Category Archives: Fitness

Fighting Obesity

If you are fighting being overweight, exercise alone is not the answer. There was a recent study by the American Diabetes Association done with mice. They had running wheels in their cages but they would lock them for several days at a time. What they found was interesting. When the wheels were locked, the mice roamed around the cage expending energy through walking around. When the wheels were then unlocked, they would run the wheel, but decreased expending their energy off the wheel.

Let’s equate that to us. When we exercise at a gym, on a treadmill, take a walk or however we get our spurts of exercise, do we tend to sit around more because we “got our exercise in” rather than keep the momentum going? Do we tend to eat more when we do more vigorous exercise thinking you can because you exercised? We may need to take a step back and look at what we are doing with exercise and eating regimen.

A new way to exercise

So there is nothing new about treadmills. And there is nothing new about VR, or virtual reality. Put the two together, and you do have something new. An Austin, TX company, Blue Goji, is using VR to make fitness more fun. It is called the Infinity Treadmill.

You will need to wear the safety belt while working out. You see, VR can cause motion sickness but the treadmill has you simulate movement, so they claim the motion sickness will not be as much. The disconnect between movement and just being in one place isn’t as much an issue since you are moving while doing it.

Don’t expect to add this to your home gym, however. The cost will be a hefty $12,000. It may be seen in the future at higher-end fitness centers or rehabilitation or physical therapy clinics. They expect it to be ready in 2019.

Plogging

You’ve heard of jogging but have you heard of plogging? It is a portmanteau word of jogging and the Swedish expression plocka upp, or pick up. So how does this work? It seems to be a new fitness craze taking off all over the place.

Go out jogging but bring a bag. Intermittently as you run, you may see garbage on the side of the road. Squat and pick it up and put it in the bag. You will still lose as many calories as if you just jogged as the squatting uses energy. Lifesum app (the app we talked about last week) has teamed up with Keep America Beautiful. It is the first app to include plogging as an exercise in its list to track.

You can plog anywhere: in the city, in the park, along roads. Since it was founded in Sweden, here it is in action:

Lifesum app

There’s an app you can use to track foods, exercise, it has recipes, and works with many fitness trackers like FitBit. It’s called Lifesum. It leads the market in Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia. It is a Swedish company based in Stockholm. Their main vision is “to make it simple for people everywhere to form habits that build towards healthier, happier lives.”

The basic features are:
Tons of healthy recipes
Meal plans for every lifestyle
Building healthy habits
Uniting with others
Syncing with apps like Moves, Withings, FitBit, Jawbone, Endomondo, Runkeeper
Food and exercise diary
Limited exercise tracking

They also offer a premium service that gives
Personalized diet plans
Access to recipe base
Save recipes
Macro tracking
Life Score weekly health advice
Food ratings
Body composition tracking
automatic exercise tracking

Premium starts at $3.75/month

Here is a review of the free version from American Home Health

Lower your blood pressure

In an article from Harvard.edu, they give “6 simple tips to reduce your blood pressure.”

As we age it seems our blood pressure (hypertension) can increase. High blood pressure is considered anything over 130/80, so this may have bumped you into this category now. This is the new guideline for determining hypertension in adults. This should cause you to look at your lifestyle and see what changes you can make to get your pressure under control. This can help reduce chance of “heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, or cognitive decline,” states the article. So what are the changes?

1. Lose weight (of course) – even 10 pounds lost can make a difference.
2. Read food labels – if you have hypertension, you should cap your daily salt intake to 1,500 mg per day. That’s only about 3/4 teaspoon. Things to watch for are breads, rolls, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches.
3. Get moving – exercise about half an hour five days a week. Find something you will stick to.
4. Pump some iron – add weight lifting to your routine.
5. Limit alcohol to one drink per day
6. Relieve stress with daily meditation or deep breathing. Stress constricts your blood vessels and spike blood pressure. Maybe to help with this you will need to make sure you are getting enough sleep as well.