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Workout Anywhere with this Portable Gadget

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Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.

Photo via Tao Wellness

How often have you wished you could combine burning calories with travel? Or that you drop some weight while chained to a desk and a hellish work schedule? Disembark with tighter abs or leave the office with slimmer thighs? It sounds like a fantasy. But yesterday at CES 2014, SF-based startup Tao Wellness unveiled its Wellshell, a phone-sized device that uses basic, isometric exercises to work muscles while it also tracks and records progress. Philo Northrup, president and co-founder of Tao Wellness, told Mashable, "I used [the Wellshell] while flying for 24 hours from Philadelphia to San Francisco during the recent snowstorms and was able to exercise on the plane—it saved my sanity and my lower back."

All exercises with the Wellshell revolve around pushing down on the device (with hands, arms, knees, etc.), to activate the pressure sensor that syncs with the bluetooth-connected app. The app then acts as a mobile gym trainer, taking the user through various exercises. It also monitors heart rate and records the user's progress. But the device won't completely replace the more conventional workouts. Northrup explained, "Tao is intended to be an addition to an already existing fitness ecosystem, but we may explore more therapeutic uses for those who are recovering from surgery or [from] strokes."

Wellshell is not yet available to the public, although Tao plans to run a crowdfunding campaign to build the first round of devices for retail. The estimated price for the device is around the $200-$300 range. And a more complete launch is slated for fall 2014.
· This Tiny Device Brings Exercising to Planes, Couches [Mashable]
· Tao Wellness [Official Site]
· All Fitness Week 2014 Posts [Racked SF]