Fitness

Halloween Fitness

It’s that timHalloween Fitnesse of year again, the “Fall Season” the smell of fresh leaves in the air, daylight begins to fade earlier each day and of course Halloween will be peaking around the corner. Halloween allows us to dress up as our favorite character, animal, thing, or whatever creative costume you’re able to come up with. We have fun, take pictures, laugh at each other’s costumes, and attend parties and other functions. We also spend a great deal of time walking around the neighborhood, allowing the children to knock on each door one by one, screaming, “Trick or Treat!” Are you ready for this much physical activity? We’ll help get you there.

First, if you’re not usually into fitness, you’d want to start out slow and easy. Simply walk out the door and take a walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. Do this routine every day for a week. When this becomes easy for you to maintain, add five more minutes to your walk the next week. Each week add an additional 5 minutes, until you are walking at a brisk pace for 30 mins. Be sure to keep your posture upright. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, you’re back relaxed. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.

The quicker you walk, the farther you can go and the more pounds you’ll melt off. An amazing routine you can try is, after warming up for 5 minutes, walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. I suggest using a pedometer like the Garmin Vivofit, to keep track of distance. Then turn around and walk back at a brisk pace, slowing your speed to cool down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, aim to walk faster and go farther than your initial turnaround point. Get into the habit of logging your time and pace after each workout and you will soon be surprised at what you have accomplished after a few weeks.

Another great way to get walking is shop. That’s right, go to the Mall! Several malls open early for walkers, as do some larger stores. Gather a group of friends, or go alone and make some along the way, and window shop. Check out the prices of the newest items. If your local mall has more than one level, try to refrain from taking the elevators or escalators, and opt for the stairs. Walking the mall allows you to walk in a more social environment, potentially forgetting the fact that you’re even working out. The floors are usually concrete, so you may want to wear a more cushioned shoe than you would for a treadmill. Time your walk to finish when the stores open, especially during the holiday season when the mall will fill up fast with shoppers.

Now the day has arrived, Halloween is here and the little ones are ready to go trick or treating. Even better, so are you! Keep in mind all of the calories in those little Halloween candies. We know you may want to do a quality check on your child’s bag or basket but for their sake and your calorie intake, limit your sampling.

Also, make sure your trick or treaters brush thoroughly after they have had their limit, as that’s plenty of sugar in those candies, but we’ll save that for another blog post. Have Happy, Safe, and Fit Halloween!

Does Exercise Build the Immune System?

As of September 22, 10:29 P.M we have officially said “so long to Summer,” and welcomed in the Fall Equinox. The color of the foliage will offer somDoes Exercise Build the Immune System?e of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer. Unfortunately, this season usually brings the cold and flu with it. Many people will protect themselves with the flu shot, but did you know that working out can also help to fight off the common cold? Exercise not only helps your immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, it decreases your chances of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Scientists do not really know how exercise increases your immunity to certain illnesses, but different theories are being tested. Exercising regularly improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Another theory is physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing the chance of a cold and flu, or other airborne illness. This same process may flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. Others may argue that exercise sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a quicker rate. As these antibodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly, they could detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. The increased rate of circulating blood may also trigger the release of hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding bacteria or viruses.
Be careful of exercising too much. Yes, there is such a thing as too much. “People who already exercise regularly are cautioned not to develop too vigorous a workout program in the hopes of increasing the immunity benefits. Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually decrease the amount of white blood cells circulating through the body and increase the presence of stress-related hormones,” according to an article published by Medline Plus.
Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person’s susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. According to Harvard Medical School, “While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of human immune response. No one yet knows, for example, whether an increase in cytokines is helpful or has any true effect on immune response.”
Have a little cold or the flu? Do you usually get the cold or flu like symptoms this time of year? Maybe you don’t have either, but don’t want to take any chances. Grab your Vivofit by Garmin and challenge yourself to a nice 30 minute walk, or maybe you’d like to grab yourself a Polar Loop Activity Monitor and put together a workout routine. Whatever you do, Be Active, Be Fit, Be Healthy!

Polar Loop

The Polar Loop is the very first activity tracker on the market that not only counts steps, but also has the ability to connect to Polar Heart Rate Monitors, such as the Polar H7 Heart Rate SensorPolar Loop, allowing you to track steps, calories, sleep and other activities. This removes having to guess how many calories have been burned during your workout.

Opening your package, you may notice minor alterations may be required. With the maximum circumference of the band being 9.3 inches, you may have to cut it to your size. Please carefully follow sizing instructions. The minimum circumference will be 5.7 inches. Once properly sized, no additional adjustments are required. The Loop can be paired with the iPhone via Smart Bluetooth and have access to the companion app’s dashboard. If you’re an Android user, you must remove the device and sync it with a computer using the supplied USB cable. Polar says that an Android app is due out soon. The software, called Polar FlowSync (flow.polar.com) is designed to allow you to sync your activities to the web, as well as update the firmware on the unit.

If you’re heavily into exercising then adding on the H7 Heart Rate Transmitter is great for you. This allows you to your heart into the target zone and keep it there. A good thing to point out is that “the Bluetooth Smart doesn’t allow multiple devices to connect to the HR strap at once.  This means that if you have a phone app that’s otherwise using the strap you’ll need to disconnect that app from using the strap.  The inverse is true as well if you want to use it with your phone, you’ll need to disconnect it from the Loop.” The Loop doesn’t require a given starting point or ending point.  It just knows you’re wearing a strap and records the data from it, a feature setting not seen in many other activity monitors. Now when you’re cycling or running you can get the actual calorie information from the HR Data.

We have not forgot about the swimmers either. Most activity trackers are barely even rain proof, let alone the lame IPX7 standard (which is 1 meter for 30 minutes), but the Loop is waterproofed up to 20 meters (60feet). Polar Loop has a capacitive touch button that reacts to water as well as to a human touch. The soft strap, included with the H7 Transmitter, is not machine washable. The Polar H7 transfers heart rate information while swimming with products which support 5kHz transmission.

So, what are you waiting for? Order your Polar Loop Activity Monitor and H7 Heart Rate Transmitter NOW!

The Importance of H20

Did you know that water makes up more than 50 percent of your body weight? It is one of the main components your body relies on to survive. Proper hydration allows the heart to easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It also allows the muscles to remove waste so that they can function normally. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t haThe Importance of H20ve to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport, and an American Heart Association volunteer. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to properly function.

Water comes packed with health benefits as well. Proper hydration is, by far, one of the best solutions to decreasing wrinkles. H2O also promotes stronger teeth, while the additional fluoride now added to most treatment facilities promotes extra bone density to the bones and teeth.

Because synovial fluid contains water, it is also crucial to the joints, keeping them properly hydrated.

Due to the amount of sweat lost while exercising, it’s essential that everyone, athlete or individuals should keep hydrated to help ward off the possibility of “cramping”.

Drink more to promote a healthier mind as well. The human brain is composed of 95% water, blood is 85% water, and lungs are nearly 90% water.

It is generally recommended that most people drink 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Carrying something like the Camelbak 1L Chute BPA Free Water Bottle with you as you go about your exercise regimen will help you stay hydrated. Even the elderly may have to consume more water than average. They may have a medical condition requiring more water intake.

Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water needed daily as well. Sports drinks are helpful for those exercising due to the carbohydrates that can prevent low blood sugar, but water is more than enough to keep you hydrated.

Is exercise safe during pregnancy?

Women are often torn over whether they can work out while they are pregnant or not. There’s always people around who say “Sit down!” “Let me get that.” I’m sure we all have more that we can add. You can be confident telling these people that pregnancy does not mean sick. You can exercise!! Of course, you’d want to be sure to use caution. Pregnancy itself can leave you feeling tired, but regular shifts of eIs exercise safe dur​ing pregnancy?xercise can help you gain some of that energy back.

In the beginning, you should start slow, especially if you were not very fit prior to pregnancy. Aiming for 10 minutes each day should suffice, until you’re able to build this up to 20-30 minutes. Because you are with child, you’re not pushing to feel the burn, as this causes exhaustion. Your goal is to be fit. Be careful to eat properly and get enough fluids. Being pregnant means you need approximately 300 extra calories each day, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. You also want to be sure to stay hydrated!! This cannot be stressed enough. Lose fitting clothing is also recommended on hotter days.

Women who are active during pregnancy usually have the normal pregnancy complaints such as back pain and sleep troubles, it also triggers the flow of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, making you feel good overall, in addition to keeping off extra baby weight and making labor itself easier.

Sports that may cause you to fall or be thrown off-balance, such as horse-riding, skiing, gymnastics, waterskiing or skating should be avoided. Diving is also unsafe during pregnancy. Contact or collision sports, such as football, rugby, tennis and squash, are also risky, because you may be hit in the stomach. Studies also show that if you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), exercise can help you to manage your blood sugar levels.

It has also been shows that as long as you have a low-risk pregnancy with no contraindications, such as high blood pressure or symptoms of premature labor, exercise is good for you, and aiming for a target heart rate adding a heart rate monitor may be beneficial, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women use the “talk test” when exercising (if you can talk normally, your heart rate is acceptable). For a list of safe pregnancy exercises check out http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-best-kinds-of-exercise-for-pregnancy_7880.bc! And as always, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise routine!

High Blood Pressure and Exercising, Why You Need It!

Adopting a regimen of exercising into your daily life style can help lower your blood pressure! Not only can it lower your blood pressure but it can also provide the means to lower your stress levels, which in turn can make your day a happier one!

As always, before starting any exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure you are ready to begin an exercising program.  If you currently are not physically active they will make sure you are in good shape to begin one.  Since an active lifestyle is good for your blood pressure, your doctor will likely be all for it.

You can do any activity you like, and you don’t need to go to a gym. As long as you’re moving around and making your heart beat a little faster. That includes brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, lifting weights, or doing yard work.

Know Your Numbers: Whatever exercise program you choose to do, make sure it will be something you are happy doing.  This is a “Key Factor” in keeping you committed to your new exercise routine.  If you don’t like what you are doing you’re going to have a hard time keeping to it!

Keep in mind, blood pressure does increase with age. So it is important that you ask your doctor what blood pressure numbers are right for you at this time in your life.  There are many portable devices today to help you keep track of your numbers.

To help monitor your blood pressure, check out the ADC 6015 Automatic Advantage Wrist Digital Blood Pressure Monitor  It enables very fast and reliable measurement of the systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as pulse. It’s very portable and has an easy to read screen.

When starting your exercise program you will also want to track your overall performance.  One way to do this is by the use of a daily monitor like the Lifetrak Move C300 Activity and Heart Rate Monitor The LifeTrak Move C300 automatically tracks your calories burned, steps taken, and distance traveled. Your data displays right on your wrist for easy viewing. No extra parts or charging required! The Move C300 can also sync to some of your favorite health and fitness apps using Bluetooth Smart technology.

How Often Should You Exercise?

Go for moderate activity, like brisk walking, at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. If you’re short on time, vigorous activity, like jogging, gives you the same benefit in 20 minutes, 3 to 4 days a week.

If you’re not active today, gradually work up to this amount of exercise. If it takes you a few weeks to get there, that’s absolutely fine.

Remember the key to staying committed to an exercise program is to make it a part of your daily routine.  Make a plan to schedule it.  Keep sight of the overall goal of getting your blood pressure numbers down to where your doctor recommends them to be.

Most of all look at the time that you spend exercising, as your “personal time”.  If you do this, you will not have to push yourself to exercise, you will be looking forward to doing it.

Lowering your Blood Pressure, Lowering your Stress = Happier Days and better Health!

Pear Training Intelligence and Your I- Phone

Never second guess at a workout routine again!  Pear Training Intelligence uses the advanced Bluetooth heart rate monitor to measure your body’s response to a workout and provides real-time audio coaching through the Pear Stride earphones to ensure that you train at the right intensity.

The Pear Stride Earphones feature the exclusive “Earlock” by Surefire Retention System used by Special Forces, utilizing seven contact points to ensure a secure and comfortable fit, even for long workouts.

 
Plans from the Pros
With a wide range of unique workouts and training plans from world-class coaches, PEAR has something for everyone and is continuously adding new content. PEAR lets you train efficiently and effectively, whether you’ve started running for the first time, or if you’re a Boston Marathon qualifier. Choose your favorite activity and let your coach take it from there.


Personalized
Unlike any other heart rate monitor or exercise device, PEAR guides you step by step, telling you when to speed up or slow down, provides useful tips to improve your form, explains the purpose and benefits of the workout, and keeps motivating you. Using PEAR Stride earphones, advanced Bluetooth heart rate monitor and PEAR’s fitness assessment workout, PEAR will learn your fitness level and create custom heart rate zones that ensure you do every subsequent workout at the right intensity.

 
Train Smart by Heart Rate
Training effectively by heart rate requires customized workouts based on how your heart responds to exercise. Using five narrow heart rate zones, based on your calibration, and PEAR’s advanced Bluetooth® heart rate monitor, PEAR helps you dial in the intensity of your workouts very precisely to get the maximum intended benefit. With PEAR, you don’t have to calculate or remember any numbers to perform your workouts effectively. PEAR does it all for you.

 
Real-Time Audio Coaching
With PEAR, forget the nagging uncertainties of “Am I pushing myself enough?” or “Am I in the right zone?” or “What are my zones anyway?” PEAR interprets your biometrics for you, delivering you an effective and efficient workout. After choosing your workout, whether it be a kettlebell workout or a 5K training plan, PEAR will coach you from start to finish, telling you exactly what to do. PEAR will also deliver real-time stats like time, distance, heart rate, current zone, pace, calories burned, and more, with the simple touch of a button.

 
Track Your Stats.
PEAR makes working out not only fun, but also rewarding. Track your progress and review your stats within the PEAR Sports app or online through the PEAR web portal. Over time, as you build speed and endurance, you will start to see improvements such as your average speed increasing and fitness level improving. Proud of a particular workout? PEAR lets you share your stats with your friends via social media and email.

Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Summer Heat

When you’re on the move, whether it’s to bike, hike, walk or run, it’s of the utmost importance, especially in the hot and humid July and August temperatures, to stay hydrated. Keeping water on-hand and drinking often is necessary to your health (your heart will thank you!), but also a requirement to perform at your peak. We often hear about the important of staying hydrated and drinking 8 glasses of water per day, but it’s easy to forget how much you’ve consumed when you’re on the go, which is why we’re sharing with you some tricks to staying hydrated this summer.

Forget the 8 glass rule – Sixty-four ounces may be too much for inactive people or far too little for those who exercise or work outdoors. Hydration needs can change daily and are highly individual.

Drink more above 70/70 – When the temperature and humidity are both above 70, you enter the dehydration danger zone. Sip frequently from a water bottle, and drink before, during, and after vigorous activity.

Hydrate first – Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session.

Stay away from energy drinks – They contain large amounts of sugar and stimulants that can be counterproductive and dangerous.

Turn to fruit – Many fruits are a great source of both electrolytes and fluids. Bananas and dates are known for having high levels of the electrolyte potassium, making them a great option for refueling during an intense workout.

Muscle fatigue – Pay attention to your body. Lean muscle tissue contains more than 75 percent water, so when the body is short on H2O, muscles are more easily fatigued.

Heart happy – Your blood is 80% water; if you don’t replace what’s lost every day, blood thickens, forcing your heart to work harder and raising your risk of a heart attack.

No matter what kind of workout you participate in, one thing remains the same: hydration. At HRM, we make it easy to stay hydrated while exercising.  Camelbak water bottles are made to be your perfect workout companion. Camelbak Podium water bottles and Vapur water bottles are just two options that every athlete will love. For bikers and hikers, hydration packs from Camelbak, Geigerrig and Deuter allow for continuous, easy, comfortable hydration while you’re on the move.

Compete, Connect and Navigate with the Garmin Edge 1000

Do you dream of strapping on your helmet, mounting your bike and setting off for wide open spaces? Do you thrive on competition and pushing yourself to the limit? If you dream of racing the pros or want to see how you stack up against other riders on a climb in real-time, meet the Garmin Edge 1000 Cycling Computer.

This advanced GPS bike computer lets you connect, compare and compete through dynamic in-ride challenges and connected features. Turn every ride into a race by competing on Garmin Connect segments and seeing real-time results on your Edge, including alerts for segment start and finish and leaderboard rankings. The segments feature keeps you motivated and helps you push for continual improvement.

Stay Connected: Keep a pulse on the outside world with Edge 1000’s incoming calls and text message alerts, and LiveTrack, which allows friends and family to follow races and training activities in real time. Instantly share a ride on social media and Garmin Connect, or download software updates with Edge 1000’s Bluetooth Smart wireless and Wi-Fi capabilities that allow easy upload and download.

Navigate the Roads: The Edge 1000 comes with preloaded maps and points of interest, including parks and trails, to help you find your way. Working like a GPS navigator for a car with bike-specific features, Edge 1000 provides courses and can guide you back to start or calculate the most direct route and provide turn-by-turn directions to get you where you need to be.

Exceptional Display: Adopted from the renowned Edge 810 and 510, Edge 1000’s display is fully customizable with performance monitoring, advanced workout/training compatibility, and activity profiles, saving data and routing preferences to allow easy transition between different types of riding, such as road, mountain or touring.

Compete, connect and navigate your rides with the Garmin Edge 1000 Cycling Computer from HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

Tips on Choosing New Running Shoes

You find yourself at a crossroads –do you keep your beat up, old pair of trusted running shoes or opt for buying brand

Need help finding a new pair of running shoes? HRMUSA has some tips to keep your feet ready to run!

new ones? After you weigh the costs and realize it’s time to retire those trusty running companions, there’s a few things that you need to keep in mind.  HRMUSA has some tips on find a brand new pair of running shoes that will be just as great as the old ones.

  • Consider what kind of ground you’ll be running on the most – uneven, rocky ground or pavement. Then decide based on what you’ll be running through what kind of support you’ll need to keep your feet and ankles safe.
  • There are trail running shoes and road running shoes. Trail shoes have a bit more traction and offer more support to your arches, ankles, and the rest of your foot. Road shoes are used more for those who will be running in an urban area and have a bit more cushioning when it comes to the heel.
  • Consider what kind of ankles you have – are they weaker from years of running or are they a bit more supported? You also should know which way they roll if you were to stumble over something. This also helps you determine if you need more support on the outside or inside of the shoe.
  • If you use a shoe insert or orthotic when you’re running, bring them along with you when you go shopping. Making sure that the orthotics fit in your new running sneakers is essential; along with making sure that the shoe leaves you a comfortable amount of room with them inserted as well.
  • If you have a high or low arch in your foot, making sure you find a sneaker that accommodates that is also really important to supporting your foot. Make sure you find a sneaker that fits your arches comfortably.

Have any more tips on finding new running shoes? Leave it with us in a comment below, fellow runners!

Want to see what we have to offer when it comes to heart rate monitors for runners? Visit us today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!