Ever since bathroom scales became a household mainstay and we no longer require medical professionals to monitor our weight, taking ownership of our own healthcare has continued to evolve. Today we live in a world where we can research our own symptoms from various sources, do a great deal of medical testing at home with products we can buy at the drug store, and even use a mobile phone app to monitor our heart rate and oxygen levels.
A new device introduced this year for smart phones called Tinke has helped further self healthcare even more. The tiny little device plugs into your phone and becomes a monitor of heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate variability. The user simply places their finger over the sensors and the technology detects changes in blood skin blood volume to get readings.
From there the data is displayed on the phone through the Tinke app, and the user can begin to track their own health.
The information can remain completely private, however, users are encouraged to join the Tinke community. Just like many wellness apps, the community of users is intended to encourage and motivate. The sharing of fitness and wellness information has been useful for many people in the social media world as they try to improve their health. Again, something we used to only do in the privacy of our own doctor’s office. (more…)
Monitoring you heart rate can be a pain, especially for those who have to do so frequently for health purposes. But a new mobile app aims to make this sometimes tedious task not only simple but enjoyable. What some may view as a game, Cardiio makers view as a pivotal health tool that measures your heart rate by simply taking a visual scan of your face.
That’s right: Cardiio users simply hold their iPhone or iPad up to their face, the app does a quick scan, and then your heart rate, projected life expectancy, and how you compare health-wise to the average person is revealed.
We reached out to Cardiio co-founder and CEO, Ming-Zher Poh, Ph.D., to get a better idea of what this cool, new app is really all about.
What does this app do, and how exactly does it work?
Cardiio is a beautiful and fun app that accurately measures your pulse by scanning your face using the front-facing camera of your iPhone/iPad. Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face. This slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected off your face. With Cardiio, your device’s front camera can track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye to calculate your heart rate. (more…)
Every body is different, so to come up with fitness guidelines that work for everyone is tough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the minimum recommended amount of exercise for a healthy adult is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week and this 30 minute guideline is the one that fitness experts use as a baseline to ensure exercisers are working hard enough to see results, especially beginners who are new to exercise. But what does that actually mean, and how do you know if you are doing enough?
The 30 minute rule refers to cardiovascular exercise (running, walking, biking, etc.) as the guidelines for strength training are working your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week, on nonconsecutive days. Your strength training, however, can work into your 30 minute rule as long your intensity is high enough. (More on that later.)
The 30 minute rule sounds pretty cut and dry, but you actually have a lot of leeway. Most days of the week means 4-6, as everyone needs at least one rest day per week, but you can play with the 30 minute recommendation. Those 30 minutes can be done all in one shot, or you can break it up through out the day. Two 15 minute sessions, or three 10 minute sessions are shown to be just as effective, but it is not recommended to do anything shorter than 10 minutes for the full benefits.
Those minutes don’t mean much, however, if you aren’t making them count, which brings us to your intensity level. Intensity is a little more subjective, but the most important component to seeing results.
Runners are pretty simple creatures. We typically only want one thing: to run faster. If you’ve spent any time with a runner you’ll typically find that they’re stubborn- I mean determined- people. That trait serves them well in the sport.
However, being one of the most determined people on the planet, I can safely say that all the will in the world won’t make me faster. If any runner wants to be faster, they have to train to be faster. One of the best ways to do that is by doing fartleks. Yes, fartleks. Funny name, but powerful speed training.
Fartlek is the Swedish word for “speed play.” Fartleks are a type of interval training for runners. It was developed in 1937 by Swedish coach, Gosta Holmer. Holmer developed this training for his cross country teams who had a terrible record. The effective speed plays focus on running faster than race pace to train. Fartleks were so successful that they have been widely adopted and used since.
Research has shown that listening to music while you exercise improves performance. As for me, I didn’t need research, I know from firsthand experience. I don’t know what I’d do without music while on the treadmill.
Music acts as a motivator, but it also distracts you from negative thoughts associated with fatigue or any insecurities or inadequacies that may creep up into your mind.
While I can be motivated by nearly any tempo if the music is right, research shows that fast paced music, ideally music with a BPM (Beats Per Minute) of between 120 and 140, is ideal for a cardio workout.
That pace also just so happens to be about what the average person’s heart rate is during a normal workout. (more…)
Are you searching for a new exercise routine to get motivated again? There are hundreds upon hundreds of different workout routines and the goal is to find one that works for you. Again, I can never emphasize this enough: the exercise routine that works for your friend or spouse may not work for you. Every “body” is different. So, I recommend searching different styles of workouts until you find one that you enjoy and get the best results from.
The 10 to 1 workout (or 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 workout) was designed to target the entire body as a whole while increasing your heart rate, stamina, and improving your cardiovascular endurance level. The exercises below are coupled together and to be completed as a super-set: do one exercise immediately followed by the other starting at ten repetitions and working your way down to one repetition. For example, the first two exercises are reverse pull-ups and squat jumps. Start by performing ten reverse pull-ups followed by ten squats jumps then move immediately to nine, eight, seven and so on of each exercise without stopping. This will blow your heart rate out of the water and get that sweat dripping right off the end of your nose.
The reason anyone starts a fitness program is to see results, and the only way to know how far you’ve come is by knowing where you started.
P90X, the popular extreme home fitness program, understands the importance of tracking all indicators of fitness.
Instead of just tracking weight or measurements, P90X has an intensive Fitness Assessment that tracks your weight, measurements, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular capacity every step of the way.
The P90X program is split into three phases, 30 days each, and at the end of each phase, you will retest to see how much your health has improved. The first test is done before the first P90X workout so you know your baseline of fitness.
There is a great deal of hard work that goes into having the body of your dreams. Every “body” is different which requires you to find something that works specifically for you. Your best friend may have just found the answer to his or her fitness dreams, but that answer may not work for you. My advice is to try as many things as you possibly can and figure out which of those allows you to find the results you’ve always wanted.
Obviously, a low fat diet and consistent exercise are the two main ingredients that go into the fitness equation, but there is so much more detail that falls into that equation as well. Staying active throughout the day is vital. Staying on your feet and being active throughout the day will help keep the body an efficient calorie burning machine.
2011 is rapidly approaching and it’s time to ask yourself, is your bottom half where you what it to be?
This 2011 New Year’s Butt Blast is a workout designed to target every muscle of the lower body and push it to the max. Every muscle is challenged, both strength- and endurance-wise. The front squats and squat jumps are designed to target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves, all while increasing your heart rate to burn calories and build endurance. The lunges, backward lunges, and side lunges are designed to target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors. The step-ups are designed to target the quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hip flexors all while increasing your heart rate and, lastly, the bend over kickbacks are designed to target the glutes and hip flexors.
Exercising outdoors is invigorating. It’s less expensive than a gym membership and the air is fresh, without a hint of sweaty men. However, it does come with some challenges. Sticking to a routine can be difficult when the weather is unpredictable. Depending on where you live, and what time of year it is, these are just some of the questions that you will need to answer before each workout:
- What type of clothes should you wear?
- What time does the sun rise?
- What time does the sun set? Will you be home before dark?
- What is the air quality today?
- Will the conditions be more favorable at the park across town?
You can’t control the weather, but you can control how prepared you are for your daily work out. Take a trip to the Fitness Forecast App on Weather.com and experience the joy of continuing your outdoor exercise routine – even if it needs to be slightly modified. The Fitness Forecast offers detailed daily information about the weather in any given area. You can view your local weather forecast, complete with 15 minute increments for each 24 hour period. For your goal-mapping convenience, a monthly forecast is also estimated. Keep in mind, when using this particular feature, that the unexpected can always occur. (more…)