The gym I go to has stationary bikes with TV screens build in them and handle bars that you actually use to steer. You can ride around a boring track or play the dragon coin game, the future of stationary biking. The bike has gears like a normal bike and it steers like a normal bike but you peddle around a small village collecting coins and dragons, unlike a normal bike. This is the closest I have ever come to having fun while exercising. I hate exercising.
Someone out there understood that biking can be rather boring so why not throw in a little game to pass the time, albeit not a sophisticated game but enough to peek my interest. It got me thinking, why do I dread going to this insufferable place to sweat my heart out day in, day out with no end in sight? Why can’t exercising be fun? And don’t just tell me Pilates is fun or that class my Mom goes to is “fun” exercise, no its not, not to me anyway.
The first computerized exercise bike was developed in the late 1960’s and since then all we’ve done is make the seats a bit more comfortable and put together a simple Asian game to make peddling a tad more enjoyable? It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand that there may be void in this market. Wii Fit has taken advantage of people who want more out of their work outs, the popular game has proved very profitable for the Nintendo company selling just under 20 million units thus far. Why wouldn’t it sell? They took an activity the general public should be doing regularly that is not enjoyable and made it fun, seems like a formula for success to me. But what is surprising is that no one else is doing it.
How many national gym chains are doing research and development into making exercising more enjoyable? Have they ever? Or are they just trying to make the next big machine? Has anyone thought about flipping the industry on its head? Possibly paying people to workout by getting them to do surveys while running? Or why wouldn’t they take a page out of Nintendo’s book and make a video game that involved cardiovascular activity? If we made exercising fun, and I mean actually fun it would increase the number of people working out and make our country healthier.
This could change the way our kids exercise and save our health care system millions of dollars, or it could just be my fat ass complaining because I hate working out. You can decide. But if you can take anything in your life that is not enjoyable and make it fun, you’re on to something and please let me know about it!