“Lose It!”Weight Loss App For Your Smart Phone

So it’s after the holidays, you ate, you drank, you gained, you slugged.  If you need some help to get back on track, look no further than your smart phone and download a free app called “Lose It!”

“Lose it!” is an exercise and diet tracking app that is relatively simple to use.  In order for it to work for you, you will need to figure out how many calories you should be eating each day.  You may need to go to another website to do this.  After looking at several, the website I found most accurate was www.hussmanfitness.org/bmrcalc.htm It will give you a calorie range to stay within.  You will need this information to complete the goals section of “Lose It!” Once you have the numbers, you can get started.

The “Lose It!” app is really easy to use on a smart phone and the nice thing is it will travel with you to work, to restaurants and to the gym. You will be able to keep track of all calories in and all calories out.  When you keep track of it all, you can’t help but lose weight.

I like to use “Lose It!” after holidays and vacations so those 2 or 3 pounds I gain during these times don’t accumulate to 10 to 15 over time.  I have included a Youtube video at the bottom of this post made by an app reviewer to show you how to use “Lose It!” It shows the app on an iphone, but it is almost identical to my Android. Now stop slugging and get busy everybody!

 

Seven Strength Training Myths Busted

Strength Training is an essential part of everyone’s workout plan.  Trouble is, there are some myths floating around that keep many people from strength training.  Some people won’t even consider it because of these myths.  With the help of the American Council on Exercise, I am here to bust seven of them.

  1. Women will build bulky muscles when they strength train:  Ladies, one essential element is missing from our makeup that makes this a myth. Tons of testosterone. Sure we all have a little of the male hormone running around in our systems, but not enough to look like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of old. If women strength train, even with heavy weights three times per week, we will tone up and look leaner and younger.  We also will increase our metabolisms which means (BONUS) we can eat more healthy food without adding fat to our frames. Who’s not in favor of that??
  2. You should use light weights and a high amount of reps to tone and heavy weights and low reps to build muscle: This is one I had heard (and believed) for years.  Truth is, weather you use heavy weights and low reps, or lighter weights and more reps, your results when it comes to muscle endurance, strength and size will be similar as long as the targeted muscles fatigue in less than 90 seconds.
  3. At some point, you will get too old to lift weights: The good news is that older muscles are very responsive to resistance training. In 2009 a group of 90 year old participants added 4 lbs. of muscle in just 14 weeks of strength training. Strength training has also been shown to add bone density for older adults which is more good news in the fight against osteoporosis.
  4. Kids are too young to lift weights: Not true.  The key here is a properly designed program, so have a qualified professional (like a certified personal trainer) work with your child. The biggest benefit for kids is increased bone density. Nine year old girls who took part in a 10 month strength training program increased their bone density by 6.2%.  The control group had only a 1.4% increase. Weightlifting also has a much better safety record than other sports activities your children can participate in.
  5. Free Weights are always better than machines: Both types of weights come out even when looking at factors such as concentric and eccentric muscle actions and progressive resistance that fatigues the prime mover muscle groups. Each type has its particular advantages and disadvantages, so you would have to do your research and see which type would be best for your situation.
  6. When you stop strength training the muscle turns to fat: Not only untrue, but impossible.  Muscle tissue and fat tissue can’t magically “turn into” each other.  When you weight train, your muscles get firmer and stronger and your metabolism increases to get energy to these new and improved muscles. If you continue to eat the same amount of calories as before, your body will use its fat stores to send energy to the muscles (even while you are at rest). If you stop strength training, just the opposite happens. You are more likely to put those fat stores back on. So make weight training a lifestyle commitment. If an injury or illness stops you for any length of time, reduce your calorie intake and avoid the add-on of unwanted fat.
  7. Strength training is bad for your blood pressure: Wrong again. Circuit strength training has a positive affect on resting blood pressure. Research shows an average of 4% lowering of diastolic blood pressure and a 3% lowering of systolic blood pressure after several weeks of circuit strength training. Myths about this more than likely got started when people held their breath during weight training.  So remember, keep breathing during strength training sessions.

So…good for women, men, older adults and children. What’s stopping you?? Get started in a strength training program today!

How to do Lunges the Right Way!

Have you ever done lunges in your fitness program and had knee pain afterwards?  Maybe you were doing them incorrectly.  Here’s a short video to explain how to do them the right way.  When you don’t use proper form for exercises, an injury can sideline you and cause you to quit exercising. That is defeating the purpose of getting fit in the first place.  Practice your lunging form in a mirror or have a friend watch you to make sure you are doing them correctly.  Protect those knees exercisors!

 

Weight Workout for Heel Spur

So I’m still nursing this heel spur and I continue to modify my workouts. If you are dealing with a foot injury, maybe you can benefit from my workout modifications. The doc says I can still lift weights as long as I’m not putting heavy pressure on the foot.  Here’s what I came up with:

Since I am not doing any squats or or lunges with weights, I have added some cardio on the bike on my weight days.

  1. Two minute bike warm-up followed by a four minute bike tabata
  2. Total body weight workout, eliminating any squatting or lunging movements. If I could do the weight move and eliminate the squat or lunge. (Example: kneeling shoulder press instead of a shoulder press with a lunge) I did it.
  3. Second two minute bike tabata, followed by a bike cool-down and a ten minute stretch.

10 Minute Core Workout Video

My private fitness group has started our 10 days of abs workout challenge.  The beginner Ab workout video is being used and I just added this intermediate workout video.  I’m sharing it here so you can use it too. I am creating a spreadsheet to keep track of participant’s workouts.  When they get to ten, they get 25 bonus points toward our next points challenge. In the meantime, we will all end up with killer abs!

 

 

Beginner Ab Workout

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we were stuck inside while Hurrican Sandy raged outside. I used my time wisely and made a video for my private facebook  fitness group.  We are starting an ab challenge.  The challenge is ten days of abs, the participants choose what days to do their workouts and post on the site when they do them. If they do all ten days of abs, they get bonus points for our next points challenge. So…here’s my beginner ab workout video I made. It works your upper and lower abs, obliques and back muscles to help strengthen your core. It’s almost ten minutes long.  Look for the intermediate and advanced ab workout soon…

 

Fitness: Rip Deck Workout App

Ever do the Deck of Cards Workout? Each suit represents a different type of exercise (hearts are jumping jacks, spades are burpees etc.). Each card stands for a certain number of reps. My hubby tried this the old school way (real deck of cards) with his group training class.  Being the techie that he is, he googled “deck of cards workout” and found the Rip Deck Workout App.

 

This app gives you four levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced and custom). Once you set up your workout, you just tap the screen to flip your cards.  It gives you the suit, what exercise you should do, and the number of reps to complete. All you need to do is follow the directions. Simple! The workout takes about 30 minutes.  You can do it literally anywhere and you don’t need any equipment at all.

It times you on each exercise and gives you a breakdown of how many reps you completed and how long it took to do each card. It has a social component too.  You can e-mail your results to a friend and challenge them to beat your score.  You can also post your results on facebook or twitter.

The cost of this app is only 99 cents.  If you use it and get in great shape, it will be well worth the investment! If you have used Rip Deck, let me know what you think about it.

Exercise Can Prevent Hip Injuries

Regular exercise and good nutrition are a part of my lifestyle so I can have quality of life and enjoy the years I will be blessed with. This guest post by Elizabeth Carollton supports this view.

Preventing Joint/Hip Injury with Proper Exercise

Did you know that hip injuries that happen over your lifetime can come back to haunt you years later? Hip problems are among the top causes of disability in adults. In many cases, the damage that caused those problems accumulated gradually. That’s usually how hip osteoarthritis develops — one little injury at a time over the years, each one wearing away a bit more of the cartilage that cushions joints.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting around a quarter of all adults. Some will develop arthritis severe enough to warrant hip replacement. Learning how to prevent joint injury with proper exercise can reduce your risk of becoming one of them.

Inactivity: You’ll Feel it in Your Hips

Weak hips and bones can cause a lot of trouble, and inactivity is one of the chief causes of that weakening. Among the issues that can occur as hip muscles weaken are stiffness and limited range of motion, hip pain, excess stress and wear on hip joints and poor balance or unsteadiness while standing and walking. Hip injuries are more likely with weak hip muscles, and eventually, chronic joint problems like arthritis can develop. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, a common condition in which bones become fragile. Once that happens, even a light bump or fall can result in hip fracture.

Serious hip problems can often be corrected with hip replacement surgery, which has been a blessing to many disabled by these problems. However, preventing hip problems is the better way to go, since hip surgery is not without risk. Recent trouble over recalled hip implants has been a good example of that.

Many patients who had defective or poorly designed metal on metal hip implants used in replacement surgeries have suffered complications ranging from premature implant failure to metallosis and osteolysis, which are serious conditions related to implant debris than can lead to pain, inflammation, tissue death and bone loss.

How Exercise Can Help

Your hips need the support of the muscles that surround them to maintain optimal function. Keeping the hip muscles strong and flexible with regular exercise makes sure they are able to keep the hip joints well-aligned, stable and somewhat insulated from the force exerted on these hard-working, weight-bearing joints as you walk, run, stand and bend.

Strong bones are crucial for hip health, and regular exercise benefits bones too. The stress placed on them during exercise stimulates the production of new bone cells to keep them dense and strong. Last but not least, exercise can help in weight control, which is important to hip health, since excess weight places a lot of strain on weight-bearing joints

Half an hour of exercise five days a week is a simple and effective way to keep your hips strong and healthy. However, avoid activities that pound away at the joints, since they can do more harm than good. Walking, low-impact aerobics, bicycling and swimming strengthen the hip muscles and help maintain bone strength without causing trauma to your hip joints.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.

 

Fitness: High Intensity Interval Training

I am really into high intensity interval training lately. Why? It gets you maximun results in a minimum amount of time.  If you are wondering, “just what is all this HIIT business anyway?”, this infographic from greatlist.com will explain it for you.  Then check out some of my tabata workouts and my mountain hike intervals for some HIIT workouts you can try.