We know a good work out is healthy for your mind and body. But what if it could also be good for the planet?
This is the idea behind the new Verde treadmill.
It’s part of the Eco-Powr line of fitness equipment from SportsArt – a company which calls itself “The Green Fitness Company.”
SportsArt is setting itself apart in the ever-growing world of fitness equipment by giving you the option of a treadmill that doesn’t use power when you work out… it generates it.
They believe your workout could do more than just power your muscles, it can also generate electricity to help power the world.
Now, how cool is that?
SportsArt describes this new line as the place “where awe-inspiring design doesn’t just meet function, it embraces it with the revolutionary Eco-Powr technology that captures human exertion and turns it into usable energy – benefitting the planet and providing a new layer of meaningfulness to breaking a sweat.”
The idea of harnessing human exertion for electrical power actually has a long history.
In fact, the precursors to our modern treadmills served the same purpose, generating power. The difference is that in the 1800’s the individuals using them weren’t given much choice. Prison inmates spent hours walking on the spokes of a large paddlewheel.
Treadmills for animals like cows, dogs, and horses have also be used throughout history to complete farm work. The turning of the paddlewheel would pump water, grind grain and power the mill.
Hence the word treadmill.
With this modern adaption, you can use your own workout to create power for use in your very own home.
The engineering behind these machines is complicated to say the least. But the parts you need to know are relatively simple.
The treadmill itself doesn’t have a motor. You are the motor. As with other non-motorized treadmills, you are going to get a more difficult workout due to the fact that you are powering the machine yourself.
Your body weight turns the low-friction belt, which starts the flywheel spinning. This generates power. But it’s not the only way the Verde creates energy. The machine also uses a combination electromagnetic and mechanical braking system so that you are generating electricity when you are slowing down.
So it makes sense that — when you are causing all of the parts of the machine to move — you are creating energy.
But how does that benefit for you?
Where you would normally find a motor in your treadmill, you will find a micro-inverter. Basically, it “cleans” the power you generate and gets it ready to work for you.
You can either use the USB ports to charge your devices. Or, you can plug the treadmill into the wall and add the current back into the grid for use.
To give you an idea of what the Verde can do for you, let’s talk light bulbs…
The average work out will generate between 50 and 250 watts of usable energy. That’s enough to power a traditional one 60-watt bulb for an hour and a half.
However, as LED bulbs are becoming the norm, your power can be put to better use. With LED bulbs, your workout could power an incredible 50 light bulbs for that same hour and a half.
Looks – While the Verde may do more than your average treadmill, it doesn’t really look much different from other treadmills on the market. The slated belt looks very much like the Peloton belt which you may have seen. It even has a console that is not a far cry from others out there.
Speed – Unlike other non-motorized treadmills where you just run at the pace that you yourself set, the Verde actually allows you to control the speed on the console, the same as on a motorized treadmill.
Stat Tracking – As with most fitness brands, the Verde also allows you to download an app to your phone that tracks all of your stats. Just because the Verde isn’t motorized doesn’t mean you are going to miss out on any of the technology you can get elsewhere.
Sled Push Feature – One might think that with the ability to generate power, the Verde may not offer as much in the way of a comprehensive workout…you’d be wrong. The Verde incorporates the same new sled-push feature that we see on the NordicTrack Incline Trainers.
A sled-push is a total body workout that involves pushing a weighted sled for a certain distance. With this feature, you can perform this exercise without a giant sled right on your treadmill. You simply place your hands on the handles and set the Verde to push mode. The machine will automatically control the resistance so there’s no cheating. This is an excellent way to strengthen and tone your whole body.
Since the Verde treadmill is new to the market, it is currently only available for use in commercial settings. However, this isn’t going to be the case for long. They have been getting picked up for use in gym across the country and the company is paying attention to that demand.
“Right now, these products are overbuilt for the average consumer,” says Matt Thorsen, a SportsArt product specialist. “But we are working toward more consumer-facing products, with more streamlined dimensions and price points.”
If the thought of bettering your fitness while lowering your electric bill is something that sounds appealing, keep an eye out for when you can bring this innovation home with you.
Run Power: Treadmill Is World’s First Grid-Worthy Energy Producer: Jule Kailus; 2019