What tools can help people work out at home?

With the start of a new year, many have a renewed interest in getting off the couch and back to better health. And like so many things, more workouts than ever are taking place virtually. Luckily, there also are more options than ever for the would-be fitness buff who, for safety or convenience, chooses to work out at home.

Fitness Tech - At Home Fitness will be presented by the Hinsdale Public Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13. The hour-long presentation will explore all sorts of options for modern at-home workouts, from streaming options to high-tech gadgets.

"It's for anybody who is looking for how they can get fit this year," said Susan McBride, adult services assistant and resident tech expert. McBride said she and library colleague Mike Oetting took a deep dive into the many options, researching options that fit a variety of needs and budgets.

"This program will explore the intersection of fitness and technology and how technology can help you to meet your fitness goals," McBride said. "We're really going to cover the gamut."

McBride said co-presenter Oetting will kick off the evening with a discussion of big-ticket options, such as Peloton, NordicTrack and the Mirror home gym.

"Then we'll work our way down to the streaming services that don't require the purchase of any special equipment," she said.

While some might prefer a top-of-the-line tool that offers a virtual personal trainer, a simple reminder to get up and move might be enough for others. McBride said she will discuss a number of apps, some of which are free, that can help anyone fit more exercise into their day.

One of those apps is one she uses to increase the benefits of her walks. It involves a virtual personal trainer who tells her when to speed up, when to slow down and how far to go.

Options will be presented for every age group.

"My teens have used the Peloton app when they go running," McBride said. Available without the purchase of Peloton equipment, the app offers thousands of classes, available on demand.

"You can have access to unlimited fitness classes," McBride said.

Many options offer a free trial period, which makes the new year a great time to explore some new ways to move, she said.

"You don't have to commit financially until you find the one that works for you," she said.

The presentation will include time for questions, and participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences and knowledge on the subject of at-home fitness.

McBride said that although the choice to sit in front of a computer for an additional hour might go against the goal to move more in 2021, she is confident the hour investment will have benefits well into the future.

Just as many have learned to work out without a gym over the last several months, library staff have learned to offer a variety of fun and informative programs as people continue to stay at home.

"We do have it down to a science," McBride said of the library's online programming, offered through Zoom.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean