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Saturday, January 5, 2013

9 TECH TOOLS TO STAY FIT IN 2013


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9 Tech Tools to Stay Fit in 2013
By Rachel Kaufman,
Tech News Daily, 4 January 2013.

Fitness Gadgets for 2013

When the New Year rolls around, most of us will make the same, age-old resolutions: Lose weight. Shape up. But just because the goals are old-fashioned, that doesn't mean we have to achieve them using old-fashioned technology. Here are 10 gadgets that can help you get or stay healthy in the New Year.

9. Fitbit

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The original wearable fitness tracker, Fitbit tracks steps taken, calories burned and more. The latest iteration, the One, is smaller, more stylish and otherwise an incremental improvement over Fitbit's previous offerings. Pair it with Fitbit's Wi-Fi–enabled scale for the ultimate health and fitness combo.

8. Nike+ Kinect Training

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Even already-fit folks say this digital workout coach can get them sweating. The program uses the Kinect to track your form, so as you're doing crunches, the virtual trainer on-screen can dole out personalized advice. However, apartment dwellers take note: the software doesn't seem to know where your furniture is, so you may be asked to leap across the room - right into your coffee table.

7. Wii Fit U

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For fans of the old Wii Fit, this version hasn't changed much: the game still puts you on a "Balance Board" to do squats, push-ups and hula-hooping. The new version adds a few more game modes, like dance, and now comes with a wearable pedometer that tracks your activity and syncs wirelessly with the game.

6. Jawbone Up

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After a massive recall of these wearable wristbands when users found the supposedly waterproof product wasn't, Jawbone has debuted a totally new version. It still has the features people loved: sleep and exercise tracking, a "smart alarm" that lets you wake up after a catnap that was actually 20 minutes (not 15 minutes of you tossing and turning and 5 minutes of sleep), and insights into your health habits, delivered via the iOS app.

5. Striiv

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The Striiv bills itself as a "smart pedometer," not a whole-fitness solution, but it does do an admirable job of tracking whether you've gotten your 10,000 steps a day. It's also the only fitness tracker with a full-colour screen (which makes it a bit bigger). Earn points by taking steps, and then use those points in a Farmville-esque game, or donate them to charity. A new version, the Play, eschews the colour screen and large size, but syncs with an iOS device, so you can still play the Striiv games.

4. Withings Blood Pressure Monitor

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With no stethoscope or medical training required, you can now keep an eye on your blood pressure at home. This model plugs into an iOS device to upload your numbers to an app or to Microsoft HealthVault.

3. A Standing Desk

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Research has consistently shown that sitting is hazardous to your health. One recent study found that every hour you sit reduces your lifespan by 21.8 minutes, or about the equivalent reduction of smoking two cigarettes. If you only want to stand during part of your day, the Geekdesk goes from sitting desk to standing desk and back again in a snap.

2. A Kitchen Scale

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Weighing your food before you chow down can help you rein in portion sizes. This model from Ozeri has sleek, modern lines, so it'll look at home in any geek's kitchen.

1. The Zeo Headband

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This gadget tracks your sleep stages by reading your brainwaves with a headband and sending the data to a smartphone app. The app then gives you sleep advice, which is, unfortunately, fairly standard stuff: don't drink so much coffee and try some breathing exercises. But paired with personalized data, the same old advice might finally sink in.


[Source: Tech News Daily. Edited. Top image and some links added.]


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