Diet and Nutrition

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.

The Complete Guide to Calories

How much do you really know about the calorie? Do you know how to determine your daily calorie intake? How many calories are in a gram of fat? Too many questions?! Have no fear, the latest infographic from our pals at The Greatist will help you out. Behold, The Complete Guide to Calories.

The Complete Guide to Calories

by greatist.Browse more data visualization.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Heart Rate Monitors USA

March is National Nutrition Month, so during this time of year, we like to take a closer look at what we eat and how it affects our overall level of wellness. You’ve probably heard the expression, “You are what you eat” and we couldn’t agree more! What we put into our bodies directly affects our ability to function at our best. What we eat impacts everything from our ability to build muscle to our ability to fight off illness. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to start eating healthier and take care of your body, now is the time to do it.

All month long, we’ll be posting about nutrition-related topics and if you’d like to learn about anything in specific, please let us know in the comments! In the meantime, let’s get started with 10 easy tips for better eating that you can start today:

  1. Drink a glass of water prior to eating. Not only will this help you manage your appetite, but it will also keep you hydrated.
  2. Add more superfoods to your diet. Foods like kale, broccoli, blueberries, sweet potatoes, eggs, and oatmeal are rich in nutrients and can help you lose weight, feel better, and even prevent illness.
  3. Learn your portion sizes. Overeating becomes easy when we don’t know what the correct serving sizes are.
  4. Take your time while you eat. Rushing through eating means you’ll usually eat more than you need to. Give yourself time to actually savor your meal.
  5. Eat the rainbow. Colorful fruits and vegetables should take up at least half of your plate. Vary your choices by trying to eat a different colored fruit or vegetable at every meal. (P.S. Colorful foods are usually rich in nutrients and antioxidants!)
  6. Always eat breakfast. High protein breakfasts can keep you feeling energized throughout the day while boosting your metabolism.
  7. Cut out calories by always drinking water instead of sugary soft drinks.
  8. Eating out? Take half your meal home. Restaurant portions are notoriously over sized and you’ll get more than one meal for the price!
  9. Try the Mediterranean diet for better cardiovascular health and longevity. This diet is rich in healthy fats from olives and nuts, as well as lean protein, lots of fish, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  10. Avoid processed foods as much as possible, as these foods often have chemicals and not-so-good-for-you ingredients.

A Heart-Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are always great for working into your diet plan. Not only do they provide great nutrition in the form of fruits and vegetables, but they also work great as a snack, post-workout recharge, or even as a healthy breakfast. If you need healthy nutrition on the go, smoothies are always a great-tasting way to get just that.

This smoothie recipe was designed with your heart in mind. It blends together fruits that are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants with veggies that are packed with lutein, folate, potassium, iron, and fiber. There’s even some avocado thrown in for good measure to give you a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat. Flax seeds round out the mix with a heart healthy burst of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Give your heart a boost with this awesome smoothie recipe. It’s delicious – and don’t worry about the green! All you taste are the fruits!

A Heart-y Smoothie Recipe
1 banana
1 orange, peeled and deseeded
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup avocado
1 tablespoon flax seed oil
ice cubes

In a blender, blend together all of the ingredients until creamy. You may need to pulse gradually to get the desired consistency.

Using Heart Rate and Exercise for Weight Loss

Polar FT7This is a guest post by Nelson Martins.

Many people want to lose weight through miraculous methods that have absolutely no effect or that make you lose some weight at the cost of also losing your health. Reality is quite different and if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to exercise and change your regular diet into a weight loss diet. Along the way, you’ll also need to consider your heart rate. In this post, let’s cover how heart rate is relative to exercise and weight loss.

There certain exercises that are appropriate to gain muscle mass, like the ones bodybuilders use. Strength training and weight lifting can be great ways to add bulk – but if you’re looking to slim down, there are other exercises appropriate to just trying to lose weight. The best exercises for weight loss must involve a lot of muscles or body segments; the more muscles you use the better. When you’re using a variety of muscle groups, it means that you’ll have more muscles burning the fat you have stored in your body.Some of the best exercises for weight loss include running, rowing, riding a bike, swimming, and so on, as long as you’re using the most muscles possible.

The next point that you must pay attention to is that you need to do exercises at a certain heart rate for burning fat . The heart rate for burning fat will help you control the intensity of the exercise while ensuring you’re exercising at a level that’s right for your body. To lose weight, you want to use moderate intensities so that you only burn fat. To control your heart rate for burning fat, you’ll first need a heart rate monitor, like the Polar FT 7 for example. Next, you’ll need a bit of math to know at which heart rate should you exercise.

If your heart rate monitor doesn’t have heart rate guides for you to follow, you’ll need a bit of math. First you calculate you maximum heart rate by calculating (208 – 0.7 x Age). To know at which heart rate you should exercise to burn fat, you just multiply your maximum heart rate with 0.4 to 0.6 that means 40% or 60% of your maximum heart rate. This formula is used by many athletes and trainers alike.

If you follow these guidelines, you can improve your chance of losing weight and getting toward a wellness level that’s right for you. Exercise can mean better energy levels, as well as boosted self-esteem. Try to be creative until you find the best exercise for weight loss for yourself because each person is a different. Find what works for you and stick with it. Heart rate training is only one piece of the weight loss puzzle, but it can be a powerful one when done effectively!

HRM USA’s Top 5 Workout Snacks

We all know that it takes energy to be able to work out, build muscle, and be healthy, but when it comes to nourishing our bodies before a workout, most of us tend to neglect nutrition. At Heart Rate Monitors USA, we’ve put together a list of fast, easy, and delicious pre-workout foods that are designed to give you a boost of energy. Whether you’re working out or racing a marathon, these foods can be what you need to get the job done:

Almonds: Almonds provide energy-boosting essential fatty acids, like omega-3s and omega-6s, so that you can keep powering through your workout without skipping a bit. They’re also good for giving you body protein. Pop a handful of almonds (about 12 almonds) for a rich dose of protein and healthy fats.

Lentils: These protein-packed snacks are rich in fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, copper, and magnesium. Try boiling a cup of lentils (it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes if they’re dried) and eating them before your workout. Season them lightly if you’d like to boost their flavor.

Bananas: Rich in potassium and other vitamins, bananas are a great way to prepare your body for a race, workout, or other athletic contest. Try munching on a medium sized banana before you go to the gym to get the most out of your workout. Don’t like bananas? Apples, peaches, grapes, and blueberries are all great bets too!

Greek Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in calcium, protein, and magnesium, so try eating an eight-ounce coup of Greek yogurt before or after your workout for a boost of energy. Also, if you’re a strength trainer or weightlifter, yogurt can provide a fast push of energy for you to lift weights.

Oatmeal: Full of fiber and designed to give you long-lasting energy, oatmeal is a perfect pre-workout snack. Eat 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (no milk) with some blueberries for a sweet and antioxidant packed snack that’s rich in B vitamins as well as taste.

What’s your favorite pre-workout snack?

10 Ways to Improve Your Diet

March is National Nutrition Month, so in the spirit of sticking with a healthy diet, we’ve come up with a list of 10 things you can do to eat healthier this month as well as all year round!

Check out these 10 tips for a healthy diet:

Freshly cooked plate of spaghetti

1.) Switch to water. Drinking water at every meal can shave off HUNDREDS of calories each day.

2.) Get acquainted with good portion sizes. Mayo Clinic has a great slideshow of portions so that you can get an idea of what good portion control looks like.

3.) More fresh fruits and veggies. Not only do these foods come packed with valuable nutrients and antioxidants, but they’re also key for fending off a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.

4.) Focus on eating more fish and shellfish. It’s full of lean protein and can provide your body with brain boosting omega fatty acids.

5.) Take a vitamin supplement if you feel you’re not getting the complete nutrition your body needs. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before starting any supplementation.

6.) Stick with whole grains. Bored with whole wheat pasta? See if you can incorporate some lesser known foods, like quinoa and chia, into your diet to spice things up while limiting your intake of processed grains.

7.) Eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day. It’s better for your body to eat 6 small meals a day than 3 large ones, especially if you’re practicing good weight control.

8.) Be smart when it comes to snacking. Instead of heading for the vending machine, reach for fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, hummus and pita chips, or cheese and crackers.

9.) Read the label. This is HUGE when it comes to nourishing your body properly. By knowing what you put in, you’ll be much more conscious of making good diet decisions. Avoid foods that are heavy in preservatives, dyes, or other unhealthy ingredients.

10.) Eat out less. Eating out usually means hefty amounts of calories and oversized portions. If you do decide to eat out, split your portion in half so that you can have leftovers the next day.