the treadmill console, without any USB system. It is entertaining to have the liberty to create workouts from anywhere. Plus, you can receive help and workouts suggestions from online friends (or buddies, how they are called by Life Fitness).

To use this system, we recommend the Track Console with the 2012 F3 or T3 treadmill.

Your costs are 0, as long as the treadmill is compatible with the Life Fitness Virtual Trainer. The iPhone app has extra features that you can add for a fee, like the workouts from Life Fitness trainers ($2.99 per download).

Livestrong Fitness Passport Set Top Box

livestrong passport monitor

The people at Livestrong have built the Fitness Passport Set Top Box to make the treadmill workout experience fun with just a TV screen and a box.  You can run on trails anywhere in the world at your own pace, and enjoy the “surroundings” at the same time. The video quality of the trails adds an authentic note to the outdoor simulations.

The fun part is the visual and the audio experience that can make you feel almost as if you were running outdoors. To use this system, we recommend the LSPRO2 treadmill.

Your costs are 0, if you want to use the 2 trails included in the package. Extra video packs can be purchased online.

Lifespan/Smoth Fitness Club

LifeSpan and Smooth Virtual Trainer

Lifespan Fitness Club or My Smooth Virtual Trainer are literally the same thing. That is why I’m listing them together. In this system users correlate the workouts’ intensity with their health condition. Even if health assessment is an interesting and unique functionality, it’s better to have this analysis done by your own physician.  The rest of the features are similar to what I’ve described above: you create workouts, schedule them and upload the results to your PC, in your account, all through an USB device. You also have professional assistance to help you design customized workouts. There is actually no fun part with this system, but it is helpful for those who like Life Span or Smooth treadmills and want to workout efficiently. Setting goals and planning the steps to achieve them have an important part in a solid exercise program.

To use this system, we recommend Lifespan TR1200iLifeSpan TR3000i and Smooth 8.35

Your costs are 0, if your treadmill includes lifetime membership included. If it’s not included, don’t pay extra.

What Do You Do When You’re Bored On The Treadmill

All of us struggle to find the enthusiasm to run on treadmills. I’ve shared a few interactive systems that I find interesting and fun enough to distract me from the cruel truth that running indoors is sometimes boring. How about you? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on how you break through the monotony. Share your ideas in the comments.

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