Friday, December 29, 2006
Toning up with Technology

In the two years that I've been producing the Bod Squad fitness segments, we've covered everything from celebrity-driven workouts such as Budokon, which combines martial arts, yoga and meditation, to cardio-tennis, to training like an NFL player at Competitive Edge Sports boot camp to observing firsthand the flexibility and discipline of the Cirque Du Soleil athletes. So what's the next hot thing? Virtual fitness.

A company called and Dr. Ken Burres have developed technology that will allow you to cycle on the moon or row the Nile, sort of. Through the Internet, you can work out globally, say, run on your treadmill in Atlanta with someone from Australia. Company founder Bruce Winkler says it's the fitness industry's new frontier.

Americans spend billions on the fitness industry annually but only about 15 percent of the population goes to a gym. If you're not wild about working out in public or you don't have a lot of time, Demand Fitness lets you work out anywhere, anytime. If you feel like yoga at 3 a.m. in your pajamas, you can log on to the company's Web site and a yoga instructor will coach you along. They're not Live but they are always available.

You can also expect gyms to spice up their classes like the one I discovered in Brooklyn. Cybex Trazer is an interactive virtual fitness system. You put on a magnetic belt and watch a big screen as you work up a sweat reacting to the projected images.

To learn more about virtual fitness, watch House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta this weekend.

It's the new year, when people are making resolutions about losing weight and shaping up. Have you tried virtual fitness or would you consider it?

Toning up with Technology hun?--That's good to hear.--I always thought technology just made people lazier. Like when your sitting on your bum watching TV or on the computer all day, and this new Virtual fitness really sounds good, but I bet it cost a fortune.--Thanks for the info though,--it could be the way of the future.
I use Ride Run Row's Netathalon for cyclists. I am riding better than a 100 miles a week indoors. This software gives me the abililty to track what I do. But I can connect online and "ride"with people around the world. But the best part is having a virtual course to watch alieviates the boardoom of riding alone inside. Plus this company is dedicated to improving their product thru customer feedback.
Burres's and Winkler's NetAthlon (by - is a product ahead of its time. It's hard to express how awesome, convenient and realistic it is to ride online with people all over the world. All you need is a PC with a good amount of RAM and a good video card, along with a compatible bike trainer and you're ready to go.

The days of not riding because winter had arrived are over :-)
the correct link is
thank you for the kind comments
Netathlon gets me through the winter months when I'd be otherwise inclined to sip hot cocoa by the fire. Also good for those rainy days. I especially get a kick out of living in the north east, and riding with others in the US, as well as the UK and Germany.

Truly revolutionary!
I have been using the cycling software for my winter training for the last three years. On my cycle trainer I cycle 1 to 2 hours 4 to 5 nites a week. I put much more effort into my virtual ride knowing that I am riding and interacting live with other riders from all over the world. They have become my friends through headphone chatting, as we ride. I look forward to the winter rides as the cold weather aproaches and miss the winter competition when the spring arrives. Our interactive cycling community is as real as the cyclist I do my summer rides with. Best of all it has given me a fitness motivation that I could never disapline myself to do in a Gym or sitting on an old fashion trainer in my basement looking at a wall. When more people realize that this a total concept change in how one approaches fitness, getting into shape will never be the same again. I am 55 years old and have never been in as good a shape in my life as I am now.
The main reason most people don't workout is that it is borrrrinng. The best part about this program is that you have available multiple internet "friends" to keep you engaged and motivated in your program. Kudos to Dr. Burres for his innovative approach to physical fitness.
As an avid cyclist and triathlete, I have been using Netathlon for the past few years and it really helps me stay in shape during the winter months when it is dark before I get home from work.

I ride with others from all over the world online, and can only say that those rides are sometimes as grueling as any you get out on the road.

The realism of Netathlon almost makes you forget that you are indoors on your trainer ... and that is a very good thing.
I recommend Ride Run Row's Netathalon for Cyclists; beel using it for 3 years for winter training. Without this software you wouldn't find me on a trainer for more than 30 minutes; with it, I'll ride for 2 hours, 2-3 days a week during off season.
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