My knee is messed up again. If you would have told me three years ago that I would still be having problems this far down the line, I might have thrown my crutches at you.

But the good news is that I’ve learned to be more patient (albeit incredibly frustrated) and I mostly accepted that when my knee doesn’t feel right, I need to scale things back. This means for right now, I need to change up my workouts…

Last weekend, I hopped on a spin bike over at the Nike gym, and right away noticed a couple fancy exercise bikes next to me that I had never seen before. They had big screens with animated terrains and moveable handlebars, and scrolling message that said, “Expresso Interactive.” When I got home, I looked it up and sure enough it looked like a video game attached to an exercise bike.

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FOR YEARS, I have been saying that my treadmill runs would be so much more fun if I had a screen in front of me that worked like a video game. Maybe if I saw zombies running at me, I would run faster. Or if nothing else, looking at an animated beach would be way better than watching Fox News. I got on Expresso and created an account, and then yesterday returned to give it a try.

Here’s what I learned:

Yes, it’s basically a video game on an exercise bike. However, I am such a noob that I only have access to the “beginner” courses – like biking on a beach, a forest, etc. You definitely have to move the handlebars in order to stay on the road, but it won’t let you crash if you get too close to the edge or run into another biker. At the end of a ride, there is a leader board with your stats that compare you to other riders at your gym, and everywhere else.

Once you hit a certain amount of logged miles, you will unlock course that look a lot more exciting: stuff with pirates and dragons and, yes, zombies.

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Also, you can set your personal best as a ghost rider to give you something to compete against, rather than all the random CGI riders who seem to be taking a Sunday stroll.

My takeaway? I’m not so bummed about my knee anymore because I can’t wait to get back and unlock some more levels.

Have any of you tried this at your gym?? Have any of you seen a treadmill version??

4 thoughts on “

  1. Video games being implemented in fitness is a really interesting phenomenon, one that we probably wouldn’t have thought would occur years ago. We’re even seeing physical therapist use video games to aid people in their recovery, which makes sense given the goal oriented nature of a lot of video games. Apparently they’ve been particularly useful in helping with physical therapy for young kids with special needs, whom often time have trouble doing a daily regiment of activity. The addition of a video game makes the activity more fun and engaging, and (Like you mentioned) makes it fun to come back again and again to progress further or beat your score.

  2. Hi Linds, just wondering if you saw a chiropractor during your time since the injury. I have terrible knee pain for quite a while and nothing helped. I finally went to a chiro who told me my hips were off. One visit and I was back to normal. Just a thought in case you haven’t tried. Alignment has been key for me.

    • Yeah I have a great chiropractor! I have an appt this week but my biggest problem is that I dislocated my knee cap when I blew my ACL. It will forever be a bad knee 😦

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