Technology@work

By Jeanne du Plessis

5 fun fitness gadgets

It can be challenging to stick to a healthy diet and exercise programme, especially during winter when fatty foods and watching DVDs are much more appealing than salad and the gym! Now that summer is around the corner, many of us want to get back into shape. Luckily there are many great gadgets to motivate you and put some fun into getting fit. 1. Kangoo Jumps: for joggers who don't mind the stares A part from looking a little odd, how cool are the Kangoo Jumps? They'll definitely put some extra bounce in your stride whether you're jogging outdoors or jumping around at home. Wearing these boots, which have spring-loaded soles, is like having mini-trampolines attached to your feet. They reduce the impact on your joints by 80 percent while increasing the amount of effort you need to put into your workout so you'll lose weight, firm up and improve your endurance quicker. They're not only good for your body, but for your mood as well. How can anyone feel down when they're bouncing around like Tigger? They make getting a workout so much fun that exercise won't seem like a chore. 2. For swimmers and water sports enthusiasts: waterproof MP3 players I never exercise without my iPod as upbeat music makes all the difference to my workout. But what about when you're swimming? If you have an iPod or iPhone you can buy a waterproof case for it along with waterproof headphones, or you can buy a waterproof MP3 player designed specifically for underwater listening. There are several options available in different brands which vary in price and specs, so you may want to shop around. If you're doing laps at your local Virgin Active, canoeing across a river or just enjoying a soak in the tub, a waterproof MP3 player will do the trick. 3. For adrenaline junkies: mountable cameras Okay, mountable cameras aren't exactly fitness gadgets and if you're into adventure sports your exercise activities are probably 8 SACF Vol. 7 No. 2 exciting enough, but these are very cool accessories. Attach the camera to your goggles, helmet, wrist, surfboard, windshield or handlebars to capture every adrenaline-charged moment while you're skiing, skateboarding, cycling, cliff-diving, river-rafting, bungee jumping, or whatever it is you love doing. 4. For gamers: consoles and games to get you moving If you prefer consoles to circuit training, you may already have an Xbox with Kinect, Nintendo Wii or PlayStation Move. I know gamers often have a firm favourite when it comes to consoles so I won't recommend one over the other; it depends on your preference and budget. Some people prefer the graphics and game selection for Xbox and enjoy the fact that it's hands-free, while you need a controller for PlayStation and Wii. The Wii is the most budget-friendly option and I personally don't mind playing with a controller, although it didn't work out well for the person I accidentally smacked in the face during a Wii tennis match. There are a huge variety of games to get you moving. Whether you want to dance, play tennis, do obstacle courses or practise your ninja moves, you'll find something fun. 5. Something for everybody: the Fitbit Ultra This is an awesome little device that tracks your activity. It's only about the size of a car key, so once you've clipped it onto your belt, pocket or shirt you'll forget it's there. For the rest of the day it'll track your steps, distance, stair-climbs and calories burned. It even measures how long and how well you've slept. Your stats get uploaded onto your free web account where you get a good overview of your activities. You can add more info here that Fitbit can't track, such as what you've eaten and extra activities such as cycling or swimming. Join the Fitbit online community to share info, compare, compete and chat with thousands of people. n ┬ęKangoo Jumps ┬ęContour GPS

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