By the time I get down to part 2 of a column, the reactions to the first one have flooded in. And mostly, they follow a pattern. Waves of likes (I enjoyed your...), some strong dislikes (have you lost it, today’s column was completely...) and charges of plagiarism (usually by people who set up an anonymous Twitter account that very day, just for that). But last week’s column was unusual; while all of the above were right there, this time there was a huge amount of additional feedback. It seems people here use a lot of technology and gadgets to keep them on the personal fitness track. Today’s column incorporates a lot from that feedback.The year is 2050
If you’re one of those people who can’t stand the thought of lifting weights for an hour, then pay attention. How about no weights, 10 minutes of your time and the effect of a two-hour workout? All you have to do is strap on a special vest and pants and do a few actions for 10 minutes. The technology behind Miha Bodytech is EMS, but at a whole new level. Electro-Muscular Stimulation has been in play for many years and while controversial, does seem to give results. On the MB machine it goes a lot further. The first time you don the vest and plug into the machine, even doing a simple task like lifting your hand takes incredible effort. By the time I finished my 10-minute routine, it was like I had run five miles and worked out for 45 minutes.
Caveats: Very expensive, unwieldy as you have to get in and out of that damn electro suit, EMS is very controversial right now.
Seventy per cent of your weight loss will come from diet control and 90 per cent of diets fail. If you’ve struggled with portion control, cravings and given in to your sweet tooth, then science and technology could help. The first is Sensa. Spray a little of this powder on any food you are about to eat and the powder talks to your brain. The scientific principle behind this is pretty sound.
Whenever you eat, smell and taste receptors send signals to your brain to tell your body it’s time to stop eating. Sensa does it faster. Thus no bingeing and no over-eating. The second is for all sweetaholics and chocoholics. Whenever the ‘wild need’ hits, chew a piece of gum and the need for your daily hit disappears.
The best part – the chewing gum uses an ancient Indian ayurvedic ingredient that really does work. Meshashringi is known as the destroyer of sugar and Supresalin 60 Craving Control Gum uses this to the best of its abilities. Chew it and your mouth can no longer taste anything sweet for a while. Chocolate tastes horrid and bitter, apple pie tastes like cardboard and ice cream like a gooey mess of nothingness.
Caveats: Sensa didn’t really do much for me but I may have been too aware of being in ‘test mode’. Also, carrying a sprinkler and spraying all over food in restaurants or at work can make you seem like a certified lunatic. Still, it seems to have worked for a lot of people. Supresalin works but is expensive as hell.
It started with the Nintendo Wii Fit and it’s now been taken to extraordinary levels. Microsoft Kinect and Sony Move can make your gaming area a true state of the art gym. With Kinect you don’t even need to hold anything. Lots of options there. Your Shape Fitness Evolved (celebrity trainers will analyse your actions as you exercise, and correct your form in a real-time mode), Zumba (gives you a workout with real time dance lessons like salsa, reggaeton, hip-hop), Motion Sports (you control a realistic avatar, Kinect captures video of your performance and broadcasts it with live commentary. Has soccer, football, boxing, skiing) are some of your best choices.
Caveats: None really, other than fighting your family for space and time and not knocking over furniture.
Big Brother: Strapped to you
It’s beautiful out there. All alone, in the wilderness, running like the wind. That is old hat! Today, you need to track your progress, mileage, speed, distance, calories burnt, GPS your information to all and make sure that your exploits in the gym are Tweeted and Facebooked to the world.
Devices like FitBit (small device that can track your motion and gives you amazing data about your activity level all day, plus uploads it all wirelessly to your FitBit account online), Bodymedia Armband (like FitBit but uses sensory reading from the body) or even Omron Go Smart Pedometer (works on a Tri-Axis reading, thus you can keep it in your pocket, bag or hand) can be your weapons of choice. The new age mantra of fitness is to have 10,000 steps a day as the bare minimum level of activity. These will help you track it all day.
Caveats: May shock you when you come to know that you clock in only 20 per cent of your target level of activity.
Technology can make sure that you enhance, motivate and keep to your fitness goals. So go out there, shake it, lift it, twist it and run it – and make sure you have a device that tracks it all for you. Me, I’m going the opposite way. For the moment I’m going to go get myself deep into a piece of molten gooey chocolate cake. I always do, whenever I’ve written a great (non plagiarised) column :)
(Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3)
Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni
From HT Brunch, September 11
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch