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Even the most dedicated jogger_ walker_ or aerobics junkie can

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Even the most dedicated jogger_ walker_ or aerobics junkie can Powered By Docstoc
					Get fit
                                                                                                                                                                  COST FREE (or almost)

                                                                                                                                                                  Web sites
                                                   on any budget
                                                                                                                                                                  If you want to learn a new workout or just track what you’re doing, check out these
                                                                                                                                                                  sites. Just beware of exercise “professionals” who aren’t certified by the American
                                                                                                                                                                  College of Sports Medicine, The American Council on Exercise, or another group
                                                                                                                                                                  accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. (Certifications
                                                                                                                                                                  should be displayed.) We found lots of YouTube videos that didn’t meet this
                                                                                                                                                                  standard. Also check privacy policies to protect your info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               you wear to what routes to take to the         videos or print out PDFs featuring new
                                                                                                                                                                                                               events you’re training for. Follow free        workouts to try, all free at nikerunning.
                                                                                                                                                                  AceFitness.org                               training programs for first-time runners,      nike.com. Or go one step further by
                                                                                                                                                                  Price Free                                   new marathoners, and more, then track          signing up for the Nike+ system, a
                                                                                                                                                                  Best for Learning new moves.                 your progress. It syncs with Facebook,         Web-based tool that helps you track
                                                                                                                                                                  The skinny Whether you’re looking to         so you can share your runs with friends or     your progress. This might be especially
                                                                                                                                                                  strengthen your shoulders or tone up your    training groups, and it has an iPhone app      helpful if you’re training for a race. Here’s
                                                                                                                                                                  tush, this site has all kinds of exercise    that uses GPS to record your mileage           how it works: Order the Nike+ sensor
                                                                                                                                                                  advice. It’s run by the American Council     and time for every run (just remember          ($19, sold on the site). It will sync with
                                                                                                                                                                  on Exercise, so you can be sure all the      to tuck your phone in your pocket).            your iPod (or iPod Touch, iPhone 3GS,
                                                                                                                                                                  personal trainers are certified. Read                                                       or Nike SportBand) to track your time,
                                                                                                                                                                  step-by-step instructions with animated                                                     distance, pace, and calories burned—all
                                                                                                                                                                  photos to help you get it right. To get                                                     without interrupting your tunes. Sync
                                                                                                                                                                  started, click the “Get Fit” tab and then    MapMyHike.com                                  the iPod with your computer, and it will
                                                                                                                                                                  search in the exercise library by body       Price Free                                     upload your info to the Nike+ Web site,
                                                                                                                                                                  part, experience level, or equipment or      Best for Finding and sharing hikes.            where you can track your runs and others’,
                                                                                                                                                                  under the workouts tab for the desired       The skinny What started out as a sort of       too. Some specially designed Nike+
                                                                                                                                                                  type of regimen.                             Google maps for hikers has evolved into        running shoes feature a small recess in
                                                                                                                                                                                                               an online outpost where you can map a          the sole to accommodate the sensor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               hiking route anywhere in the world, then       But those are a somewhat bigger
                                                                                                                                                                                                               view the trail in 3D. Share hikes with         investment, $50 to $185.
                                                                                                                                                                  FitDay.com                                   friends or search maps created by others,
                                                                                                                                                                  Price Free                                   choosing from nearly 25,000 hikes in
                                                                                                                                                                  Best for Counting calories.                  72 countries (so far). The site offers an
                                                                                                                                                                  The skinny This Web-based diet-and-          interactive training calendar, workout         SparkPeople.com
                                                                                                                                                                  fitness journal lets you track what you’re   and gear trackers, calorie and heart-rate      Price Free
                                                                                                                                                                  eating by calories, carbs, fat, fiber, and   calculators, a journal for notes about         Best for Getting pro tips.




                                  E
                                                                                                                                                                  protein, plus it lets you see how your       goals and challenges, and info about           The skinny If you’re not sure where to

   Great workouts                        ven the most dedicated jogger, walker, or aerobics junkie can
                                         lose her motivation. And we all know what happens if you’re not
                                                                                                                                                                  nutritional intake measures up against
                                                                                                                                                                  RDA recommendations. It also calculates
                                                                                                                                                                                                               local races. This is the sister site to Map
                                                                                                                                                                                                               My Run, Map My Ride (for cyclists),
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              start, this site will create a personalized
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              diet and fitness plan for you. You’ll

 and motivators—                         motivated (hello, Häagen-Dazs!). So we’ve come up with dozens
                                         of new ideas to jump-start your workouts, whether you’re on a
                                                                                                                                                                  calorie burning and helps you chart your
                                                                                                                                                                  progress toward goals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Map My Walk, Map My Tri (for
                                                                                                                                                                                                               triathletes), and Map My Mountain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              get access to lots of motivational tips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (new ones every day!) from nutritionists,
    starting at $0                tight budget or have money to burn. Some really fun options are free.
                                  We cover everything from the best fitness phone apps and podcasts to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              personal trainers, and regular folks,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              too. You can see them in action; go
                                                                                                                 i l l u s t r at i o n s : l e i g h w e l l s




                                  cushy sneakers to get you off and running again. And if you decide to                                                                                                                                                       to SparkPeople.com/videos to watch
                                  spring for a personal trainer, we tell you how to get the most for your                                                         LogYourRun.com                               Nikerunning.nike.com                           YouTube-powered demos from a
                                  money. If you’re looking to buy new equipment for your home gym, we                                                             Price Free                                   Price Free access to site; equipment           certified personal trainer, a top chef
                                  can help with that, too—turn to page 62 for our latest ratings on treadmills                                                    Best for Recording your runs.                costs extra                                    showing you how to prepare healthful
                                  and ellipticals. So no more excuses! We’ve got the skinny on everything                                                         The skinny This site logs everything a       Best for Training for a race.                  meals, and real people sharing their
                                  you need to know to get started.                                                                                                runner might track, from the sneakers        The skinny If you’re a runner, check out       weight-loss stories (a site favorite).

32 CONSuMER REPORTS   SHOPSMART                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Subscribe now at ShopSmartmag.org MARCH 2010   33
                                                                                                                                     doughnut this week! Charts make it easy       The skinny It uses the GPS on your phone      calories burned for walks and runs,

 
Podcasts                                                                                                                             to see your progress. You can connect
                                                                                                                                     with others working toward similar goals,
                                                                                                                                                                                   to measure the distance, time, pace, and
                                                                                                                                                                                   speed of bike rides and runs. Sync to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 whether you’re cruising the neighborhood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 or the mall or even if you’re moving in
All podcasts work on smart                                                                                                           using accountability and good old-            MapMyFitness.com to create a training         place (say, in front of the television).
phones and computers.                                                                                                                fashioned competition to stay on track.       log and view maps of past routes and          E-mail your stats to your computer so
More are available on                                                                                                                                                              chart new ones.                               you can keep track of your progress.
iTunes and online.                                                                                                                             Hundred PushUps
                                                                                                                                                Price $2.99                                 FitnessBuilder                                 Lose It
 iTrain.com                                                                                                                                     Best for Building muscles.                   Price $9.99 (You can download                 Price Free
 Price 99 cents and up                                                                                                               The skinny Whether you can do five                      two free full-body workouts.)                 Best for Creating a diet plan.
 The skinny The site has                                                                                                             push-ups or 50, this app designs a            Best for Trying new workouts.                 The skinny using your height, weight,
 300+ workouts including                                                                                                             six-week training program to help you         The skinny It turns your device into a        age, and gender, this app calculates your
 cycling, ballet, boxing,                                                                                                            build the strength to perform 100 in          mobile library of more than 2,000 exercise    metabolic rate and sets up a daily calorie
 stretching, sculpting,                                                                                                              a row. (Try Two Hundred Sit-ups and           images and videos demonstrating               budget to help you lose one-half to
 and strength training,                                                                                                              Two Hundred Squats, too.)                     step-by-step instructions on how to           2 pounds a week. You can chart your
 for beginners to jocks.                                                                                                                                                           perform each move. You can tap through        progress and pinpoint where you might
 Where to get it                                                                                                                               iHeartRate                          screens to follow fitness professionals       need to make adjustments to reach your
 iTrain.com                                                                                                                                    Price $2.99                         doing more than 200 ready-made                goal weight.
                                                                                                                                               Best for Measuring heart rate.      workouts or use a special feature that
 Nutrition Diva                                                                                                                      The skinny Take your pulse and tap the        lets you create your own personal             PLUS ONE MORE FUN ONE
 Price Free                                                                                                                          screen to get your heart rate. use it while   routines.                                               Eight Glasses a Day
 The skinny Get inspired                                                                                                             you’re working out to see if you’re hitting                                                            Price 99 cents
 with fun cooking tips                                                                                                               target heart rates and also to calculate                iTreadmill                                     Best for Staying hydrated.
 and other info—quick,                                                                                                               calories burned.                                        Price 99 cents                      The skinny OK, it isn’t technically a
 what’s more filling, pasta                                                                                                                                                                  Best for Counting steps.            fitness app, but it’s a great addition to
 or potatoes?—shared by                                                                                                                        iMapMyRide/iMapMyRun                The skinny It turns your phone into           any workout. Tap the screen when you
 professionally trained                                                                                                                        Price Free ($4.99 for an            a pedometer that calibrates to your           drink a glass of water and it will let you
 chef Monica Reinagel                                                                                                                          ad-free version)                    natural gate and measures the distance,       know when you hit that old standard of
 during her weekly audio                                                                                                             Best for Tracking rides and runs.             time, speed, steps, average pace, and         eight glasses.
 podcasts.
 Where to get it
 QuickandDirtyTips.com


 YogaToday.com
                                    Apps                                                                                                                                      COST less than $50

 Price Free access to one
 new class every week,
                                    Yep, there’s an app for everything, and there
                                    are some great ones to help you get fit.
                                                                                    There’s an app that makes it fun and easy.
                                                                                    Strength-training devotees can set up
                                                                                                                                                                             Software
 $3.99 to download any              Most are designed for the iPhone, which         workouts and then track weights, reps, sets,                                             If you want to thoroughly chart        VidaOne Diet & Fitness 3
 class you like, or $9.99           starts at $99, but they also work on the iPod   and more. View your workout history as a                                                 your progress as you get fit, it       Price $39.95
 a month for unlimited              Touch, which starts at $199 (no contract        calendar or a graph, and e-mail entries                                                  might be worth spending a few          The skinny This is a comprehensive, interactive
 access to 180 classes              required). The apps here work only on the       to your computer to create spreadsheets                                                  bucks for a good software program.     workout and weight-loss software package
 for various skill levels.          iPhone, except for iMapMyRide/iMapMyRun,        of your progress.                                                                        The latest ones have features you      combining two popular programs, MySportTraining
 The skinny Try different           which also runs on BlackBerry models. But                                                                                                might not even realize you need,       and MyPersonalDiet. Colorful graphics note your


                                                                                     
 types, from Ashtanga to            keep an eye out because new apps are                      Health Cubby                                                                   but once you start using the           measurements, weight, and even your mood in
 Kundalini. The video               becoming available on other smart phones                  Price Free trial                                                               graphs, calendars, journals, and       addition to weather conditions and other details for
 classes are taught by              all the time.                                             Best for Linking up with your                                                  other organizing tools, you might      each workout day. The weight-loss functions include
 certified instructors and                                                          workout buddies.                                                                         wonder how you ever got along          suggested daily calories based on your goals (you
 range in skill level from                   Gym Buddy                              The skinny It’s a social networking app for                                              without them. Buy them online or       can customize the diet to skip foods you don’t eat,
 beginning to guru.                           Price $2.99                           those of us who don’t like to go it alone. Set                                           at office-supply stores. Bonus:        especially if you’re a vegetarian or have food allergies),
 Where to get it                              Best for Tracking your workouts.      weekly goals for your weight, cardio, and                                                Some programs, like the one here,      plus a rundown of diet plans (low-fat, high-protein,
 YogaToday.com                      The skinny Forget about that fitness journal    weight-training workouts. You can even                                                   work on smart phones, too (get         based on the food pyramid, and more). Calculators
                                    or chart you use to pencil in your progress.    control your vices. Sample goal: just one                                                more info at www.vidaone.com).         make it easy to figure your body mass index.

34 CONSuMER REPORTS     SHOPSMART                                                                                                                                                                                            Subscribe now at ShopSmartmag.org MARCH 2010   35
                                                                                                                                          COST $10 and up

                                                                                                                                          Classes/personal trainers
                                                                                                                                          If you’ve got a few more bucks to spend,     Hire a personal trainer                       a trainer can design a safe and effective
                                                                                                                                          it can really be worth it to join a health   Price $30 to $75 per session                  workout program to get to your personal
                                                                                                                                          club or sign up for some sessions with       The skinny If you can afford one, a           next level of fitness. Here’s how to pick a
                                                                                                                                          a personal trainer. That way, you’ve got     personal trainer can be the best motivator    qualified personal trainer. Above all, make
                                                                                                                                          other people—trained professionals!—         of all. It’s hard to slack off when there’s   sure she has at least these four important
                                                                                                                                          to get you motivated and show you            someone standing there saying, “Give          credentials:
                                                                                                                                          different workouts that can help you         me one more!” Plus trainers can keep          n A four-year degree from an accredited
                                                                                                                                          get the results you want. A big advantage    things fresh so you don’t get bored, and      university in exercise science, kinesiology,
                                                                                                                                          of belonging to a health club is that        the good ones stay on top of the trends,      exercise physiology, physical education,
COST $5 and up                                                                                                                            there are so many workout options, all       so they can keep pushing you to try new       or a related health-and-fitness field.
                                                                                                                                          under one roof. True, a gym membership       things. And If you’ve reached a plateau,      n Training that is certified by a nationally
 
New gear                                                                                                                                  can be pricey, but if you’re someone
                                                                                                                                          who needs to change your routine often,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     recognized organization such as the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     American College of Sports Medicine,
If a health-club membership is a luxury      affordable, there’s no excuse. If you start   could cause excessive impact on your           it can really pay off. Besides, if you do                                                  the American Council on Exercise,
you can’t afford right now, you can still    to get bored, simply try something else!      legs and joints, which can lead to muscle      the same exercises all the time, they                                                      the Aerobics & Fitness Association
get a great workout at home or outdoors.     (If you’re in the market for a bigger piece   fatigue, joint pain, and even injury. So if    eventually stop working. If you don’t                                                      of America, or the National Strength
But maybe you need a new toy to get          of equipment, like an elliptical machine      you haven’t bought new athletic shoes in       push yourself and try new things,                                                          and Conditioning Association.
you motivated. Here are some relatively      or treadmill, see page 62).                   a while, it’s time to treat yourself. A good   your muscles adjust to the activity,                                                       n up-to-date certification in first
inexpensive items that might do the                                                        rule of thumb: Replace them about 300          and you might stop seeing the results                                                      aid and CPR.
trick. Find them at sporting goods           Shoes                                         to 500 miles or once a year.                   you want, says William J. Kraemer,                                                         n Liability insurance in case an accident
stores, mass retailers, and online.          Price $45+                                       We recently tested athletic shoes           Ph.D., a professor in the department                                                       occurs while you’re working together.
                                             The skinny There’s nothing like a good        from a variety of manufacturers and            of kinesiology at the University of                                                           Get the scoop on fees and cancellation
Accelerometer                                run or a long walk to clear your mind         gave top honors to those by Ryka and           Connecticut. Ready to sign up? You’ve                                                      policies. Check with your doctor before
Price $45+                                   and recharge your batteries. And don’t        Asics for fit, cushioning, flexibility,        got different options depending on                                                         starting any exercise program. A trainer
The skinny It’s sort of like a pedometer,    underestimate the power of some new           stability, breathability, and weight. Cross    your budget.                                                                               should require that you get a medical
but it measures more than just the steps     athletic shoes as a motivating force          trainers are great if you do a variety of                                                                                                 clearance form from your physician.
you take. It captures your every move,       to get you going. Over time, shoes lose       activities. But if you’re a big-time runner,   Join a gym or take some classes                                                            Make sure the trainer is someone you
whether you’re grocery shopping, washing     their most important features—shock           basketball player, or whatever, you need       Price $10 and up for classes, $20 and                                                      trust and is trained in what you want her
dishes, or working out. It also measures     absorption, cushioning, and stability. If     sport-specific shoes. We recommend             up for monthly gym membership                                                              to do so that you’ll get the most from
intensity, so you get more credit for        your favorite shoes have started to wear      that you get some advice on the proper fit     The skinny The best way to get your                                                        your investment.
running than you do for reaching for the     out (even if it’s not obvious from looking    and try on as many brands and models as        money’s worth at a gym is to view
remote. Some accelerometers even track       at them), running or walking in them          possible to find the most comfy shoe.          the class schedule as a smorgasbord.                                                       HOW TO GET A DEAL
the calories you burn in a day or a week.                                                                                                 Try new things, don’t overdo any one                                                       If you really want to try a trainer but can’t
                                                                                                                                          activity, and change up your workout                                                       quite swing the cost, here are some tips.
Balls, bands, and other toys                    WHAT ABOUT THE Wii?                                                                       before you get bored. In one week                                                          n Schedule one session or an affordable
Price $5 to $90                                 Can you really get in shape by working out with                                           you could go from aerobics to                                                              package of, say, three sessions. Pay
The skinny You can spend just a few bucks       a video game? Researchers at the university of                                            Zumba Dance with lots of other                                                             close attention to the techniques so you
and get a fun toy with get-fit potential.       Wisconsin La Crosse evaluated adults who used                                             moves in between. If you don’t                                                             can use them when you work out on
Many come with DVDs or instruction              Wii Fit and found that the running games (Island                                          want to commit to a gym (many                                                              your own.
sheets to show you how to use them for          Run and Free Run) produced the best results but                                           require you to sign up for a year),                                                        n Ask for a better rate. Sometimes
the best results. Great options include a       step, hula hoop, and boxing weren’t as effective as                                       sample some classes at the local Y,                                                        trainers offer a sliding scale.
set of stretchy resistance bands ($5 for a      the real activities. Our tests found that games work                                      a martial-arts studio, community                                                           n See if the trainer will train you and a
single band to $40 for a set), a jump rope      best for folks who need inspiration to get off the                                        center, or yoga center. Mixing it up                                                       friend together. Or maybe she’ll match
                                                                                                        PLAYED OUT The Wii is hot,
($7.50 to $45), a pair of hand weights          couch. The new Wii Fit Plus ($99, not including the     but some games are better         like this can be an easy way to keep                                                       you with another compatible client.
($10 to $50), or an oversized stability         console) has tools for personalizing your workout.      than others for getting fit.      your workouts interesting and—dare                                                         You can split the cost, and you’ll both
ball ($9 to $90). Because they’re so                                                                                                      we say fun?                                                                                get the results!

36 CONSuMER REPORTS     SHOPSMART                                                                                                                                                                                                Subscribe now at ShopSmartmag.org MARCH 2010   37

				
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