I hate cardio.
I hate running, I hate stair-stepping, I hate skiing back and forth on elliptical machines. It's not just that I'm a power lifter at heart (although I am), it's that I find cardio so boring.
I've tried everything — from listening to music, to watching Netflix, to fiddling with my Nintendo 3DS and rereading The Hunger Games on my iPad — to make cardio less boring. But because none of these distracting activities require that I actually perform cardiovascular exercise while doing them, my valiant efforts usually end with me slouched on the bike, reading instead of working out.
So trust me when I say that I could not wait to try out the latest in fitness tech: Blue Goji's Goji Play. Goji Play is the ultimate in cardio distraction — video games that require movement to play. For $99, you get (most of) the necessary equipment to set up a cardio game center, including two wireless game controllers, an activity tracker, and a slew of iOS games that will work with these peripherals.
The only things you need to supply are a cardio machine (ellipticals, stationary bikes, and stair-steppers work best; treadmills are a tad tricky), a Bluetooth 4.0enabled iOS device running iOS 6.1 or higher, and your game face.
The first time I tried to use Goji Play, I couldn't. In my excitement to get my cardio-gaming on, I'd forgotten a crucial component — the activity tracker — at home, charging on its Mini-USB cable.
That's my fault, I know, but it highlights my first issue with Goji Play: It has too much going on. Goji Play is made up of many parts, tangible and intangible. In the box, you'll find two game controllers, an activity tracker, two foam batons, and a charging cable.
The game controllers, which are powered by two AAA batteries each, will look familiar to veteran gamers — the left controller features large X and Y buttons, while the right controller has A and B buttons. The controllers have an adjustable strap that allows them to be attached to the handles of most cardio machines.
If you don't want to attach the controllers to the handles of a machine (because you're on a treadmill, say), you can wrap the controllers around the supplied foam batons and hold them in your hands. The controllers have no power switches — just tap any of the buttons to turn them on.
The plastic activity tracker is small and lightweight, about half the size of a box of matches. It has a light blue border and a clip to attach it to your clothes. It tracks activity only when it's connected to the Goji Play app, which means you can't use it as a stand-alone smart pedometer (boo). The app tracks steps, distance, and calories burned — standard activity tracker stats. The tracker is rechargeable via Mini-USB cable.
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