Hi-Tech Fitness

For the computerized crowd there’s a pair of programs called Gymbuddy and FitnessLog. Gymbuddy will record your workout at the gym and generate a series of reports. FitnessLog tracks aerobic activities. The good news is that Gymbuddy and FitnessLog are shareware. Try them for free, and if you decide to keep them they cost only $25. The bad news is they only run on Newton Message Pad handheld computers or compatible devices.

One monetary step up, but still less expensive than a pair of running shoes, is The Athlete’s Diary from Stevens Creek Software. The Athlete’s Diary is a special-purpose database program designed explicitly for athletes. You can log your training, view it in a variety of formats, and analyze it to plan future training sessions. It has an impressive number of features, and you can save your logs as html files and view them in a web browser.

The product runs on your personal computer and costs $29.99 for the DOS version, and $59.99 for Windows or Macintosh. You can request a free trial version that will hold enough log entries to last a few weeks.

At the high end is the Fitness Tracker from JJA Microsystems. The basic model, selling for $368, offers software and a nifty little hand-held OmniGo computer made by Hewlett Packard. The Fitness Tracker also accommodates multiple users, and the professional version, which is $772, includes billing capabilities and some advanced reporting features.

A unique feature of the Fitness Tracker is its ability to provide immediate feedback on the day’s performance. Enter your performance data, and the program assigns a grade based on how you performed today relative to your past performance.

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