Exercise for Healthy Living

By Erica Stiner

Trek See Pedometer Map

There are many mapping tools for planning and calculating an exercise route, though the services and presentations vary. Trek See allows users to search by zip code, location or just click to zoom in on an area and save it as the default location for future visits to the website. To draw the route, users click on the map and a line is drawn between two clicks. The box on the upper left adds up the miles and kilometers automatically. Users who have a free account can save the map. Otherwise, a pop-up box presents the permanent URL and offers the choice of e-mailing or Tweeting about the map.

Map location: http://treksee.com/p/286z

Click the Video at the left to see Trek See in action on You Tube
Click the image at the left to see a full screen shot of the map created 7/2/09.

Exercise T V




Exercise TV provides multiple services though videos are the focus. Most videos can be previewed online freely and some are free with ads, but most downloading comes at a premium. Users can share the preview videos using built-in links to Facebook, Digg, Twitter, delicious, and StumbleUpon. Users can search for videos by trainer, type of exercise, skill level, or video category, or download sets as workout plans. Searching for workout plans is the most interesting element. Plans are categorized by user personality, such as "gamer," "couch potato," and "domestic diva." Plans feature a new video every day, compiled to achieve the results desired by the user. These MP4 videos are anywhere from under two minutes to about thirty minutes at $2-$3 each download or $9.99 per month for unlimited downloads. Purchased videos can even be burned to disc or transfered to another device. Abbreviated workouts are also broadcast on Comcast cable television On Demand service as an advertisement to visit the Exercise TV store.

Exercise TV has posted videos on You Tube since 2006. On July 13, 2009, 93 videos were posted with 6,451 subscribers. This is an actual video available to preview on Exercise TV and You Tube.
The screen shot shows the same video on the Exercise TV website. The trainer is Jackie Warner who, according to her posted biography, is a "fitness expert, gym owner, television star and entrepreneur" (7/13/09).


The other services largely augment the videos. Trainer biographies, blogs, and the online store are available to any visitor, but the Community section is for registered members. Here, members can build a profile, workout video playlists, a calendar, form groups, share success stories and workout plans, make and vote in polls, and post photos of themselves for others to rate. Membership is free. The terms of service say all user-contributed content becomes Exercise TV property, but sharing content outside the site is permitted.

The Community section facilitates member interaction and self-help to reach health goals. Users can register as trainers or have regular membership. The difference between membership types appears to lie mostly in the designation, not in the tools available to the user. Participation is rewarded with points toward free video downloads, merchandise, or discounts in the online store. Trainers in the Community section are not the same as the professional trainers. The Community pages are for those registering on the site to interact, with the exception of the "Asks the Experts" page where members post questions for "ExerciseTV Expert" to answer.

There are many possible artifacts on Exercise TV. This screen capture shows a Community Message Board thread called "Fitness Trends." Click on the video to see it full screen on You Tube. Any member can post to the thread. Thread location (7/14/09): http://community.exercisetv.tv/go/forum/view/32406/63246/Fitness_Trends
The screen shot shows just one thread of the Message Board (7/14/09).

This text-only file shows the nested threads of the discussion board.

Exercise Friends


Make Friends


Exercise Friends offers a suite of free tools to virtually facilitate meeting and interacting with others interested in exercising in the physical world. Users can search for people or groups to exercise with by location, sex, age, type of activity, or workout center. Once a potential friend is located, users can send him or her an e-mail or "quick note," view her blog and profile, leave a comment, and see who her friends and groups are. Anyone can search for friends, but only registered users can contact others or post to the discussion board or calendar.

Exercise Friends is a for-profit enterprise that sells ad space and owns any content users create. Their formidable use policy prohibits copying in any part from, or even linking to, the site without their explicit permission, yet they appear to be one of the larger providers of social networking services focused on exercise. Their policies pose a particular challenge for preservation and access. The archivist is left to hope "fair use" provisions of copyright protect saving one artifactual instance of searching for a friend.

This video shows how users can search for friends by location and look at the resulting potential friends list. Click the video to it see the full screen on You Tube.
The screen shot shows the Friend finding search interface (7/12/09). Click on the image to link to a full view in Flickr.


Other services include a calendar for members to add events. Users can search for events by keyword, location or date. Event listings can include a photograph, attached files and text. Listings always give the event date, location and name of the posting member with a link to the member's profile. Other members can post a reply or start a topic. Some events cost money to attend, which is also noted in the listing. As of this writing (7/14/09), most events appear to come from either for-profit entities or Exercise Friends groups.

The Events tool can be searched and browsed in multiple ways, as shown in this screen capture (7/14/09). Click the video to see it full screen on You Tube.
The screen shot (7/14/09) shows the search box for finding events. Note the calendar at the right is also hyperlinked for browsing all events by date. Click the image to see it fully in Flickr.

This text-only file shows a calendar event listing for 7/14/09.

Updated July 14, 2009