New tech makes game out of exercise for athletes, kids, seniors with special needs

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An electronic board containing many fitness games helps the brain and body work together for a multitude of exercise modalities. (KABC)

Known for training both Hollywood celebrities and pro ball players, trainer Gunnar Peterson test drives all kinds of fitness tools and is pretty excited about new technology known as SMARTfit.

"It keeps your mind engaged. It keeps your mind connected to the movement. It keeps you thinking about what you're doing and helps you get to that goal faster and it's a much more pleasant path," he said.

The end goal is to get your work done efficiently, but Peterson said if fun can be in the mix, why not?

"They've done studies with autistic kids, with the senior population, with very de-conditioned people. They have people in their 80's and 90's squatting, touching, following the light, reacting to it. It leads to a greater quality of life," Peterson said.

It's cognitive fitness with physical fitness. Peterson saw kids in school use it, where math equations were being used in a game.

"You have one teacher managing 50 kids, who are laughing and having fun, competing and getting something physical out of it," Peterson said.

Kids not known as athletic can quickly be successful at a mental and physical skill. This teen is working out square roots on the SMARTfit board.

"It's colors, it's lights, it's reaction, it's differentiating between a smile face and a frown face - and you're on the clock," Peterson said.

Beyond math and quick reflex, you can add other fitness toys to the game.

"I can add weights to this, squat finding the number and doing math in my head," said Peterson.

And it's not just about standing on your feet. You've got great core work as well.

SMARTfit is currently found at their Oxnard facility and Defy Aging Solutions in Woodland Hills, but it will soon be implemented at local Boys & Girls Clubs of America, YMCA's and USC's athletic department.
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