Age, ability and experience often form mental barriers between people and exercise. Don’t get us wrong, this is totally natural, but they shouldn’t keep you from staying active. The benefits of physical activity are as varied as they are extensive, from the obvious bodily advantages to improved mental health and a whole new social sphere to interact with.
So, you can imagine just how excited we were here at Rugged Interactive to see American electronics giant Best Buy launch an innovative new fitness initiative1. Alongside a whole new range of fitness equipment joining their catalogue, over 100 stores will impressively dedicate floorspace to interactive, fully-functioning exercise kit by the end of the year. We think this try-before-you-buy model is a surefire way to let customers experience a whole host of sports equipment - even if they had no idea they even wanted it in their own homes!
It’s great to see such a large company share our core values of community and self-improvement. We love the idea of a group of bored spouses or children who are being dragged along on a shopping trip discovering that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore - in the last place they expected.
This got us thinking of other locations that could benefit from a dedicated fitness space, distracting you from realising you’re even working out. It’s amazing just how big an impact your environment can have on fighting off the aforementioned mental barriers - possibly even breaking them for good!
It’s no secret that we love to ‘gamify’ exercise here at Rugged, and location plays a big part in this, but why are we such an advocate for it? Well, allow us to walk you through the benefits of enjoying your exercise in an unusual place:
1 - Combat Monotony
How many times have you walked the same path with your dog? Probably so many that you don’t even take in your surroundings anymore, instead zoning out and imagining doing anything else. Similarly, counting down the minutes until you board a plane is up there with the most draining experiences we can think of. Consider then, mixing up your routine every day with a different 20-minute exercise at the local park, or chasing a high score whilst you wait by the terminal.
We designed our equipment to provide a different experience every time someone hits the start button - whether you’re just passing the time with some fun or training your mental sharpness, no two sessions are the same. You could actually end up looking forward to being in these previously dismal situations; a smile on your face removes the ‘work’ from workout!
2 - Age Actively
One rewarding aspect most commonly associated with taking up exercise is tracking your progress over time - just look how far you’ve come! However, if your only goal is returning to an active lifestyle, statistics such as heaviest weight lifted or pounds shed might not mean all that much to you.
So, why not make things sociable?
We love to see Rugged equipment make its way into care homes and physical rehabilitation centres, helping those with only a casual interest in exercise begin their journey. Be it alone or with a group, the interactive nature of our equipment (with LED displays, scoring systems and numerous core programmes) means you’ll always be engaged; both physically and mentally.
3 - Making a Space Productive
Naturally, site owners (particularly businesses!) are apprehensive about dedicating valuable space to physical activity. However, we argue that the benefits such spaces provide far outweigh the potential costs. From experience, our equipment engages the whole body whilst taking up minimal space. Regardless, any space allocated to working out is a positive step.
Multi-faceted locations are known to thrive, bringing in a wider range of client and reflecting a positive ethos from the hosts. Productivity and general happiness skyrockets when even the smallest level of physical activity is introduced on a daily basis. An infectious personality permeates into a brand, or a sense of good will surrounds a site. These are all much better motivators to continue using the kit over time when compared to the intimidation and guilt associated with a typical gym, making these benefits more likely to be sustainable!
Ultimately, we’re over the moon to see public spaces adopting the fitness world more and more. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that perceptions are starting to come full circle, as people set down their games consoles and smartphones - instead returning to exercise for maximum physical and mental stimulation. Being part of this movement, leading the fight against the obesity epidemic and taking a positive stance towards improving mental health can only be a good thing.
We’re so proud to have even a small involvement in such a campaign and will continue to strive to inspire others to take up our cause, whilst also being inspired by companies such as Best Buy using their influence in such a positive way. Here at Rugged we’re aiming to connect people through their exercise; that goal is getting closer every day.