Friday December 6, 2013
Are you finished with your holiday shopping yet? If so, you are much more on top of things than I am.
If you're still working your way down your list, as I am, I've got another idea for you. The MIO Alpha heart rate monitor. I've put together a detailed review, but I'll tell you a few things about the MIO:
- The fact that you don't need a chest strap to get a continuous heart rate reading is awesome
- It's a very high quality product that looks and feels good
- It lacks a few functions that I'd really like to have, the most important one being a calories-burned feature
- It's a little pricey at $199
You'll find out more in my review but, overall, I really liked it and I think it's a good choice for someone who wants simplicity in their heart rate monitors.
So, just one more idea for you. Do you have any other good ideas for fitness gifts? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
More about what you should know before you buy a heart rate monitor.
Thursday December 5, 2013
I know what you were thinking this morning when your alarm went off and you realized it was dark and cold/snowy/rainy/disgusting outside and you thought, "I really should get up right now if I want to squeeze in my workout today."
But then the heat kicked on and your cat/dog/child/loved one snuggled up next to you and it was so warm and toasty that you had another thought: "Screw it."
I know...this time of year can be just awful, weatherwise. I'm pretty sure the sun hasn't shown its gorgeous face here in Chicagoland in eleventy billion days, which makes getting up and working out seem like something only a crazy person would do.
But you still have to do it and here's how.
- Remember your goals - Whether you want to lose weight for a tropical vacation or just avoid gaining weight over the holidays, remembering what you're trying to accomplish may help you get out of bed. If that doesn't work, try...
- Ask yourself these questions before you skip your workout - The first question is this: Will I regret skipping my workout? If the answer is yes, get your butt up. If that doesn't work, try...
- Think of other things to motivate you - Maybe you could give yourself a reward for finishing your workout....say a new book to read or some new music to listen to. If that doesn't work, try...
- Imagine what your favorite Olympic athlete is doing right now - They're probably going to do a 6-hour workout today to get ready for the winter Olympics. If they can do that, you can probably get up and shuffle around on a treadmill for a little while. If that doesn't work, try...
- Going back to sleep - You probably fell asleep halfway through this list anyway, right?
It's tough staying on track this time of year, but it can be done. Just keep things simple and do something...even if it's just a few minutes each day.
And now it's your turn to offer your motivational tips. How do you keep going when the weather makes you just want to go back to bed? Leave a comment and tell us what you do to keep exercising.
Wednesday December 4, 2013
My fitness roundup this week includes a couple of new online training websites, which seem to be cropping up like weeds lately, and a new activity monitor that might make a great stocking stuffer. Be sure to leave a comment if you're familiar with them or if you have any recommendations for new products or websites. Enjoy!
- Fitbit Force - Just in time for the holidays, Fitbit has come out with yet another activity monitor, this one very similar to the braceleted Fitbit Flex. What makes this one different from the Flex is that it has a screen showing your progress, something that was missing from the Flex. Also? It's bigger and more expensive. But, like the other models, it will track your steps taken, distance, stairs climbed, active minutes, calories burned and your sleep patterns. I highly recommend getting the wristband version for your loved one, if they happen to be the type of person who flushes small electronics down the toilet (Not that I'm talking about anyone in particular, Mother).
- Wello - I haven't gotten a chance to try this website, but it looks very well-done and may be worth a try. While it does offer group exercise classes for about $49 a month (which is a little pricey, I must say), you can also get personal training memberships. That is, you can pay $99 for 4 sessions with a real personal trainer over live video, which is a pretty cool idea. They have a number of classes and trainers to choose from and they have a special right now where you can get a month free. If you check it out, let me know what you think.
- Fitness Account - Now, here's another new website offering online workouts. So, what makes this site different? They say it's because they have celebrity trainers available to help whip you into shape and they offer 400 personalized audio workouts that cover everything from yoga to cardio. What's also interesting is that they offer 'intervention' programs for things like diabetes, heart disease, back pain and other common problems. From what I can see, these are all audio workouts, not video. Right now, they have a 20% off special for $8.79 a month.
Got anything new to share? Leave a comment!
Tuesday December 3, 2013
Of all the exercise I've done in my lifetime, there is nothing more exhausting, more draining, more downright killer than shopping. Marathons? Have nothing on an entire day spent at a mall on a Saturday in the weeks before Christmas. With the invention of the Internet, we can now sit on the comfort of our bums and shop to our heart's content...but, sometimes, you have no choice. You have to go out there to browse and ponder the best gifts for your friends and family.
If you're going out there this season, you're going to need strength. You're going to need stamina. You're going to need patience. And, just maybe, you're going to need several bottles of wine. Below I've put together a workout program that will help you get through just about any shopping experience...even ToysRUs.
- Core and Flexibility - First, you'll need some core strength and a good range of motion. This is necessary for driving around and around and around the mall parking lot, waiting for some poor schmoe to leave so you can have his parking spot. You'll really need that core strength when you're whipping your car into that spot ahead of the mean old lady who's trying to steal it from you.
- Interval Training for Intermediate Exercisers - Next you'll need some endurance, but not just any old endurance...you'll also need the ability to break into a sprint at any given moment...say to tackle that guy who's taking the last My Little Pony. Sorry...wrong decade. This cardio interval workout is perfect for the start and stop of holiday shopping.
- Cardio and Strength Circuit - In addition to all of that, you're going to need some strength - Strength to carry your bags, strength to push through the throngs of people, strength to stand in line forever to buy stuff your kids probably don't even want. Try this cardio and strength circuit to get a short, simple total body workout with some weights and some cardio.
- Total Body Ball Stretch - Finally, you'll need something to calm you down after a long day of shopping. This total body ball stretch will help you work the kinks out of all of those shopping muscles and, if that doesn't work, then you should probably break out the wine.
There you have it. All the workouts you need to make it through the shopping season. As a bonus? You'll probably lose some weight too.
Stay safe out there, y'all, and be sure to leave a comment about how you're keeping your body in shape this time of year. Do your workouts actually help with the holiday madness? Leave a comment and tell us about it.