Exercise is so weird. We have to block off time, put on special clothes, and invest in expensive equipment or a gym membership just so we can possibly live long enough to see a colony on Mars. But the benefits of regular exercise are compelling, so most of us make at least some effort to stay fit, and with so many of us still working from home at least some of the time, the home gym remains a pretty popular option.
All that effort results in a healthier you, so it’s not wasted time—and yet your workout could be a more efficient experience. For one thing, you could be reading or even doing your job while pedaling an exercise bike. For another, you could make your home gym a more sustainable one by generating electricity while you work out.
Power your laptop while you exercise
Power-generating gym equipment is all the rage these days. Gold’s Gym recently opened the first LEED-Platinum commercial gym space in Berlin, where a supply of “Boost Bikes” generate electricity while members use them. And other companies have sprung up to supply commercial gyms with power-generating equipment. Off the Grid offers a commercial spinning bike that sends power to the grid, and The Great Outdoor Gym Company offers a twist on the concept with its Energy Range outdoor gym equipment designed for outdoor use.
But power-generating exercise equipment isn’t just something that can benefit society at large—it can also benefit you. If you’re in the market for home gym equipment anyway, buying power-generating models means you get the workout you’re looking for, plus you can generate some electricity. This can save you money by reducing your overall utility bill (if you feed that power back to the grid) or by charging devices while you work out. Since it’s an activity you’re going to be doing anyway, it’s a win-win.
For example, Acer’s eKinect BD3 bike desk can generate 75 watts of electricity in an hour (assuming you’re pedaling steadily at 60 RPM). That might not seem like much (you’re not powering your whole house that way), but it’s enough to charge your phone and laptop.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive home gym that can power up your life, SportsArt’s Eco-Powr line includes power-generating treadmills, cross-trainers, ellipticals, upright, recumbent, and indoor cycles, rowers, and steppers. The company states that you can generate an average of 160 watts while using their machines.
Of course, in addition to the modest money savings you can reap from using these machines you also get the peace of mind that your workout is more sustainable—you’re not burning fossil fuels just so you can get a quick run on the treadmill. Whatever your goals, the bottom line is the same: If you’re going to work out anyway, why not generate some power while you’re at it?