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Gadgets for beating the fitness blues

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  • Need some motivation to exercise? Check out these fun gadgets
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- If you're finding difficulty keeping your New Year's fitness resolutions, don't fret.

Nintendo's Wii Fit has shaken up the fitness gadget market.

Nintendo's Wii Fit has shaken up the fitness gadget market.

The move toward healthier living has given rise to gadgets that make approaching exercising easier than ever before.

Aimed at the so-called Wii generation, these devices are all about the personal, featuring biometric trackers and other ways to monitor performance.

"Increasingly applications are about measuring yourself," says Jim Clark, senior technology analyst at market research firm Mintel.

He says this market has lots of potential for growth, with an increasing number of devices boasting motion-sensing capabilities.

Here are four devices that could help you overcome your fitness blues.

How do you motivate yourself to stay in shape?

Wii Fit

Targeted at families, Nintendo's Wii Fit has been creating waves in the market fitness gadgets since it was launched last year.

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The system, which is used with a Wii video game console, isn't a substitute for the gym. But you can use it for a range of strength training, yoga and cardio exercises.

The Wii Fit includes a balance board that records your movements and gives feedback on how you're doing. It costs $90, while the basic game console itself runs around $250.

According to Scott Owens, associate professor of exercise science at the University of Mississippi, it's too early too tell what impact devices like the Wii Fit have on fitness trends.

But these sorts of whole body movement devices are an encouraging development, he says. "Every little bit helps in the battle against obesity."

Garmin Edge

If you cycle, you've already taken a step towards better fitness.

Riding a bike lowers the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity as well as the most common form of diabetes, according to British health insurance provider Bupa.

Products like Garmin's super cycle computers can help you get the most out of your ride. The GPS-enabled gadgets, which cost from $250 to $500, help cyclists navigate routes as well as keeps tabs on their workout.

In addition to the usual details -- speed, distance, calories burned -- the latest model, the Edge 705, tracks your heart rate so you can measure just how hard you're working.

Nike + iPod Sport Kit

The Nike + iPod Sport Kit ($29) is an ideal companion for runners who already own an iPod nano or iPod touch.

A sensor you place in your Nike shoes monitors useful details of your run, tracking your pace, distance and calories burned.

The kit displays those stats on your iPod, as well as provides voice feedback over the course of the workout. You can even select a favorite motivational song to get you through rough patches.

When you're done, upload the stats online. You'll have a log of all your workouts, and are able to share them with fellow runners online.


If you don't want to spend a lot on gear, walking is a simple way to boost your health. But make sure you maintain a step log.

Keeping track of the steps you take has been clearly associated with greater improvements in physical activity.

A 2007 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the use of a pedometer is also associated with significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

Smart pedometers like the Fitbug make recording your steps a breeze. The gadget not only measures the distance you cover but also allows you to upload your stats online.

At a cost of $140, you get the device and weekly messages of encouragement and progress updates for a year.

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