Healthy Living

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!

Over the last few weeks, I have come across quite a few different articles promoting physical fitness to increase the brain, and decided to look into this a little bit more. Sure, working out will make you feel better about yourself, look better, and maybe even boost your confidence, but does it really make the brain more “fit?”
Exercise benefits the brain in a number of ways. One of the main examples of this is that it increases the heart rate, which in turn pumps more oxygen to the brain. Physical activity also releases hormones which “participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.” USNews.com recently posted an article in which a team, led by Laura Chaddock-Heyman researched this exact subject. “We know from previous work that higher fit children outperform lower fit children on tasks of attention, memory and school performance,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Thus, it is possible that white matter structure is another pathway by which fitness relates to improved cognition.”
Physical fitness, to promote a healthier brain, is now making its way around the world. In Iowa, gym students will now be required to wear a heart rate monitor in order to pass the class. Livermore Elementary School has also implemented a special fitness element into their classrooms in the form of desk cycles. Children will be able to cycle, at their leisure, as they sit at their desks. The desk cycles keep track of distance and calories burned. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn and retain new information. An added tidbit of information for you, Studies show just one hour’s exercise a week can reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease by almost half, according to a landmark study which ranks the seven lifestyle threats fuelling rising levels of dementia. Although the brain is an organ, it’s safe to think of it as a muscle. Use It or Lose It!

Never Be In The Dark Again!

Ok, you’re camping, throwing an outside party or just having a get together with friends on your deck. When the sun starts to set the one thing that all of the above have in common is that you’re going to have to turn on some lights.

A great way to provide a light source for every occasion is the Luci Lux Inflatable Solar Lantern

Luci Lux Inflatable Solar Lantern

There are various models of the Luci Lux from straight white led light to a model that provides various colors that fade in and out for a soothing mood that can help set the tone for any gathering or celebration.

The Luci Lux is very portable, lightweight and can be used indoors and out! It’s great for taking on a hiking/camping trip in that it only weighs 4 ounces and collapses to only 1 inch. Contains a solar charged lithium ion battery, which makes it a great energy saving alternative to candles or conventional batteries. This solar battery can be charged from either sunlight or incandescent light and produces light from 10 led bulbs, this will provide you with up to 12 hours of illumination.  It will easily provide enough light for a 10 sq. foot area.

Another great feature is that the Luci Lux is also completely waterproof.  So you don’t have to worry about any rain events or possibly dropping it in a body of water while you are camping!

With the Luci Lux, you will never need to worry about not having enough light at hand for any outdoor function.

 

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!

The Sun, The Tan, The Burn?

With summer upon us, everyone should be thinking about sun protection. In fact, those of us who spend many hours outside during the early day walking, running or hiking those deep wood trails, should already be ahead of the curve.

Still, many people misunderstand both the dangers and the necessary steps to protect their skin from sun damage, which includes skin cancer and acute damage like sunburn and sun poisoning.

There’s no ‘safe’ tan
Probably the biggest misconception people have about sun care is that suntans are healthy. The fact is, a suntan is the body’s response to damage. When the sun’s rays are absorbed by the skin, cells called melanocytes produce melanin, a pigment that gives the skin color. The added melanin offers increased protection for future exposure.

However, it’s important to emphasize that if skin tans, damage has already occurred. Moreover, sunburn is a severe response to excessive sun exposure, which exceeds the skin’s melanin production response.

What’s a little burn?
We hear all the time, “I got a little sunburn, but it’s no big deal.” Unfortunately, while tans and burns are signs of damage, each time we burn we greatly increase our risk for skin cancer — one blistering sunburn doubles your risk for malignant melanoma, the most dangerous and ever-increasing form of skin cancer.

Athletes, everyday people exercising in the hot sun in particular should keep in mind that sunburns and acute sun poisoning can cause headaches, nausea, fever and fatigue. Nevertheless, a ‘healthy tan’ is often popular,

Sunscreen, clothing ?
The human body can be considered a near-perfect black radiator, absorbing 97 percent of radiant energy directed at it, regardless of skin color. So while it may sound implausible, wearing both sunscreen and clothing can actually enhance performance by reducing the amount of radiant energy absorbed by the skin; even small increases in body temperature can adversely affect performance.

Additionally, wearing sunscreen on covered areas during hot and sunny days can be beneficial too, since those great wicking fabrics are also great at letting more sun in.

Sun block or sweat block?
While use of sunscreen can reduce radiant heat absorption, people  are concerned that sunscreen will also hamper sweating. However, data from a 2000 research study published in the Journal Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that use of sunscreen doesn’t affect thermoregulation — in fact, it may actually enhance overall body cooling. This data, while preliminary, should convince those who believe sunscreen will compromise their performance to start protecting their skin.

Managing your risk
Take advantage of the early morning or early evening hours when the sun is not as intense as it is during the hours of 10a.m. and 5p.m.  Don’t forget to put on your sunscreen even at these times, the sun may not be as intense, but you can still get a burn if not treated.

The bottom line is that we all need to do the best we can to reduce our risk while we go about our daily exercise routines.  The most important thing to understand is that sunscreen can actually improve your performance by protecting against burns and keeping you cooler in the heat.

 

 

 

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.

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!

Fitness Band Motivator: Meet the Vivofit

The road to better health is never over, and sometimes we need something to help make every step count. The amazing Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is a 24 hour motivator that can help you reach your fitness goals successfully while having a little fun. Comfortable enough to wear 24/7, and stylish enough that you will want to, this easy to use fitness band will help you unlock your hidden potential. What separates the Vivofit from other fitness bands is that the Vivofit greats you with daily personalized goals every day, tracks your progress and reminds you when it’s time to get up and move. Consider the Garmin Vivofit a personal trainer that stays with you all day long. Even better, you can use the Vivofit along with the Forerunner or Edge, to track your activity and recovery between training sessions.

vivofit

Unique Goals for a Unique Individual

The Garmin Vivofit learns your current activity level, and assigns an attainable daily goal. As you meet each and every milestone, the Vivofit will adjust your goal for the next day, and eventually help nudge you closer to your healthier lifestyle. With Garmin Connect functionality, you can earn virtual badges and view your progress at any time. The Vivofit makes getting fit easy and fun.

Time to Move

If you find yourself stuck at a desk all day, the Vivofit will help remind you that it’s time to get up and walk around. Using a red move bar, the Vivofit will display your inactivity and encourage you to get up and move. Once you walk around for a few minutes, the red bar will reset and you can get on with your daily tasks. If that isn’t good motivation, we don’t know what is.

Always Working

With a long-lasting battery, the Vivofit is always on! Track your progress 24/7! The Vivofit also tracks sleep quality, and can even be worn in the shower. Even better! The Vivofit can wirelessly synch with Garmin Connect at any time to see a snapshot of your overall fitness progress.

If you’re looking for a big motivation boost and need help reaching your fitness goals, consider the amazing Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band from Heart Rate Monitors USA today.

Summer Weather Running Safety Tips

 

Summer Running Safety

Summer is a great time to run outdoors, with crystal clear skies and warm temperatures, it would seem that summer is the perfect season to strap on that heart rate monitor, lace up those shoes, and hit the pavement. However, the warmer the weather, the more challenging it becomes to adequately cool your body, which could wreak havoc on your running pace and body. On a hot day, the body works double time when running, so it’s crucial to follow safety guidelines to ensure you’re not putting too much stress on your body. Try these tricks for beating the heat on your summer runs:

  • Adapt! If you’re used to running in doors in an air conditioned gym, you’re going to need to adapt to running in a warmer temperature. Slow your pace when starting and allow your body to acclimate to running into the heat. Eventually, your body will gradually become better at cooling itself off in hotter weather, and you will be able to continue running at your normal and regular pace. Start with short runs, and work your way up once you feel comfortable enough.
  • What you wear is extremely important during summer runs. Choose light colored and moisture wicking running gear, as most of this gear is designed to allow moisture to pass through them and be evaporated. Always wear sunscreen and opt for a hat or visor to protect your skin and eyes from the hot sun. Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection are also highly recommended.
  • Choose cooler times during the day to fit your run in. The morning and night are the coolest times, and can you avoid intense summer heat and still allow you to fit a nice run in.
  • Hydration is important always, but especially during the summer. For normal runs and workouts that are shorter than 45 minutes, water is a perfect hydrator. However, in the summer, sports drinks are a better way to hydrate as they will replace any electrolytes that were lost during intense perspiration.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we have the accessories you’ll need to keep yourself safe and on the pavement all summer long. From hydro flask bottles to the newest and most popular heart rate monitors, we have everything to keep you going.

How Yoga Can Improve Your Stamina, Strength, & Overall Well-being

Find out how yoga can reduce your risk for certain diseases, improve strength, and keep you healthy.

Have you ever wondered just how much yoga can increase things like your upper body strength, your stamina as an athlete, and your stress levels? Grab your Aurorae Synergy Yoga mat, and get ready to get into that warrior pose – because we have some awesome reasons why this exercise should be at the top of your workout list.

  • Yoga helps increase your flexibility through a variety of poses. This can help to increase blood flow to muscles that haven’t been used in a while.
  • Yoga helps to stretch muscles like your hamstrings, your hip flexors, and your shins, which can all become increasingly sore or tired from cardio exercises like running.
  • Many yoga poses help to build strength not only throughout your core, but your upper body as well. Holding your own body weight during a yoga sequence helps to build muscles in those parts of your body.
  • Yoga is also really great for your joints too. When you’re going through a yoga class, your joints are being used at their full potential – which helps to reduce diseases like arthritis from happening.
  • Not only does it help out your joints, but your heart too! Increased blood flow to areas of your body that do not necessarily receive it on a regular basis helps to improve your heart rate and strengthen that ticker.
  • In many studies it has been shown that yoga decreases the levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, and helps to reduce other things like memory loss, depression, and fatigue.
  • Practicing yoga helps to increase your ability to focus throughout the day.

Want to see our full range of Aurorae Synergy yoga mats? Visit us today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!