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Third party companies can develop apps that link to the new tablet consoles on Life Fitness CV equipment


different times of the day and night, the more comfortable it becomes for other newcomers to join in. There’s no social embarrassment associated with running these days. It also helps that we have more than 1,600 Run England groups in operation, proactively recruiting and welcoming newcomers.”


ENTERTAINMENT FACTOR The growth in the size of the running community has spurred entrepreneur Kevin Hewitt to start Running Unlimited, developing a product designed to bring the outdoor running experience indoors. Hewitt explains: “There’s a huge opportunity for gym operators to embrace the growth of running, especially as over half of all gym members use treadmills. So we set the challenge: how can we help people love indoor running? “After two and a half years of


research and development, we launched the Zone dome, which has been described as ‘an IMAX for a treadmill’. We wanted to change the game for gym-goers by delivering a truly immersive experience that brought the outdoors in. “Using the very latest technology, the 1.5-metre diameter dome screen immerses people in the world’s most inspirational destinations. Imagine passing elephants, giraffes and hyenas in Tanzania’s Serengeti, or running through the awesome structures of America’s Monument Valley, over the rolling grasslands of Mongolia’s Himalayan foothills or across Australia’s ‘Red Centre’ at Uluru (Ayers Rock). With Zone it feels like you’re actually there.


February 2013 © Cybertrek 2013 “Zone aims to allow members to benefi t


from all the positives associated with outdoor training without worrying about the weather, pollution or personal safety.” Meanwhile, in 2011, Matrix Fitness


entered into a partnership with Virtual Active to provide high quality video footage for the integrated screens on its CV equipment. Exercisers are virtually transported to some of the globe’s most spectacular destinations – all without leaving the comfort and safety of a gym. Users not only see amazing landscapes in video content displayed on the console, but they also feel gradual terrain changes under their feet and hear ambient sounds through their headphones. Users have


With Zone domes, indoor runners can travel through amazing landscapes – all without leaving the gym


reported running steadier and longer than they do on equipment without Virtual Active, as they become immersed in the experience. For the fi rst time this year, Virtual Active software is integrated into T3xe and T1xe treadmills, making it a feasible fi nancial option for any facility.


DRIVING INNOVATION There has also been innovation in terms of treadmill design. David Barnickle, business development manager at Cranlea – the distributor for Woodway treadmills in the UK – explains: “Treadmills feature in almost every fi tness club in the world, and for years people have been lined up in front of


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 63


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