The year 2000. It’s only a blink away, but the millennium promises to bring big changes in the way we pursue and think about fitness. Asked what the future holds, experts say that exercise will only get more high-tech, more goal-specific, more tailored to the individual. Translation: It’ll only get better.
How will we work out in gyms? At home?
Expect the high-teching of health clubs to continue. “In the 21st century, they’ll start to look like a cross between gyms and video arcades,” predicts Don Gronachan, senior product manager of Cybex, makers of exercise machines. Personalized virtual-reality computers–the kind that use digital optics to make you feel as though you’re skiing in Aspen instead of mock-slaloming in a sweaty gym are already out there, but the same kind of technology may one day allow you to become part of an interactive video game. Imagine running around a room the size of a racquetball court as if you were in the midst of a life-size Pac-Man game.
Look, too, for interactive TVs that let you take part in sporting events–even if you’re 3,000 miles away, Care to participate in the Boston Marathon? Like other runners competing on-line, you’ll race on a computerized treadmill that transmits your progress to a central computer via infrared light. As we’ve seen with some of the expensive workout machines already around, notes Gronachan, exercise by interactive TV will undoubtedly become available first in health clubs and later in home gyms. (more…)