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Will a treadmill-powered Internet connection really end your exercise procrastination?

In order to have a regular and daily exercise regimen, you have to have serious willpower and determination… the very same skills you will need to be able to stop incessantly checking your Facebook or Twitter notifications on your mobile device or desktop computer. In the hopes of hitting two birds with one stone, a software developer built a new workstation that has his computer hooked up to a manual treadmill.

Oh yes, Brian Peiris thought it would be great to simultaneously run while he’s on his computer, and to his credit, it’s not a completely ridiculously idea: There are a bunch of sites that sell treadmill desks. He just opted to go the DIY route by hooking up a manual treadmill to his desktop PC, and with a little bit of his programming knowledge, set up an Arduino kit with some Python code to return a speed reading.

To make his workout a little bit more interesting and challenging, Peiris re-rigged his treadmill setup to throttle his Internet connection: The faster he runs, the faster Web pages load. See his visual demonstration below:

“So now I have a great source of motivation to keep myself active,” Peiris wrote on his blog post detailing the project. “Want to keep reading that engrossing article about how Obama hired radical techies to win the election or about how Google’s autonomous car is worth trillions? Better keep walking then! I can also honestly say that I have never been so exhausted after only a few hours of testing and debugging code.”

Using your leg power to load images and text articles is one thing, but streaming YouTube videos (or worse, full-length TV shows)? That’s like running a 10K. And with the number of Facebook friends you have to stalk and snoop on, you might as well be running in a marathon.

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