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Don't be a mouse potato; Use the web to get yourself fit.

Byline: with Barrie Mills

GETTING fit is not one of the things you associate with our brave new computer age.

But getting fat most certainly is one of them, especially as you can now use the web to order pizza from your desk.

However, despite this (or because of it), there is no shortage of people who would like to find out more about taking better care of themselves - and it's no surprise that the internet has hundreds of sites devoted to the subject which you can visit while eating doughnuts.

If you want, you can easily find yourself signing up for expensive courses or gym memberships which you have no real intention of ever taking up.

But if you look a little more carefully, you'll find all you need to know about getting fit and staying that way for free.

For example, www. bodydoctorfitness. com is the site of Hollywood health guru David Marshall.

He achieves results - but at a price. Marshall is the man Premier League football clubs (he claims two of last season's Champions League contenders among his clients, but doesn't say which), plus Hollywood stars like Rachel Weisz, go to to lose weight and tone up.

Marshall reckons he can slim you down by around two stone in three months.

If you want to know how to achieve the perfect flat stomach the Bodydoctor way, Marshall's book will cost you pounds 45 while a seven-week programme of sessions will cost slightly more - pounds 1,650 more, in fact.

At the well-presented www. fitnesslink. com ste, you can find out plenty of information about the mythical flat stomach, but for free.

It's an American site, but we're all made the same way and the advice is universal.

The authors reckon the key is cardiovascular exercise.

Madonna's secret, apparently, for keeping her figure is yoga and in particular the energetic Astanga yoga. Take a look at www. yoga. co. uk to find out more about this particular variant, and the more traditional forms as well.

This site belongs to an Edinburgh centre which runs beginners' weekend courses from pounds 50.

Or take a look at the book Power Yoga by Liz Lark at any online bookshop.

Of course, all this hard work is going to be wasted if you carry on eating pie and chips.

With no knowledge of nutrition unless it's deep fried, covered in pastry or both, I'm not really qualified to judge the merits of the various dietary sites on the web.

But there are quite a lot of them, all with something to offer, and the best thing is to spend a little time surfing through them yourself. Searching for "diet" or "dietary" on Google (www. google. com) wll bring back thousands of hits, but some of the better sites are:

www. cyberdiet. com, www. medicincabinet. co. uk, www. foodwatch. com. au, www. healthcalc. net, www. mynutrition. co. uk and www. feelingfat. net.

No discussion of losing weight should end without mentioning Weight Watchers - they've been helping people shed the pounds for years and their website is at www. weightwatchers. com.


TAKE A LEAP: You might not get as fit as Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis surfing the net, but you can make a start
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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