SNOW has blocked several 'B-roads' across the country as Spain shivers in the grip of an Arctic front which has forced temperatures down to low single figures on the Mediterranean and double figures below zero...
Gym fuelled by human movement
A GYM which converts human movement into energy to power machines has opened in a Greater Madrid region town.
Mónica and Juan Ignacio are the brains behind the project Movewatts, along with a team of 11, who opened the gym in Alcobendas, say the treadmills, exercise bikes and spinning apparatus produce power when they are used, effectively fuelling themselves.
The gym is designed to be used even by people of reduced mobility and has physiotherapy rooms, psycho-motor rehabilitation unit, nutrition and dietician consultation areas, offering all-round fitness and care for all the family.
José Ignacio, a physiotherapist, says the energy produced by the gym machinery is re-used, but is not quite enough to fuel the entire building and all its functions – and 'storing' energy generated by people exercising in order to avoid buying power from outside is illegal – but the system dramatically cuts down the amount of traditional power needed to operate the business.
But those who create this energy can 'store' points from how much they generate, and receive discounts on gym services or on their monthly subscription fees.
As society is becoming more aware of the need to protect the future of the planet and the importance of non-polluting energy sources, this provides the perfect incentive for those who would otherwise fail to see through a personal commitment to go to a gym regularly.
Whilst most gyms ban mobile phones – or, at least, their use – the centre in Alcobendas actually encourages users to bring theirs with them, download the gym App and use it to manage their activities, book time slots on machines and make appointments with their personal trainers and physiotherapists.
They can plug their phones into the cardio machines to charge them, and electric car users can charge their vehicles in the car park.
The cardio machines fuelled by energy generated by human use are only available from a firm in A Coruña, Galicia, but are made in Indonesia due to the high costs of creating them in Europe, where they are far from mainstream.
The idea of 'eco-gyms' started in the USA and a few have been set up in Europe, but as yet the Alcobendas premises is the only one in Spain.
Some gyms in hotels in Spain have one or two exercise bikes or treadmills which run off the energy created by those who use them, but Mónica's and José Ignacio's is the only gym where 100% of the apparatus are fuelled this way.
Photograph: Movewatts on Instagram
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