Using Phones to Get Fit

Fit PhoneThere has been some talk lately of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the new health features it includes. But what are they? And, more importantly, do they matter? Fitness and phones are not commonly referenced together, but the Galaxy S5 seeks to lessen the gap between the two topics. Let’s take a look at what is being referred to as “S Health,” which helps you to, “Take better care of yourself by tracking your workouts and what you eat.”

First, what are these S Health features?

In short, they consist of a built-in heart rate monitor, pedometer, and fitness tracker—the first of which, Verizon Wireless reports, is a first for smartphones. There are also diet and exercise records you can manage as you care for your body.

S Health 3.0 is an app that works with the built-in features to help you stay in shape. The heart rate monitor is great if you’re working on strengthening your cardiology system. Those who do aerobic exercises might find this most useful of all the features. Located under the phone’s camera flash, the sensor can take up to eight seconds to read your finger after it has been placed.

The pedometer is self explanatory—it will help you record how far you’ve walked. For those who jog or walk for a hobby, play sports, or simply commute by foot to work everyday, this could be a beneficial tool.

As far as the tracking features go, the included subscription services might interest you. The S5 is bundled with a year-long subscription to RunKeeper, a fitness tracking service, and a year-long subscription to Lark, a personal health and wellness assistant. There are also two six-month trials to MapMyFitness, a workout tracker, and Skimble, a personal workout trainer.

One important aspect of the S5’s health features is that they can sync with blood pressure monitors and glucose meters through Bluetooth. The phone can also sync to other products like the Samsung Gear Fit. With this synchronization, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your body’s current state.

So do they matter?

It depends on what you want from your mobile device. If you carry your phone around a lot—even when you work out—these features might make the phone stand out more. Rather than just being a way to listen to your usual exercise music, the phone will actually help you work out, provided you take advantage of what it has to offer. Some people likely won’t use these capabilities at all, and for those individuals, the phone’s fitness features simply won’t matter.

The S Health features present an interesting dichotomy between mobile devices and personal health. On the one hand, phones can certainly encourage people to remain stagnant lives, not requiring any more out of them than to simply tap, swipe, and scroll with a single finger. Yet on the other hand, the S5 is showing that phones and fitness can coalesce. It’s possible that what this smartphone is doing will be reflective of the future of phones in relation to exercise.

Zombies for Weight Loss

The “Zombies, Run!” app drives you to run in their immersive storyline.


Technology really has a way with your workout routine. I know that I’ve been trying to find something that will motivate me to run more. I heavily rely on my iphone to give me something that I can use to make the long, arduous run more enjoyable. At first I used the Nike+ app, which was pretty cool if you’re into seeing your running progress. However, I was recently introduced to an app called “Zombies, Run!” for my phone. At first, I was a bit hesitant because it’s an 8$ app (7.99$ USD to be precise), but after some convincing I bought it. This app is literally a game that makes you run from zombies, almost literally. You essentially are a runner who must scavenge and take supplies to survivors in a zombie apocalypse so that they can fortify their base. However, the twist to this is that zombies will be chasing you. The “run” is you, the person, actually running. The game works with your running type and integrates that with the game, making this an interesting mix of a gaming app with a fitness app. The game does utilize the phone’s accelerometer and GPS, which can kill off your batteries very quickly, so it’s best that you have a fully charged phone before you hit the road. The game itself has an immersive plot and the story’s development is dependent on the consistency of your run. It has a bit of a decision making concept that the “Walking Dead” game has, but to a less extreme extent. There’s even an interval-training mode called “Zombie Chases”, which pretty much involves you running like hell if you hear zombies closing in on you through your headphones. Though there are concerns with needing to “buy” more missions for your run despite already needing to pay a relatively steep price for this app, I will say that this app has everything an imaginative runner needs to build up a sweat.

The “Magic” of Compression Gear

Do these magic pants actually work?


You may have seen UFC fighters, football players, and even runners wear those spandex-like shorts. Also known as compression equipment, these flexible pieces of clothing have claims of improved physical performance and muscle enhancement through their tight fitting material. However, do they really deliver these near exaggerated claims? The truth is that it does not. In fact, there have been studies that scientists in Australia and India have made that show that there is little to no physical enhancement that is added when these compression clothes are worn. These studies tested the physical capabilities of subjects who wore these compression clothes and without it the results show that there was almost no difference in physical performance. The only benefit to these compression clothes is that it improves blood circulation slightly. This improvement is not exponential to the point that it will assist athletes in extreme sports, however. Unfortunately, for a 55$ piece of tights, you’re not really getting your money’s worth in physical enhancement.  The claims that companies like Under Armour regarding their compression gear aren’t wholly true; these products hardly make much a different in your workout regiment. Though the performance enhancement claims are not necessarily true, there are positive effects to wearing these compression clothes. Research in New Zealand showed that cyclists who biked at extended distances with the compressions shorts on noted that their recovery rate was significantly better than without them. It seems that these compression clothes do assist in the muscle recovery rate. However, whether this is worth the 55$ for your workout regiment is based on opinion rather than fact. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with these compression clothes despite the recovery improvement. You have better health alternatives that can yield the same effect for half the price.

Running with Flat Feet: What You Can Do to Make it Doable

A Low Arch Can Cause a Lot of Problems When Running

Though running is a great workout and a good challenge for those who wish to test their speed or endurance, not everyone is a natural at it. Unfortunately, some people are born with a natural disadvantage to running, specifically flat-footed people. Having flat feet is detrimental to running because, unlike naturally formed feet, there is no arch to absorb any impact your feet receive from hitting the floor. Not only that, but because your feet can’t absorb the force induced during running, stress fractures may occur.

That doesn’t mean that a flat-footed person can’t run at all. I’ve heard tons of stories about runners with flat feet who have gone as far as running marathons with little to no problem. All that matters is that you work out your legs and feet more to compensate for the lack of the arch. It also helps to have special running shoes to assist in your running as well. There are several little routines you can do to strengthen your flat feet. Walking in sand helps as it forces your feet to adapt to the sands shiftiness as you step on it. Make sure to take it easy; you don’t want your feet killing you. Another tip is to try standing on your toes in reps for a few minutes. It helps build that endurance for the lack of an arch.

Running isn’t impossible with flat-footed people, but depending on the severity, certain things have to be considered. For example, if you truly wish to run while having extremely straight feet, it is suggested to run strictly on flat surfaces- no hills or multi-terrain areas. The most essential thing to have is custom running shoes that have an artificial arch on it. That will significantly compensate your feet’s lack of an arch. With enough training and investment for your custom running shoes, you’ll be running marathons in no time…given you train hard for it.

The Basics of Resistance Training

Getting Some Dumbbells is a Good Start for Resistance Training


Resistance training can be one brutal workout, especially for those who are just jumping into it. The benefits of resistance training, however, can improve the quality of your life exponentially. This form of training helps your muscles grow and get toned, which is a great thing living in a society where your muscles aren’t getting used daily with all the technology now doing the work for us. For those of you that don’t know, resistance training is any kind of workout that causes some kind of external resistance to the particular muscle your working out. It is from this, that your muscles start getting bigger and more toned out.  The way this works is that when you lift weights or do anything that causes this external resistance to your muscles, they tear microscopically and are repaired by your body (which is why tons of people say to take in the proper nutrients when you workout).

When your body repairs these tears, they make the muscle stronger and bigger allowing it to regenerate quickly when fatigued (Not to mention give you some awesome looking muscles).  How do you get started with resistance training? It’s pretty simple, actually. All you need to do is find an outlet store that sells used dumbbells to save yourself some cash. From there, you can different lifting techniques with them to work specific muscle groups out. This helps you increase your life expectancy as well as help you lose weight. Research has shown that if you commit to resistance training at regular intervals, your metabolism will speed up, allowing you to shed the weight you want to lose when combined with regular cardio. Not just that, but resistance training has also shown to help grow bones, meaning that it can help prevent serious bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Also, it has been shown that as you age, your muscles deteriorate at a fixed rate; so periodic training can help you keep your body strong, even as you age into your golden years.

Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.

Videos, Slideshows and Podcasts by Cincopa Wordpress Plugin