After using my Jawbone UP2 for a little over a month, I am ready to review it. Most importantly, I love it. I will give you the pros and cons below but, overall, I am very impressed with how well it works and how easy it is to use. Having also used the Nike Pro previously, I know what I have liked and disliked about other bands and can use this knowledge to determine the benefits of the UP. Hope this information is useful to a few of you.
Pros: It is comfortable to wear and comes in a black color that matches everything. There are a few different sizes, so it is not one size fits all. It tracks your steps and then converts your day into burned resting and active calories. It seems pretty accurate and is very easy to use. The app is easy and informative. It can compare different days of activity, gives you an average number of steps, tells you how many hours you were active and your longest active time (great for knowing how long you run). My favorite parts are the reminder and alarm features. You can set a recurrent time reminder and the bracelet will vibrate at that time (great for remembering to feed pets or take pills). You can also set alarms to wake you up in the morning with vibration instead of noise. It is really effective in waking you up. It can even be programmed to wake you up up to 30 minutes before your set time if you are at the right stage in your sleep cycle. It tracks your sleep very well including hours slept, number of times you woke up, and variations in the cycle. It even has a stopwatch feature for tracking how long you did an activity. I have not used it yet, but the programming seems straightforward. One cool extra of the app is that gives you encouraging and useful facts about fitness, health, and sleep each day that relate to your goals and activity level. I really love this fitness band.
Cons: There are two kinds of Jawbone UP available. I decided to buy the non-wireless one because of the price. This means you have to plug it into the AUX port of your phone or iPad to sync. I don't mind this feature, but if you do, there is an option for a completely wireless, bluetooth one. The little cover for the AUX plug is really easy to misplace on the non-wireless version. I set it down when I am uploading information or charging and often forget where I placed it. I even lost it at one point when I was moving houses because a box caught on it. Luckily, it is very easy and fairly cheap to order a new one on amazon. Getting used to a rigid band on your wrist takes about a week, but I don't even notice it any more. It is not completely waterproof, but rather, water resistant (take it off in the shower). If you are swimmer, this would not be the right band for you.
Other information: The band has no screen to communicate with you, all of the communication of activity levels and directions for alarm times is done through the app. There is only one small button and two little lights through which you can talk to your band when not connected to the app. This was neither a pro nor a con in my opinion because when I had a band with a screen, I focused too much on changing the information throughout the day (by moving my arms more than necessary) rather than focusing on my workouts. This is a personal preference, but needed to be noted.
Overall, I love my new fitness band. Jawbone did a great job with the band and the app making it easy to use and giving it really useful apps. I use most of the features on a daily basis and I love being woken up by my band instead of a loud alarm. If you are interested in checking the band out (or lost your plug cover as I had) check the links below. Hope this review gave you some insight before you splurge on a new fitness toy!
Here is the links to the Jawbone up. Both the wireless and non-wireless and replacement parts. As always check and make sure you get the best price. In this case, I found that to be on Amazon right now.
Personally, I use almond flour any time I want to bread something. It adds so much flavor and causes much less guilt. Almond flour or almond meal is just made of finely ground almonds and should have no additives, if you find the right kind. Almond flour is slightly pricey for flour, but it goes a long way and is very versatile. You can buy the Ben Mills version sold at most grocery stores, but you won't get as much bang for your buck. I recommend shopping in the bulk section of your local supermarket and getting the almond meal there. Personal preference.
Once you get your favorite kind of almond flour, it is easy to make it into a "breading". I like to add garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper (sometimes even parmesan cheese). You can add any seasonings that you like. You can use this mix to bread most things. I have used this to coat pork chops, zucchini, chicken, and even atop baked spaghetti squash. Below is a recipe for really delicious healthier zucchini squash.
Slice Zucchini and place into a ziplock bag
Pour a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil into the bag and mix with the zucchini slices
Pour almond flour batter into the bag
Shake the mix until the zucchini is coated in flour
Heat up oil for frying (I prefer coconut oil) and fry the zucchini at a high temperature
*Try dipping in marinara sauce for some extra flavor!
There are so many mixed messages about vitamins and supplements as well as varieties of things to take, it is hard to know whether or not you should be taking any! Many people need no supplements and others need complete vitamin supplementation. A lot of people are of the mindset that it is better to take more and be safe than it is to not take any. That is not necessarily the proper path to good health. It is important that you find out what you are deficient in before you choose what else you want to process in your body.
There has been clinical evidence that shows that multivitamins do not actually improve health because the body does not absorb those you are not deficient in. People end up excreting the vitamins they are not deficient in which can actually cause some harm to their liver and kidneys while their bodies process the excess. Remember that vitamins are not a natural product, most are processed in some form. A natural food source that contains the vitamin that you should have in your diet is a much better alternative then a pill form, if possible. One of the best ways to determine whether you are deficient in any vitamins is to ask for blood work to be done at the office of your primary care physician. Once you have determined your vitamin deficiencies, it is necessary to know the benefits of the vitamins you need and the easiest sources of said supplements.
Below is some basic information on omega-3 and vitamin C.
*if you are not vitamin deficient, excess vitamin supplementation has not been shown to have benefit
**Always consult your doctor before use of any dietary supplements or change in diet
As a health advocate and lover of all things fitness, I love writing for ThemeTrip and encouraging families to love fitness with me! Now that you have read some of my favorite "Family Fitness" ideas, I thought I would share a little bit about myself so that you can understand my ideas and love for all things fitness. I love speaking to and working with families that struggle to get their kids excited to train and to get the children off of the video games and out of the house. This is such a common struggle, that it has become an exciting task for which I work to figure out solutions.
I am an upcoming third year medical student (only 2 more years until I can put that M.D. behind my name and I can't wait!). I spend most of my time between the library and the gym, but it is worth it to gain knowledge in helping people and to maintain my own sanity. I also work as a fitness instructor at the campus recreation center in order to continue my love of encouraging others to become and remain fit. I enjoy that I have access to information and research that can explain the intricacies of how the body reacts to foods, diets, and certain forms of exercise (and I must say that I research all of that more than I have time for because it is so interesting!).
I not only love working out for the sake of helping others, I love it because of my history as an athlete. Much of my life has been focused around sports including martial arts, soccer, and softball (and a few others as well!). I have been able to combine the knowledge of being on teams with my understanding of fitness through sport-focused training. This has helped me understand better how the body works and the stresses it is able to handle. I LOVE SPORTS and I think they are great for families to participate in together. My family all did martial arts together my entire life as well as helped me train in each sport I was involved in. I can truly say that a family that trains together stays together :).
Now that you know a little more about my background, I wanted to share a few things that I have learned in my process of mixing fitness blogging and medical school.
1. Exercise DIRECTLY affects your mental health and ability to learn. The hormones released when you exercise actually increase the connections between the neurons of your brain and give them food for growth. You actually learn better and retain your mental capacity longer if you are active.
2. Sugar is addictive. Like cocaine-level addictive! After reading all of the research on sugar (and loving sweets so very much), I did a sugar detox. You go through withdrawals for a bit and then your body and your brain start working better than ever. It is crazy what we put into our bodies that we know nothing about.
3. Everything must be done in moderation. The good and the bad all have limits. For example:
Growth hormone burns fat and builds muscle.
Low blood sugars increase growth hormone.
Exercise increases growth hormone.
Growth hormone sounds awesome right? Well, it is, in certain quantities.
Too much growth hormone also creates insulin resistance and can lead to diabetes.
The point: everything in moderation :)
4. When they talk about needing sunlight to get vitamin D, you think, "Let's tan!". In reality, it only takes 10-15 minutes outside 3 or so times a week to get the max vitamin D that your body needs. Don't over do it and risk skin cancer! (And wear sunscreen when you walk out of the house... shameless plug for preventive medicine).
5. Enjoy yourself! Whether it be work, family, or fitness, keeping your stress levels low and your happiness high is the key to your health. Stress makes you gain weight, lose your hair, break out and be frustrated. Take some time for yourself and consider it a preventive medicine measure to help you protect yourself from getting sick. You do not want to end up wasting all of that gym time have endured only to counteract it with stress hormones!
Hope everyone has a great week enjoying life and training with the family :) If you have any fitness or wellness questions that you want answered in detail and based in medical research, feel free to comment and ask! I love helping people with their real concerns. Maybe your question will even be the topic of a future post.
Many people are so ingrained in associating the gym with working out that they forget that they can train anywhere at any time. All you have to do is be creative! You do not necessarily need to put aside a consecutive hour of your life to get a great workout on any given day. Why not plan mini workouts throughout your day.
Above is an example of a study session workout, but you can use this format between errands, during commercials on TV, and even after each cleaning chore in the house (one set after unloading the dishes, one set after putting away groceries, one set after bathing the kids, etc.)
In our busy lives, sometimes we need to think differently about the way we schedule our time. If training and staying fit is a priority in your life, on busy days, try this method of working out. The kids can join in the fun with you! Getting fit together is a great way to bond and share in the journey.
I hate when I run out of something in the fridge and do not have time to go get it. I hate even more that when shopping for healthy groceries, I have to spend more money for less quantity. When I discovered that jam could be made out of fresh ingredients in my kitchen, I was SO EXCITED. Now, I can share that discovery with you! Not only is this easy, it is healthy and full of protein and nutrition too. Add Chia seeds where you can in your cooking if you tolerate chia seeds well.
1-1.5 cup Fresh berries (frozen work too, or improvise and use whatever fruits you like)
1/4 cup Water
2 tsp Chia seeds
Honey or agave nectar to taste
Blend of food process all ingredients until mixed well. Put into the fridge over night. The juice will thicken to be a delicious jam! It's that easy. You may have to play with the ratio of water to chia seeds given some chia seeds are more absorbent than others. Let me know how you like it!
After listening to some conversations at the gym today and overhearing someone say "never eat eggs, they are high in cholesterol and will lower the effectiveness of your workout!" I decided to do some research and show you all my results. People follow patterns and may not actually know the facts even if they are in shape and give good advice.
Eggs are one of the sources of a perfect protein. The whites have amino acids that our bodies use to make protein more efficiently. Our bodies actually use amino acids better than the protein from protein drinks because it allows our bodies to only make as much as we need instead of flooding our systems with extra products that will just be excreted. Yes, yolks have cholesterol, but it is dietary high density cholesterol instead of the LDL that you know of as "bad" blood level cholesterol. HDL actually helps decrease LDL levels. Eggs also have two types of carotin for your eyes, and have low calorie counts per serving. Trust me, eggs are a great and healthful source of protein.
Don't believe me? Check out the clinical research at pubmed.com on eggs and their benefits.
Some people have never tried coconut butter either because they have never heard of it, don't know how to use it, or are scared away by the sticker price (often $11.99 for a jar!). This post is to show you how to make your own for less than $3 and to show you the benefits and how to use it. ENJOY!
How to make:
1. Buy unsweetened, dried coconut (I got it for $2.50 a bag at Sprouts)
2. Blend in a Vitamix or Blendtec style blender (at 1-2) or place in a food processor until smooth
3. You may need to push the mixture down on the sides while making it so that it blends evenly
4. Place in a mason jar or storage container and enjoy
1. Eat by the spoonful like you would any nut butter
2. Mix with other nut butters to make them creamier
3. Use in baking to add creaminess and sweetness or as a substitute to coconut oils or nut butters
4. Use on your skin to hydrate as you would coconut oil
5. Use as a creamer in your coffee
6. Melt and mix with chocolate to make a drizzle over baked goods or fruit
7. Use as frosting for treats or to dip fruits in
8. Cook into bread recipes or pancakes
9. You can even make candies and pudding
*There are fantastic recipes all over the internet and some will be posted here in later weeks
1. It increases your use of energy in your body which burns fat and helps prevent obesity
(research even shows that 15-30 grams medium-chain triglycerides as in coconut butter burn an average of 125 extra calories per day)
2. Has lauric acid which can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungal infections
3. Reduces your hunger and cravings throughout the day (most effective if eaten at breakfast)
4. Lowers your bad cholesterol and lowers risk of heart disease as a result
5. The saturated fatty acids in coconut butter and oil have been shows to increase brain function in Alzheimer patients
6. Helps burn abdominal fat specifically which is the most dangerous place for fat storage
With only a little over a week left until the Christmas, some people are still struggling to find those last-minute gifts (guilty as charged). Look no further if you have a fitness-freak on your list, or even just someone looking into getting healthier and starting new habits. Here are some ideas from multiple price ranges that are guaranteed to knock their compression socks off.
1. Vitamix blender: $$$ but an awesome item for everyone who uses the kitchen (and especially those making healthy meals!). Some varieties can heat soups, make ice cream, work as a food processor, and even make juices.
2. Compression socks: $$ I wasn't joking above, people who lift often need compression socks to make sure and protect their veins while lifting. They come in fun colors and designs and can be knee-high or calf-high. Range from $25-$80 depending on the brand.
3. Underarmor superhero line: $$ Their new line of shirts is dedicated to superheroes of all sorts, and it is AWESOME!
4. Specialty nut butters: $ May sound weird, but many of these almond and coconut butters can not be purchased in the store. There are some really tasty nut butters that are healthy, clean, and would make an awesome gift for the healthy and the snacking alike. Try youfreshnaturals.com for butters, eatingevolved.com for healthy chocolates, and ingreatients.com for more nut butters.
5. A home fitness basket: $-$$$ You can be creative and get jump ropes, medicine balls, training bands, agility ladders, sprinting sleds, weight vests, you name it! And instead of a bow, tie it with athletic head bands and you are all set!
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Family Fitness Tips
Have fun with your family while keeping fit! Quick workouts, fitness fun, family games, and healthy recipes.
Courtesy of :
The Fitness Prescription
I hope you enjoy these tips. Feel free to browse our extensive archive for past posts and tips.
**As with all fitness activities, please consult your physician before participating in any activity or diet.
If you wish to receive day-to-day fitness advice, click the link below to follow them.