Gadgets to Help You Get Fit
So now it’s a brand new year - and time for the annual decision to change your life for the better. Once your head stops pounding and you remember why you’re wearing a sparkly tiara, you are going to have a cup of coffee and sit down to make a list of things that will be different in 2011. One of those things will inevitably have something to do with getting fit. However, in the back of your mind is the glum knowledge that you’ve been here before and in two months your determination to hit the gym three times a week will be lost in a haze of red wine and deep-fried Twinkies.

In an effort to help you win this year’s battle-of-the-bulge, here are some gadgets that will track progress, offer motivation, and tattle when you’ve gone off your diet.

Just Tell Me What to Do. Seriously.
There are two really good coaching gadgets available for those who want to start out strong and are willing to put their money where their mouth is. For $139.99 the Adidas miCoach is the next best thing to a personal trainer. It builds you a plan of diverse workouts, tracks those workouts, gives real-time audible feedback, analyzes your progress and gives advice for every workout. Along similar lines is Philips DirectLife which costs $99 for the monitor and $12.50 per month for the data service. It’s a wearable monitor which records
the duration and intensity of daily movements. You can then plug it into your computer and upload the information to a personal web page which tracks your progress. A personal coach is available to help set goals and offer advice.

Less of an over-all package, but still highly recommended, is Nike +. $19.00 for the sensor, it will record the distance you run, your pace, and calories burned and give real-time voice feedback. It communicates the information to your iPhone and uploads to a site that tracks and evaluates your running history.

How Many Calories do I Burn
Walking to the Vending Machine?

If you’re not quite ready to dive into a committed relationship with a digital coach, there is a great variety of gadgets available that will track everything you do physically. The Haier America Trainer Media Player works as a pedometer, heart rate monitor, stop watch, calorie tracker and FM Radio (as does Fitbit, Gruve and the Samsung MyFit). The Bodybugg works in a similar way - tracking motion, steps, galvanic skin response and temperature to determine how many calories you are burning; you can also enter the foods you’ve eaten on the website to determine overall caloric balance over time. For $6.95 per month (as well as $189.95 for the device) you can get BodyMedia FIT which does essentially the same as the Bodybugg, except BodyMedia will share your results on Facebook, which could either be a great motivator or deeply humiliating (mind you, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive).

Along the same lines, the ION Audio USB Body Mass Scale and the Withings WiFi Body Scale will not only weigh you, but determine your body fat percentage and calculate your BMI for you.

But I Despise the Gym…
It’s full of those attractive muscley-types that stare at themselves in the mirror. And there’s no chocolate. So put that gaming console you bought for your kid this Christmas to good use. Nintendo Wii has an assortment of great games (Wii Fit, My Fitness Coach 2, EA Sports Active) that will get you sweating, and Kinect for Xbox has Dance Central and Your Shape. You can also get weighted adapters designed specifically to work with the Wii’s remote control.
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