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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.

MP3 Players: The case for the iPod shuffle

While your choice of MP3 player is largely a matter of taste, the iPod shuffle can function as a great, though basic, MP3 player for working out. It's really small, and it's easy to clip to almost any piece of clothing you may be wearing. In fact, once you've attached it, you're barely aware that it's there.

The weakness of many small players is their deficienct volume output and sound quality. But the iPod shuffle wins here, too, especially if you upgrade to better headphones from the ones that ship with the player.

Finally, fitness trainers will tell you that one of the keys to a top-notch workout is 'shocking your system'. No, the Shuffle won't give you an actual electrical shock, but you'll never know what part of your mix is coming up next on the Shuffle; as a result, the really rocking songs in your mix come up unpredictably, causing an uptick in adrenaline flow and a spike in your performance.

Don't like running or lifting? Try dancing

If you don't like running or playing sports of any kind, there's still hope for you, in the form of Dance Dance Revolution or DDR. What started out as a Japanese arcade game back in 1988 has migrated to the living room and now is one of the most popular gaming genres.

It has an obvious aerobic aspect, too: you stand on a dance pad and try to mimic the moves (slides, bumps, grinds, stomps, spins, and shimmies) being executed on the screen while staying on the beat. The game awards you a score based on how well you dance to the music.

There are many versions of DDR with different songs and styles, and most have an 'exercise mode' that tracks the number of calories you're burning while you dance. An 11 stone person burns an average of 16 calories per song while playing the latest Dance Dance Revolution game, the makers say. So a person could burn around 640 calories in one hour of dance-dance-revolting, versus about 500 calories in an hour of jogging.

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NEXT PAGE: Websites that educate and motivate

  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

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