Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Posts tagged ‘fitness apps.’

It’s been awhile

I have let my blogging slip, initially out of lack of anything to write about, then because I BECAME A GRANDMA! I’m here helping take care of the baby, and thought I’d catch up.

First- pressure works. Whether it is bloggers or the main stream media, talking about what is wrong with food and how to fix it causes even monolithic entities like Wal-Mart to change. Look what I found on my last visit.Healthy chicken bought at Wal-Mart Imagine, Wal-Mart selling something that wasn’t factory raised. Now, I’m no babe in the woods. I realize that anyone can slap anything they like on a label, it doesn’t make it so. But I figure with all the anti Wal-Mart sentiment out there that if it isn’t true, someone will find out pretty quick. I also realize that the word organic is missing.  I don’t know if I posted about this before, but my feelings about organic when it comes to animals are very mixed. I’ll post about that some other time. As good as this new development is, it’s still Wal-Mart.  I have to say that I shopped at a “Sentry” market here in Wisconsin, and it was so much like a Wegmans, I felt right at home. Both Wegmans and Sentry have a larger commitment to healthy eating. Sentry also has distance signs- if anything is from Wisconsin, they tell you how far it traveled to get there. Eating local is a very big trend here. I can’t say it is as much so in New York.

In other news, I’m trying out a new fitness app, FitnessFast. So far, it seems promising, although I haven’t totally gotten the hang of it. It allows you to select exercises, or add your own, and create your workouts. You can then log them as you perform them. I love it since I’m getting heartily sick of the paper and pen routine. I have a very hard time tracking my workouts,  with adding the bar weight (“Did I use the regular bar for that or the short one?””How much does my son-in-law’s bar weigh?) and remembering to do it promptly, and not mixing up exercises…(“now, what was the difference between the Romanian dead lift and regular?” “Is this the Bulgarian split squat or the rear foot elevated lunge?”) While this exercise  program can’t help too much with the exercises, they do have little animations of many of the exercises. If they ever get a huge data base of exercises, that’ll be great. It also has a space for notes, which I like, as I need to make notes for future revisions. It has a timer, which I’m not sure I like. It is good for making certain the rest periods are long enough, but do I care how long it takes me to bench press a set?

For someone like me, who loves tracking changes, this will become addictive, as you can chart your progression. That has been lacking from my programing right now. I don’t go back through my log and see what’s changed and improved. It also gives you your total volume, which makes it look so impressive. While this does look very promising right now, I do need to become more familiar with it and see what it can and can’t do, and if it truly does make my routine easier. I’ll give you an update.

Last, while I gave up on MyFitnessPal when I stopped playing with my weight, my daughter told me that several of her friends are now using it to lose weight. I may go back to it, after being sick for a month, I’ve put on a few pounds. It is another app I really recommend.

If you have a favorite fitness or nutrition app, please let me know. The only advertising apps get is word of mouth. I almost forgot to mention, I have an iPhone, so all apps I talk about are apple compatible, I don’t know if they are available for the Android.

I’m Going to Try and Lose Weight.

Before those that know me start worrying about my physical and/or mental health. Don’t worry, I’m not going anorectic. I’m doing it for three reasons. First, I mostly do this blog to be helpful, if anyone cares about health and fitness. Most people who read health and fitness information do so to lose weight. So, those reading it might say, “how can you talk, you’ve never tried to lose weight”. I did lose weight when starting my current obsession with fitness, but it was not intentional, just the result of doing the right things. Now I’m going to intentionally try. The second reason is that I’m using an app, “my fitness pal” to record my efforts. This will be an experiment in how that software works, more about that in a minute. The third reason is motivational, for someone my size to lose weight is very difficult. The smaller you are, the fewer calories you burn. If I can do it, you can do it. There is also some curiosity about another piece of software that tracks BMI, waist to hip ratio, and other fitness measures. I want to see what it says about my numbers if I lose a few more pounds.

Now, about tracking software. First, to try and lose weight without tracking would be like trying to build a house without a blueprint. People have done it, it is doable, but oh, so hard. Tracking does two things, it teaches you to measure, ensuring portion sizes, and it shows you what you are doing. Our memories are warm, soft, malleable things. It is so easy to forget those two cookies, the extra spoonful of sugar, or the snack you had on the way home. Writing it all down makes it concrete and visible. It is also an excellent behavior modification tool, unless you are going to lie to yourself. If you have to write down those extra cookies, knowing it will put you over, you might not eat them. Using software has the element of a video game. Here is your target number, get under that and you win. Who doesn’t want to win? I see it as a wonderful tool, although if you are prone to eating disorders, it could be disastrous.

How good is the software? I’m going to try this one for a week or two. If it seems too far off, I believe there are many others to try. Already, I have some questions about it. I put in the two hours of Karate I did last night, and it said I burned 1060 calories. We did not work that hard, I’m certain. Using averages is not terribly accurate. For my strength training today, it asked for specific exercises and the weights used. That should be more accurate, but I hit the “done for the day” button, as it did not figure in the calories burned, and it still hasn’t. I’ll have to see if it totals them then. I would like to see exercise calories included earlier, so eating can be planned accordingly. -I just went to the website, Myfitnesspal.com, they don’t give calories burned for weight training, as it is too variable. That will make things difficult. They allow you to put it under cardio, but just like I think 1060 was way to high for karate, I think 189 for 70 minutes of weight training is way to low.

That brings me to another point. It sets my base calories for weight loss at 1200 a day. Without exercise, there is no way I could do that. I’m just to lunch today and I have 104 calories left! Even if I only burn 400 calories exercising, that is more than enough for dinner.

I currently weigh approximately 117. I say approximate, as a two pound range on either side isn’t that uncommon. I weigh myself weekly at the same time of day. I’m going to shoot for 112. Anything lower than that is distinctly unhealthy for me. I will have to get and maintain that weight for two weeks to count, due to the water weight fluctuations that can occur.

As much as I enjoy playing with the software, the proof will be in the weighing. All my guesstimates  will be proven one way or another in a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

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