From the January 2000 issue of Startups

How's the heartbeat? Can you fit in the jeans you wore in high school? Can you run full-tilt around the block without becoming a wheezing wreck?

Maybe you think that's stuff to worry about when you get older, but guess what? There's no surer way to enter middle age a physical mess than by passing the time as a deskbound workaholic. Evidence abounds that the Greeks had it right--a sound mind works better in a sound body. Maybe you don't need washboard abs, but the fitter your body is, the fitter you'll be for running the tough race of entrepreneurship. How to get pumped when your schedule's packed? Follow these pointers:


Robert McGarvey tells us he writes for Men's Fitness magazine. We've seen him close up and don't believe him, but he hopes you will.

You're How Old?

Keep that driver's license in your pocket. We mean, How old does your body think it is?

  • Find out with a visit to HealthScout (www.healthscout.com). Click on "7 Minute Checkup," type in your answers to the quiz, and this wizard tells you what health risks you're courting as well as your age from a medical perspective.
  • Another yardstick: The tests at HealthCalc (www.healthcalc.net/hcn/tools.htm) are short and fast, but in a matter of minutes, you'll get a reading on your "Body Mass Index" (in plain talk: whether you're a lard-ass), your target heart rate, and how far you have to go to get fit.

Road To Wellville

You could hire a personal trainer, usually at rates of $50 per hour and higher (ask at a local health club), or you could concoct your own training regimen. Do-it-yourself sounds better? Get the info you need here:

  • FitnessOnline (www.fitnessonline.com): This site is rich with info on fitness, health, adventure sports and even a button that lets you "Ask Dr. Tim" your personal fitness questions.
  • Phys.com (www.phys.com): Loaded with features, from "calculators" (find out your ideal weight or your daily caloric needs) to toggles that fire off questions to experts, this site even provides a daily feed of health and fitness news.
  • NetSweat (www.netsweat.com): You have to like the name, and the site's pretty good, with lots of links to other sites, plus a Fitness Plan and solid info culled from Men's Health magazine.

Sometimes a good book is what you need to keep you motivated, help you exercise better and smarter, and speed up your progress (if you don't spend too much time on the couch reading it, that is). What to read:

  • Fitness for Dummies by Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent (IDG Books Worldwide, $19.99, 800-434-2086): At almost 350 pages, this book's filled with both how-to tips and the good humor you just might need to get through a workout.
  • The Complete Book of Fitness: Mind, Body, Spirit from Fitness magazine (Three Rivers Press, $24.95, 800-374-3187): Whoa! At 496 pages, this book isn't just for reading--it can also be used for doing biceps curls. This handy reference volume could be the last word on fitness, exercise, diet and the state of current research.

Software For Hardbodies

Literally hundreds of fitness software titles abound, and many let you try before you buy. Where to look? Good starting places are HotFiles (www.hotfiles.com) and Freeware32 (www.freeware32.com). Want an example? Start here:

  • Athlete's Database: Keep a training log for walking, skating--whatever--and analyze your progress (time, distance, heart rate, etc). Download a 90-day free trial at www.creativewindows.simplenet.com; the purchase price is $34.95.
  • CrossTrak: A freebie, this aerobics training database (www.freeware32.com) lets you record data on runs, swims, bike rides and more for free.

Support System

Need a little help from your friends to stay on a fitness path? Find it online at http://events.yahoo.com/Net_Events/Health/Fitness, a guide to what's happening fitness-wise on the Net. A recent look found a support group for those needing a motivational kick and chats on topics like aerobics and biking. Even if you like having a personal trainer scream at you, those in the know swear these cyber-communities work wonders.