- Do you use a heart-rate monitor?
Looking for a way to make the most of your workouts? Try a heart-rate monitor on for size.
What is a Heart-Rate Monitor?
As advertised, these gadgets measure your heart rate (a.k.a take your pulse) by sensing and displaying how many times your heart beats each minute. While heart rates will vary from person to person, a healthy adult typically averages anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute while at rest. As physical activity increases, so will the beats.
While there are some decent mobile apps out there for pedometers, it’s a very different scene for heart-rate monitors – apps just won’t cut it (at least not yet).
The most common heart-rate monitor styles are worn on the wrist, but some come with chest straps for continuous monitoring of heart activity. Chest strap models are slightly more cumbersome but are also more accurate (and more expensive). For the wrist-only models, you usually have to stop activity to get an accurate reading. There’s also a huge variety of options – units range in price from $30.00 to more than $500.00! I’m a big fan of anything made by Timex and Polar has a nice variety of budget-friendly models.
Extra features you may find include timers, GPS devices, footware accessories that measure distance traveled and the ability to store data and download it to your computer to track progress.
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Counting individual steps may seem like a silly way to get some exercise but every little bit helps. Using a pedometer can be a fabulous motivational tool to get you to move more; use our tips and get stepping!
What is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a pocket-sized device that senses movement and registers each step you take. Some units require a belt loop attachment while others can be carried in your pocket or worn around your neck. Some models may also have settings to estimate calories burned while walking, but these are often inaccurate unless there is an option to adjust for additional details like weight, age and gender.
Pedometers range in price from $6.00 to more than $30.00 – the higher pricing is typically associated with extra features like distance tracking and calorie counting. Smartphone lovers will be pleased to know that there are quite a few pedometer apps – many of which are free or less than $3.00. Using the GPS already loaded in a Smartphone, many offer accurate distance tracking for less than a hand-held pedometer. Arawella Pedometer and Pedometer Pro GPS as well as Palm Shadow Footsteps Pedometer all carry high ratings.
Many fitness-centric wrist watches also come with built-in pedometers and heart rate monitors (more about heart rate monitors in an upcoming post).
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It probably comes as no surprise that a Thanksgiving meal can pack in tons of extra calories. What’s really eye-opening is how much exercise you need to burn those calories. Don’t get us wrong, Thanksgiving dinner is a meal to be savored; just keep some of these numbers in mind before you pile those goodies too high in your plate.
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- How much exercise do you need, and what kind is best?
Do you spend countless hours at the gym each day or is the thought of a 20-minute workout too much for you to handle? Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, you should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week. You can break up this time in a variety of ways. Feel the burn for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or try a split of 30 and 60-minute workouts over the course of 3 days. Even if 150 minutes is more than you’re ready for, every little bit helps. The American Heart Association reports that every hour of walking may increase your life expectancy by two hours.
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- Take a break to stretch and walk around once an hour while at work.
It’s not news that we’re having an obesity epidemic. Contributing factors include extra-large portions, too many processed foods and…our jobs? New research published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science) shows that a drop in physical activity in the workplace also plays a role in our growing waistlines. Research also indicates that desk potatoes are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack! Here are 5 ways to make sure you move throughout your work day.
5 ways to stay active at the office »
I work with clients to establish safe and smart diet and exercise regimens. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of incorrect information out there! Here are the top 5 exercise faux pas I commonly come across.
5 exercise habits to avoid »
We gave you the lowdown on the best nutritional bets for cardio workouts. Up next: How to eat when you’re hitting up the weight room.
The best foods for strength training »
An all-around healthy diet is best for any exercise routine, but cardiovascular exercise requires a balance of special nutrients. If you get cardiovascular exercise regularly (and we all should) – here’s how to fuel up.
The best foods to fuel your workout »
You’re trying really hard to eat healthy and exercise. Maybe you saw some results in the beginning or just aren’t seeing the numbers go down on the scale. Frustrated, you wonder: “Why the heck aren’t I losing weight?” Here are 10 reasons why you’re not seeing results.
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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – diet and exercise go hand in hand for a healthy lifestyle. As a fitness expert, I am constantly hearing inaccurate information about food and exercise. Here are a few of the most common myths and the facts to help get things straight.
See all 5 food and workout myths »