Lose Weight, Get Fit
Vowing to lose weight is the New Year's Resolution that most of us make, and most of us break. But now technology is here to help, with several gadgets, Web sites and iPhone and other mobile device apps that aim to keep you on track. Here are a bunch of our favorite methods for losing weight through the magic of technology.
A one-user personal scale that doesn't tell you your weight, but rather either a plus or minus reading based on the initial weigh-in. When you lose weight, the scale displays "-5" if you've lost five pounds.
SanDisk SlotRadio Health & Fitness card and player
Price: $40 for card, $60 card plus player (pictured).
The SlotRadio Health & Fitness card includes 1,000 pre-loaded songs from Billboard artists and arranged into playlists such as Cardio, Cooldown, Power, Roadwork, Spa, Warmup and Yoga. The card works in the company's slotRadio, slotRadio To Go, Sansa Clip+ or Sansa Fuze players.
Haier America Trainer portable media player
This portable MP3 player with FM tuner also includes a heart rate monitor, pedometer, a calorie counter and a stopwatch. The device is small enough to clip onto workout gear - a three-axis sensor can measure motion in multiple directions, distinguishing from walking and running. Supports Rhapsody's library of more than 7 million songs, as well as MP3, WMA and WAV files.
WiThings: Connected Bodyscale
Everything else in your house connects to Wi-Fi, why not your bathroom scale? The WiThings scale automatically records the user's body weight, lean and fat mass, and calculated body mass index, and instantly transmits it via Wi-Fi to a private Web page or free iPhone application. The scale supports up to eight users, and includes a large backlit display.
FINIS: Circuit Trainer
This audible workout timer from FINIS gives motivation and direction for circuit interval strength training. It includes double programmable modes for rest and exercise time periods (ranging from 1 second to 20 minutes), to help users focus on working out and improving fitness results. The timer includes an LED screen and includes amplified speakers with adjustable volume horn blasts for use in large open spaces (for outdoor or group usage).
Nintendo Wii, with exercise-related games
Price: $200 for console, Wii Fit Plus costs $90 with balance board. Other games sold separately.
So you bought the kids a Wii for Christmas - now use the console to shed some pounds. The motion-based games are a great way to get started on a workout plan, whether it's the exercise-based games Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus, or energy games like Wii Sports Resort or Extreme Life Challenge.
Body Lite Laser
Price: Ranges from $1,500 to $4,000
The heck with exercise - this system combines a Zerona laser with Blood Nutrition Assessment, to help patients lose three to five inches of fat in two weeks. The laser targets two trouble areas, and can be a non-invasive alternative to liposuction.
Price: $19.99 for wristband, plus $20 per year for service.
The VITAband bracelet is the first in a series of digital fitness accessories and medical ID tags that includes emergency contact data as well as contactless payment options on the wrist. Perfect for paying for things while working out, or in case you have a medical issue.
ION Audio USB Blood Pressure Monitor
Worn on the wrist, you can then connect this ION Audio device to a USB port and transmit readings to your computer, allowing you to track changes and trends over time, and send them to your doctor as well.
ION AUDIO USB Body Mass Scale
This ION Audio device lets you weigh and measure yourself at any time, connecting to a USB port and transmitting data such as weight, body mass index and body composition. Track changes over time with included software.
Get verbal coaching during your run with the Adidas miCoach system - includes the Pacer, a small device that delivers real-time audible coaching as a user exercises via headphones or combined with an MP3 player. The miCoach Zone ($65.99) is an easy-to-read color-coded LED screen on a wristband device to provide accurate, real-time information, including heart rate.