Get it together: Your health
A virtual workout, an online due-date calculator, and more health-centred websites
- Turn back time. To find out your biological age and life expectancy, and for advice on how to live longer, use the free Vitality Compass at bluezones.com. It uses a 106-question algorithm developed in collaboration with Dr. Robert Kane, director of the Center on Aging at the University of Minnesota school of public health.
- Improve your strength and balance. Who needs a gym membership? Nintendo WiiFit (nintendo.com/wii) makes working out more fun. Using a balance board ($90) and the Wii console ($250)’sold separately’you can do yoga, aerobics, strength training and even hula hooping and snowboarding, in the privacy of your own home. You can track your progress and get your family involved, too.
- Avoid food allergens, anywhere. If you love to travel and experience local cuisine, but have food allergies, go to allergytranslation.com to print out a card outlining your allergies in any one of more than 20 languages. That way, your health concerns will be less likely to get lost in translation. You can also download Chef Sheets, which explain the dangers of cross-contamination, to pass along to the cook.
- Burn more calories.The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Stairway to Health program allows you to track the calories you can burn daily by skipping the elevator and taking the stairs. Go to stairway.hc-sc.gc.ca/calcalc.aro to register, choose a challenge (from walking across Canada to climbing La Paz) and track how many stairs it takes you to cover the distance to your goal.
- Quit smoking with help from your PDA. At pda.ahrq.gov/consumer/qscit/qscit.htm, you can sign up for a five-day countdown to prep you for the big day, plus support. It’ll be sent to your PalmPilot or BlackBerry to keep you on track. Or sign up at quit4life.com to receive smoking cessation emails from Health Canada.
- Calculate your carbon footprint. More and more research links smog and pollutants to asthma and heart disease. Make a contribution to a cleaner, healthier planet by measuring your own carbon impact and reading green living tips at oneminute.zerofootprint.net. You can also register for the free Personal Carbon Manager to track your progress and connect to others with similar goals.
- Find the perfect trail. Download great Canadian paths, waypoints, and other hiking and biking data from trail lovers with the GPS information-sharing tool at trailpeak.com. Here you’ll find information about degree of difficulty and length of trails across North America, from Alberta to Virginia to Prince Edward Island.
- Optimize your run. The Nike+ SportBand, which retails for about $80, synchronizes with your computer to help you track your progress, plan running routes and connect with other runners online. If you have an iPod Nano, consider the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, featuring a shoe-based sensor that helps select music based on your pace and provides verbal feedback. Available at apple.com/ipod/nike/gear.html.
- Make some new workout buddies. It’s like Facebook for fitness lovers. Mypypeline.com allows you to connect with others trying to reach fitness goals. This Canadian social networking site also offers high-quality workout videos you can download to your computer or iPod.
- Calculate your due date, and more. Use the pregnancy due-date calculator, determine your diabetes risk and discover your healthy weight’all using the interactive health tools at mayoclinic.com/health/HealthToolsIndex/HealthToolsIndex.
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