SparkPeople is another wonderful free resource for folks looking for a social support network. Explore the Community tab for groups created by members based on goals and interests, discussion forums, challenges and “SparkPages” - a member profile area where you can connect with like-minded users.
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Finally, FitBit (FitBit Zip starting at $59.95), is a tiny wireless motion tracker that, when worn consistently, translates your motion into a fitness score. Your activity is monitored, factoring in exertion (not just distance), and then wirelessly syncs collected data with your computer or smart phone. Graphs allow you to quickly see progress toward your goal. Your up-to-the-minute score is also viewable on the device itself, motivating you to take the stairs, park farther from the entrance, or log a quick jog on the treadmill to keep up your stats. The FitBit allows you to easily set achievable goals such as, “score higher on average this week than last week,” and you can even compete with other FitBit users or post your scores for additional encouragement from the FitBit community.
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Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses. Andrea established the company with her husband, Ryan, from a spare room in their home in Redding, Calif., in March 2004. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight, and Computer Nerds On Call for the Scripps-Howard News Service. To ask your puzzling tech questions email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.