Wired: Health and Fitness

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The Independent Culture
No, there's nothing wrong with your bathroom scales. It's you. The festive season has taken its toll and it's time to do something about it. There are an awful lot of fitness web sites out there, which means that there are an awful lot of bad fitness web sites. But the best on offer are both entertaining and educational. Unfortunately, at some point you're still going to have to get up from your computer.

EATING FOR LIFE

www.eatingwell.com

If you're looking to haul yourself back from the brink of post- festive obesity without suffering the agonies of cycling machines, treadmills and heavy weights, this is one of the best places to head for. The emphasis is firmly on healthy eating as a way of dealing with the aftermath of over-consumption. The site includes a database of calorie counts of various foods, as well as a list of top ten low-fat cooking tips: did you know, for example, that the key to producing a low-fat vinaigrette is to substitute strong tea for some of the oil? However, this web site does recognise that there's more to sensible eating than grilled fish and boiled broccoli. There's a superb section on affordable wines, with plenty of information on the world's wine-growing regions.

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THRIVING

www.thriveonline.com

In something of a contrast to Eating Well, Thrive Online is aimed at people who take physical fitness a bit more seriously, although thankfully it avoids going too over the top. It takes a fairly rounded view of staying healthy, with information on life insurance and tips on how to stay healthy as you grow older. The site's real strength, however, is on health issues. Categorising them by age and sex, it has an excellent list of check-ups you should have regularly, and self-examination tests. There are also comprehensive sections on dieting, exercise and cooking. It caters particularly well for women, including a first-rate page on how to prepare quick and healthy meals for children after school, as well as advice on eating and drinking

during pregnancy.

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THE BEST OF THE REST www.healthandfitness.com HHH

Americans have a tendency either to ignore gyms or to live in them. This is an overzealous site catering for the latter group.

www.netsweat.com HH A simple site with plenty of advice on sport, exercise and fitness.

www.kicksports.com HHH

One for real trainerheads, this is devoted to distance running, including nutritional, advice and information on injuries.

cookinglight.com HH

Another useful but not too over-the-top site dealing with sensible eating and cookery. Especially good on "healthy" cakes and sweets.

www.caloriecontrol.org/ recipes.html HH

Contains a useful database of healthy but realistic recipes.

www.kidsfood.org HH

A fun, healthy nutrition site for children.

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