Tag Archives: exercise

How to Diet and Exercise When You Travel

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Conferences are a fantastic way to educate yourself and make new connections with people. They’re also a great way to network at after-parties and gain a little weight. Let’s face it: most conference parties offer food which is full of carbs, sugars and other icky substances. Even though it tastes fantastic, our bodies may not thank us for partaking in the morning. What’s a geek to do to stay in shape while spending so much time attending events? Jake met up with Tim Ferriss – author of The 4-Hour Body – to find out.

Sticking with proteins and veggies can be done at SXSW and any other event you may be traveling to. Don’t feel you have to sample all of the food offered to you during conference lunches and dinner or during parties thrown for attendees. Additionally, if you feel you must drink alcohol, try ordering a NorCal Margarita. This is comprised of soda water, high-grade tequila and the juice from at least four limes. These drinks are the “lesser of many evils” according to Tim, since many types of booze contains a lot of calories.

Exercising in a hotel room can be tricky, and you usually don’t quite feel up to going for a morning run during conference days. Tim has a few ideas to help Jake out there, as well. Packing a few mini bands allows you to quickly do your resistance exercises. You can also adapt several normal types of exercise to give you more of a workout: try doing one-armed pushups against a desk at an angle. Do your squats with one leg raised. Make sure you aren’t a klutz like me before attempting any of these things, though.

If you don’t have any weights in your suitcase or hotel room to help with your workout, try making your exercises much slower than usual. If you’re performing squats, go down slowly at a count of five and come back up at a count of five. The same goes for many other types of stretches and lunges.

Lastly, Tim recommends looking into doing an intense workout the day before traveling which requires giving your body 5-7 days to recover before doing another. This sort of covers you for the days you are gone and cannot work your body to its usual pace.

Get Up and Move

Sitting at your desk all day long is bad for your health – and your pants size. Many of you don’t have the luxury of finding the time to participate in a long, drawn-out exercise routine. How the heck can you improve your health if you don’t have enough hours in the day to get fit? New research shows that moving around for even sixty seconds at a time is good for your heart, your weight AND your waistline.

That’s right – I said sixty seconds at a time. Researchers found that the more breaks people took during the time they spent being sedentary, the smaller their waist circumference. Breaks didn’t need to involve physical exercise – they could be as simple as walking around the office. Dr. Genevieve Healy says that her findings highlight the importance of taking regular breaks throughout the day to just move around.

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Can Hanging Out Online Help You Lose Weight?

Thousands of dollars are spent every week by people desperately trying to lose weight. Tips, tricks and hints are found everywhere you look. Weight loss is something that millions of people obsess about, and it’s one of the hardest things in the world to achieve. We try every fad, gadget and food that we can get our hands on. Some literally starve themselves to oblivion. Others yo-yo up and down without ever hitting the goal they have set for themselves. We try so hard – in so many ways – to get into the pants size we dream of. Who knew all we had to do was log on to the Internet?

Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (KPCHR) designed a website to track the weight of about 350 of the 1,600 overweight or obese participants of a longer-term study. The site was designed to act like a weight-loss program which offers personal counseling and group meetings. The researchers feel that the mixture of accountability and sociability is what made it such a success. The study showed that the more often people logged into the site, the more likely they were to maintain weight loss.

This isn’t surprising to Nancy Makin. She lost more than a quarter of a ton after her sister purchased a computer for her birthday back in 2003. Nancy was afraid to go outdoors, due to the stares and rudeness she encountered when she tipped the scales at 703 pounds. After receiving the computer, she went online and found how easy it was to make friends when someone cannot see you. She began losing weight as she became integrated with an online community. She emphatically states that it wasn’t that she was no longer hungry. The key was the friendships she made, the fact she felt she belonged and the sense of community she came to love.

“The key is to find contentment and value in yourself by reaching out and doing something not for you, and the weight will come off as a side effect,” said Makin, who believes that community plays a larger role in weight loss for the morbidly obese, while accountability better helps those who are over weight.

I couldn’t agree more with the findings of this study. I’ve been building and catalyzing communities online for many years now. I’ve personally witnessed any number of physical – and emotional – changes in people over the years. Becoming a part of a thriving community – feeling as though you’re an important member of that society – can be the catalyst needed to change a person’s life.

What about you? How has your life changed for the better once you became part of an online community?

Broken Xbox 360

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Every weekday, I ride my Gazelle for 45 minutes. This helps me get my muscles moving and helps to keep me healthy. While I’m “working out” on the machine, I usually either watch a movie or play a game on my Xbox 360.

However, when I signed on today, I noticed my avatar was freaking out. I guess this may be a bug report? It used to look like me. I’m not sure what’s going on. Perhaps Microsoft feels that my mug is too ugly to have on their system.

Whatever is happening, I will continue to burn calories. It will just be more tedious and boring to do so without my beloved console.

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Wii Fit Plus Review

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This is a great time of year to have this particular screencast submitted for our channel! Many people are still looking for that perfect last-minute gift idea… and others are already thinking of how to lose those extra holiday pounds! This is the first time Joe has done a screencast such as this, and I think he did a great job! He took a different approach than many have done, and it worked out well. He’s taking a look at the Wii Fit Plus.

Wii Fit is not an exercise program. It is, however, an introduction to physical activity. It was very significant for Joe in that it helped him lose 20 pounds, and made him more aware of the level of inactivity that had been in his life.

Wii Fit Plus boasts three new features: new activities, a way to track the health of your pet, and the ability to customize your workout. Yes, that’s right… you can track the health and weight of your pet in your home! Think your cat is too fat? Keep track of it on the Wii!

The Wii Balance Board can read your real-life movements and bring them to life on screen, just like the Wii Remote controller. New features include a calorie burning counter, the ability for users to create custom fitness regimens or choose from a number of specialized routines based on specific objectives and available time, as well as having the option to create profiles for pets and babies. Users will also be able to navigate more quickly between exercises.

Joe did a great job reviewing the Wii Fit Plus, and giving us an insider’s look at how it works. Don’t forget that it’s not too late for you to submit a screencast for possible use in our channels.

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Yoga – It Does a Body Good

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One of the cool things my friend Imei does is to teach Yoga. She often works with people in corporate environments, to help them learn how to be more productive due to learning how to relax. Isn’t that an interesting concept for a Geek? That whole relaxing thing kind of worried me a bit at first. I have to admit, I feel more comfortable in my own body now. I feel as though I’m getting more oxygen… and that little spot between my shoulder blades no longer hurts due to having bad posture.

By simply learning to breathe better, and relax each muscle of my body, I now truly feel like a million bucks. I know I slouch in my office chair. Don’t lie – I know you do, too! Most of us have bad posture. Since we spend so many hours a day hunched over our computers, it’s no wonder that we’re always in pain, and rubbing kinks out of our necks!

If I were you, I’d take a yoga class or two. It will only help you, and no… it does not make you look unmanly! I feel better. I’m breathing better. I AM better.

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Are Elliptical Trainers Effective?
By Dave Casey

Are elliptical trainers effective at providing quality workouts? It’s a very common question these days. You may have already heard of the popularity of elliptical trainers and almost every local community gym or gym chain has several of them. More and more people are buying elliptical cross trainers for their homes and more fitness trainers are recommending them than any other fitness machine out there.

What is the reason for this boom in ellipticals? It’s because word is getting out about the effectiveness of elliptical machines. This is not another fly-by-night invention making big promises that it can surely never live up to. Elliptical trainers are effective because they are designed for specific needs of the people who will be using them. Did you know that:

* Elliptical machines burn more calories that similar machines (treadmills, exercise bikes)
* Ellipticals can be adjusted for any fitness level from beginner to advanced
* Elliptical trainers allow a total body workout – not just exercise of the legs
* Elliptical machines are safe for people with joint injuries and the elderly
* Ellipticals reduce the stress placed on your joints and muscles during exercise
* Elliptical cross trainers provide a great fat-burning workout that is easy to do
* You can adjust the tension and resistance as you progress so you will never outgrow your elliptical machine
* Elliptical machines require very little training to learn to use them correctly

What’s Your Fitness Goal?

To answer the question about whether or not elliptical trainers are effective, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve. Before you can know for sure if an elliptical cross trainer will meet your fitness goals, you have to clearly identify these goals. An elliptical trainer is kind of a cross between a stair stepper and a treadmill so to understand their effectiveness you need to look at them in comparison to the machines they are replacing.

The use of technology that goes into creating an elliptical machine makes it more effective overall when compared to similar machines. When used correctly, it can help you burn more calories faster in comparison and it can give you more of a cardio workout with less impact and effort.

Here are some things to consider:

* What are your fitness goals?
* What is your current fitness level/experience?
* How much time do you have to use your elliptical?
* Are you looking for an “easy fix” to your fitness goals?
* Do you need a cardio workout regularly?
* Do you need weight training/bearing in your workout?
* Have you suffered from an injury (specifically a joint injury) and been told you need to take exercise gradually?

When asking yourself these questions, you help define a clearer picture of what your goals are and whether or not an elliptical machine will really be able to meet your requirements.

More about the Effectiveness of Elliptical Machines

Are you ready to learn more about the effectiveness of elliptical machines? You’re not the first person to ask “are elliptical machines effective” and you surely won’t be the last but elliptical machines are proving themselves to hold up under the pressure and scrutiny and out-perform many other fitness machines on the market.

Whether you are working at home on your own trainer or in the gym, you can benefit from every minute you spend on the machine. The workouts are fun and exciting and extremely effective so you will not become discouraged that you aren’t making any progress towards your fitness goals.

Now if someone asks you, “Are elliptical machines effective?” you know what to say!

About the Author:

Dave Casey is a freelance writer for http://www.allellipticals.com The popular site provides tips for elliptical workouts and unbiased elliptical reviews covering 20 major brands and 60+ models.

Copyright 2008 AllEllipticals.com

Permission is granted to publish this article on your site providing all links are included and clickable.

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Stretch Yourself

It’s time to stand up and stretch. Get out of those chairs. Come on – you can do it. Stand up, and reach your arms above your head as high as they will go. Now bend over, and attempt to touch the ground (don’t worry, I can’t quite do that, either). Hold your arms out to your sides and stretch them wide. Heck, why not even twist a little to each side, much like a tree swaying in the breeze.

You have now successfully stretched out your body… but have you stretched your mind? I just stumped some of you, didn’t I? You thought for a second “what the heck, there are no exercises for that!”.

Ah, but that is where you would be wrong, my friends. Every time you read something, you stretch your mind. Every time you think a decision through, you stretch your mind. Every time you look at something through someone else’s eyes, you stretch your mind. Every tiny spec of information you absorb… you get the picture.

Many times, we don’t even realize that we have stretched our minds. We are so rushed through our day that much of what we have seen and done hasn’t even sunk in or made an impression by the time we pass out at night. It’s often much later, when a situation arises that forces us to recall certain pieces of information, when we realize “oh. wow. I knew that/learned that/remember that”. We forget to take the time to stop and marvel at everything that is out there, waiting for us to feast our brain on.

Spread your wings, little birds. Fly beyond your own nests and find those juicy little morsels that will feed and stretch your mind and soul.

Hard-Core Climbing with the Great Indoorsman

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There’s nothing like a good hike to get your blood pumping. Were you aware of the health benefits of doing something like this? You can burn calories, increase muscle tone, improve your circulation – and live longer!

I enjoy quite a few indoor activities, but one of my favorites is climbing. There’s just something magical about reaching the top. You look all the way down, and feel such a sense of accomplishment! Sure, you might be frustrated when you have to make your climb several times a day (or hour!) like I do. But each and every time you get to the summit, the sense of pride and wonder is there all over again. You’ve done it! You know you can keep going, but sadly – there’s nowhere left to go other than back down.

Let’s not discuss that whole running out of breath thing. I’m not old, and I’m not out of shape. I’m the Great Indoorsman!!

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Isn't the Wii Fit more Fun than Real Exercise?

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Ponzi decided to record my first attempt at exercising with our new Wii Fit. The crowd roaring at my attempts was an added bonus. Someone isn’t thinking properly, though. Who says I’m “unbalanced”?! That’s not true! I’m perfectly balanced… or am I?

Wii Fit is a video game developed by Nintendo for the Wii console. An exercise game, Wii Fit consists primarily of exercise activities utilizing the Wii Balance Board peripheral.

The balance board measures a user’s weight and center of gravity. The software can then calculate their body mass index when told the user’s height. The game has roughly 40 different activities, including yoga poses, push ups, and other exercises. Furthermore, Wii Fit allows its players to compare their fitness by using Wii Fit’s own channel on the Wii Menu.

Wii Fit tracks a user’s “Wii Fitness Age” through a body test basing the result on the user’s current age, weight, and balance.

From Wired:

I am going to keep using Wii Fit, as it definitely does what it claims to. After an hour, I’m sweating, my muscles are sore — I’ve exercised. And I’ve set some personal-best records, and maybe unlocked some new games. It’s fun. The hardware is a great idea — I just think the software could be worlds better. Luckily, since Nintendo seems to be trying to get third parties on board (cough), I bet we’ll see a better virtual-exercise-regimen game before too long.

How much easier can getting into better shape be? This is a fun way to get healthier, so why not give it a try?

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