What to Know About Smart Exercise Equipment
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Go beyond just working up a sweat with these smart exercise devices that can track, encourage and even entertain during your workout.
Smart exercise equipment is a category of smart home devices that has grown exponentially in the last couple of years. Almost every type of exercise gear has a “smart” version, from stationary bikes to jump ropes. Many of these innovative products are a significant upgrade from their basic counterparts. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Smart Exercise Gear?
These devices come with added electronics that can do a wide range of things, such as:
Monitor your heart rate;
Add up how many calories you have burned.
Typically, smart exercise gear also connects to your home’s WiFi. This allows the device to send usage reports to your account so you can track your workout history through an app. It also lets the equipment download new exercise classes, if it has that feature. Many smart stationary bikes, treadmills and rowing machines come with large monitors that display on-demand or live workout classes.
Types of Gear on the Market
If you can think of a type of exercise gear, there’s probably a smart version. Even something as simple as a jump rope has a smart adaptation. The Crossrope, for instance, is a weighted jump rope with an app that can count how many jumps you’ve made. The app also has workouts you can follow, and an online community for support.
More examples of smart exercise equipment include the Tonal home weights system, the Tempo workout mirror and the NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine. And yes, there is smart exercise equipment for kids. One example is the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle that allows kids to play games on a big smart screen as they exercise.
How Much Does Smart Exercise Gear Cost?
Smart exercise equipment is more expensive than DIY workout gear. Prices typically range from $100 to $5,000. As you would expect, the more features the gear has, the more the gear tends to cost. A smart treadmill with only exercise tracking and an app is cheaper than one with those features plus a large screen for watching classes.
You may also find that some require accessory packages that can add to the cost. For example, the Peloton stationary bike has four feature packages. The Basic Package costs $2,245, while the Works Package, which includes special shoes, weights, mat and other accessories, runs $2,494.
Many smart exercise devices also have optional membership fees. Memberships provide you with perks, such as unlimited access to live streaming and on-demand workout classes, performance tracking and multiple workout profiles. Fees range from $40 to $50 per month.
Where to Buy Smart Exercise Gear
Most of the top brands in smart exercise gear aren’t available on Amazon or in your local sporting goods stores. This equipment must be purchased from the manufacturer’s website. While it can be a pain not getting your item with Prime two-day shipping, one benefit of ordering from the brand’s website is that they typically offer financing options. Plus, waiting for shipping gives you time to get rid of your old exercise equipment.