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Gadgets to keep you more fit, active

Bikers can now explore trails around the world without ever leaving home.
Bikers can now explore trails around the world without ever leaving home. www.bkool.com

Most neighborhood schools will soon lock up for the summer. What are you going to do to keep your young scholars busy and mobile when they come indoors for a break from the suffocating heat that’s just around the corner?

You can play together.

Board games are fine right before bedtime. But technology is giving us games for staying active, even when we’re spending time indoors.

“There is no one formula that is correct for a fit and healthy lifestyle, so any and all ways to promote fitness should be encouraged,” said Stephanie Demma, a personal trainer at Just Fit Training Studio on South Boulevard.

Here are some fitness games to keep you and your family busy on a rainy day or when it’s simply too humid to exert yourself in the afternoon heat.

NBA 15 Mega Morph Super Hoop

Day 6 Sports Group is taking video games into the real world with the revival of the Backyard Sports brand, which used to be playable online on game consoles. Now the free mobile NBA 15 game app connects with the Mega Morph Super Hoop, which can be set up indoors or outside. The basket tracks how often kids play. They get rewards for taking shots at the hoop in the form of codes that can be applied to the virtual game. Use the codes to unlock new content, including NBA stars and power-ups. $25, www.backyardsports.com.

Backyard Sports MLB 15 Sonic Boom Bat and Ball

The second of a growing kid-friendly Backyard Sports franchise, the Sonic Boom Bat and ball are like a next generation wiffle ball set. Play indoors or outside with this special bat, which features sound effects as well as action track technology that rewards play. The more kids hit the real ball, the more virtual goodies, including MLB players and power-ups, are unlocked in the free mobile MLB 15 game. $25, www.backyardsports.com.

Babolat Play

Tennis anyone? Babolat Play is an extremely lightweight, connected tennis racket. The Invensense sensors built into the handle record data such as shot power, ball impact location on the racket, number of strokes, endurance, technique, consistency, energy, and rallies. This information can be disseminated on a smartphone, tablet or PC to help improve a player’s game. $300, www.babolat.us.


People don’t often think of keeping their back healthy until they’ve thrown it out or suffered some type of back pain. Technology company Hocoma has created a fun and addictive way to give your back muscles a workout and prevent lower back back issues through video games. By wearing the Valedo sensor and playing any of the assortment of mobile games that require full-body interaction (think Xbox Kinect technology), you can have fun and get your back in shape at the same time. $360, www.valedotherapy.com.

BKool Trainer and Simulator

While devoted cyclists will hit the asphalt regardless of the temperature, there’s a more comfortable way to work out with your bike. Now you can cycle the world without ever leaving home. The BKool Trainer and Simulator connects to your bike, allowing you to pedal away at home while exploring the world by plugging into scenery through your PC, Mac or tablet. More than 500,000 real-world courses are available. What’s cool is that weather conditions such as rain and wind will impact your ride. Likewise, choosing terrain with mountains or slopes also will make it more challenging to pedal. $771, www.bkool.com.

Fitness tech basics

▪ Find a sport you like and then explore gadgets and apps that will help you improve.

▪ Don’t spend a lot of money on a bike or a cool gadget thinking that the investment will force you into using it regularly.

▪ Children like a challenge, and video games have taught them to compete for high scores, so look for apps that turn play into games.