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14 great ways technology can help you get fit

Get fit and have fun without going near a gym

From gadgets that encourage you to exercise and track your progress, to websites that motivate you, technology offers a number of ways to help you get fit. We've rounded up our pick.

We all make resolutions in January, and one of the most popular is to get in shape. But if the thought of heading to your local gym to pump iron with lycra-clad beauties fills you with dread, then fear not.

There's actually a number of gadgets and websites that can help you get in shape and encourage you to stick to a healthy eating plan because, after all, getting fit is about more than just exercise, its about diet too.

We've rounded up our pick of the gadgets and websites available to ensure that 2009 is the year you really do keep on track. Also see our 7 great ways technology can help you keep fit feature for even more ideas!

Wii Fit with Balance Board

Nintendo's Wii Fit is a home workout program (disguised as a video game) that runs on the popular Wii gaming console.

Wii Fit lets you choose from 48 activities in four main categories: yoga poses, strength training, aerobic exercise, and balance games. To perform the games/exercises, you stand, sit, or lie on the special wireless Wii Balance Board, which resembles a double-wide bathroom scale, and comes bundled with the game.

Four pressure sensors inside the board determine where your feet are, monitor your centre of gravity, and check your weight. Using the board, the Wii Fit calculates your body mass index (BMI), records other data, and helps guide you through the process of hitting your goals over time.

Visually, the Wii Fit games use cartoon figures similar to the ones that appear in other Nintendo Wii games. The game lets you create these characters roughly in your own image (hair colour, facial features, and so on) if you like. Setting up the game for playing takes about 10 minutes the first time around. You can choose from activities such as hula hoop, ski slalom, ski jumps, tightrope walking, boxing, and dancing, so it's pretty easy to find something you like doing; that way, you'll soon forget that you're 'working' out.

Shaun White Snowboarding (Wii)

One of the coolest and most engaging games for the Wii Balance Board is called Shaun White Snowboarding from Ubisoft (White is an Olympic gold medalist snowboarder). The game drops you into a variety of different snowboarding environments with a number of different skill levels. As you're out carving it up on the virtual slopes, you can feel the weight and shape of the mountain - the rocks, ice spots, bumps - underneath your feet.

Even though you might be having so much fun to resize it, the game forces you to exercise the hell out of your leg muscles and (to a lesser extent) your upper body muscles. You'll break a sweat. Between rides, you can pal around with your buddies in a virtual world. You can also spend as much time as you want fashioning the look of your avatar, and selecting accessories such as parkas and snowboards for it to wear.

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor

NEXT PAGE: Even more gadgets that will help you get in shape

  1. Get fit and have fun without going near a gym 
  2. Even more gadgets that will help you get in shape
  3. iPhone apps to help you get fit
  4. The case for the iPod shuffle
  5. Websites that educate and motivate

PCWorld.com


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