Tech­nol­ogy al­lows you to get your work­out at work

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DAVID SQUARE

PER­SON­ALLY, I think the three most gloomy words in the English lan­guage are “sit­ting is smok­ing.” The med­i­cal in­ti­ma­tion of this phrase is that if you work at a desk for a con­sid­er­able part of your life, your chances of con­tract­ing some types of can­cers are greater than those of fid­gety peo­ple — the type who con­stantly leave their desks for an out­door smoke break. This may seem un­fair, but don’t give in to de­spon­dency. Not only have sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered a cause for nearly ev­ery­thing, they have also found a cure for al­most ev­ery­thing. Just be­cause you sat on your butt for 25 years, doesn’t mean you will fall vic­tim to “sit­ting is smok­ing.” In fact, a cure is al­ready on the mar­ket. I dis­cov­ered the cure while at­tend­ing the Hot Tub, Fit­ness & Fire­place Expo that Krevco re­cently par­tic­i­pated in. It con­sists of a slow mov­ing tread­mill with a top speed of 6.5 kph that you walk on while work­ing at your desk. Krevco’s Gil Tor­res, a fit­ness equip­ment spe­cial­ist, said to date the Life Span DT7 work­place so­lu­tion has been an ex­cep­tional hit with busy schol­ars at the Uni­ver­sity of Man­i­toba. “They can study, work on their com­put­ers or chat with col­leagues while ben­e­fit­ting from a good walk,” said Tor­res, adding that the walk­ers are avail­able in sev­eral mod­els priced from about $1,000 and up depend­ing on spe­cial fea­tures. He said the DT7 in­cludes an elec­tric height ad­just­ment to sup­port users from 4-10 to 6-8, as well as a one-inch-thick, high-den­sity desk­top of lam­i­nated com­pos­ite board. Other spe­cial fea­tures are a pre-set desk height mem­ory, an auto shut down of the belt when you step off and a count­ing fea­ture that works like a nurse’s pe­dome­ter to tally steps as you walk. If you are get­ting on in life like me and walk­ing and work­ing at the same time seems too vig­or­ous a con­cept, Tor­res said Life Span of­fers two mod­els of bike desks that al­low you to cy­cle at work rather than to work. “One model can be pur­chased with­out a desk for un­der $1,000. A buyer can pair it with an ex­ist­ing desk or pur­chase one with suf­fi­cient height to al­low the bike to be slid un­der­neath for com­pact stor­age when not in use,” said Tor­res. The sec­ond model comes as a pack­age in­clud­ing a bike with a max­i­mum 400-pound user weight and an ad­justable-height desk with a 0.9 me­tre deep by 119 cen­time­tre wide top. Desk tread­mills and bikes come equipped with Blue­tooth, mean­ing free apps can be down­loaded to cap­ture all of your ac­tiv­ity on your An­droid de­vice, as well as turn­ing your iPad into a touch screen con­sole which gives you con­trol of your equip­ment’s set­tings and more. My favourite ten­sion-re­liev­ing/ex­er­cise de­vice was the Nex­er­sys iPower Trainer. Though the ma­chine looked like a pi­lot who had just bailed out of a pass­ing UFO, this an­droid “is an in­ter­ac­tive and in­tel­li­gent fit­ness prod­uct that de­liv­ers a High In­ten­sity Mixed Mar­tial Arts In­ter­val Train­ing work­out through tech­nique, strike, core and car­dio video and avatar spar­ring rounds.” The in­struc­tions didn’t say whether you can change the avatar to look like your boss, but you could think of the ma­chine as a man­i­fes­ta­tion of that foul-breathed smoker in your of­fice who will out­live you be­cause he gets more ex­er­cise. Also on dis­play were com­bi­na­tion gyms that I im­me­di­ately sus­pected of be­ing pi­lot’s seats sal­vaged from crashed UFOs. How­ever, on closer in­spec­tion, I dis­cov­ered th­ese multi-use ma­chines such as the BowFlex Xtreme SE are ca­pa­ble of 65-gym qual­ity ex­er­cises in­clud­ing ab­dom­i­nal crunches, squats, leg ex­ten­sions, lats and lots more. Tor­res said BowFlex tech­nol­ogy makes use of power rods in place of weights to pro­duce re­sis­tance. “The rods take up less space than heavy weights, which can be danger­ous if dropped, and the rods are easy to re­place if re­quired,” he said. Weight train­ing ac­ces­sories on dis­play in­cluded ket­tle bells in a lovely as­sort­ment of colours from bight yel­lows and pinks to greens and mauves. Not sur­pris­ingly, they look like an old-style steam ket­tle with a large han­dle welded to the body, usu­ally coated in rub­ber for safety. The main ad­van­tage to ket­tles com­pared dumb­bells is you get a com­plete work­out in less time and in­cor­po­rate more mus­cles into each ex­er­cise ses­sion. Kets, as they are of­ten re­ferred to, weigh from 4-kg to 40-kg, and cost about $40 to $170. A ket­tle bell rack re­tails from Krevco’s Fla­man Fit­ness cat­a­logue for $189. An­other ad­van­tage to kets is that they are easy to launch like 10-pin bowl­ing balls; the next time you hear some dumb­bell say “sit­ting is smok­ing”, em­u­late John Good­man in The Big Le­bowski and let him have it in the so­lar plexus.

PHO­TOS BY DAVID SQUARE / WINNIPEm FREE PRESS

mil Tor­res, fit­ness equip­ment spe­cial­ist with Krevco Life­styles, shows how to walk and work with a Life

Span tread­mill and desk com­bi­na­tion. Be­low, Ket­tle bells and neo­prene dumb­ells are avail­able in a va­ri­ety of weights and colours to please

male and fe­male lifters.

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