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If you really want to get in shape but get bored on the Stairmaster - you might want to check this out. Today, Minna Lessig is going to show us some exercise equipment that comes equipped with computers.


Believe it or not, you can now actually surf the web while biking or using other exercise equipment at your gym. Netpulse is one of the companies that makes Lifecycles and Precor machines complete with computer screens and Internet hook-ups so that you can shop, check stock quotes, etc. while getting a workout. We are going to have a Precor machine and possible a Lifecycle in our studio so Minna can talk about how cool it is and demonstrate how it's used.


Netpulse machines offer flat-screen monitors that are touch-operated. You can get incentives for using the machines; like earning points based on how long you work out. The points can be exchanged for T-shirts, frequent-flier miles, gift certificates or discounts on personal training sessions.


You can watch cable TV channels (that your gym subscribes to) or listen to music because they have CD players.


By using an ID number, you can keep track of prior workouts and check your email. According to USA Today, 29.9 million Americans belong to a gym, but less than half of new exercisers maintain programs beyond 6 months. Other companies doing similar things to Netpulse are: E-Zone networks, Fitlinxx (which is like a personal trainer attached to your weight machines like Cybex or Nautilus, it tells you how many reps you've done, if you're doing them right, etc.) and TechnoGym (similar to Fitlinxx)


Now cardio equipment, (Lifecycle, Precor, Stairmaster, Tectrix, to name a few brands) is offering more benefits than just exercising your heart and lungs! With Netpulse connected machines, you can surf the web, check and send email, shop, watch your own personal screen tv, listen to your favorite CD, and more. It offers high-speed broadband Internet connection and access to any site on the web.


Fitness Tracking: Netpulse allows you to register and get a Netpulse ID, so that you can track your workouts and participate in their incentives based programs. Every minute of cardiovascular exercise you do equals one Netpulse point. This Frequent Fitness Program awards Netpulse exercisers with prizes like frequent flyer miles, and up to 20% discount towards stores at the Netpulse Mall. Twenty five thousand Netpulse points equal 500 frequent flyer miles. It's Sweat Equity - the more you exercise, the bigger the discount - what incentive! You can also set up an e-wallet with your credit card (do it at home online). You can use cardio time at the gym to send out a thank-you gift, order that book you've been wanting, or put in your dinner order to be delivered doorstep when you arrive home after a good workout!


With this Fitness Tracking you can check out what you did for cardio (type of equipment), how long you went, how many calories burned in your exercise log - either at the gym wile using Netpulse, or at home, online. Thus, you can see if you are making progress with your cardiovascular exercise.


Everyone uses Netpulse. Unfortunately, the majority of people find exercise boring. The union of Internet and cardio equipment offers people entertainment and productivity. What can be their excuse NOW, for not getting into the gym? A study found that 40% of all health club members quit after 6 months, they must not have been using these Internet connected machines! It's a very easy interface, so you don't have to know a lot about computers.


Netpulse has joined 9 of the top 10 fitness health clubs in America including Bally total Fitness, Gold's Gyms, New York Health & Racquet Clubs, Powerhouse gyms, CRUNCH, The Sports Club Company, Sport & Health. It also joined with many major hotel and university and corporate fitness centers like The MGM Grand Hotel & Spa, Hyatt San Francisco, and the St. Regis.


It's a step in the right direction towards arrowing down the multitude of excuses and reasons why people won't exercise. If it motivates people to get into a gym and exercise because they know they can accomplish a list of other things that have taken priority over fitness in the past, wonderful! My only concern is that the Netpulse user stays focused on his / her heart rate while using the technology. It would be nice to have a Netpulse virtual trainer pop up onto the screen here and there to keep an eye on the person's target heart rate zone - of which perhaps a heart rate monitor was connected with the program as well.


People can tend to lose focus and slow down when trying to pay attention to the screen, however, I'm sure getting the results of their favorite team's win, or the Dow going up makes them step up the pace! All in all, cardio equipment is a great choice for internet connection, as it doesn't take much thinking to do what you do (peddle on the bike, step on the stepper), just a little attention here and there to make sure you are pushing in the right heart rate zone.

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