With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm painfully aware of the extra few pounds that I gain every winter season. If you have the same fluctuating body type as I do, you might want to check out this recent news story: "Virtual personal trainers? Use with care."
Is it time to enlist the help of a virtual trainer? According to Dr. Aurelia Nattiv, who is a UCLA Sports Medicine physician and professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, "Caution should be taken with these programs, especially with the elderly or anyone who has chronic medical conditions or is a novice exerciser."
There are already a ton of different workout programs available on VHS and DVD - or even print, for those who still enjoy reading text on paper. Personally, I think virtual trainers are just another money-making scheme for the paranoid majority who think they're getting fat. Once you have a virtual trainer, will you use it? Maybe initially, just to check it out. Then, when it starts to hurt, you may "take a little break" - which essentially means quit the exercise program. Of course, I'm only speaking from experience. There are some people who actually stick with it and become success stories (hate 'em). I'm still waiting for someone to develop an office chair (since I'm stuck here all day) with built-in exercises, like the hip swivel and back bender. I'll be virtually thin by Spring!
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.