brings exercising into the high-tech realm.
We're currently reviewing the Bodyguard 260P treadmill ($3,399, shown below), the first such piece of exercise equipment we've tested with iPad integration, in this case via the Imagine by Bodyguard fitness app. To use the feature, you'll need at least an iPad 2 running iOS6 and the free app. You can use the fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini, with the Lightning adapter.
This iPad integration is also available on the following Bodyguard treadmills: T280P, T460XC, T520P, and T560X; we are not testing any of those at this time. (Explore our buying guide and Ratings for treadmills.)
Richard Handel, assistant project leader in our Technical division, reports on this high-tech feature:
The iPad connects easily to the Bodyguard 260P treadmill with the supplied cable. (For maximum stability and security--you don't want to trash your pricey tablet--Bodyguard recommends using a silicone wraparound cover.) The tablet sits on the treadmill's reading shelf. That positioning does cover the treadmill display, but that's okay since the iPad completely replaces the console and controls. You'll still be able to use the treadmill's main controls, such as start, stop, speed, and incline.
Once the treadmill displays "IPAD CONNECTED," you're ready to work out.
So what does the Imagine app do?
For one, you can set up multiple password-protected user profiles. Within each profile you can choose four of the following parameters to display on the iPad besides Speed, Incline, Time, Distance, and Heart Rate while working out: Calories, Calories/Hour, Elevation Change, Goal Remaining, Goal Segment, Laps, Laps Remaining, METS, Pace, and Time in Zone. You select your equipment settings, such as a Warm Up Period, Cool Down Period, Beep Option, Minimum and Maximum Speed, and Incline, Save Workout, and Pause Duration. You can also see your workout history, and if you're a workout wonk, you can export them as a .csv file via e-mail.
The Imagine app also integrates a number of features, including e-mail, music, video, and Web. You can listen to your music or videos wirelessly using stereo Bluetooth headphones.
Once you're up and--ahem--running, the Imagination app may be an interesting addition to your workout, and it is easy to set up. I found it to be an intriguing concept that could make working out inside less boring.
Remember, if you're constantly leaning on the treadmill handrails to fiddle with your iPad, you're cheating a bit on your workout. So to make your New Year's fitness and weight-loss resolutions come to fruition, forget about checking e-mail and watching YouTube videos and get moving!