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HealthExtra: Phone-in fitness

You use your telephone to order dinner, send flowers and pay utility bills, so why not use it to improve your health? It may not be such a stretch, say Australian researchers in a report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In a series of phone calls, counselors gave study participants real-time advice on fitness and diet, helping them remove obstacles to making lifestyle changes and setting new goals. Most people improved their eating and exercise habits. However, much of the phone advice was also part of an overall program that included additional educational tools, such as face-to-face counseling, classes or written materials.