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Running – the business


T


here is no doubt about it, running is one of the most popular forms of exercise. Whether motivated by the health benefits that this form of exercise can provide, or inspired by a team challenge via a local or regional fun run, or even


driven by the life-goal of completing a marathon, people of all ages and abilities are regularly running and jogging in our streets, parks and gyms every day.


Treadmills are located in almost every gym in the world and


according to Adam Hubbard, Director of Product Development, “Treadmills are frequently the most used product in a fitness facility and usually represent the single largest equipment investment for operators”.


With such significant financial decisions on the line, how do operators determine what product is right for their club or their member base?


With such a popular item of equipment, it is obviously important to have the equipment in full working order for the maximum amount of time and Hubbard explains that Precor has developed systems which “offer real-time status updates on equipment” so maintenance issues are identified early.


Perhaps, in an increasingly technological world, it is no surprise that technology is an important consideration, even with treadmills and Running Unlimited claims to have developed technologies which have given rise to the ‘business class’ experience for treadmill users. In the words of CEO, Kevin Hewitt, “we combine the latest technology with entertainment to deliver a step-change to the indoor running experience”


While the Running Unlimited’s all-new Zone Dome provides a unique look and user experience, Hewitt predicts more partnerships being necessary in the future because “the pace of change and development is simply too fast for sector participants to skill up to keep up”.


modern treadmill users expect a multi-media interface – music, video etc. or even interactive data collection to measure your workout performance


Technology is also a high priority for consumers; water bottle storage and towel hangers are now basic expectations, modern treadmill users expect a multi-media interface – music, video etc. or even interactive data collection to measure your workout performance.


Life Fitness claims to be creating equipment to engage and


inspire exercises and according to their UK Managing Director, Jason Worthy, their “LCD Touch Screens feature enhanced interaction and internet connectivity as well as integrated TV”.


As the technology world continues to merge and align with fitness Worthy predicts that “connected fitness will continue to be one of the biggest trends this year” and the company aims to redefine what ‘connected fitness’ truly means.


So, when running in the gym it is obvious that the music, the TVs, and the company of other people can make the miles roll by much easier but clearly there is a lot more to developing the ideal treadmill than meets the eye. We asked three leading brands to explain this in their own words.


www.body-life.uk


body LIFE 2 I 2015 I 63


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