The Activ5 fitness system by Activbody could be a perfect solution for digital-based exercising. This Bluetooth-enabled portable workout and strength training device for men and women coaches users through five-minute full body workouts and measures data such as strength, precision, and other personal metrics.
No sweat and no gym required. That phrase piqued my interest to try this new approach to strength building.
Much of my daily work routine is sedentary. I sit or stand behind a computer screen hunched over a keyboard. I live in a four-season locale that often restricts access to strenuous outdoor activity due to ever-changing weather.
Perhaps those factors make me a prime candidate for using Activ5’s approach to getting more fit. It even offers me an alternative to being a couch potato on inclement weather days. It’s also a handy addition to using my motorized indoor exercise bike.
Still, I was a bit skeptical about making any real progress in strength building from pressing my palms together against this electronic device. I have to admit, however, that the burn of my muscles became a welcome sensation the more I put the Activ5 regime through its paces.
The Device Itself
The brown and orange Activ5 exercise module is roughly teardrop shaped and palm sized. On the side bottom edge is an on/off button and the LED. The device has no other controls on it.
￼ You hold it between your palms and adjust its position by where you place your arms and body, bent or standing, and whatever other position the exercises tell you to take.
Activ5 is lightweight with an ergonomic shape that makes it easy to press. It easily accommodates exercising while standing, sitting, or even laying on your back or side.
The device is easy to use while sitting or standing in your office or work cubicle; and is convenient to use while riding as a passenger in a car, on an airplane, or public transportation.
Prone position is used in some of the exercises when you have space and privacy to stretch out on a couch or floor mat. Exercising with Activ5 from a prone position lets you add your knee for pressing the device pads together. Another combination is to use one knee and a hand to apply pressure.
Included in the package is an adjustable, sturdy plastic mobile phone holder. This is supposed to let you see the exercise displays while you power through your workout. But my phone with its protective case was a tad bit too bulky to fit in the overly thin holding curve at the base of the stand. The tall size of my phone also contributed to the apparent top-heavy tumbling.
￼ The Activ5 device is designed for use with apps and games running on Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, or an Apple Watch. It is also designed for charging-free use. Activ5 ships with a AAA battery that lasts up to a year, according to the manufacturer. Replacing it requires just prying off the side pressure panel.
The first step after unboxing is to download the Activ5 app from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
Step two is turning on the Activ5 device, making sure that your mobile device has Bluetooth turned on and visible for pairing. When the LED on Activ5 blinks green, you are good to go.
Step three is to follow the prompts on the device running the Activ5 app to complete the device’s setup.
Set up was quick and simple. It nearly automatically paired with my Android phone. That is significant because both my Samsung and Motorola phones do not usually play nice with sharing on Bluetooth.
The Activ5 app setup uses a game method that involves pressing the Activ5 hand unit to complete strength and alignment assessments. The only glitch I encountered was entering my birth date.
The app preselected the year and would not let me correct it despite clicking the edit icon on the app screen. This date display is a minor problem. I could not see any relevance to the adjustment made in assessing my physica.
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