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Click to stay fit

March 03, 2003 12:23 IST

Want to stay healthy without visiting a gym? Log on

Here's something you didn't know: You can make the Internet your personal trainer! Thanks to an increasing obsession with health and fitness, more people are now using their mouse to stay young, fit and beauty.

Take Amitesh, for example. A workout enthusiast and software professional, this guy works out at a gym, then goes online for a list of exercises and details on nutritive value. "Keeping fit can be simple if one follows a strict exercise pattern and surfs regularly," he says.

Let's say you felt the need to burn 500 calories. You could get easy tips, carry out a quick, 10-minute workout, or find out about flat and firm abs in minutes. More interestingly, keeping fit may have nothing to do with starving yourself, say the people at They believe that gobbling apples smeared with peanut butter and vegetables roasted in olive oil can be healthy too, if done just right

Expert Speak

The Internet has another advantage: Help from those in the know. According to Dr Vijaylaxmi Panthaiyan, Fitness Expert with Alpha Mind Power, Chennai and also a resource person with, online help is useful for general health guidelines and the latest in fitness. However, she adds, "correct judgment is possible only when the expert sees the person. Workouts and exercises should be combined with psychological counselling too."

For a start, going online can get you a personal health analysis or solutions from dieticians like Shubi Husain. Dean Piazza, an expert trainer with an Australia-based Web site, opines that e-fitness programmes are suitable if gym facilities aren't easily accessible. His site covers everything from setting goals and staying motivated to making workouts enjoyable.

Dr Robert Shmerling of Harvard Medical School believes the Internet is the easiest route to information on good health, fitness and nutrition. Then, for those too lazy to exercise, Gory Vogin has some simple body movements that keep back pain away and tighten tummy muscles.

Does it work? People like Brenda Clark believe it does. Clark lost weight with the help of e-dieting sites and found out how small changes to her menu went a long way.

Playing it safe

Prabha Vaidyanathan, a heart patient, believes the Internet is the safest option. "As most sites are backed by major Universities and Medical centres, one can be sure of the information provided," she says. Apart from following her doctor's advice, she also checks out sites for information on cardiovascular disease management, low cholesterol diets and physical activities for heart patients at home or at the office.

Reema Dey looks at for interesting dietary options. "Being a calorie and appearance conscious person, I took tips on anti-aging and some wonder foods that act as fat fighters," she reveals. The site also offers international shopping options for diet food.

There's loads more where that came from. If fitness on the Internet is your kind of scene, you can get online videos, specialised workouts for particular body parts such as the lower back or chest, and a whole lot of exercises to keep those calories in control.

The moral of the story is this. If the gym isn't your cup of tea, for whatever reason, ignore your macho friends. Head for that PC instead.


Jorge Cruise: Renowned online fitness expert offers free online coaching.

Food and Nutrition: How to keep all matters relating to health and fitness under control.

Health-Fitness Tips: E-bulletins on fitness, weight loss, diet and nutrition.

Health On the Net Foundation: Aims to build and support the international medical community online.

World Health Organisation: The latest health and medical news.


Priyanka Srivastava