Diet and Nutrition

Stay Healthy All Season Long

A refreshing nip in the air and fall foliage all around means that autumn is finally here and in full bloom.  The holidays are right around the corner but so is flu season. If you want to keep healthy over the next few months, consider these helpful tips:

fall health tips

  • Stay active! Being regularly active is an amazing immunity booster. There’s no better time to strap on that heart rate monitor and lace up those running shows than during the fall. The weather is brisk, the scenery beautiful, and now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors before snow shows its ugly head.
  • Get enough rest! Not necessarily a tip that’s restricted just to the autumn season, but getting proper amounts of rest is the key to having a strong immune system all year long.
  • If you’re prone to catching the flu, consider a flue vaccination. Flu vaccines are especially important for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • Think smart when the holidays roll around! It’s easy to over-do it with food and drinks, but gaining weight can wreak havoc on your immune system. Counteract holiday treats with regular exercise!
  • Get your fill of sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are the perfect super food for the colder seasons. Full of antioxidants; phytochemicals, vitamins C and E, folate, calcium, copper, iron and potassium, these delicious treats will help keep your immunity strong.

National Kale Day: How this Leafy Green Can Help You Be Heart Healthy


Healthy eating or not, there’s one green vegetable that can make your life better: kale. In honor of today, National Kale Day, we have some of the most heart healthy benefits for you so that you can kick off October the right way!

  • Not only is this tasty superfood a treat for many, but it is also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Kale is filled with iron, which is an essential for your blood’s health. Actually, kale has more iron per serving than beef. This is also good for your heart too, keeping it in tip-top shape with the best blood pumping through it.
  •  It’s a great snack for when you’re feeling a little low on energy. Since it’s pumped full of fiber, Kale can keep you full for a longer period of time.
  • Not only does kale make a great, healthy snack, but it also helps to fight inflammation throughout your body. This comes in handy if you suffer from arthritis, Crohn’s disease or any other IBD, and asthma.
  • Kale has high levels of Vitamin K, which help to prevent blood clotting. This is especially healthy for your heart to keep it pumping regularly, efficiently, and without any problems.
  • This delicious green vegetable has more vitamin C per serving than an orange. So when you’re feeling like you may be getting a cold, take the kale over the citrus!

Want more heart healthy facts and recipes? Visit our blog today at blog.heartratemonitorsusa.com!

14 Life Hacks to Lose Weight

Today’s guest post comes from Tom Hines. He is the Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks.com, a retired USAPL powerlifter, a youth wrestling coach, the father of 3 amazing boys, and interested in all things health.

Dropping weight is more than running 10 miles a day and counting every calorie.  We need lots of little life hacks that fit our personalities.  Let’s be honest, thousands of small, insignificant decisions got us unhealthy, so let’s turn the tables.  Here are some weight loss life hacks in no particular order:

Go to a farmer’s market – This has the opposite effect as walking into a convenience store… just try walking out of there without buying something good for you.  There’s also something special about meeting the people who grow your food, it’s a connection you can’t with your cereal box.

Keep an activity and food journal – If you’re like most of my friends, you’d say you have GREAT memory.  I have news for you, you probably don’t.  Writing down how poorly you’re really eating, can be the reminder you need.  You might be shocked at just how many sodas you drank last month, or how many times you went thru the drive-thru.  Plus, you might find yourself making better choices…I mean who wants to have to write down “1 supersized burger, large fries, and a jumbo soda”?

Bench your office chair – Using a stability ball is great for your core, and you can’t help but move around more.  While strengthening your core is great for your lower back, too much ball too soon will likely leave with a sore back, so ease into it.  Standing at your desk is another great option and you don’t have to buy a special desk to get started.  Just find something to set your keyboard, mouse, monitor on.  Just think how lazy everyone else will feel.

Go to bed at the same time every night - Most of us need 8-9 hours of sleep each and every night to function at our best.  Not only are you less likely to make an effort when you’re tired, but sleep is directly associated with metabolism and appetite.  Sleep deprived people are hungrier… really, I’m not making this stuff up.

Get a dog (if you like dogs) - Dogs are like live-in personal trainers.  “Walk with me.” “Play with me.” “Go outside with me”.  I will nag the crap out of you, but in the cutest way and you will love me for it!

Stop drinking soda and fruit juice completely - It’s just a wild guess, but I’d bet at least 10% of overweight Americans could lose the weight if they just stopped drinking soda.  A 24 ounce bottle has 80 grams of sugar.  Fruit juices may sound healthier, but they’re not.  And neither is diet soda.

Drink more water - If straight water is just too boring, try lemon water or a cranberry drink sweetened with stevia.

Use a diet supplement – Diet supplements are NOT the silver bullet, nor are they snake oil.  Used correctly, diet products offer a nice edge in your favor.  Some of the products I’d look at are blends like Synedrex, or individual ingredients such as green coffee bean extract, alpha lipoic acid, CLA, green tea extract, and garcinia cambogia.

Take a cooking class - The less processed food you can eat the better.  It’s just that simple.

Enter a 5K run - Or better yet, enter a 5K with a group of friends or co-workers.  It’s motivating to have something tangible to work for, other than just losing X pounds.  It’s only 3.1 miles, you can do this.

Cut out all refined sugars for a month – You’ve already stopped drinking soda, how hard could it be?  I’m not talking about a low carb diet.  If you’re not already, this will really get you in the habit of reading labels.

Park next to the RVs at the back of the parking lot - You will never have to fight for another parking spot and the walk will do you good.

Use a pedometer - Now that we’re parking so far away and recording our daily activity, it only makes sense to buy a pedometer.  Challenge yourself each day and work toward the coveted 10,000 steps per day mark.  Here’s a great pedometer for under $10.00.

Accurately Measure Your Fitness Success with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale

If you’ve set fitness goals, it’s essential to be able to accurately and regularly track your progress. The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is a useful and highly advanced scale that will help you better reach your fitness goals. The Fitbit Aria takes your body mass index as well as your weight to help give you an accurate and better understanding of your fitness. Using a scale such as the Aria can help you better understand your fitness program, and help decide what to change in order to better reach your ultimate goal. Weight can be measured in pounds, stones or kilograms with the Fitbit Aria.

Track your progress with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale!

One of the most impressive features of this amazing scale is its ability to upload your statistics via Wi-Fi. With impressive charting capabilities and the potential to create up to 8 accounts, the Fitbit Aria is a great fitness tool for the whole family. With a coordinating smartphone app, you can easily log food, other acitivities and closely monitor and keep an eye on your fitness goals. As you progress toward your fitness benchmarks, you have the potential to win awards and badges that are great at boosting your motivation to continue down the path of great health. If you’re looking for the most accurate and high tech way to track your fitness progress, consider the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale!

Why You Should Never Miss Breakfast

You more than likely probably remember your parents reminding you every morning to eat your breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. The truth is, breakfast is an extremely important way to begin your day and the perfect piece to overall great health. Sadly, more than one-fifth of adults are breakfast skippers!  One thing regular breakfast eaters share: a smaller waistline. Not only is breakfast an important meal to help lose weight and keep it off, but there a variety of other health benefits to starting your day off with a healthy balanced meal!

 

  • Your heart: People who skip breakfast are more common to have higher cholesterol and be at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Breakfasts that are fiber rich and balanced are excellent for heart health.
  • Concentration: After sleeping throughout the night, your body is hungry. After waking or not eating for a long period of time your body begins to go into famine mode by storing the energy it has left. An empty stomach can lead to concentration issues and loss of focus. Fueling your body in the morning can lead to an overall more productive day.
  • Impulse control: Filling up on a healthy breakfast can actually help fight cravings, which leads to lower body weight. Without breakfast, you’re more likely to reach for that bag of chips.

Breakfast is an essential meal that is more important than many believe, however not all breakfasts are created equal. Try to eat a variety of fruits, egg whites, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Stay away from foods that are high in sugar, like doughnuts and high carbohydrate breads. A healthy exercise regimen combined with regular breakfast eating is an excellent way to create an overall healthy lifestyle.  A day without breakfast is like a work out with a heart rate monitor–incomplete!

Heart Healthy Snacks to Keep Your Ticker Ticking

Get your heart in shape with the help of these heart-healthy foods!

At Heart Rate Monitors USA, we want you to be as physically fit as you can be, but we know that’s not possible without a strong, healthy, and properly functioning heart! Your ticker is important to your overall health, that’s why we have some great heart-healthy foods for you to keep in mind when you’re trying to achieve a wellness-based lifestyle!

  • Oatmeal: This yummy breakfast food is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are excellent for your heart!
  • Red wine: Everything in moderation of course, but red wine’s antioxidants are great to keep your heart healthy and beating!
  • Beans: Whether Kidney beans, Lentil beans, or Garbanzo beans are your favorite, these legumes are a great source of protein. Protein builds stronger muscles, and can help build a stronger heart!
  • Nuts: These tasty snacks are a great way to get your Omega-3 Fatty Acids in! The highest in these would be almonds and walnuts.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These yummy substitutes for regular potatoes are loaded with beta carotenes, which are awesome for your heart as well as the rest of your body!

Have more heart-healthy foods that we missed? Leave us a comment below and share it with us!

Why you Should Own the Fitbit Flex

When it comes to heart rate monitors and other neat fitness gadgets, there’s nothing more exciting than the products being put out by Fitbit! Their tiny fitness gadgets are impacting fitness in a big way, and we’re proud to carry the new Fitbit Flex. This amazing pedometer is worn around the wrist and tracks how many steps you’ve taken, distanced traveled, calories burned, and even how much sleep you get. Staying on track with your fitness goals has never been easier or more high tech! The Fitbit Flex is priced extremely low, making it affordable for any fitness freak or novice fitness beginner. Here are just some of the amazing features of the Fitbit Flex and why you should get one today!

  • The Fitbit Flex allows you to set personal goals, and syncs to all devices in real time! You’ll never have an excuse for missing your fitness goals ever again!
  • Fitbit Flex allows you to track all progress through your computer, phone, or tablet device! Now that’s integration!
  • Fitbit Flex is worn around the wrist and is comfortable and stylish. Its low-key appearance makes it not stand out.
  • Unlike other pedometers of the same nature, the Fitbit Flex is priced much lower. Affordability and functionality make the Fitbit Flex the perfect fitness tool for everybody.
  • Unlike ordinary pedometers, the Fitbit Flex is always with you and always tracking. Because it tracks sleep quality, you’ll never have to take it off. The Fitbit Flex is a fitness revolution!

Simple Heart Healthy Tips for American Heart Month

Your heart beats around 3 billion times during your life.  The heart is considerably the most important organ in our bodies, and helps send life-giving oxygen. Nutrients, and other import chemicals that our bodies need to thrive! February is American Heart Month, and the time to love your heart and make it stronger is now! Pay attention to your heart, and in the process become a stronger, healthier person. Here are a few tips on how to get heart healthy for American Heart month:

  • Exercise: Exercise to support your heart, not strain it. Lower-intensity exercise is great for your heart, and great for your body! Concentrate on cardio and other exercises that will help keep your heart rate and a higher than normal level. Using a heart rate monitor can help keep track of your heart rate so you know exactly where to be.  A Polar Heart Rate Monitor is reliable and perfect for monitoring your heart rate during exercise.
  • Relax: Take time out of your day and rejuvenate. Stress is bad for the heart, and can cause problems in the future. It’s important to take time and breathe. Go outside, take a hike, and sit in a park. It’s been proven that nature can help de-stress us and calm us down.
  • Call your friends: Having a bad day? Give your best friend a call. Talking to your friend and having a good laugh can help keep a positive attitude which can help fight stress and calm the body down.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods: Eat a diet rich of omega 3 fats and other healthy fats! Fiber and phytonutrients also help keep the heart tissue healthy. Excellent food choices include; salmon, flaxseed, oatmeal, beans, almonds and walnuts, brown rice, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus and blueberries.

Your Thanksgiving Calorie Calculator

Turkey

Ready for Thanksgiving? Be sure to keep your calories in check!

We all are looking forward to indulging into our scrumptious Thanksgiving feasts this week. With the highly-piled plates of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, it is hard to pass on most dishes. We also know we’ll be hitting the gym the following morning to try to burn off the many consumed calories. To help you out, we provided you with a Thanksgiving Calorie Calculator that lists the approximate calories for several menu items. We also included the treadmill time that it would take to walk (or run) off all of those calories.

  • Turkey: A 6 ounce serving is 340 calories, which would require a 35 minute jog on the treadmill to burn off. Don’t forget about the gravy, which is 150 calories for ½ cup. Add an extra 15 minutes to your treadmill time to burn off the gravy.
  • Ham: A 6 ounce serving is 300 calories. Jog 31 minutes on the treadmill to burn them.
  • Stuffing: ½ cup of stuffing is 180 calories or an 18 minute jog on the treadmill.
  • Mashed Potatoes: ½ cup is 150 calories and will require 15 minutes on the treadmill.
  • Roll with Butter: This will be 155 calories and a 15 minute jog.
  • Cranberry Sauce: ½ cup of delicious cranberry sauce will require a 20 minute jog to burn off 190 calories.
  • Green Bean Casserole: ½ cup will cost you a 23 minute jog to burn 150 calories.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Are you up for dessert? 1 piece of pumpkin pie is 180 calories. Jog for 18 minutes to burn them off.
  • Beverages: Don’t forget about the dessert drinks or eggnog! 1 cup of eggnog is a whopping 343 calories (35 minutes on the treadmill,) and a glass of wine is 120 calories (15 minutes on treadmill.)

If you plan on eating all of the above, you will have consumed 2,258 calories, which is equal to a 4 hour jog on a treadmill! It is important to eat smaller portions of your Thanksgiving Day meal, especially if you are attending more than one feast. So, to keep  your Thanksgiving meal healthy, we recommend eating small portions, filling your plate with steamed veggies instead of rich casseroles, and enjoying desserts in moderation. Choose water instead of sugary drinks and try to pace yourself while eating and really enjoy it (you’ll have less of a chance of overeating)!

From all of us at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

And no worries – we’ll be here to keep you motivated toward staying healthy through the holidays long after the leftovers have been put away :)

Fuel Up with Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans

Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans

Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans

How many times have you had to cut your workout or other activity short just because you were feeling low on energy? While it’s perfectly natural to feel worn out after a while, it can interfere with your ability to achieve your goals or at least stay on track with your workout. Rather than giving up and calling it a day, however, you can give your body a much needed boost. Pre-workout snacks ensure that your body has the right fuel in order to build muscle and keep moving, no matter what activity you’re doing.

Most athletes rely on energy gels and sports nutrition bars to fuel up prior to exercise, but you can also snack on lean protein sources, like eggs, nuts,  and Greek yogurt, as well as fruit, veggies, and whole grains. But if you have a sweet tooth and want a little “boost” for your workout, you can also snack on something new to our selection: Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans.

While they’re not a replacement for proper nutrition, these delicious yet functional candies do pack a powerful punch for athletes. Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans contain contain special ingredients that will get your motor running again.

They contain B vitamins, which your body requires to produce energy. These vitamins are also lost through perspiration, so it’s essential to replace them when you’ve been sweating. Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans also  contain 50 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to half a cup of coffee. Caffeine doesn’t just give you a powerful energy boost. It can also help you burn more body fat through a process known as thermogenesis. Unlike your average jelly beans, these sport beans also contain electrolytes. Similar to B vitamins, electrolytes are lost through sweat and must be replenished in order to maintain optimal energy levels and performance. Finally, these beans contain vitamin C, which can help in protecting muscles and cells from oxidative damage during exercise.

Whether you’re on a hike, visiting the gym or participating in a marathon, keeping a package of these unique candies with you will ensure that you get something smart for your sport when your sweet tooth kicks in.