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Dear Bracha,  

I’ve gained 15 pounds over the past few months. I blame Covid. I used to go to the gym regularly. The lockdown severely restricted my work out sessions. Are there any smart fitness equipment or devices to motivate me to work out more regularly?


I’m not looking for apps that tell me how many steps I took or how many calories specific food products contain. Renewing my gym membership is not an option at this time. 

Losing Steam  


Dear Losing Steam,

Congratulations on making your health a priority. It can be difficult to consistently carve out time to work out especially during a pandemic, and you deserve to pat yourself on the back for taking the initiative to get back into shape.

There are so many incredible fitness machines on the market. It’s difficult to pinpoint what will motivate you without knowing you personally. I’ll list some relatively new smart fitness equipment, all of which can be used in the comfort of your home and have been designed to make exercising more of an “experience.”

Smart Home Fitness Equipment: These devices are growing in popularity, with fitness makers merging sophisticated machines with smart screens and live or on-demand workout classes. One such device is Peloton. A stationary bike, Peloton has a large variety of on-demand and live fitness classes hosted by celebrity instructors.

Peloton also provides users with performance tracking metrics and a real-time leadership board. It’s pricey – $2,245 for the bike plus a $12.99 monthly subscription fee for the classes – but it has quite an enthusiastic fan base. Another option is Peloton Tread, which is similar to the bike – except that it’s a treadmill.

Some cheaper alternatives to Peloton include Echelon (starts at $839.98) and Bowflex C6 ($899). Echelon doesn’t have as many star-studded instructors, and Bowflex C6 uses third-party classes offered by such companies as Peloton and Zwift.

Amazfit HomeStudio is another innovative fitness machine. It looks like a treadmill without the front section, thereby allowing you to perform a variety of cardio workouts, such as running, floor work, yoga and bi-lateral training. It comes with a 43-inch HD display screen, called “glass,” which provides users with access to workout classes on running, stretching, yoga, sculpting, and more. A 3D scanner analyzes your form as you work out, and provides feedback to help you improve your technique. Product purchase information can be found on the company’s website.

Digital Rowing Machines: These machines have become a new fitness craze. If you have any interest in rowing, you might want to check out Ergatta and Hydrow, two digital rowing machines. Ergatta focuses on rowing games, giving you the option to compete against yourself or other rowers. It also allows you to customize routines and gives you real-time feedback.

Hydrow uses live and pre-recorded videos that replicate the visuals of rowing. Ergatta Digital Rower costs $1,999 plus subscription services; Hydrow is retailing at $2,199 plus membership fees.

Nurvv Insoles: You’re probably wondering what insoles have to do with making exercising more stimulating. Well, Nurvv insoles are no ordinary insoles. They have 32 high-precision sensors that capture data – such as step-length and balance – 1,000 times per second.

The information is sent to the Nurvv Run Coaching app, which is Nurvv insoles’ accompanying app, to give you insights on your running techniques and provide personalized coaching to help improve your run, prevent injury, and make running into an adventure.

Wishing you much success on your weight-loss journey!


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Bracha Halperin is a business consultant based in new York City. To comment on her Jewish Press-exclusive tech columns -- or to reach her for any other purpose -- e-mail her at You can also follow her on Instagram or Twitter at: @brachahalperin.