Workout Clothes = Workout Motivation

This is a post for all the ladies out there. I don’t know about you, but when I get new workout clothes, I am always more excited to work out. I usually wear Nike exclusively, but my Nike addiction has gotten too expensive. I stumbled across a website the other day that sells really cute work out clothes. It is called Fabletics and they have shorts, tank tops, tee shirts, sweatshirts, spandex, etc… I decided to try it out. This is what I bought:

These two items also came with a comfy sports bra. Normally, all this would have cost about $85 but since it was my first purchase and I signed up for an account with them, I got all of it for $25! I got it in the  mail yesterday and I haven’t taken the hoodie off since then. It is so comfortable and warm! I am excited to get more clothes from them. If you want to check out what they have, here’s a link to their website:

Let me know what you think!




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Squats for a Train Ticket

In Russia, to promote the upcoming Olympics as well as physical fitness, a train station is giving out free tickets for people who will squat 30 times in 2 minutes or less. Here’s more about it:

Do you think this will really have any impact on people’s fitness awareness? As the novelty of the idea wears off, will people still be willing to squat for a free ticket?

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Going Gluten Free?

The gluten-free diet has become quite popular for those looking to lose weight. But is the diet really all it’s hyped up to be? Sure, it is great for people with celiac disease, but it seems to be a  fad for people who are unwilling to lose weight through scientifically proven measures- follow the dietary guidelines, use moderation, and exercise. An article from UW Health titled, “The Reality Behind Gluten-Free Diets” explains a gluten-free diet, celiac disease, and the pitfalls of the diet for those who don’t have a medical need for it. Here’s a good portion of the article (emphasis added):

The Reality Behind Gluten-Free Diet Claims

Two popular claims of a gluten-free diet are weight loss and increased energy, but there may be other reasons why individuals experience those benefits.

Weight Loss

Some claim they experience weight loss once initiating the gluten-free diet. Yes, some individuals may lose weight when beginning the gluten-free diet, but it depends on what foods they use to replace gluten-containing foods. For example, replacing wheat flour with potato starch will not result in weight loss, but replacing white bread with quinoa or another high-fiber grain may.

When beginning the gluten-free diet, individuals may decrease their total intake of processed foods and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. Any weight loss can be achieved by eliminating high-calorie and high-fat foods, even if they are or are not gluten-free.

Once initiating the gluten-free diet, one must closely pay attention to food labels. It is known that when individuals are more aware of what they are consuming they tend to make healthier options, which can then lead to weight loss.

Sufferers of celiac disease are often thin, which may lead others to think that they are thin from eating gluten-free foods. In reality, they often are thin due to problems with malabsorption associated with the disease.

Increased Energy

Some claim that they experience increased energy levels once adopting the gluten-free diet. An explanation for this claim may be that the individual is consuming more fruits and vegetables, rather than high-calorie and high-fat processed foods. When someone begins consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet they may feel that they have more energy, no matter if they are or are not eliminating gluten. No studies were found showing that eliminating gluten leads to increased energy levels.

The Risks of a Gluten-Free Diet

There are risks involved with following a gluten-free diet; therefore it is not recommended for everyone. Avoiding grains on the gluten-free diet means that you are eating fewer products enriched with nutrients, which may lead to deficiencies in iron, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

Along with fruits and vegetables, the most common sources of dietary fiber are whole-grain breads and cereals, which contain gluten. Many people on gluten-free diets tend to eat inadequate amounts of fiber, which may lead to constipation.

Following a gluten-free diet may potentially cause a decrease in the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut (Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus), which can negatively impact the immune system.

Another negative aspect regarding the gluten-free diet is cost. Gluten-free products tend to be more expensive than gluten-containing products. Gluten-free products may be lacking in variety or may not be as accessible as gluten-containing products in some grocery stores. Gluten may also be found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and medications.

Adopting the gluten-free diet is not an easy change. It takes time and dedication. You must pay close attention to food labels. If products state that they are “gluten-free”, it means that the manufacturer guarantees that there is no gluten in that food item. If a product does not have a “gluten-free” claim then you must contact the manufacturer directly.

If you have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is not recommended that you follow a gluten-free diet. Contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian if you are seeking a healthy and effective weight loss plan. If you suspect that you may have intolerance to gluten or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian to ensure that you are meeting all of your nutrition needs.

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You’ve Earndit!

I’m always looking for ways to stay motivated to exercise. Recently, a co-worker introduced me to Earndit. It’s a website where you accumulate points for exercising and you can use those points to redeem rewards or donate to charities. If that’s not enough to motivate you, it may attract your competitive side by participating in challenges and winning prizes. It’s fun because you can compete against friends who also use Earndit. It links with many exercise trackers such as Nike+, Garmin, and Mapmyfitness among others. Check it out and let me know what you think of it. Are there are similar sites or apps you use that work for you?


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Redesigning the Nutrition Label

Consumers are starting to pay more attention to the food they eat. Companies like General Mills have noticed this and have changed advertising strategies to market their products as healthy, when really nothing has changed in the ingredient list. Cereals and bread have big labels that say “wheat” and have brown coloring added to make it look healthier hoping that consumers will interpret the “wheat” label as “whole wheat.” These tactics as well as many others have left shoppers confused about which products are really healthy and which are not. In 2009, Michael Jacobson proposed some new ideas for nutrition labels to make them easier to read. What do you think about the changes?

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Workouts to Watts

I came across an article on CNN’s website I thought was interesting. If something like this was close to where you lived, would you use it?

A new gym developed in the UK is not only good for your health but also for the environment, generating electricity when people use the equipment on site.

(CNN) — If you’re the type of person who thinks working out is just a waste of energy, then a new gym developed in the UK might help change your mind.

This new fitness center, situated in a city park in Hull, northeast England, not only provides a facility for local residents to get fit but also generates electricity every time the equipment is used.

“So far, the community has generated 40,000 watt hours (40 kilowatts),” says Georgie Delaney, creative director at The Great Outdoor Gym Company.

“The goal is that a gym like this should serve a community of about 5,000 people and really people could easily make a kilowatt hour per day. So, if you times that by the amount of gyms that we could possibly install, that actually becomes quite a significant amount of energy,” Delaney said.

“The goal is that a gym like this should serve a community of about 5,000 … people could easily make a kilowatt hour per day
Georgie Delaney, The Great Outdoor Gym Company

The company has already installed more than 350 gyms in public places around the UK — paid for by local councils and free of charge to use for local residents — but this is their first to convert human energy into electricity.

The gym currently powers its own lighting, but the hope is that one day they will be feeding surplus energy into the national grid and reducing electricity bills.

“We truly believe that in the western world we consume too much energy both in terms of food and electricity. What we’re trying to do with the green energy gyms is give councils and communities a tool, with a facility like this, so people can actually offset their consumption of both food and electricity,” Delaney says.

The concept clearly impressed city officials in Hull.

“The aim of the council is to get more and more people active instead of sitting in their lounges watching television,” says councilor Terry Geraghty.

“We want to get people off their [sofas] and get a bit active … more and more people are getting obese, also diabetes, heart disease, not just in Hull, but in the country,” he added.

The idea is also attracting interest from local authorities around the world, some of them in developing countries, says the company.

The prototype in Hull cost around $100,000 to install, but there are also plans to develop a cheaper $32,000 model which The prototype cost $100,000 to install and has attracted the interest of local authorities around the world, says the company. would charge mobile phones and a larger gym (around $130,000) where power could be fed back to the grid.

It’s a really beautiful concept and it uses existing technology in a novel way
Ling Ge, Imperial College, London

Ling Ge, a research scientist at the UK’s Imperial College London, is impressed with the scheme but its price may be an issue for poorer nations.

“The conversion from the gym to the national grid could be quite costly in developing countries,” Ling says.

Instead of installing electricity-generating gyms in countries in Africa, for example, it might be cheaper to use alternatives such as solar heating, solar power cells or hydroelectric power stations, she says.

“But still, it’s a really beautiful concept and it uses existing technology in a novel way,” Ling said.

“I think it’s an excellent way to educate people about the concept of sustainability and changing people’s behavior without putting the ‘s’ word in your face.”

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Judicious Juicing

Juicing has become increasingly popular lately. People have started using it as a meal replacement or as a way to lose weight. However, there are some concerns when it comes to juicing. There is a misconception that it is healthier to use a juicer. Juicing may be beneficial if you rarely eat fruits and vegetables and need a way to get the many vitamins that they provide. But by juicing, you are not getting the fiber that you would get if you actually ate the vegetables. This fiber keeps you full, so you don’t feel the need to be reaching for a snack 30 minutes later. Think about it- you can juice 12 apples and drink it pretty easily. But how full would you be if you sat down and ate those 12 apples? You probably couldn’t eat them all! So, be wise with the use of your juicer. Eat your fruits and vegetables and stay full longer!

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