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The Nerdy Way To Better Health

As junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs and inactivity increasingly take their toll on our health, people are looking for ways to get healthy. Of course, there's no getting around the need to consume fewer toxic substances and excercise more. The good news is that you can employ gadgets and computers to help you out -- and make getting healthy easier and more fun.
As junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs and inactivity increasingly take their toll on our health, people are looking for ways to get healthy. Of course, there's no getting around the need to consume fewer toxic substances and excercise more. The good news is that you can employ gadgets and computers to help you out -- and make getting healthy easier and more fun.Two offerings that I've discovered recently employ hardware, PC software and Internet services that help you build and maintain customized programs for better health.

The first, called BioTrainer, features a small gadget you clip to your belt. It's like a pedometer, but instead of measuring steps, it calculates all movement using a built-in accelerometer and keeps a running count of the number of calories you burn, as you burn them. An associated online monitoring program lets you set and track your weight loss goals. A nutritional program helps you plan meals. Together, they enable you to consume fewer calories than you burn. (Personal Tech Pipeline is currently conducting a hands-on review of this product, so stay tuned.)

Another product we recently discovered helps you quit smoking. Called the SmokeSignals system, it involves a case for your cigarettes with a pager-looking display on the top. The device keeps track of how many cigarettes you are "allowed" to have -- a number which is very gradually reduced to zero over a long period of time. You set up a "quit plan," then track your progress with the included software. The company will even send you a "Quit Tip" once a day via e-mail.

And here's a bonus gadget for you gaming enthusiasts with both fat and money to burn: The NeXfit Technologies Exercise Bike. It's a lot like an ordinary excercise bicycle, but with game controls on the handlbars that you connect to your Xbox, Playstation or PC.

No more excuses, fellow gadget enthusiasts! Get healthy, the nerdy way!