Digital Exercise Devices to Work Off the Turkey

Stay thin this Thanksgiving with tech in your corner.

By David Isaac

Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie. Oh, my. But let's be honest: it's not going to do any wonders for your midsection. Want to keep the love handles at bay? We've rounded up some health tech designed expresly to help you maintain your physique... even if you intend to throw caution to the wind this Thanksgiving holiday.

Fitness Trackers

There are so many good ones it seems unfair to single out just one. But Fitbit is the flagship in this particular industry.The company offers a variety of wearable devices to track your exercise, activity, food, weight and sleep.


There's some debate about whether fitness trackers actually work. Some argue that these devices can discourage you if you don't meet your goals. Others say nay, among them Scientific American, which says the best part of fitness trackers is that they motivate people to think about their health. And there's also a debate about how accurate these gadgets even are--check out the recent One Cool Thing podcast for a discussion about .

So once you've gorged yourself on cranberry stuffing, you can glance down at your fitness tracker and get motivated for some fast stepping.

Fitbit offers wearables ranging in price from $60 to $250.

Slendertone Connect Abs

Slendertone Connect Abs bills itself as the "first smart device to actively tone your abs."

It works using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). Basically, it mimics the way your body works, which sends electrical impulses to your muscles that tells them to contract during exercise. Slendertone just skips a few steps and stimulates the nerve directly.

Instead of heading to the gym, wrap the toning belt around your waist. You can watch TV while it works. Sync to your Android or iOS device and control the intensity of the workout from your smartphone. The app also tracks your progress and offers motivational guidance.

Does it work? According to the Wall Street Journal reporting on a 41-person study, the answer is yes. "Subjects using the Slendertone lost 1.4 inches from their midsection, compared with no change for a control group who did no exercise," the Journal said.

Slendertone Connect Abs is available for $230.

Fitbit Aria

You can deceive yourself, but you can't deceive the scale. Especially when it's a smart scale like the Fitbit Aria.

While the truth may hurt, it's the first step on the path to knocking off those extra pounds. And you're going to need a hearty helping of the truth after you've stuffed yourself with Thanskgiving turkey.

Made of polished glass, this sleek scale measures not only your weight, but also your body mass index (BMI), lean mass and body fat percentage.

It can store information for up to eight people and recognizes you as soon as you step on the scale. How cool is that? Weight statistics are sent straight to your Fitbit account and kept private from other users.

The Fitbit Aria retails for $130.

7 Minute Workout App

Not a device per se, the 7 Minute Workout is so popular that it bears mentioning. You might have heard of the 7 Minute Workout (if not, listen to this Challenge of the Week podcast for a thorough explanation). It's a collection of a dozen short and easy exercises that you perform in quick succession, so the whole thing takes just 7 minutes. And there are a lot of 7 Minute Workout apps which can guide you effortlessly through the routine.

Think of this as something for people who don't have a lot of time to spend in the gym. And it's the No. 1 fitness app in the U.S. and top 5 in 80 countries.

The app is based on research that shows short, intense workouts can be as effective as longer, less high-octane ones. This type of exercise is called "high-intensity interval training" (HIIT).

Like the workout itself, the 7 MInute Workout app directs you to perform 12 exercises of 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in-between. You can even do it between Thanksgiving courses (not recommended).

The only downside to this app is that it takes away one more excuse not to exercise. Everyone has 7 miniutes to spare. The 7 Minute Workout app is available for both Android and iOS devices--and if you don't like these, search for others. There are a lot of options out there.

Main image: Fickr/pulaw