by GALTime.com Consumer Guru Jennifer Jolly
I've always been up for a good challenge, especially when it comes to pushing my physical and mental limits. Like the time I recovered from knee surgery by bicycling over the Caucasus Mountains in Russia, or competed in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon before I knew how to swim more than about ten feet at one time. But get my almost-forty-year-old booty bathing suit ready in time for my family summer vacation in a month? That calls for a miracle. Or at least the very latest that modern technology has to offer:
1. There's an App For That:
A good place to start is with a gadget you already have, your phone. There are hundreds of fitness applications for Android and iPhone users. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
2. Seeing Pink! www.beachbody.com
Anyone who watched this years Grammy Awards saw one of the most killer bodies of modern times - Pink! She dangled and dipped acrobat style thanks to her ripped abs and buns of total steel, which she says she got from the P90X workout video system. All my friends have jumped on the P90X bandwagon - to great results. If you actually do them, the 12 DVD workout series will yield some pretty great results. Just ask Ashton Kutcher - he and Demi Moore have been tweeting about how great it is. Cost: $140
3. Why Can't I Lose Weight? www.fitbit.com
A tiny little clip device called Fitbit will answer that question for you. Clip the Fitbit onto your shirt, belt, or armband, and this thumb-sized gadget, essentially an accelerometer, will track all your movements during the day then report back on your activity. The motion-detecting sensor digitally records the distance you've walked or run; the number of calories you've burned; the number of steps you've taken; and even your sleep patterns. Unlike the BodyBugg and other predecessors, this is small and easy to wear all the time. It truly answers that age-old question; why can't I seem to lose weight? When you get a really accurate reading of how many calories you're consuming and how many you're burning, you'll understand perfectly why you can't lose that last 20-pounds. No miracles here except how easy it is to really understand what's keeping you from the body of your dreams. Cost: $99
4. High Tech Personal Trainer: www.usa.philips.com
The Philips Activa personal training fitness gadget has all the bells and whistles that you want to get and stay in the best shape of your life. It keeps track of calories burned, gives you exercise options and shouts out words of encouragement during your workout. (How does it know I need a little kick in the pants right this very second?) Plus, it has something no other product does: it syncs itself with your music library to make sure whatever is playing, matches your aerobic intensity. Cost: $129.99
5. Lazy Alarm! www.muveinc.com
A little device called the Gruve sets off an alarm if you've been lazy too long! It's similar to the FitBit and other pedometer type gadgets, but with a twist. It pesters you into moving! If you stay sedentary too long, it flashes a series of lights in an "embarrassing color code." If that doesn't motivate you to get up and move the Gruve will start buzzing like a vibrating cellular phone. The brainchild of the Mayo clinic's Dr. Jim Levine, the Gruve will also keep track of your movement during the day and compare the number of calories burned to your predetermined goal. Cost: 199.95
6. Measure Up To Slim Down: www.shopmeasureupbowl.com
We all know the easiest way to lose weight, and most effective, is to reduce the number of calories we take in each day. Easy right? Then why do I eat so darn much? (Aside from the fact that my hubby-to-be is a gourmet chef?!) A simple measuring bowl called Measure Up has been a great tool for me. These simple bowls are like any ordinary bowl you would find in someone's kitchen, except they have cup increments marked off on the interior to help you control your portions at each meal. The bowls come in two sizes - one with 1/2 cup increments and the other with 1/4 cup increments for higher calorie foods. Finally, we can know exactly how much we are eating when we dish out cereal for breakfast, pasta for lunch and ice cream as an after-dinner snack - without scales and separate measuring cups. Cost: $19.99.
7. Just Do It… Again. www.apple.com
The upgraded version of the Nike+iPod system, the Nike+ Sportband can "talk" with a sensor in your sneaker to give you all the details (time, pace, distance) about your run, and will even automatically upload the information to Nike's training site so you can track your workouts. If you don't want an extra accessory, check out the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. Trouble is, you need the Nike running shoes (which I HATE) and to already own an iPod. So even the cost of the Sportband is $30… but the time you're done, you're in it for $200 or more. Cost: varies.
8. High Tech Running Coach www.adidas.com
Adidas' answer to the Nike+iPod, the miCoach Pacer is an MP3-synced pedometer, heart rate monitor, and calorie counter. It also offers real-time, customized coaching: the miCoach "verbally coaches the runner (i.e. speed up to green zone, slow down to blue zone, etc.) to ensure that they are staying within their targeted heart rate zone and keeps them running at the right personal level," according to the product description. The coolest thing about this is that you get to pick your coaches voice. I personally like the British male. There's just something about that accent… Cost: $140
9. Say Sayonara To Cellulite… www.mywellbox.biz
Okay, I have no idea whether this really works because it's totally out of my budget range, but you should have all the options! At $1659, the Wellbox and LPG Skin care line promises to "battle cellulite, saggy skin, and fatty areas of the body by breaking down fat, smoothing out cellulite, and firming your skin." I tend to believe that's a little too good to be true, even for a small fortune. On her eBay blog, Spa Guru-ette Beth Whiffen, says that "the Self Lipomassage mode targets dimples and releases localized fat in hard-to-tame areas like the hips and stomach. Self Liftmassage mode helps to firm sagging skin and restore a natural glow to the face, neck and decolletage. The best part: The machine feels great running over your problem spots-like getting a relaxing rubdown-so you kill a few birds with one hi-tech stone." Again, due to the cost, we'll have to take her word for it! Cost: $1659 for the Wellbox and LPG Skin care line bundle.
10. When All Else Fails… Embarrass Yourself Into Weight Loss?
If letting the world know about your diet struggles is a real motivator (Biggest Loser sure works for some people…) then these next two high tech ideas might be right up your ally: The Wi-Fi Body Scale won't just tell you your weight, it'll share it. The scale has a built-in wireless connection that it uses to send your weight and body fat information straight to your iPhone, your web page, and even the Twitterverse. Another one is "Tweet What You Eat." This is a Twitter-based food diary that lets you broadcast, in real time, everything you eat and how many calories you've ingested. The application includes a 'CrowdCal system,' a crowdsourced calorie database, to help you track your caloric intake. I'm not doing it because some things… should just remain between my bathroom scale and me. Cost: Wi-Fi Body Scale = $160. TWYE = Free.
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