Here’s something cool, though I just discovered it’s been around for more than six years! It’s called a “gravity-reducing” treadmill. A company called AlterG (Alter Gravity -- get it?) makes the machines.
Here’s an image I lifted from AlterG’s website (I doubt they’ll mind, as I’m basically doing free publicity by writing about their space-age treadmill). Cool but a bit weird-looking, eh?
So, you may be thinking, what’s going on in that strange-looking closed compartment below the runner’s waist?
Well, after the user is zipped into place, the air pressure is increased in that chamber, to simulate the effects of low gravity. A control panel allows a user’s body weight to be decreased in 1 percent increments, up to 80 percent.
Imagine that. A two-hundred-lb. man running on a treadmill as if he weighed no more than a five-year-old!
If this approach to exercise sounds kind of familiar, it should. I’ve mentioned plenty of times the idea of “unloading your joints.” Doug Kelsey is a huge proponent of this approach to make exercise pain free.
So naturally, I’m delighted to see anti-gravity treadmills. It’s a perfect machine for a knee pain sufferer looking for a way to get active again.
Well, almost perfect. Forget about buying one of these little workout gems. A recent Businessweek article priced them at $36,900 to $80,000. Ouch. But it sounds like they’re popping up in physical therapy clinics and tony gyms, so sniff around and you might find one near you.
If I have a chance to try out the treadmill -- you know, semi-popular bloggers sometimes get the chance to sample merchandise for a review ;), I’ll let you know. Or, if by chance any of you out there has used this anti-gravity device, let us know below what it was like.