Question of the Week: Are your gadgets getting in the way?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:22 am — Filed under:

The other day, I was running at the gym with Mike. I was using my Nike+, so my miles would be tracked for my challenges. I was wearing my heart rate monitor. I even added my weight into the treadmill so that their calculations would be accurate.

After I was finished, the Nike+ said I had burned 479 calories. The heart rate monitor said I had burned 502 calories and the treadmill said I had burned 345 calories. Which one do I believe?

Are your exercise gadgets getting in the way of your workout?

Do you find it simpler to just exercise with one gadget instead of more?

Is it easier to just go out and run or do our gadgets help?

There is a famous quotation:

“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

Segal’s Law

Sometimes I feel like that with all the methods I have to measure my exercise progress. The problem is, I don’t trust any of them enough to just believe it.


Polar CS600 Cycling Computer

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Polar CS600 with Power Cycling Computers W.I.N.D. at Amazon.comPolar is known for their heart rate monitors and cycling computers. Add to the mix an altimeter and wireless transfer of data to your computer and you have an intense piece of technology on the handlebars of your bike. That’s what the Polar CS600 Cycling Computer can do for you:

Unfortunately, if you want all that fancy stuff, you’ll end up paying almost $700 for it.

Bell SpinFit Calorie Bike Speedometer at Amazon.comIs it really worth all that much when a Bell Spinfit will do most of that stuff for fifteen bucks? Sometimes these gadgets look like they will help us, but in the end, nothing will make you ride faster on your bike except riding your bike. Whether you have a $700 Polar or a $15 Bell on your handlebars won’t help if you don’t get your butt in the saddle.

Sometimes gadgets get us motivated and excited about exercising or eating healthy, but other times they are just excuses. I’ll stick with my Bell Spinfit and type the mileage and calories into my spreadsheet on the computer. It think that small amount of effort is worth that much money.


Little Black Book to Keep Track of Yourself

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Little Black BookIf you aren’t the sort of person who obsesses with Excel spreadsheets every time she tracks her food like I do, then you might be interested in this pretty and convenient book for tracking your food and exercise.

These kinds of products can be cool or totally lame and that depends on two things: how good are the forms and can you get more forms when you’ve used up all you have. Fortunately, the Little Black Book works out pretty well on both accounts. Here is a photo of the form:

Little Black Book FormAs you can see, they assume you’re counting calories, but you can use this form to track your Weight Watchers Points, your carbohydrates or protein. Whatever you are tracking, it looks like this form would be pretty versatile.

At the bottom of the form there is a spot to check off Dairy, Protein, Grains, Veggies, and Water intake. It also has a useful spot to check off whether you’ve taken your vitamins, supplements or whatever other medication you may need to track.

The back of the sheets are blank, you you can use them to track your emotions or anything else you may want to keep a record of in relation to your eating habits.

Now, can you get more forms when you use all the ones that come with your book? Yes, you can. The book itself costs $20 and will last you three months. A 3-Pack refill costs $20 and should last you almost a year. So, yes, as long as Little Black Book is still in business, you can get refills.

Does this book work for me? No. Right now, I’m keeping track of my points on a piece of paper that is folded up small. It’s discreet and I can put it into my wallet. I print these up myself using Excel. I realize, however, that not everyone can do that, so Little Black Book is great for those who don’t want to bother printing up their own forms.

Little Black Book is kind of large compared to a simple piece of paper

The people at Little Black Book were nice enough to send me one to evaluate it, so I don’t know how efficient the ordering process is. If you have had experience with them, please leave a comment and tell us how you were treated.


Ask Laura: If You Keep Eating Your Same Points, Won’t You Just Keep Losing?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Mindy asked the following question on this entry:

My question is this. Once you lose all the weight you want or need to lose….do you stay on the points system? I mean if you keep eating in your points wont you just keep losing?



You’re right, if you continued to eat the same amount of points that you did while you were losing, you would keep losing weight. Once you get to goal, you need to adjust your points so that you’re not losing anymore, but not gaining as well. This is a highly individualized thing, so you really have to play with it for several weeks to get the correct number of points to maintain.

That’s why going to Weight Watchers is so helpful. Every week, you meet with the person at the scale and they help you through the maintenance as well as the losing. Since so many people quit Weight Watchers before they even get to goal, they don’t get that added support.

Great question, Mindy! Thanks for asking!


Running on the Run

By Laura Moncur @ 9:32 am — Filed under:

chasing my shadow by DocMultimedia from Flickr

In answer to the Question of the Week, here is an entry from Jank at the Complete Running Network:

Jank has some great ideas about exercising when you’re traveling. He has a “P” filled list to remind you how to do it:

  • Pack it in
  • Plan ahead
  • Prioritize
  • Plunder
  • Postpone
  • Proxies
  • Promenade

To find out what each of these list items entails, head on over to The Complete Running Network and read Jank’s entry.

Photo Credit: chasing my shadow by DocMultimedia on Flickr


Question of the Week: How do you exercise when you’re traveling?

By Laura Moncur @ 10:48 am — Filed under:

I like to stay at hotels with gyms. Most of the time, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well-equipped they are. There is usually at least one treadmill in working order, so I am able to at least get my cardio in. Weights, however are a different story. I usually have no idea how their weights compare to my own unless they have free weights. The weight machines are all different.

How do you exercise when you’re traveling?

What should you bring to make sure you can exercise when you’re on vacation?

How do you convert your weight training routine from home to the one at the hotel gym?

How do you factor in any extra activity you do while you’re on your trip?

Since my normal life is mostly sitting in front of a computer, I usually find myself hiking, walking and moving more when I’m traveling. I’ve never really found a way to account for that. What do you do it?


Don’t Be A Jerk At The Gym

By Laura Moncur @ 8:01 am — Filed under:

Cranky Fitness has a great entry about how not to be a jerk at the gym:

The entire article is worth a read, but this one is my favorite:

Don’t use the fact that you’ll be showering afterwards as an excuse to show up smelling totally nasty and funky. Fresh sweat doesn’t really smell–but old body odor and overripe gym clothes are supremely nauseating to be around.

Yeah, and don’t forget to wipe your gross sweat off the machines!

Via: Beginners: 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do at the Gym


Beautiful Faith Hill Not Good Enough For Redbook

By Laura Moncur @ 7:43 am — Filed under:

Beautiful Faith Hill Not Good Enough for Redbook

Apparently, Redbook doesn’t think Faith Hill is beautiful enough for them and they needed to make her arms beyond skinny, her waist impossibly small (without a corset) and more. Not even the previous placement of her arm was good enough for Redbook.

This is the same magazine that screams, “Summer Party Ideas! Good Food! Good Fun!”

The next time you pick up a magazine and compare yourself to the woman on the cover, remember that it’s not real. Even Faith Hill is probably comparing herself to that woman on the cover of Redbook and nitpicking herself.

Lots of people are talking about this:

If you are appalled by this, remember that ALL the magazines do this. Redbook just got caught. Don’t pay one more penny for women’s magazines. If you really want to read them, just read them in the grocery store and put them back. They don’t deserve your money.

Via: What’s With Skinny Arms? Faith Hill and Redbook


Bamz: LEDs For Your Running Shoes

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Bamz: LEDs For Your Running ShoesI have always enjoyed those children’s shoes with the flashing LEDs. They seemed like a great thing to have on running shoes, but none of the serious running shoe companies picked them up. Now, it looks like you can add small LEDs to your own shoes.

This product seems to be marketed at children and teens, but they look like they would be a good option to keep you visible for night running. You can buy them online if you email them directly, but they haven’t set up an online shopping cart (?!). They are based in the UK, so it’s easy to get them there.

What are they? They are insoles that you place in your shoes and the LED connection snakes up the back of your shoe and displays at the back. If you have problems with blisters on the back of your heel, this might aggravate it.

Bamz Insoles

If you have been running in the early morning or the late night to escape the heat, then these might be a good option to keep you visible in the dark.

Via: Shiny Shiny: Let your walking do the talking with the Bamz insoles


How To Make A Bento

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

02/12/07 Bento-licious Brunch from Flickr

02/12/07 Bento-licious Brunch by Aylanah on Flickr

If you liked the pretty concoctions from Bentolicious, then you might want to try it on your own. Instructables has a step-by-step guide on the art of Bento.

In the past, I have said food is just food. Sometimes I feel like that. Sometimes I want to eat something pretty because it makes me feel like someone cares about me. I don’t like cognitive dissonance.

Via: Craftzine.com blog: Crafting a Bento

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