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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

Do you own a Fitbit or Apple Watch? Or maybe you’re “old school” and have a pedometer. These are all examples of connected fitness. Connected fitness is any technology brings fitness into your home. While initially, this meant apps or your watch, there has been a surge of connected fitness equipment in the last few years that has the potential to disrupt the fitness industry.

What are the advantages of connected fitness? In this time of social distancing one that is obvious is safety and hygiene. Your equipment in your own little bubble at home. But the advantages go beyond the obvious now that there are a multitude of connected fitness options to choose from.

Convenience is a big factor. Your fitness routine is not dictated by the hours that a gym is open. In a time when life is incredibly hectic, jumping onto your connected device at any hour of the day is a dream come true for the busy fitness fanatic.  In addition, most devices have customizable workouts suitable for any fitness level or member of the family.

But is the connected fitness craze disconnecting us from others? Not at all. Connected fitness has an immersive aspect to it that makes us feel more connected in a world surrounded by tech. They provide interactive and engaging experiences where the user feels part of a community, just as we all did in crowded fitness classes. Hydrow, an at-home rowing fitness machine CEO, Bruce Smith states “Connected fitness is about bringing your body and your screen life together,” he says. “The more we move toward that sense of connection and the more real that can get, the better chance we have of surviving the digital age.” His belief is that this form of fitness does not have a negative social impact and in fact, can create the same sense of community that one would experience at a gym.

What about variety? There is connected fitness devices that can satisfy any fitness need. In addition to Hydro, here are some of the others that you can choose from:

Peloton which was first on the scene for the studio cycling enthusiast. They now offer treadmills and guided fitness classes through an app.

Boasting that they are the “most intelligent home gym” is Tonal which focuses on weight training with a sleek wall-mounted device. The Tempo is also in the weight training arena and is a competitor to Tonal.

For the boxing enthusiast, there is Fight Camp,  claims that they are “everything you need to fight for the best version of yourself”.

Mirror a thing most of us avoid when we are out of shape, provides a multitude of workout options in front of your wall-mounted “mirror”. Their motto is “one mirror, every workout”.

Also, NordicTrack which has been in the home fitness equipment biz for decades now has connected options as well.

The only real disadvantage of connected fitness seems to be pricing. Almost all devices require a sizable investment upfront to purchase the equipment and then monthly fees to access classes, programs, or coaches. If, however, connecting at home with your favorite fitness activity sounds appealing to you, most have financing options and if it is something you will use long term, it just might be much more cost-effective than a gym membership.

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