Health Boosters http://blog.withings.com Freshly blended healthy tips and news by Withings Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:00:24 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Aqua Tone: Not Your Mama’s Water Aerobics http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/29/aqua-tone-new-water-aerobics/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/29/aqua-tone-new-water-aerobics/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 20:31:18 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21218

For more than a decade, gyms and facilities with pools have offered traditional water aerobics. More recently, an expanded range of water classes such as Aqua Zumba, water yoga, and even water jogging have gained popularity. Celebrity trainer and fitness instructor Sandy Campanella a/k/a Sandy Campy, pictured, now adds Aqua Tone to the mix, an innovative water […]

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For more than a decade, gyms and facilities with pools have offered traditional water aerobics. More recently, an expanded range of water classes such as Aqua Zumba, water yoga, and even water jogging have gained popularity. Celebrity trainer and fitness instructor Sandy Campanella a/k/a Sandy Campy, pictured, now adds Aqua Tone to the mix, an innovative water workout that brings a new dimensions of underwater weight training to the H2O exercise enthusiast.

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Despite being in her 50s and a mother of three, Sandy has the body of a fit 20-year-old. Certified to teach many forms of group fitness and with 20 years in the business, it’s easy to see why celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt turn to Sandy for their physical conditioning. During Aqua Tone, 90% of your body weight is supported, so this workout is easy on your joints while providing twice the resistance of land-based exercises.

aquatone classI recently headed to Sandy’s private pool in Los Angeles to dip my toe in the world of Aqua Tone, and after one class, I was hooked. Sandy’s positive energy is contagious, and I found her gentle, warm spirit to be reassuring as we students plunged into a challenging hour of non-stop motion in the pool. The whole class is choreographed to an upbeat soundtrack of fun, popular music to keep the energy up.

Sandy employs weights for the first half of class. Each student needs a set of floating barbells, specially made for us in the water and easily purchased from a company called Sporti. After a brief warm up of traditional dance and aerobic moves in the water, we picked up our barbells and got to work on strength training. I was surprised at how difficult it was just to press and hold the barbells down in the water. The weights seem to want to pop up and float so the challenge of keeping them submerged immediately engages your arms, shoulders, chest, back and abs.

Simultaneously doing a variety of arm exercises with the weights in the water, we kept our feet moving constantly, skiing, lunging, or doing jumping jacks, scissor kicks, jumps, and squats. We then moved on to core work, with exercises such as keeping your arms straight, pushing down the barbells, and pulling your legs up straight toward the surface of the water. We then did sets of jogging in the water, pumping the weights.

Finally we put down the weights and picked up a noodle. We embarked on a series of laps, each lap focusing on toning different muscle groups while emphasizing cardiovascular endurance. Finally, the cool down and stretch used the noodle to elongate those muscle groups that we worked so hard during class. As an added bonus, during the warm-up and first few exercises, you aren’t breathing too hard to chat, and students often discuss nutrition tips and advice for healthy living. Last week Sandy described a breakfast recipe for a delicious almond milk chia pudding.

There are similar classes to Aqua Tone appearing on the fitness scene all over the country. Sandy explains that working out in the water has a natural detox effect in addition to burning calories and reshaping your body. This workout is safe for pregnant women or anyone with an injury looking for an intense workout without joint pressure. So grab some water weights, and cool down in the pool while you turn up the heat on your workout. And when you’ve completed your workout, as Sandy says to close each of her sessions, “bow down to your fabulous self!”

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Want the skinny on more unique fitness class options? Check out our features on Skyrobics and Piloxing.

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Erin’s Top 4 Summer Essentials http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/29/erins-top-4-summer-essentials/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/29/erins-top-4-summer-essentials/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:40:30 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21200

Our social media Manager, Erin, rounds up some of her summer faves to help you make this your best summer yet… Summer lovin’ it I live for summer, which is ironic considering I live in Boston, one of the coldest, snowiest cities in America. But that’s probably why I love summer that much more — […]

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Our social media Manager, Erin, rounds up some of her summer faves to help you make this your best summer yet…

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Summer lovin’ it

I live for summer, which is ironic considering I live in Boston, one of the coldest, snowiest cities in America. But that’s probably why I love summer that much more — I’ve earned it after suffering through sub-freezing temperatures. So like many of you who live up north, the instant it’s above 60 degrees, I’m outside as much as possible. And to help you make the most of your time in the sun, I’ve decided to roundup some of my favorite summer essentials. Check ‘em out, and see if they don’t help you take full advantage of being a wee bit closer to the sun.

1. Sweat Cosmetics

Now that I’m 25, I’ve realized that it’s not a good idea to bake in the sun all day in pursuit of a deep tan. Skin care is so important, and Sweat Cosmetics makes a wonderful SPF 30, sweat-proof mineral foundation to address all your summer needs. I wear it daily – whether I’m on a morning run, out and about in the city, or basking in the sun, this SPF foundation is a lifesaver. Sound good? Well now you can head to our Instagram for a chance to win your own Sweat Cosmetics products.

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2. Kulani Kinis

As Nerdstrong fitness instructor Corrin says on her Instagram, you only need two things for a bikini body: A bikini and a body. And when I look for cute new swimwear, I typically gravitate towards bright patterns and sporty styles for all beach activities! Kulani Kinis has stolen my heart this summer. I treated myself to two new suits, in the sundowner and Mexico patterns. The suits are so comfortable, and many are even reversible! They have many different styles and patterns, including one pieces to match everyone’s style.

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3. Jugos

Come summer I crave fruit in all forms: chopped, juiced, blended, or frozen. Jugos is a local juice/smoothie bar in Boston that I cannot get enough of. I stop by a few times a week before work to pick up a juice. My favorite is called the #1 with kale, cucumber, green apple, ginger and lemon. Then on the weekends, I treat myself to their Acai bowls. They’re heaven! Everything Jugos makes is high quality and made with fresh, healthy ingredients, so I know I’m fueling my body right.

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4. S’well

It’s no secret S’well bottles are trendy right now and I’ll admit I’m completely on the S’well bandwagon. Yes they’re expensive, but they’re 100% worth it. Any bottle that can keep my water icy cold for 24 hours in a sleek, fashionable, and eco-friendly design is a miracle in my book. Because let’s be honest, unless you’re packing some tea bags, there is nothing worse than laying out at the pool and drinking hot water that’s been sitting in the sun.

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That’s it! If you have any summer faves you want us to know about, just ping us on social. We’re always looking for exciting new places and things to try out. #WithErin

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A Race to the Finish: Meet the Marathoner http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/27/marathon-training-with-rachel/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/27/marathon-training-with-rachel/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 21:28:06 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21179

Welcome to this Marathon Training Series! I’m excited to take you along with me as I train for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20. For my second marathon, I’ve decided to take on a lofty goal and attempt to cross the finish line in a Boston-qualifying time of under 3 hours and 35 minutes. Qualifying […]

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Welcome to this Marathon Training Series! I’m excited to take you along with me as I train for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20. For my second marathon, I’ve decided to take on a lofty goal and attempt to cross the finish line in a Boston-qualifying time of under 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Qualifying for the Boston marathon is a big deal in the distance running world, and a goal that many chase throughout their running careers. I’m roughly following this Boston Marathon training plan, but I’ve modified it to fit with my schedule, goals, and what I’ve learned from past experiences.

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The above picture is from my most recent race, the BAA 10k, where I finished in 47:42. But there was a time when I couldn’t run a mile without stopping…

My Running History

While I’ve been an exercise-lover for over ten years, I used to think that running simply wasn’t in the cards for me. Struggling through the mandatory one mile in gym class was the closest I had ever come to being a runner.

Then one sunny spring morning in college, I accompanied my boyfriend and his labmates on a 3-mile training run for their upcoming Tough Mudder race. I gasped my way through those 3 miles, frequently stopping to walk, and it left me feeling decidedly unfit. Struggling so much through a fitness-related endeavor was quite the blow to my ego, so I started running regularly to improve. A few months later, I had run my first 5k, no walking breaks needed.

In the four years since then, running has become one of my greatest passions. It has taught me how much further I can push beyond my perceived limits, a lesson that spills over into other areas of life. From the first time I ran 3 miles straight without walking, to finishing my first marathon last fall, each new running goal has started out as one I never thought I could achieve, only to prove myself wrong once again. Running is now my main fitness love, and one that has brought me more joy, support, and confidence than I thought was possible.

But training for a race is not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s challenging, messy, inconvenient, and time-consuming, along with being inspiring, invigorating, and fun. So check back every two weeks for a full, honest update on my training, along with some tips and tricks for success if a marathon is on your bucket list too!

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Looking for more runspiration? Check out Running: A Love Story

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Major Sporting Events And Sleep: We Kick Around The Data http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/major-sporting-events-sleep-data/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/major-sporting-events-sleep-data/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:09:09 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21166

Withings has undertaken several studies that have already shown that people usually sleep slightly more in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe. However, people from all countries – regardless of their differences – all closely follow the Euro 2016 football tournament, without regard to the consequences this might have on their sleep. This is especially […]

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Withings has undertaken several studies that have already shown that people usually sleep slightly more in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe. However, people from all countries – regardless of their differences – all closely follow the Euro 2016 football tournament, without regard to the consequences this might have on their sleep. This is especially true in the knockout stages.

The group stage is just a warm-up lap…

Sleep data from Withings users’ between the first week of competition and the week before it started, shows that most Europeans have managed to combine their beloved football and sleep. The majority of Europeans countries that is, with one exception — Slovakia.

With its 5 million inhabitants, this central european country seems to show their support day and night and it’s all down to their national team, who have obtained good results during the competition. During the first week of competition, Slovaks slept on average 50 minutes less per night than usual. No doubt that qualifying for the knockout stages of the Euro championshp for the very first time will galvanise its supporters. Projection: The nights ahead for Slovak supporters look to be short!

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And now for the knockout phase: say hello to some sleepy supporters!

In 2014, on the evening of their victory in the Brazilian World Cup, German supporters went to bed on average an hour later than usual. But this did not prevent them from getting up the next day at the same time as they normally do. In the end, they slept less than 6 hours during this night of celebration.

Last year, North Americans dramatically changed up their evening routine during one of the most exciting Super Bowl finals in history. It was a Sunday evening and residents of cities like New York or Washington went to bed about 40 minutes later than usual thanks to tight games, adrenaline, and probably more than a few super parties. Projection: This will keep Europeans awake during the evenings to come. To be sure, we’ll keep our eyes on the (totally anonymous) data coming from Withings activity and sleep trackers, and let you know for sure.

What about you? What do you think your experience of this knockout phase will be? Are you going to celebrate the victories of your team throughout the night or are you more likely to go to sleep with a feeling of a job well done? Feel free to share your Euro 2016 experience in the comments section below.

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Do you dig data stories? Check out our WithData page.

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Euro 2016 Host Cities Get Festive http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/euro-2016-host-cities-get-festive/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/euro-2016-host-cities-get-festive/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:38:04 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21162

So which cities, out of Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris (with Saint-Denis), Saint-Etienne and Toulouse have the most celebratory supporters? 3rd Place: Saint Etienne Saint-Etienne lands in 3rd place. As one of the smallest host cities with just 171,000 inhabitants, Saint-Etienne remains a real football town. Who has never heard of the “Geoffroy-Guichard […]

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So which cities, out of Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris (with Saint-Denis), Saint-Etienne and Toulouse have the most celebratory supporters?

3rd Place: Saint Etienne

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Saint-Etienne lands in 3rd place. As one of the smallest host cities with just 171,000 inhabitants, Saint-Etienne remains a real football town. Who has never heard of the “Geoffroy-Guichard Cauldron” or of the exceptional supporters of “Les Verts”?

Each Saint-Etienne resident tracking their activity with a Withings tracker or the Health Mate application walked an average of 1,864 steps between 7am and 2am on a game night, which suggests that fans in this city do indeed live up to their football-loving reputation.

2nd Place: Lyon

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Lyon took 2nd place for most festive host city. The 3rd largest French city by number of inhabitants, its OL Parc stadium is also the 3rd largest stadium in Euro 2016 in terms of capacity, with 56,186 seats. Perhaps the Lyonnais were more active due to better weather, but maybe they spent some extra time enjoying and celebrating the games at night. In either case, each Lyonnais walked an average of 2,010 steps between 7pm and 2am during the first two weeks of Euro 2016.

1st Place: Paris

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And in first place….Paris/Saint Denis! The Stade de France in Saint Denis is by far the largest stadium in Euro 2016 with 81,338 seats. The Parc des Princes stadium, famous home of Paris Saint Germain, is much smaller but still quite illustrious. Has Paris taken first place thanks to all the spectating fans walking to the stadiums, or are they celebrating in Paris more than in other cities? What we can tell you is that they have walked an average of 2,295 steps between 7pm and 2am during Euro 2016 so far.

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Euro 2016 is not over yet, so let’s all support our national team and make the most of the opportunity to get some exercise in during all of the evening games.

Throughout the competition, visit the Withings Facebook page to discover more statistics on each country before every game, in partnership with Opta.

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The Most Dedicated Euro 2016 Fans http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/country-dedicated-euro-2016-fans/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/23/country-dedicated-euro-2016-fans/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:01:52 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21131

From June 10th to July 10th, the whole of Europe is glued to the TV, watching the 15th UEFA European Football Championships. While the best teams on the continent compete on the pitch, fans express enthusiasm in their own way. Using data from the Withings community, we selected which countries we feel have the most […]

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From June 10th to July 10th, the whole of Europe is glued to the TV, watching the 15th UEFA European Football Championships. While the best teams on the continent compete on the pitch, fans express enthusiasm in their own way. Using data from the Withings community, we selected which countries we feel have the most dedicated fans, based on their average time spent playing soccer and the impact of the competition on their sleep and number of steps taken.

Football-Playing Fans

Health Mate now offers the option to manually logsports sessions (currently available only on iOS, but coming to Android users soon). Among Withings users who logged football sessions, the Swiss topped the list with an average playing time of 86 minutes per game. They are trailed closely by Germans (81 minutes of playing time) and Russians (79 minutes of playing time).

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A special mention goes to France, the competition’s host, as the country where users have been most frequently logging football sessionssince the start of Euro 2016.

Do you play football? Are you an iOS user? If so, get into the habit of logging all your matches in the Health Mate app.

Night Owl Fans

Watching the TV debrief in full, watching the best goals on loop, or celebrating a victory…These are some of the many activities that can cut into your sleep.

And when it comes to talking about night owls, Slovak fans are topping the charts. In fact, Slovaks who track their sleep with a Withings activity tracker or Aura have been sleeping about 50 minutes less per night than they did before the start of Euro 2016! Let’s hope the lack of sleep doesn’t catch up to them before their national team is done competing. A long way behind them are the Swiss with 10 minutes less sleep per night. Other European countries seem to manage their sleep better, despite the buzz around the event.

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Fun Fact: Users from Iceland are the only European users who have been sleeping more than they did before Euro 2016, with an average of 20 minutes more per night. Could this be an unexpected effect of the good results their team has had?

Celebratory Fans

Some countries’ users have been more active in the evenings since the beginning of Euro 2016, which suggests they are going out to watch the games, and even celebrating victories afterwards. Overall, our Russian users have been walking at night the most, averaging 2,800 steps between 7pm and 2am.

But comparing the first week of Euro 2016 to the week before it started, a number of European countries have seen their step counts significantly increase in the evening. The most impressive increase has been achieved by the Turks, who, despite a complicated start to the competition, have seen their nocturnal activity surge by 20%, reaching an average of 2,156 steps per evening. Albanians are also among the most active Europeans at night during Euro 2016 with an increase of 13% (2,460 steps on average), just a little more than the French, whose activity increased by 12% (with 1,618 steps on average).

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On the other hand, the Irish (23% decrease in activity), Czechs (20% decrease) and Poles (16%) have actually been walking less. Perhaps they’re not the partying type!

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Peter Shankman: Skip the Moderation, Track Your Data, & Lose Weight http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/20/peter-shankman-success-story/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/20/peter-shankman-success-story/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2016 21:50:10 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20926

Some may know Peter Shankman, pictured, as the entrepreneur who invented HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a website that connects expert sources and journalists, enabling them to meet tight deadlines in today’s content-hungry, up-to-the-minute news landscape. But Shankman is also a TEDx speaker, a frequent TV guest contributor on CNN and Fox News, the author of […]

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Some may know Peter Shankman, pictured, as the entrepreneur who invented HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a website that connects expert sources and journalists, enabling them to meet tight deadlines in today’s content-hungry, up-to-the-minute news landscape. But Shankman is also a TEDx speaker, a frequent TV guest contributor on CNN and Fox News, the author of four books, an avid skydiver, a devoted dad to his 3-year-old daughter, Jessa, and husband to wife Kira.

Shankman also has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but instead of letting it hold him back, he calls this chronic condition his “superpower.” He credits ADHD with helping him achieve success, which he discusses on his website and podcast, Faster Than Normal.

“One of the ways I work with my ADHD,” he told us, “is by logging data. Data doesn’t lie, and it doesn’t let you misconstrue. By analyzing data, I can use my ADHD to my advantage.”

This commitment to data and numbers is also what helped him succeed when he decided it was time to get healthy. Shankman’s “Aha” moment struck one morning at 3am. “I woke up and looked in the mirror, and I thought, ‘This is ridiculous… I need to make a change.’” He didn’t feel good about himself. Facing those truths wasn’t easy, but he didn’t shy away from the facts, or justify the way he was living. “I wasn’t sleeping well. I felt fat. I felt oily. I just felt gross.”

Shankman has been a runner for over 10 years, even completing an Ironman in 2010, and he maintained his fitness even after getting married. Despite exercising, he had always been about 25 pounds overweight, but he found that tracking his weight using a Withings scale helped him avoid additional weight gain. “I’ve always had a Withings scale, back since its first iteration. Quantification helps me maintain…men, women, and children lie — but data simply doesn’t lie.”

But after the birth of his daughter, Shankman found that his own needs had been shifted to the back burner. “I was constantly chasing Jessa and getting up early with her. I got up at the crack of dawn to care for her, not to go to the gym.” And the exhaustion, along with a lack of time for himself, took a toll. “Instead of working out at night, I’d have a drink. Then, instead of one drink, I’d have three.”

This started an unhealthy spiral for the business mogul and dedicated family man. “Drinking is a multiday process. It wasn’t just that day’s alcohol making me feel sluggish, it was also the next day when I felt like crap. I’d get three grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches and eat them all to feel better. I knew something had to change.”

Shankman found that the best way for him to get healthy was to skip the small-steps approach and make a sweeping change. He quit drinking and drastically overhauled his eating habits. Shankman explains that “when the pain of staying where you are becomes more annoying than the pain of changing, you will start changing. I had to focus on myself, take care of me. The only way I knew how to do that was to focus on the data. I don’t have a moderation switch. I can’t simply cut back… who the hell knows how to cut back?”

This approach, in conjunction with tracking fitness data with his Withings scale, the Runkeeper app, MyFitnessPal, and his Apple watch helped Shankman lose weight and create new healthy habits. He now eats primarily chicken, fish, and as many fruits and vegetables as he can. “If it’s in the middle of the supermarket, I don’t eat it. I don’t eat processed foods anymore.”

Losing weight has enabled Shankman, who had slightly elevated blood pressure, to stop taking his low-dose blood pressure medication. “I use the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor primarily for tracking now. And the best part is that this stuff all talks to each other. It’s all about having the ability to track everything at the same time.”

He lives by the numbers when it comes to sleep as well. By tracking his sleep patterns on the Withings app, he’s found that 6.5 to 8 hours is best for him. “I enjoy waking up rested. The alarm is very helpful on the Withings Aura alarm clock. The calmness of the light really helps.”

At 5’ 11’’, Shankman now weighs around 205 pounds, down from 245, and he’s enjoying his new appearance along with renewed energy. “I posted a photo on the blog of myself showing my arm muscles. I would never have done that before. I love looking good.” As a motivational speaker and business lecturer, he’s in front of crowds regularly. “It’s great getting up on stage and feeling like I look great.” His current goal is to drop to 190 pounds.

When we asked him what advice he’d give to others who want to improve their health, this is what Shankman shared: “It boils down to being about your priorities. When you are ready to do it, you will do it. If you’re not ready, you won’t.” Yet he affirms that although getting healthy and fit is not easy, it’s always worth it.

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Many thanks to Peter for his time.

Want to connect to more inspiration? See how Penn Jillette lost over 100 lbs. and check out our Penn’s Friends section. 

 

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Red Ball Tennis: New Small Court Game Hits The Big Time http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/15/red-ball-tennis-next-big-thing/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/15/red-ball-tennis-next-big-thing/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2016 12:11:07 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20910

Is Red Ball Tennis the next big small court thing? Red Ball Tennis™ is a new game invented by Chris Lewit, pictured, a former professional tennis player who is currently a leading high performance tennis coach and the author of The Secrets of Spanish Tennis. Originally developed in France in the 1990′s, red balls and mini-tennis courts have taken the world […]

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Is Red Ball Tennis the next big small court thing?

chris-lewit-tennisRed Ball Tennis™ is a new game invented by Chris Lewit, pictured, a former professional tennis player who is currently a leading high performance tennis coach and the author of The Secrets of Spanish Tennis. Originally developed in France in the 1990′s, red balls and mini-tennis courts have taken the world by storm in recent years as a tool to train younger players under the age of ten. With this format, the balls don’t bounce too high or fast, and the court doesn’t overwhelm someone without tennis experience.

But Lewit saw something more — a chance to redefine tennis for the 21st century by developing a new game using the framework of a mini-court and lower compression balls that are soft on the arm. This low-impact advantage was key — as a junior and professional player, Lewit had suffered many chronic injuries.

Lewit is passionate about creating a game that anyone can play, anywhere.  And unlike traditional yellow ball tennis, Red Ball Tennis is much easier to set up, and is easier on the body — helping people enjoy the court even if they have physical issues that prevent them from playing normal tennis.

So if you have space and time concerns, or just want a game that’s easier on the joints, maybe it’s time for you to try and ace this new format.

The first Red Ball Tennis International™ World Tour stop took place June 4th, 2016 in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. July 9th there’s a Red Ball Tennis event with prize money in New York City, as well as a championship game August 7th in Barcelona. Go to redballtennis.com to learn more.

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Apple HomeKit Support For Withings Home: Coming Soon http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/13/apple-homekit-support-withings-home-coming-soon/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/13/apple-homekit-support-withings-home-coming-soon/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2016 19:15:10 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20874

As mentioned during the Apple keynote, we’re excited to bring Apple HomeKit support to Withings Home later this year, giving our customers an easy, secure, and private way to monitor their home using iOS 10. We’re also able to add Siri support which gives customers another great way to interact with Withings Home. Here are […]

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Apple HomeKit

As mentioned during the Apple keynote, we’re excited to bring Apple HomeKit support to Withings Home later this year, giving our customers an easy, secure, and private way to monitor their home using iOS 10. We’re also able to add Siri support which gives customers another great way to interact with Withings Home.

Here are some details about what HomeKit will bring:

Let voice be the on/off switch with Siri
For example, you’ll be able to use Siri to turn on and off the camera, get air quality readings, and turn on/off night vision.

Include Withings Home into smart HomeKit scenes and control appliance settings in different combinations
With scenes, you can create a scene named “Leaving Home” that turns on surveillance, locks your door, and lowers the thermostat — all with one command from your iPhone/iPad.

We think current and future Withings Home camera users will enjoy the added functionality HomeKit will bring, and look forward to sharing more scenes and Siri shortcuts when iOS 10 launches.

 

 

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Introducing Body Cardio http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/08/introducing-body-cardio/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/08/introducing-body-cardio/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 04:38:46 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20740

Meet the latest Withings innovation, Body Cardio, a revolutionary connected scale that goes far beyond weight, offering a full understanding of your body composition and heart health. In addition to providing a highly accurate weight measurement, Body Cardio measures key body composition metrics: body fat and body water percentages plus muscle and bone mass. To […]

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Meet the latest Withings innovation, Body Cardio, a revolutionary connected scale that goes far beyond weight, offering a full understanding of your body composition and heart health.

In addition to providing a highly accurate weight measurement, Body Cardio measures key body composition metrics: body fat and body water percentages plus muscle and bone mass.

To assess your cardiovascular health, Body Cardio also detects heart rate and Pulse Wave Velocity, a medically-accepted indicator of hypertension or arterial stiffness.

Thanks to all-new sensors, Body Cardio can detect when blood is pumped from your heart, and it measures the rate at which pulse waves move along your arteries. The stiffer your arteries, the more quickly blood moves through your body. Conversely, a low pulse wave velocity indicates more flexible arteries and lower blood pressure.

The good news is, once you have a window into your cardiovascular health, you can improve your pulse wave velocity readings in a relatively short amount of time by making small changes to your diet and exercise routine.

To learn more about how you can know your body and take control, watch the video:

 

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The Zoo: Your New Favorite Workout Spot? http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/zoo-new-favorite-workout-spot/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/zoo-new-favorite-workout-spot/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2016 18:46:16 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20737

I took my three-year-old daughter to explore the 133-acre Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens last week. We had an amazing time, and I gained a lot of insight into why zoos make great places to exercise. While we were taking in the animals, I also surveyed the human population. The diversity of the zoo […]

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I took my three-year-old daughter to explore the 133-acre Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens last week. We had an amazing time, and I gained a lot of insight into why zoos make great places to exercise.

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While we were taking in the animals, I also surveyed the human population. The diversity of the zoo visitors surprised me. There were many families, which I expected, but I also saw plenty of adults without a child escort.

It turns out that many of these folks were there to get fit in addition to enjoying the animal kingdom. I saw several women jogging, and as one of them paused to hydrate, she told me she bought a zoo membership because it costs one tenth of a yearly gym membership and gives her a safe place to walk or run every day. I also encountered a posse of new moms doing their weekly workout, speed walking while pushing their strollers through the zoo. I also spied several couples over sixty walking briskly and even a clump of teens walking around. My sixteen-year-old nephew confirmed that meeting friends at the zoo to walk around is now a trend, at least in LA.

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I only stayed at the zoo for two and a half hours, but according to my Withings Activité Pop, I managed to walk about 3,800 steps during that time. I also got a bonus arm workout from constantly lifting my three-year-old up and down to get better views of the animals.

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Although I love taking my children to the zoo, I would consider returning there to walk solo or with grown-up friends. The website Zoo and Aquarium Visitor provides some helpful tips on getting the most out of a zoo walk. It recommends swinging your arms and explains that holding your arms at a 90 degree angle can help you burn an additional 5-10% of calories. One way to ensure you maintain a 90 degree angle is to use a walking stick, which keeps your arm in the correct position, and to alternate hands every few minutes during the walk.

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A 2013 study on the effects of outdoor walking published in the journal, Ecopsychology, concludes that walking outside may be particularly beneficial for well-being, and that walking in green spaces may put the brain into a meditative state. Another study concluded that jogging outdoors makes people 50% happier than working out in a gym does. Sara Warber, the author of the first study and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, explains that ”walking is an inexpensive, low risk, and accessible form of exercise, and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful under-utilized stress buster.”

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We may not be able to talk to the animals, but we can definitely take a walk with them. Based on this research and the latest trends, you may want to grab a kid, a walking stick, or some friends and head to the nearest zoo or botanical garden this summer for a walk that benefits your body and soul.

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Is Quitting Smoking Bad For Your Health? http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/is-quitting-smoking-bad-for-your-health/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/is-quitting-smoking-bad-for-your-health/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2016 16:51:04 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20726

The data behind stress, sleep, and weight gain In addition to dealing with withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine, many smokers trying to quit suddenly find themselves without their major source of stress relief. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, they must find alternative ways to handle stress. This is a very difficult challenge to […]

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The data behind stress, sleep, and weight gain

In addition to dealing with withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine, many smokers trying to quit suddenly find themselves without their major source of stress relief. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, they must find alternative ways to handle stress. This is a very difficult challenge to overcome, because when stress hits, it’s much easier to turn to what has worked (in this case, smoking) than to try something new.

The chart below plots how frequently our surveyed users feel stressed, by smoking category. It’s plain to see that those trying to quit are the most stressed: only 17% of them never feel stressed, compared to 24% for smokers and 40% for nonsmokers.

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Those trying to quit smoking also appear to have slightly less restful sleep, likely as another side effect of nicotine withdrawal. Our data shows that 71% of those trying to quit do not feel well rested in the morning, compared to 64% for smokers and 61% for nonsmokers.

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Weight gain is another unwanted side effect of smoking cessation. Because nicotine suppresses appetite, some people actually begin smoking as a means of weight regulation. On the other hand, nicotine withdrawal can cause a surge in appetite, which some cite as a reason not to attempt to quit smoking. Additionally, without the ability to smoke to alleviate stress, many people turn to food as a substitute. We analyzed our user base to see if weight gain was a valid concern for those trying to quit smoking, versus smokers and nonsmokers.

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We found that among users who regularly track their weight and activity, all groups, including those trying to quit smoking, lost weight over a 4-month period. While  those trying to quit smoking lost an average of only 1.1 lb, compared to 2.2 lb for non-smokers and 4.4 lb for smokers, they were still successful in losing weight. While the conventional belief is that those trying to quit smoking should expect weight gain, our data reveals that weight loss is still possible during this time, even though it may be more difficult. Such a finding should be reassuring to current smokers that are afraid of gaining weight when they give up cigarettes. Keep in mind, however, that this data was taken only for those regularly tracking weight and activity, so it is likely that such tracking behaviors help smokers trying to quit to maintain or lose weight despite the challenges they face.

Health Risks Confirmed

By now, the dangers of smoking have been well-documented. In addition to causing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and emphysema, smoking is especially harmful for pregnant women. With these known long-term effects, we examined whether health metrics collected from our users would reflect the negative effects of smoking in more subtle ways.

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This chart compares six-month average values of various health metrics of smokers to nonsmokers. Smokers appear to have a higher heart rate, walk fewer steps per day, and sleep less than non smokers. However, they do  have a lower BMI, which is in line with our previous observations.

Sleeping for longer, walking more, and having better cardiovascular health have an enormous positive impact on overall long-term health. It is thus unsurprising that smokers live an average of 10 years less than nonsmokers.  But those who currently smoke are not doomed. Research shows that after a year of not smoking the risk for heart disease is cut in half, and after 5-15 years, heart disease risk is the same as that of nonsmokers.

About the study

This study was conducted by Withings, based on data from a panel of 5,587 Withings users. Among them 12% were smokers, and one third of these smokers were trying to quit. We considered a given user as a smoker if he smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day.

Withings guarantees the confidentiality of personal data and protects the privacy of all its users. Therefore, all data used for this study was rigorously anonymized and aggregated.

We engaged our users with surveys taken through our Health Mate app. We worked with healthcare specialists from Kantar Health to analyze the results.

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Sandbox Fitness Promises ‘Soft Sand, Hard Bodies’ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/sandbox-fitness-la/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/06/02/sandbox-fitness-la/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:46:40 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20727

Sandbox Fitness Inc. in Los Angeles offers a variety of classes, all done barefoot in the sand. The gym, whose motto is “Soft Sand, Hard Bodies,” features a giant sandbox in the middle of a studio surrounded by all kinds of equipment. Surfboards are stacked on one side, mats on the other, and a dozen […]

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Sandbox fitness class

Sandbox Fitness Inc. in Los Angeles offers a variety of classes, all done barefoot in the sand. The gym, whose motto is “Soft Sand, Hard Bodies,” features a giant sandbox in the middle of a studio surrounded by all kinds of equipment. Surfboards are stacked on one side, mats on the other, and a dozen hooks for attaching TRX apparatuses hang from the ceiling. Many classes involve doing yoga or body conditioning on a surfboard that you place on top of the sand. These workouts seem incredible for improving balance and core strength. Other classes are done directly in the sand, which forces you to constantly adjust your body to stay on balance.

I sampled a popular class at Sandbox Fitness called TRX, which is a unique system of suspension training. Two bands are suspended from the ceiling on a pulley system, which allows you to utilize gravity and your own body weight to strengthen and condition every muscle in your body.

TRX was invented and developed by Randy Hetrick. After graduating USC, he spent 14 years serving as Navy SEAL commander. According to Randy, his operational career culminated as a Squadron Commander of the SEAL’s elite special missions unit, where circumstances inspired him to experiment with what would become TRX.

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My awe-inspiring TRX instructor was Tonni Wells-Ratcliff. Before we started, Tonni explained that she has used this same workout to train many Olympic athletes as well as her brother-in-law, who plays football for the NY Giants. Tonni is an incredible athlete herself. She runs long distances at top speeds and credits TRX for keeping her in extraordinary shape. The straps of the TRX apparatus have handles so you can suspend your weight in different ways. You can hold the handles while working your lower body or slide your legs into the straps to do upper body and abdominal work. Tonni professes to be a believer in science and sweat. She showed us tough love, talking us clearly through each exercise and challenging us to move past our perceived boundaries, but still demonstrating modifications.

I was ready to collapse after the warm-up, but Tonni inspired me to stay with it and fight my way through the whole hour. All of my muscle groups felt activated and exhausted by the end of the workout. I was shaky, and at one point I wasn’t sure that I could even pull myself up to standing. Tonni demonstrated a great stretch to do at home to help us stave off extreme soreness and explained that if we had trouble getting out of bed the next morning, it was totally normal. Designed for the military and for professional athletes, this workout is no joke. I left the Sandbox covered in sweat and sand, feeling proud that I had survived my first TRX training in the sand.

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Want more  out of the box fitness ideas? Check out Skyrobics and our visit to Nerdstrong Gym

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Pop into Disneyland for An Active Vacation http://blog.withings.com/2016/05/28/disneyland-10k-steps-vacation/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/05/28/disneyland-10k-steps-vacation/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 01:11:32 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20549

My family recently embarked on a two-day odyssey to Disneyland. While we love going to Disneyland for many reasons, surpassing 10,000 steps each day is an added bonus. Disneyland is divided into two parks: California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom, both of which offer ample opportunities for walking and healthy snacking if you know where […]

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Disneyland small world

My family recently embarked on a two-day odyssey to Disneyland. While we love going to Disneyland for many reasons, surpassing 10,000 steps each day is an added bonus. Disneyland is divided into two parks: California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom, both of which offer ample opportunities for walking and healthy snacking if you know where to look.

Ready for a California Adventure

disneyland activityWe hit up California Adventure on the first day. According to my Withings Activité Pop, I clocked almost 1000 steps just walking from the parking lot to the tram to the entrance. The park has an amazing replica of Radiator Springs, the town featured in the Pixar movie, Cars. Walking through it is like walking around inside the movie and serves as a nice distraction from all the steps you are taking. California Adventure park also features a Bugs Life Land, Paradise Pier, Hollywood Land, and Grizzly Peak, all with a wide array of rides to choose from.

If you need a break from rides and want to pack some extra exercise into your day, head over to the Grizzly Peak area, which includes a Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. While not a ride, this area offers a network of simulated Redwood Forest hiking trails, stairs, rope bridges, rock climbing walls, a zip-line and side-by-side slides.

After spending about eight hours at California Adventure, my Pop revealed that I had taken 10,078 steps, traveled 4.8 miles of Disney terrain and burned over 2,000 calories total. There are only two major dips in my step-o-meter, shown below, which were lunch and dinner.

Disneyland California AdventureI recommend hitting Flo’s V-8 cafe in Cars Land for a healthy lunch. Their menu has no fried food and includes items like roasted chicken and vegetables. Pooh Bear would not have gotten stuck in Rabbit’s hole if he had ordered the low-calorie meal I selected for lunch, a veggie tater bake with a side of fruit and an iced green tea. There are many healthy options like this in the park. This virtuous lunch enabled me to snack on the delicious fried dough dipped in cinnamon sugar known as the Disney churro later that afternoon. After all, that churro fueled me through three round trips from the Little Mermaid Ride to Mater’s Tractor Pull.

 

Hitting the Magic Kingdom

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The next day, my family ventured into the beloved Magic Kingdom, which contains all the beloved Disney World rides like the Teacups, Peter Pan, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. The Tiki Room has also been there since the doors opened. And if you like ice cream, don’t miss the Dole Pineapple Whip sold exclusively in front of the Tiki Room. One cup of this gluten-free, vegan, 90-calorie pineapple soft serve is a grand slam of goodness! Plus you can enjoy it in the company of singing animatronic birds and chanting Tiki masks. It’s a feast for the eyes, ears, and tongue.

Disneyland stepsThe biggest spike in my steps was the distance from the Teacups in Fantasyland to Splash Mountain in Critter Country. It’s clear by my graph that there was some time spent waiting in lines or rides, but the biggest dip is during mealtimes again. I was not so virtuous in the lunch department on day two and indulged my desire for fish and chips at the Golden Horseshoe saloon. I gobbled up almost 1600 calories in one meal here, but it was delicious and ranked high on “The Top 8 Most Delicious Meals to have at Disneyland” on The Secret Menu website.

As with most Disney tales, there is a happily ever after to my gorging because I ended up walking 12,136 steps during day two, covering 5.8 magic miles and burning 2324 calories. For more tips on how to navigate Disneyland with your health in mind, check out the Healthy Disney website.

If your “Once Upon a Time” includes a trip to a Disney theme park this summer, be sure to trade in your glass slippers for comfortable shoes, keep yourself hydrated, and enjoy the wonderful world of walking over 10,000 steps a day the Disney way.

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Jeanne Simpson is a working actress, dancer and choreographer in Los Angeles. Get to know more about her here

 

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Activate Your Free Lose It! Premium Trial http://blog.withings.com/2016/05/26/gain-premium-lose-pounds-activating-lose-premium/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/05/26/gain-premium-lose-pounds-activating-lose-premium/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 19:56:23 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=20618

Are you ready to kick your summer weight loss goals into high gear? Awesome. We’ve got a special deal for you from our friends at Lose It! As you can see from the graphic, Lose It! users who go premium lose 3X more weight than basic members, and premium Lose It! members who pair with […]

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Lose It! Premium + Withings Scale Infographic-2 (1) Are you ready to kick your summer weight loss goals into high gear? Awesome. We’ve got a special deal for you from our friends at Lose It! As you can see from the graphic, Lose It! users who go premium lose 3X more weight than basic members, and premium Lose It! members who pair with a Withings scale? They see 4X more weight loss.

So, if you don’t have it already, download the Lose It! app to your iOS or Android device to take advantage of your free 60-day Premium trial. Then, see below for detailed instructions on how to take advantage of this excellent offer, followed by a few amazing Lose It! / Withings success stories to get you inspired.

Note: This offer cannot be redeemed via desktop.

How to activate if you are a new Lose It! user

After you’ve downloaded the Lose It! app, follow the directions below to take advantage of this exclusive offer.

iPhone users: 

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Android users:

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> Open the app, click “more” and then click on “Enter a promo code.”

> Enter the code: SIZZLE

> The next screen will indicate that you have a Withings 2 month free trial of Premium available. Click the button to activate Premium and agree to the Subscription Terms.

> You can now return to the home screen and select “Sign Up” to activate your Lose It! account.

 

How to activate if are already a Lose It! basic user on iOS

Follow the directions below to upgrade for 60 days.

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> Enter this web address on your phone to redeem the offer.

 

How to activate if are already a Lose It! basic user on Android

Follow the directions below to upgrade for 60 days.

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> Enter this web address on your phone to redeem the offer.

Link your apps

Don’t forget you can link your Lose It! app with your Withings products, so you can view all your health data in one place.

Follow the directions below:

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> In the menu of your Lose It! account, select “Apps & Devices.”

> Select the Withings devices you own to link them to Lose It!

 

Need help with setup? Have any questions? Contact Lose It! Customer Support

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Read weight loss success stories from users of both Withings and Lose It! products:
Alisa and Tom Cutter
Calvin Smith
Jaydeep Bhatia

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