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Global altitude simulation company launched

Monday 22 May 2006

Global altitude simulation company launched in Queenstown

An innovative programme delivering health, lifestyle and sporting benefits was launched in Queenstown today (Monday 22 May) by entrepreneurial company io.

From its flagship centre and headquarters in Queenstown’s Gorge Road Retail Centre, io delivers the io altitude simulation programme, which will soon be available through a network of centres around the world.

Michael Lodge, CEO of io, says his team has developed what he believes to be the most sophisticated and accessible way to deliver the benefits of altitude simulation, previously only available to elite athletes, to the general public.

io altitude simulation works by forcing the body to react as if at altitude. By delivering high altitude air in a carefully controlled way, the io programme makes the body produce more red blood cells, which means the body is more efficient at transporting and utilising oxygen. The result is a boost to energy levels and wellbeing, relief from a range of medical conditions and a stronger and fitter body.

To take part in an io programme clients visit their local io centre, relax in a chair and read, listen to music or watch TV, while breathing high altitude air through a mask.

“The benefits of altitude simulation have long been known and used by the world’s elite sporting community. What we have done is to develop a way to bring altitude simulation and its well documented benefits to the general public,” says Mr Lodge.

“Our programme is available to people from all walks of life and our research shows that anyone can live better from the inside out with improved energy levels, sporting abilities, health and wellbeing by undertaking io altitude simulation.

“Our team has spent significant time developing a unique, sophisticated and responsive oxygen delivery system. The io programme delivers the power of oxygen as a natural, drug free, health, sport and lifestyle enhancer.”

Ant Williams, Sport Psychologist and New Zealand’s number one ranked free diver, was one of the first to adopt io’s altitude simulation programme.

“Without changing my training programme I added altitude simulation with io and what I found was amazing. I increased my ‘breath hold’ duration from 7 minutes to 7½ minutes in just one month. I guess it enabled my lungs and muscles to be more efficient in their use of oxygen. I now use io to help me prepare for all major free diving competitions and record attempts.”

Professor Will Hopkins of Auckland University of Technology - an expert in altitude simulation – is also encouraged by io’s altitude simulation programme.

“The intermittent altitude simulation achieved by io's technology provides an approach to the benefits of live-high, train-low altitude training that is more convenient than traveling up and down a mountain, or sleeping in tents that simulate altitude."

io altitude simulation is available only from specialist io centres and is 100% safe and proven with no adverse side effects.

From its Queenstown headquarters, io is rolling out centres in Auckland and Wellington as well as in Manchester, England within the next few weeks. Also planned are centres in Dubai, San Francisco and New York.

io was launched in Queenstown as the io team believes the natural attributes of the resort and the prevailing entrepreneurial spirit best suit the innovative io programme.

About the io altitude simulation programme

io altitude simulation works by forcing the body to react as if at altitude. The thinner air found naturally at altitude means it takes greatly increased effort just to breathe, let alone do anything else. That increased effort has documented beneficial effects.

By delivering high altitude air in a carefully controlled way, the io programme makes the body produce more red blood cells, which means the body is more efficient at transporting and utilising oxygen. The result is a boost to energy levels and wellbeing, relief from a range of medical conditions and a stronger and fitter body.

Both published independent research and feedback from over 1,000 altitude simulation participants demonstrates that by harnessing the power of oxygen in this unique way, the io programme delivers a broad range of tangible benefits.

An io programme offers relief from various medical conditions and can result in improved lung function, a lessening of symptoms in mild to moderate asthma, reduced blood pressure and moderated hypertension, improved metabolism and reduced fatigue.

Lifestyle benefits of the io programme include increased energy levels, reduced stress levels, improved sleep, better concentration, boosted immune system, assistance with weight control and reduced sick leave.

io altitude simulation also delivers measurable improvements in sporting endurance, speed and injury recovery, in addition to greater breathing control, improved aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, maintenance of fitness during injury periods and assistance with peaking prior to competition.

The passive and drug-free io programme delivers ‘thinner’ air, via a mask, inducing beneficial stress in the body and causing it to react by producing more red blood cells. This reaction is caused by the body having to adjust to alternately breathing 5 minutes normal (sea level) air and 5 minutes high altitude (hypoxic) air for an hour a day, over a set number of days.

io clients visit an io centre for one hour a day for 15 days, followed by one hour a day for a 5 day booster session every 6-8 weeks. The io programme takes a total of 50 hours over one year.

io clients may notice beneficial changes from as early as day five. Full benefits are normally apparent within five to fifteen days after completing either the initial or booster programme.

To take part in an io programme clients visit their local io centre, relax in a chair and read, listen to music or watch TV and breathe, leaving the body to do the work.

The programme costs between $22 per hour to $30 per hour, depending on the package chosen.

- ends -

Notes to editors:

About altitude simulation

Altitude simulation is not new - making its benefits available to the general public is. Altitude simulators were first developed more than 40 years ago in the Russian aerospace medicine programme to train cosmonauts. Around the same time, scientists and sports trainers noticed the amazing results achieved by athletes from high altitude countries at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics (2,240m above sea level).

Since then, altitude training has become a regular part of many professional athletes’ training regimes. The science and technology behind high altitude training has continued to develop and is now available to the public at a local io centre.

About io

io is headquartered in Queenstown, New Zealand. It has New Zealand centres in Queenstown, soon to be followed by Wellington and Auckland and one in Manchester, England. An intensive development plan will see io centres open soon around the world.

io is run by the Lodge family, all experienced New Zealand business people: Chief Executive Officer Michael Lodge, Chairman Alan Lodge, Chief Operating Officer Edward Lodge, Production Manager James Lodge and Joanne Bailey, Marketing Manager.

To read more about harnessing the power of oxygen and hear about those who have, visit www.io-nz.com

*************

This promotional material is intended only to provide an overview of the altitude simulation process. io is not a medical organisation and its staff cannot give medical advice or diagnosis. Nothing contained in this promotional material should be construed as such advice or diagnosis. Customers are urged and advised to seek the advice of a medical doctor before beginning any altitude simulation programme. Specific professional medical advice should be sought before children, pregnant women or those with any type of adverse health conditions undertake any form of altitude simulation programme. For more information you should review our Terms & Conditions which are available on our website ( www.io-nz.com).


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