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Gadgets to give your workout program a kick

February 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
When it comes to getting into and staying in shape, we could all use a little help. Today's leg up might come from some high tech fitness gadgets."I want to be around for my kids and I want to start looking better and feeling better," said Nat Jones.

After a few months at the gym, Jones hit a plateau.

"I was losing weight, but I wasn't getting any definition, so I kind of got frustrated with that," said Jones.

So Jones looked into some high tech gadgets to kick into high gear as they promise to do everything from track miles to plan a solid gym routine.

"Electronic gadgets are hot now, and people who are exercising are embracing that technology to help them improve their fitness or help them get involved in an exercise program," said Dr. Michael Bracko, American College of Sports Medicine.

Like Riiflex, an accessory for the Wii Fit that's due out in February.

"It's a two-pound dumbbell that you put onto your Wii remote and your nunchuck, so when you're doing those traditional workout moves you're actually getting some resistance training," said CNET's Dan Ackerman.

Do you have a smartphone? Put a personal trainer in your pocket by downloading a fitness application. Some count calories, others track distance. Nat tried Fitness-Builder, a database program of custom exercises and workouts.

"There's a nice clear picture of the workout, so there's no guess work of how it gets done. If the picture is not good enough, you can actually press on the video," said Jones.

For those with a walking or running program, Haier America Trainer is a pedometer and MP3 player all rolled into one, or stay in tune with the Nike Sportsband.

"It also has a very small, flat device that you put in the bottom of your shoe. These two devices connect wirelessly and it keeps track of your pace, how fast you're running, how far you've gone," said Ackerman. "It lets you gather all this information, which then later you can upload to your computer."

Or send your stats wirelessly with the Garmin Forerunner 405CX wristwatch. Ackerman says it also has a heart rate monitor users can strap around their chest to track of their heart rate.

Another wireless wonder is the Withings Wi-Fi Scale, which transmits information like fat mass and BMI to a Web site.

"If you set up the site with them, it will keep track of your weight and it's there for you to see. It's kind of a strong motivator," said Ackerman.

No surprise these gadgets vary in degree of difficulty and price so before your fitness program goes high tech, do your homework.

The following products were featured in this report: