Health Boosters http://blog.withings.com Freshly blended healthy tips and news by Withings Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:19:45 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 My Sister The Sleep Researcher: An Interview With Sharon R. Driscoll http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/26/sister-sleep-researcher-interview-sharon-r-driscoll/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/26/sister-sleep-researcher-interview-sharon-r-driscoll/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:59:53 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21895

Sharon R. Driscoll became aware of the field of sleep research in a psychology class during her freshman year at Cornell University. After graduation, she went on to become a Dement Fellow at the Sleep for Science Research Lab at Brown University, and now works for an independently-contracted research lab. She’s also my sister. Looking […]

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Sharon R. Driscoll became aware of the field of sleep research in a psychology class during her freshman year at Cornell University. After graduation, she went on to become a Dement Fellow at the Sleep for Science Research Lab at Brown University, and now works for an independently-contracted research lab. She’s also my sister.

Looking back, it’s not hard to see why she became a sleep researcher. Every night for ten years, our shared bedroom became a battle zone, torn between me leaving the lights on to write, while she grumbled about the importance of turning the lights out to get a full eight hours of beauty sleep.

With very little cajoling, she agreed to answer a few questions on what it takes to become a sleep researcher, along with some insights into what this field of research actually entails.

The author, right, with her sleep-researching sister Sharon, left.

The author, right, with her sleep-researching sister Sharon, left.

A Few Questions for Sleep Researcher Sharon R. Driscoll

What are some of the main areas of study within the field of sleep research?

There are too many different areas to list here, but some that are currently of interest are: shift work and jet lag, blue light exposure, and other factors where sleep affects human performance.

Also, circadian rhythm research is a popular topic that studies the internal clocks that all humans have in their brains. They help regulate our bodies and how they function. Circadian rhythm research studies our internal pacemakers, also called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (or SCN) and uses light that reaches the retinal ganglion cells as a cue for the secretion or suppression of melatonin. In other words, researchers are exploring how our circadian rhythms—which regulate our emotional and physical health—are influenced by light and darkness in the world around us.

Lastly, because of the research in genetic medicine over the past decade, we are better able to understand the human genome. This means sleep research has reached a point where we can study the role that genetics play in human sleep.

 

What degrees, if any, would a person need in order to pursue a career in sleep research?

There are many different paths to choose from in the world of sleep research. One route is to become a polysomnographic (PSG) technician, which requires technical training, an associate’s degree and certification. Another path would be to get a PhD and become a principal investigator in an academic research lab. If you go to medical school, you can also specialize in sleep medicine. This would give you the credentials to work in sleep research as a clinician or a researcher.

 

What are some of the duties of a sleep researcher?

If you are conducting overnight studies in a sleep lab, the duties often involve staying in the lab overnight to monitor subjects from a control room while they sleep. Aside from watching people snooze, an important component of being a sleep researcher is reading, writing and education. You have to read a lot of research articles so that you keep yourself informed about research that’s going on around the world. Then, of course, you have to write your own papers to share what you have discovered, not only with other researchers, but with the general public.

 

Who are your test subjects?

The most commonly thought of sleep studies in popular science involve human subjects. However, the subjects vary greatly depending on the goal of the study. A few of the research projects that I have worked on included people of different age groups, genders and occupations, all specific to the individual studies.

Other studies use animals, such as rodents. We know that the genome of a human is quite similar to that of many animals, including mice. Therefore, we can use these animals to conduct studies in which human subjects can’t be used, and then we infer results for humans based on the animal results.

 

What impact has being a sleep researcher had on your own sleep patterns and habits?

Working in sleep research has improved my sleep habits. Although it has involved many sleepless nights and shift work, the overall impact has been positive. I have a great awareness of my sleep habits and understand the ways that sleep deprivation affects my daytime performance.

 

How much more is left to discover in the realm of sleep? How much do we know?

This is a philosophical question.

Initially, sleep as a research field bloomed when Aserinsky and Kleitman came onto the scene as sleep researchers. One of their students, Dr. William Dement then became a pseudo-grandfather of sleep research. He has taught sleep for decades and trained many of today’s top sleep researchers.

The closest glimpse we have into understanding sleep has been in learning that the brain may use sleep to cleanse itself. Sleep research has made great strides in the past fifty-plus years, however, we still do not have a full understanding of why we need to spend one third of our lives sleeping.

 

Final question — do you miss sharing a bedroom with me?

I don’t have to miss sharing a bedroom with you, because you still manage to boss me around just as much!

 

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Want more bedtime reading?
Check out Keep Your Bedroom Dark For Better Health and 10 Sleep Tips To Help You Have Better Nights.

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What is a BOSU ball for? This. http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/25/finding-balance-bosu/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/25/finding-balance-bosu/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 18:23:12 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21881

A century ago, the medicine ball was all the rage, lifted by men in straw boaters in striped tank tops, sporting handlebar mustaches. Fast forward in the fitness time machine past kettle and stability balls and into the gyms of today, and you’ll find the belle of the fitness ball is now the BOSU. If […]

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BOSU1

A century ago, the medicine ball was all the rage, lifted by men in straw boaters in striped tank tops, sporting handlebar mustaches. Fast forward in the fitness time machine past kettle and stability balls and into the gyms of today, and you’ll find the belle of the fitness ball is now the BOSU. If you take a giant stability ball and cut it in half, adding a plastic platform to one side, you get the wildly popular BOSU Balance Trainer.

Invented in 1999 by David Weck, the name BOSU came from an acronym for “BOth Sides Utilized.” And in fact, this is a device that allows you to train on both sides of it. When the ball part is up, the surface is unstable, but the support platform is very stable. However, when you flip it over, the device becomes even more unstable because the platform is resting on a curved dome.

BOSU2

To experience this apparatus first hand, I headed to the Total Woman Gym in Studio City, CA to take a BOSU strength class, and I immediately saw why the BOSU Balance Trainer is a fitness favorite. The idea of stepping up on half of an inflated ball and then on a platform balanced on half a ball was extremely daunting, but my teacher Naomi Cohen made it seem like the most natural and fun thing in the world. A pint-sized powerhouse, Naomi was the perfect balance of tough trainer and soothing sensei. She encouraged us to be safe but push ourselves to work as hard as we could physically and mentally. We started with the dome side up and did aerobic moves that are often associated with step aerobics, but instead of using a step, we used the BOSU. Then we moved on to squats while balancing on the half ball and lunges with one foot anchored on the ball. We did planks using the ball for leg support.

Next, we flipped the BOSU so the platform was on top, grabbed our hand weights, and climbed aboard. It was like exercising on a surfboard in the ocean. You perform basic arm, core, and back exercises with dumbells while trying to stay balanced on the platform. At one point, we moved our feet to the edges of the platform and alternated bending our knees with our feet parallel. The move resembled mime walking, but off the ground. Naomi had us move our feet closer together on the platform, engage our cores and close our eyes if possible, so we could fully experience the balance challenge for our individual bodies. Then, we flipped the BOSU again, and used it to prop up our back for more core work, including sit-ups into a standing position for the advanced. Finally, Naomi cooled us down and reminded us about the importance of stretching after this workout to relieve soreness and protect the muscles and joints.

BOSUInstructor

As a person with knee and hip issues, the balance aspect was really challenging, but therapeutic, because it forced me to use my core and the stabilizing muscle groups in my legs to support my body weight. BOSU training is stellar for all ages, and many physical therapists recommend it as people age, because the exercises improve balance and strengthen core, legs and ankles, which can help prevent falls.

Although BOSU classes are extremely popular in LA and in gyms all over the world, you can also purchase the apparatus and a variety of great videos to lead you through a BOSU based workout at home. In addition to the great cardio and toning that BOSU training provides, there is a real freedom and fun in the surfing sensation you get when you finally master your fear and achieve your BOSU balance.

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Want more unique fitness ideas? Check out our piece on Rucking and our profile on Sandbox Fitness.

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Does Rising Obesity Put Nurses’ Safety At Risk? http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/24/obesity-nurses-safety-risk/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/24/obesity-nurses-safety-risk/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:37:59 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21798

Nursing has always been a tough job, and now it’s getting tougher. Working floors populated by more and more overweight patients means nurses have to be more vigilant about the health needs of larger people, and more careful to protect their own physical health too. Larger patients’ physical size adds a slew of complications to […]

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Nursing has always been a tough job, and now it’s getting tougher. Working floors populated by more and more overweight patients means nurses have to be more vigilant about the health needs of larger people, and more careful to protect their own physical health too.

Larger patients’ physical size adds a slew of complications to the care that hospital and nursing-home nurses are responsible for administering. When taking care of obese patients, basic medical interventions become more of a challenge. In addition to the mechanical difficulties associated with rolling over patients or transporting them from beds to gurneys, nurses must be aware of other obesity-related issues such as skin care, respiratory problems, difficulties in assessing due to the size of machines, or layers of fat surrounding organs. On top of that, there are barriers to administering lifesaving measures, along with altered drug absorption due to excess body fat, and limited intravenous access with devices such as IV lines and catheters.

Nurse_Obesity

A Nurse’s Perspective

Tammy Munro, pictured, is a Portland-born registered nurse who worries about the upward-trending weight of patients. Munro has worked as a nurse for 12 years, and currently practices at UCLA in California. She notes that patients’ sizes vary by hospital and city, but patients everywhere seem to be getting bigger.

“Obesity in patients can be dangerous for nurses,” Munro explains. “It affects every aspect of care. With smaller patients, I’m physically able to roll them from side to side to clean them or get them onto a bedpan. An obese patient can require two to four nurses or aides for the same job.” In a perfect world, there would always be the help needed to safely care for everyone. While there are plans and protocols in place, the reality of a hospital doesn’t always allow nurses to slow down and adhere to them.

“If someone is shouting for a bedpan, and I need three more nurses to help me, I have to take the time to find them or wait until they finish something. This is when things get dangerous. Nurses end up knowingly taking on more than they should… but you can’t tell a screaming guy to hold his bowels while you assemble your team.” At 5’2’’ with a slim frame, Munro is a relatively small person, which increases her likelihood of getting hurt. “I am grateful I haven’t had any serious injuries, but I have seen many co-workers with back and shoulder injuries which take them off the job for months at a time.”

Seeking Solutions

Munro says that moving patients from seated to standing positions is a major issue. Protocols often require hydraulic lifts, and while this may seem like a good solution, using the lifts can actually add challenges.

“We are required to have lifts on every floor, which raises the issue of trying to create space where there was none. But the most important thing I want to say about the lifts is that they take a long time. Sometimes patients want to jump out of bed — almost always when they need to use the bathroom. A lift could safely get them and us there, but maybe not in time.”

She explains that a caring disposition and an “autopilot” drive to protect puts nurses in harm’s way. “If someone jumps out of bed and I’m the only one in the room, I go into nurse mode and do anything to keep them safe. More than once, I’ve caught a patient who was falling and broken their fall with… me. I’ve pulled them so they would land safely on top of me on the ground. Luckily I have only done this with smaller people so far, but if an obese person is falling, it’s our instinct to protect them. It’s not unusual for me to have patients well over twice my size. Obviously this is a safety risk.”

In a 2015 article in The Journal of NursingDr. Mary Rowan, a clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, says that “manual transfers, where nurses use their own body strength, results in 35,000 nurses being injured each year.” The article cites lifts as a tool to help prevent the most common injuries reported by healthcare workers, shoulder and lower-back injuries, but again, this solution doesn’t seem to work well in practice.

What We Can Do

Short of solving the nation’s obesity problem, is there a solution to the extra stress that larger patients put on today’s nurses? A combination of educating nurses about body mechanics and the physics of lifting, mechanical devices, and more on-the-floor staff can help, but Munro hopes the issue continues to be explored for the sake of her fellow healthcare professionals and her patients.

“On top of the risk for us,” Munro elaborates, “nurses also want the best for our patients, and it’s hard to watch this obesity epidemic hurting the people we care for.”

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While obesity is a growing problem, some disorders that look like obesity are actually much more complicated. Check out Lipedema, The Disease They Call FAT to find out more. 

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Lights Out: Keep Your Bedroom Dark For Better Health http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/22/lights-keep-bedroom-dark-better-health/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/22/lights-keep-bedroom-dark-better-health/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2016 18:48:29 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21842

With artificial lights from televisions, computers, e-readers and smartphones constantly at our fingertips, it’s rare that we ever find ourselves in total darkness. However, according to research, light in the bedroom may not only disrupt a good night’s sleep, it could also have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. According to the […]

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Dark bedroom sleep health

With artificial lights from televisions, computers, e-readers and smartphones constantly at our fingertips, it’s rare that we ever find ourselves in total darkness. However, according to research, light in the bedroom may not only disrupt a good night’s sleep, it could also have a negative impact on your mental and physical health.

According to the recent New York Times article, Excess Light Exposure May Take Toll on Muscles and Bones, a recent study at Leiden University Medical Center found that rats who underwent continuous light exposure were found to have decreased muscle and bone strength, as well as weight gain, compared to rats who were left in an environment with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Although the exact cause of physical degeneration is still unknown, and results in rats may not translate to humans, it is theorized to be a result of the disruption of circadian rhythms caused by overexposure to light.

Circadian rhythms are defined by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences as the “physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.” In other words, we use cues from light and darkness to help regulate how we function in our day-to-day lives.

Studies in recent years have shown that disruptions in circadian rhythms not only have a negative impact on our sleeping and eating patterns, but they are also linked to depression. A 2013 Live Science Article, Brain’s ‘Clock’ Disrupted in Depressed People, referenced a study which found that the brains of individuals who suffered from clinical depression had failed to follow the same circadian cycles as those of healthy brains. Therefore, causing disruption to your circadian rhythms by keeping the lights on may make you more prone to depression.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best way to keep circadian rhythms in check is to regulate your exposure to light. Spend time in the sunlight during the day and make a point to keep your sleep environment dark. The book “Sleep for Success” suggests a few ways to regulate the light in your bedroom, including using low-wattage bulbs in place of halogen and fluorescent lights, investing in blackout drapes to eliminate light pollution from cities or outdoor lights, removing TVs and computers, and even covering up digital alarm clocks to reduce the glow of LEDs.

A great alternative to using a digital alarm clock might be to try a product like — get ready for the product placement — the Withings Aura, which uses blue light and music to gradually wake you up in the morning. This way, even if you work the night shift or are using blackout blinds, you can still experience the same smooth wake-up as you would with natural sunlight.

So if you’re someone who consistently falls asleep in front of a TV or with the lights on, consider going to the dark side. The switch may leave you feeling not only more rested, but also more physically and emotionally healthy as well.

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Still not sold on the importance of sleep? Read about why sleep improvement is so important.

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10 Healthy Snacks That Sabotage Your Diet http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/19/10-healthy-snacks-terrible-diet/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/19/10-healthy-snacks-terrible-diet/#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:11:06 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21833

According to a study by Euromonitor International, each year the push towards healthy lifestyle choices increases the consumption of health foods by approximately seven percent — and the snack industry has caught on. Shelves are no longer stocked only with chips, cookies, and candies, but also with so-called healthier options targeted towards an increasingly health-conscious […]

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According to a study by Euromonitor International, each year the push towards healthy lifestyle choices increases the consumption of health foods by approximately seven percent — and the snack industry has caught on. Shelves are no longer stocked only with chips, cookies, and candies, but also with so-called healthier options targeted towards an increasingly health-conscious public. However, many of the packaged foods marketed as healthy alternatives are no better than their junk food counterparts.

Despite trying my best to snack responsibly, I’m guilty of falling for some of the marketing claims, and you might be too. The following ten “healthy” snacks could actually be having a negative impact on your diet and health.

1. Smoothies

Many of us like to drink smoothies as a healthy alternative to soda, but what we often don’t notice is the huge amount of added sugars, preservatives, and protein isolates. Just glancing at the nutritional information from my favorite bottled smoothie, apart from a small amount of calcium and iron, the drink is mostly just sugar.

If you want a smoothie, try making one at home so you can control exactly what goes into the blender. For example, try blending some fresh and frozen fruit, a handful of spinach, and some unsweetened almond milk for a delicious produce-packed snack.

2. Fat-Free Yogurt

When comparing the labels of fat-free and regular yogurt, you might notice that fat-free has a fewer calories. But did you notice that it often contains over twice as much sugar? Many companies that produce fat-free yogurt replace the missing fat with additives like sugar and artificial flavoring to make up for the taste difference.

Try plain Greek yogurt, with your own choice of fresh fruit mixed in, for a healthier alternative to fat-free flavored yogurt.

3. Pre-made Salads

A serving of lettuce contains only about ten calories, so when the urge to snack comes along, it may seem like a good choice to reach for a pre-made side salad. However, when you consider toppings such as cheese, croutons, and calorie-dense dressings, a small salad can have a negative impact on any healthy diet. For example, the bottle of ranch dressing in my own fridge states that two tablespoons contain 140 calories, 130 of which come from fat.

If salad is a snack that you can’t get enough of, consider making it at home, and leave off the unhealthier toppings. Additionally, try making your own salad dressing, or simply dressing your greens with balsamic or flavored vinegar.

4. Dried Fruit

If dried fruit is simply dehydrated and packaged it can be a great source of fiber and antioxidants. However, many companies add sugar to the fruit—or “candy” it—to give it additional flavor and texture. Also, because the portion size of a dehydrated mango is much smaller than that of a fresh mango, and you don’t need to cut and slice it, it can be easy to go crazy while snacking on dried fruit.

Not to sound like your mom but… a simple always-healthy alternative is to eat fresh fruit. Love raisins? Seedless grapes are made for snacking, and you can even find fancy new varieties that are super sweet. Try Cotton Candy grapes if you get a chance, and see if they don’t transport you to thinking you’re eating carnival food from a mega-healthy planet.

5. Nuts

Although nuts can be an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, their nutritional value is altered based on how they are cooked. Many nuts that look plain are actually roasted in oils, then seasoned with salt or sugar. Not only that, but like dried fruit, nuts can be addictive, and because they are so calorie-dense,it’s easy to eat way too many.

If eating nuts is your snacking habit, be sure to read labels, watch portion sizes and look for raw or dry-roasted, unsalted nuts. In fact, the only ingredient should be…well…nuts!

6. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

The creamy draw of peanut butter can be hard to resist, whether it’s on a cracker or a piece of celery, but it’s also very calorically dense, thanks to its high fat content. Some people may think reduced-fat peanut butter is a healthier way to enjoy their favorite snack, but like low-fat yogurt, it is packed with extra sugars and protein isolates, and often contains the same amount of calories as regular peanut butter.

Instead of going the low-fat route, consider finding a natural, full-fat peanut butter. The fat can actually help you stay full for longer, and you’ll cut out the additives too.

7. Protein Bars

Protein bars are often considered a healthy snack, but a single bar often has as many calories as a full meal. Not only that, but unless your protein bars are homemade, they can be extremely processed. Packed with protein isolates, added sugars, and preservatives most are little more than glorified candy bars with extra synthetic protein.

If you’re worried about your protein intake, snack on some roasted chickpeas, a hard-boiled egg, or even roasted broccoli, which is made up of over 30% protein.

8. Rice Cakes

Although they may satiate the urge to snack, rice cakes have little to no nutritional value. In fact, since they are refined carbohydrates, rice cakes are basically nothing more than disks of artificially-flavored sugar.

When the munchies have you craving something crunchy, consider substituting celery or baby carrots in place of rice cakes. Pair them with some hummus for extra flavor and nutrition.

9. Whole Wheat Snacks

When it comes to crackers, muffins, bagels, and biscuits, many of us falsely assume that when a food contains “wheat,” it’s a healthy alternative to white bread products. Unfortunately, “wheat” does not mean “whole wheat,” so products that claim they are “multigrain” or “contain whole grain” are likely made up of mostly refined grains. Whole wheat products can be healthy, but it’s essential to look at the ingredients list — make sure that 100% whole wheat is the first ingredient.

If you’re looking for a carbohydrate and fiber-packed snack, snack on a few truly whole wheat crackers or cook up some rice and beans.

10. Packaged Organic, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Snacks

Just because a snack is organic, vegan, or gluten-free does not mean it is healthy.
It is important to remember that added sugars are organic, vegan, and gluten-free, as are refined grains, protein isolates, and even certain preservatives. Additionally the use of words like “all-natural” are not regulated, so regardless of how the snack is labeled, it’s always a good idea to flip it over and read the ingredients list and scan the nutrition label.

If you eat three meals a day and tend to only snack on unhealthy items, you might consider cutting out snacks all together. However, if snacking helps you control your hunger, try to steer away from packaged products and aim for whole, fresh foods instead.

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Need more help controlling the munchies?

Check out our original infographic: 16 Reasons You’re Always Hungry

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Reach For Sneakers To Fight Mental Decline? http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/18/reach-sneakers-fight-mental-decline/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/18/reach-sneakers-fight-mental-decline/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:04:18 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21788

In How Exercise and Other Activities Beat Back Dementia, NPR reports that more than half of all 85-year-olds suffer from some form of dementia. According to Alz.org, dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It can occur as a result of various diseases, such […]

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In How Exercise and Other Activities Beat Back Dementia, NPR reports that more than half of all 85-year-olds suffer from some form of dementia. According to Alz.org, dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It can occur as a result of various diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, or simply as a result of aging.

As of now, there’s no cure for dementia, but certain cognition-enhancing drugs may diminish the symptoms. These drugs work to lower blood pressure, improve mood, or improve nerve-cell communication in the brain, which can significantly improve quality of life. However, these drugs do not treat dementia’s underlying causes or delay its progression.

Get moving for brain health

Here’s the good news: Regular aerobic exercise can be very effecting at preventing or even reversing dementia. Here’s how:

1. Moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, can increase the brain volume in older adults.

Source: NPR

2. Just one hour a week of high-intensity exercise can cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by half.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

3. Those who don’t engage in 60 minutes of high-intensity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week are 82% more likely to develop dementia.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

4. In patients already experiencing dementia, exercise can improve heart and vascular health, reduce the risk of stroke, improve sleep and mood, improve memory, and slow mental decline.

Source: alzheimers.org.uk

Engaging in regular exercise is an excellent way of keeping mental faculties intact, and people are most likely to stick to an exercise routine if they enjoy the activity. If you’re a gym rat, jump on the treadmill or join a Zumba class. If you’re the outdoorsy type, get your blood pumping with vigorous city walks or hikes through the countryside. Even if you can’t leave home, you can still reap the benefits of cardio by blasting music and dancing in your living room.

And when’s the best time to start? Now. Whether you’re 25 or 75, when it comes to supporting the body and brain long-term, the benefits of exercise are clear.

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Want to learn more about the benefits of exercise? Check out Rx For Exercise.

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5 Lightened Up Summer Cocktails http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/18/5-lightened-summer-cocktails/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/18/5-lightened-summer-cocktails/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:00:28 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21564

Summertime may be all about sunscreen, swimsuits, and sweat, but it’s also the time we all tend to overindulge. Especially when it comes to all things including alcohol. Even if you’re upping those spin classes, taking after dinner strolls and nixing the chips and dip, drunken weekend brunches and solo cup calories around the fire […]

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Summertime may be all about sunscreen, swimsuits, and sweat, but it’s also the time we all tend to overindulge. Especially when it comes to all things including alcohol. Even if you’re upping those spin classes, taking after dinner strolls and nixing the chips and dip, drunken weekend brunches and solo cup calories around the fire pit still add up. F-A-S-T.

LightenedUpCocktails1

The obvious first step, ditch all drinks with pretty umbrellas. Piña coladas, margaritas, and frozen daiquiris may look all flirty, innocent, and pretty, but throwing back even just one piña colada will cost you upwards of 500 calories and approximately 30 grams of sugar. And, really, can you stick to just one?

Put the kibosh on alcohol all together? Not necessarily necessary. But you can enjoy the party without feeling like a ‘Debby downer,’ while avoiding doing major damage to that bod you worked so hard on all year long.

So, the second step after ditching the embarrassingly named drinks, is to choose wisely. Though alcoholic beverages will always be a more caloric choice than water with a wedge of lemon or seltzer with a few frozen raspberries, there are a few options that are better than that Sex on the Beach.

Here are 5 better options that won’t totally derail your health goals.

Simple Sake

2 oz Sake

Sake has only 39 calories per fluid ounce, proving itself to be one of the best options on the menu. Sake even provides you with a healthy dose of selenium (a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce cell damage).

Red Wine Spritzer

2 oz red wine
3 oz mixed berry seltzer
⅓ cup frozen berries
Served over ice

2 ounces red, dry white, or champagne all come in under 50 calories. Red wins the lower sugar prize with less than 1 gram. Not only that, but when you drink red, you’ll be throwing back the antioxidant resveratrol, which has been shown to help mobilize fat storage in the body.

Michelada Lite

Beer
½ teaspoon hot sauce
½ lime

Ordering a low cal beer costs you around 100 calories a pop. And when served as a cocktail like this, you’ll reap the metabolism revving benefits of capsaicin in the hot sauce. A light, cold, refreshing brew has even been shown to contribute to higher bone density, and drinkers may have better vision. Don’t go back to the days of buying kegs though. The calories do add up fast.

Fruity Tequila on the Rocks

1.5 oz tequila
Splash of soda water
Orange wedge
Lime wedge
Served over ice

It’s not necessarily the tequila who is the culprit, causing your margarita to rack up all those calories. At only 97 calories per 1.5 ounce, tequila itself can be enjoyed with some muddled fruit and soda water to make the perfect cocktail. Studies have even shown that tequila can help break down fat, which helps in lowering your LDL cholesterol.

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Vodka mint gimlet

2 oz vodka
Juice of 2 lime wedges
Mint

If you’re not into drinking vodka on the rocks, this simple cocktail adds up to only around 136 calories and 0 grams of sugar. Vodka has one carb compared to a similar gin and tonic option that comes in at a whopping 13 grams of carbs.

However, nothing is going to keep your calorie intake in check and health on track like opting out of a few drinks here and there.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated while you drink. Not only will it help you cut down on calories from alcohol but you’ll also be less likely to have a hangover the next day. Curious what your hydration levels are really like? A Withings Body scale can tell you your hydration levels and just how much water you are retaining. Happy, safe, hydrated drinking!

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Looking for some fun summer drinks without the alcohol? Check out these 6 Healthy & Festive Mocktail Recipes.

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A Race to the Finish: Marathon Training Weeks 7 & 8 http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/16/race-finish-marathon-training-weeks-7-8/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/16/race-finish-marathon-training-weeks-7-8/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2016 13:24:52 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21817

Anyone else sick of the crazy heat and humidity we’ve been having? While runners are overly obsessed with the weather, and like to constantly complain about it (sorry), I haven’t actually started wishing summer away until this week. Running faster feels easier in cool temperatures — plus, I don’t return in a puddle of sweat. […]

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Anyone else sick of the crazy heat and humidity we’ve been having? While runners are overly obsessed with the weather, and like to constantly complain about it (sorry), I haven’t actually started wishing summer away until this week. Running faster feels easier in cool temperatures — plus, I don’t return in a puddle of sweat. I can’t wait for those perfectly crisp fall mornings!

Besides dealing with unpleasant weather, I struggled with my runs during week 8. Week 7 went well, but after spending a weekend away, I had trouble easing back into my routine. My mind was especially restless, while my body felt more fatigued than usual. One run during week 8 also had me attempting to run 5 miles straight at marathon pace, which I could not make happen. I took several breaks during the run, but even discounting the extra rest time, I only hit my goal pace for three of those miles.

Setting Big Goals

It’s frustrating not to hit a goal, no matter what it is. But it’s also important to keep things in perspective. Did I manage to run 5 miles straight at an 8-minute pace? No. But did I push myself to try? Yes. Have I gotten faster since I started training? Absolutely. Training for a race is never going to be smooth sailing the whole way through, and it’s the bad runs and the failures that prepare you for race day just as much as those triumphant long runs and successful speed sessions.

But my failure to hit goal marathon pace for 5 miles also brings up another issue. Is it even possible for me to run my marathon in a Boston Marathon qualifying time? The truth is, I’m not sure. This goal might be completely unrealistic for me.

But what I do know is that while reaching for this big, crazy goal and doing everything in my power to reach it might not get me all the way there, it will get me much closer than if my goal had been to simply run a second marathon faster than my first. Big goals can be intimidating, but they also inspire you to bring your best every day. So don’t be afraid to set a goal that might be slightly out of reach — even if you don’t achieve it in the end, you’ll likely surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

Topic of the week: Marathon Training While on Vacation

While you don’t have complete control over how well your body responds to marathon training, you can control how committed you are to that training. Training during the summer months inevitably means that you’ll have to navigate running during a vacation or two. Here are my top tips for sticking to your training plan when you’re away from home:

1. Schedule and Plan Runs

If your vacation only spans a few days, consider shifting around your training schedule so you can complete your long run before you leave, or if necessary, the day after you return. This will eliminate the stress of having to find the time and motivation to fit in a long run, map out a safe route to run, pack all your running gear and fuel, and still try to enjoy your vacation for the rest of the day.

During week 7, I went to Cape Cod for a long weekend, and I chose to wake up extra early on Friday morning to squeeze in my 16-mile run before we left. The wake-up call was rough, and my legs were sore while walking around the rest of that day, but it was a huge weight off my mind to know I’d gotten the run out of the way. If you have time, I recommend getting in a good stretch or foam rolling session after the run to help relieve some of the pain and muscle tightness.

If your vacation is long enough that you will have to do some long or difficult runs during vacation, try to plan ahead as much as possible. Map out and familiarize yourself with your running routes. Then figure out exactly what time you’ll be able to run. Running early in the morning might be your best bet, but whatever time you choose, make sure it’s realistic. Make a list of all running gear that you might need and bring it with you: In addition to clothes and sneakers, you might need to bring a fuel belt, hand-held water bottle, sunblock, and whatever your preferred long run food is (Gus, gels, dates etc.). I also always run with a phone while on vacation in case I get lost, and suggest you do as well.

2. Mentally Prepare

If you’re anything like me, you rarely have trouble motivating yourself to run when at home, but as soon as you’re in a new environment, motivation and commitment often seem to go out the window. This makes sense – at home, you’ve likely created an environment and a routine that is conducive to training.

For example, each night, I prepare my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the following day, and I set up the coffee maker to start brewing coffee when I wake up. I get up around 6am, drink coffee and get ready to run, and then enjoy the “me” time on one of many routes that I know by heart before the work-day begins. I’ve structured my wake-up time, running routes, and nutrition around my training, so it’s now simply a part of my routine. I rarely struggle with motivation or feel unprepared to run.

But on vacation? My environment is completely different. I don’t know any routes by heart, I have no work to structure my day around, and it’s much harder to be picky about my nutrition. Plus, I often don’t sleep well in new locations, and I often seem to develop the mindset that I’m on vacation and it’s ok to be lazy, even though I’m much happier when I’m active.

While it’s important to make sure that training does not interfere with enjoying your vacation, it’s also essential to recognize how a loss of routine might deplete your motivation, and take steps to combat this. One of my go-to methods for creating motivation is to plan a reward immediately following a run. For example, you can end your run at a local coffee-shop, or plan to go to brunch or out for drinks after the run. You could also reward yourself with a few hours spent reading on a beach, napping, or whatever else might get you out the door.

3. Make Training Fun

In addition to planning a post-run reward, try to find other ways to make your training more fun. If anyone else on your vacation is a runner, plan a run date with them. Use your run to explore the city or town you’re staying in. Allow yourself to stop a few times to enjoy the scenery or take pictures. Listen to a new album or a podcast episode you’re especially excited about. Get back to the root of what made you love running in the first place!

Staying on track with your training plan can be a challenge when you’re on vacation, but if you’re committed, there’s always a way to fit in your runs and still enjoy your time off.

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Get To Know The Brazilians, Your 2016 Summer Games Hosts http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/12/get-know-brazilians-2016-summer-games-hosts/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/12/get-know-brazilians-2016-summer-games-hosts/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2016 07:50:47 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21704

This year, Brazil has been under the international spotlight, as the host of the 2016 summer games. We too share a fascination with this country, king of the samba, a festive Carnival, and “tudo bem” attitude. We compared Brazil to 18 other countries* to discover how the daily habits of our users differ based on […]

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This year, Brazil has been under the international spotlight, as the host of the 2016 summer games. We too share a fascination with this country, king of the samba, a festive Carnival, and “tudo bem” attitude.

We compared Brazil to 18 other countries* to discover how the daily habits of our users differ based on location. What are the average Brazilians in our user base like? Do they sleep more than the average user? Is it true that they take better care of their bodies, or is that a myth?

The results? Brazilians are…

Younger and More Likely to Be Female

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Our Brazilian users are younger on average, and more of them are women when compared to the gender split of other countries. Their average age is 35 years and 9 months old, 1.5 years younger than the average. Plus, 48% of them are women, compared to our user average of 46%.

Slightly Less Active

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Brazilians don’t appear to be among our most active users. They walk on average 5,874 steps per day and actually come in next-to-last place among all 18 ranked countries. However, runners seem to do better, logging on average 5.7 sessions per month, which lands them in 9th place among countries ranked by number of running sessions per month. Surprisingly, while soccer is merely the 10th most logged activity in Health Mate, the number one logged activity is weight lifting. So while the Brazilians may not walk or run as much as other countries, they get their exercise in by pumping some iron.

Party Lovers

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It is often said that Brazilians know how to throw a good party. This is reflected in how much they sleep, which is less than the average. Brazilians log 7 hours and 4 minutes of shut-eye a night, which is much less than the French, who average 7 hours 25 minutes per night, but still more than the Kazakhstanis, Koreans or Japanese.

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Did you know? The Brazilians walked 6% more than usual during the 2014 World Cup. Will they walk more again during the 2016 summer games? Check back for the results in a few days!

Withings also celebrated its own summer games. Check out this fun infographic to see if your country came out on top.

*Countries compared in this study are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Brazil, Sweden, Hungary, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, France, China, Korea, and Japan.

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Get Happy: 5 Simple Ways To Find Happiness http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/11/5-ways-cultivate-happiness/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/11/5-ways-cultivate-happiness/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:39:39 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21661

Forget Your Troubles, Come On Get Happy Do you tend to always see the cup half empty? Or, have you experienced negative external circumstances, such as a death in the family or loss of a job? You may think that pulling the covers up over your head and getting used to feeling bad is all […]

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Happiness tips

Withings social media manager Erin Bailey demos happiness for us.

Forget Your Troubles, Come On Get Happy

Do you tend to always see the cup half empty? Or, have you experienced negative external circumstances, such as a death in the family or loss of a job? You may think that pulling the covers up over your head and getting used to feeling bad is all you can do. But New York City-based life coach Susie Moore has good news. “Happiness can be cultivated through mindset and daily habits,” she told us. “Consciously developing the practice of gratitude, for example, works wonders in creating happiness.”

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann of The Society for the Advancement of Judaism, agrees. “Part of my happiness comes from the feeling of luck that I am able to do work in the world that is personally meaningful and that I believe helps others.” Rather than take her good fortune for granted, Rabbi Grabelle Herrmann remains thankful, a proven way to raise happiness levels. “Taking time to recognize all of the blessings in your life rather than focusing on what is lacking creates a habit of looking for the positives in your life.”

How else can you cultivate happiness? With input from Moore and Grabelle Herrmann, we’ve compiled five sure-fire strategies to help bring more joy to daily life.

 

1. Give to Others

Altruism not only gives us a “high,” which increases happiness, but it can improve our health, according to an article in the Stony Brook Newsroom by Professor Stephen G. Post. Helping neighbors, volunteering, or donating goods and services are linked to health and wellbeing, and being selfless “is associated with a substantial reduction in mortality rates and is linked to longevity.” Lending an ear, teaching a skill, celebrating the joy of others, and being present with friends and family are all ways to give. Giving means getting: take care of others, and you wind up taking care of yourself.

2. Be Passionate about Your Goals

“Working out what your life goals are and what you are passionate about is important,” Moore says. “Taking steps to realize your life goals gives you an amazing sense of progress and alignment with yourself. It makes you feel like you are on track in life and living a life that is your own, which boosts your happiness greatly.” Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve in life? What is a dream I’d pursue if I felt I had no barriers? Then take small steps towards your goal, remembering to celebrate progress along the way. Eventually, you’ll find yourself as the owner of your own thriving business, crossing the finish line of a marathon, or 25 pounds leaner.

3. Boost Your Self-Esteem

According to The Secrets of Happiness in Psychology Today, “Happy people like themselves.” The article points to several studies from The University of Michigan indicating that the best predictor of overall happiness isn’t satisfaction with income level, friendships, or even family life, but satisfaction with self. According to the article, most people overestimate their successes and how other people rate them, support their opinions, and share their foibles. And this modest self-deception is a good thing: the “positive illusion” helps protect us against depression and anxiety.

Moore urges her clients to advocate for themselves in the workplace to cultivate more self esteem. “Feeling like our monthly paycheck is fair for the work we carry out in our career is a self esteem boost. This goal is an area I am passionate about, and I have spent time developing guidance on how to ask for the salary you deserve, which has helped guide many women especially to a salary that reflects their contribution.” So ignore the conventional wisdom that discourages tooting your own horn; the better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll feel overall.

4. Do Meaningful Work

Grabelle Hermann uses her position as a rabbi to inspire and influence others, which gives her a sense of purpose. When asked what else is meaningful about her job, she expounded, “I like the diversity of tasks – I can be doing program planning, teaching, writing, listening to people, big-picture thinking, working with kids and more on any given day… and maybe sometimes all within one day.” Like many happy workers, Grabelle Herrman knows what is important to her and incorporates it into her work. Moore also stresses the need to know yourself as you seek a career. She shared, “An important part of happiness is working out who you are and what drives you and aligning your work to this.”

People who are happy in their jobs don’t necessarily clock in for the paycheck. A recent Gallup Poll in the area of Work and Education revealed that nearly two-thirds of surveyed Americans would not quit their jobs if they won $10 million in the lottery. The implication is that most people find their work to be rewarding enough to forge on regardless of financial need.

5. Connect with People

As the old song goes, “People who need people are the luckiest people of all.” The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin proclaimed in The Huffington Post that “Everyone, even introverts, gets a boost of happiness and energy when they interact with other people.” We humans are born to be social. In fact, we rely on others for our very survival. No wonder a lack of connection and isolation can lead to depression and poor physical health. Grabelle Herrmann sees this in her personal life and in her work as a rabbi. “Connectivity is huge,” she affirmed. “People, myself included, need people who can reflect back that they are understood and therefore have a place in this very big universe. And the benefits of making connections can even extend to our furry friends. “Having a pet is a key part of my life,” Moore enthused. “My dog Coco puts a smile on my face every day.”

What Doesn’t Make Us Happy?

Money.

In a article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman reports that after a person reaches slightly beyond the average middle-class income level, large increases in financial gains don’t bring much, if any, increased reported happiness.

Don’t get the wrong idea: Money can bring truly poverty-stricken people happiness by relieving the stressors of not having enough food, not having access to dignified housing, and not being able to access medical care. So don’t discount the value of 9-to-5 jobs; there is pride to be felt in earning enough to care for yourself and your family. Joblessness increases rates of divorce, suicide, and disease, according to social scientist Arthur C. Brooks in his 2013 New York Times article, A Formula for Happiness. But the ultimate goal should still be to find work that combines your passions and capabilities, allowing you to create value in your own life, and in the larger world as well.

So take control of your own happiness today. As Moore advises, “Happiness can be cultivated through mindset and daily habits.” And even the smallest steps can lead to a big payoff down the line.

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#HealthySelfie Instagram Contest: The 12 Labors of Withings http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/10/healthy-selfie-instagram-contest-12-labors-withings/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/10/healthy-selfie-instagram-contest-12-labors-withings/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2016 20:51:29 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21694

To celebrate the release of our new activity logging feature in Health Mate, we are hosting a photo contest on Instagram for the best #HealthySelfie, to be taken after your workout or sports session. And while Hercules would have been a champ at logging all the labors he had to complete, there’s no need to […]

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To celebrate the release of our new activity logging feature in Health Mate, we are hosting a photo contest on Instagram for the best #HealthySelfie, to be taken after your workout or sports session. And while Hercules would have been a champ at logging all the labors he had to complete, there’s no need to log 12 different activities to win – just pick your favorite!

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So how do you enter? Here’s what you need to do:

1) Complete an activity. If your activity is automatically logged, great! If not? Add it manually using our easy new activity logging feature in Health Mate. Need instructions on how to do this? Check out our tutorial.
2) Go to the activity on your Health Mate timeline, swipe left, and select the blue share button.
3) Select Share with selfie, snap a picture, and customize it to your liking.
4) Select Share, and save the image to your device.
5) Open Instagram, post your image with #HealthySelfie, and tag @withings to be eligible to win an awesome prize.

Android users: The selfie sharing feature is not available on Android yet, but you can still enter the contest by taking your own post-workout selfie, along with your activity tracker. Be sure to tag @withings and add #HealthySelfie! 

Make sure you’re following @withings on Instagram in order to qualify to win. Two winners will be chosen and announced on Instagram on September 1st from all eligible entries. One winner will be chosen by us based on the creativity of the photo, while our other winner will be awarded for getting the most likes.

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The contest only runs through August 31, 2016 — so go snap that #HealthySelfie!

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Withings Celebrates Its Own 2016 Summer Games http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/09/withings-celebrates-own-summer-games-2016/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/09/withings-celebrates-own-summer-games-2016/#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:49:32 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21671

Don’t know how to use our brand new activity logging feature? Check out how in our short tutorial. Log your activities over the course of the summer games, and try to take your country to the top spot.

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Don’t know how to use our brand new activity logging feature? Check out how in our short tutorial.

Log your activities over the course of the summer games, and try to take your country to the top spot.

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New: Log All Your Activities Right In Health Mate http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/03/new-log-activities-right-health-mate/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/03/new-log-activities-right-health-mate/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2016 20:05:51 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21546

If you have a Withings Go or one of our activity-tracking watches, you know they automatically detect and track walk, run, swim, and sleep. Pretty nifty, right? But sometimes you play to win — maybe basketball, volleyball, tennis? And sometimes you like to get out on your own to surf, climb, or snowboard. Or maybe […]

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activity loggingIf you have a Withings Go or one of our activity-tracking watches, you know they automatically detect and track walk, run, swim, and sleep. Pretty nifty, right? But sometimes you play to win — maybe basketball, volleyball, tennis? And sometimes you like to get out on your own to surf, climb, or snowboard. Or maybe you danced the night away and want to get credit for it – and see it tracked in your app. Now you can. Just open Health Mate, find your favorite activity, adjust intensity, and set goals to motivate you to do more of what you love. After logging, you’ll get a warm glow when you see it in your timeline and know how many calories you’ve burned out there on the court, mountain, or dance floor. Here’s a handy video that shows you how:

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Want more inspiration? Find out why rucking is all the rage, or follow a Withings employee who is training for a marathon and sharing her wisdom.

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A Race to the Finish: Marathon Training Weeks 5 & 6 http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/01/race-finish-marathon-training-weeks-5-6/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/08/01/race-finish-marathon-training-weeks-5-6/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2016 20:53:04 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21575

6 weeks of training down, 16 to go. On the one hand, it’s crazy how fast it’s going, but then I realize I’ve still got almost 4 months of training to go. I’ve always been fascinated at how time seems to pass both very slowly and lightning fast during training; I swear it feels like […]

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6 weeks of training down, 16 to go. On the one hand, it’s crazy how fast it’s going, but then I realize I’ve still got almost 4 months of training to go.

I’ve always been fascinated at how time seems to pass both very slowly and lightning fast during training; I swear it feels like I live an entire lifetime during a 2 ½ hour long run, yet focusing so completely on each individual run somehow seems to make the weeks fly by.

Since I’m now over 25% done with the process, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my improvement so far. With such a lofty time goal, which essentially requires me to run 8 minute miles for the entire 26.2 mile distance, it’s easy to feel like I’ve made no progress whatsoever. But that’s not really true. I’ve already pushed my long run mileage up to 15 miles, and the run felt fairly comfortable too, as my legs weren’t completely worn out by the end. (Please note that “comfortable” is a relative term, as there is really nothing comfortable about running 15 miles in the summertime.)

And how is my speed progressing? I’ve been consistently doing two interval speed workouts per week. One workout currently consists mainly of longer intervals of 1-2 miles at marathon pace, while the other consists of shorter intervals at sub-marathon pace.

These workouts are hard, but I haven’t yet encountered one where I couldn’t meet the goal pace. While it’s easy to get discouraged that an 8 minute/mile pace doesn’t feel very sustainable yet, the fact that I’ve been able to keep up with the training plan tells me I must be making at least some improvement on this front. We’ll see what the next 6 weeks bring…

Two long runs in one week?

Week 5’s long run was a bit of an adventure. With a visit to see my family on the agenda, I planned to complete my 12-mile run on Saturday morning as usual. Despite the forecasted hot, humid weather, a shaded bike path nearby would provide a pleasant path. However, late nights and a poor night’s sleep on both Friday and Saturday night meant that I didn’t feel prepared for a long run either morning.

I could have given up on my long run for that week. Instead, I got up extra early on Monday morning before work to get my 12 miles in. Due to an error in planning the route, I actually ended up trekking over 13 miles in less time than my most recent half marathon. It felt pretty amazing having accomplished that before the work day even started on Monday!

I was extra sore for the rest of the week due to that delayed long run, but by the time Saturday rolled around, I felt pretty normal again, and was able to get in a successful 15 mile run without too much trouble.

To be honest, the prospect of skipping a long run really upset me, and made me feel like I was failing. Perhaps I’m too hard on myself at times, but I’m really glad that I didn’t let my weekend away de-rail my training, and that I found a way to not skip any workouts. Cheers to a double long-run week!

Which brings me to my topic of the week…

Topic of the week: When is it ok to skip a workout?

Sometimes it’s ok to skip a workout in favor of catching up on sleep. I also think it’s ok to delay a run to a day when you’ll be better rested. After I get a night or two of bad sleep, running feels much harder, I’m a lot more prone to getting sick, and my motivation plummets.

Successful marathon training isn’t just about running – It’s about running, sleeping well, hydrating, fueling with healthy food, cross-training, developing mental endurance, managing stress, and more. Taking all these aspects into account will help you recover faster, maintain a positive attitude, and actually enjoy training, rather than burning out by the end. Sometimes it might be worth it to skip a run or re-arrange your workout schedule to benefit one of these other aspects.

What about when you’re sick? If you have a cold, it’s generally safe to run, so assess based on how you feel. If you’re feeling unusually tired or are very congested, skip the run and catch up on some sleep. Otherwise, venture out cautiously and be ok with slowing your pace or cutting the run short if it doesn’t feel right. If you have a more serious illness, it’s best to stop running and focus on recovering. Continuing to run will only prolong how long you feel under the weather.

And speaking of weather…if you train in the summer, it might be best to forgo a run if the temperature and humidity reach dangerous highs. The risk of developing heat exhaustion or even heat stroke increases significantly when the heat index reaches 91 or higher. Safety first, my friends!

And finally, do not run if you get injured. Getting injured while training can be very frustrating, but you’ll only make the injury worse by continuing to run. Often, these injuries are due to overuse or increasing training volume too quickly, so it’s essential to rest if you want to recover. When you feel that you’re doing better, ease back in slowly, and stop running if the pain returns.

When you’re in the middle of training, it can be difficult to distinguish between soreness, mild illness, or fatigue that you can push through and what you can’t, but the more experience you have, the better you’ll learn to listen to your body.

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Missed Rachel’s past posts? Check them out here!
Meet the Marathoner
Weeks 1 & 2
Weeks 3 & 4

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Penn Jillette On His New Book About His Amazing Transformation http://blog.withings.com/2016/07/28/penn-jillette-new-book-amazing-transformation/ http://blog.withings.com/2016/07/28/penn-jillette-new-book-amazing-transformation/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2016 04:48:54 +0000 http://blog-admin.withings.com/?p=21535

My Book: Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette The reason I write for this blog, the reason I pimp Withings products, is that I was told by a guy who I call CrayRay that if I wanted to lose weight and save my life, I had […]

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Penn Jillette weight loss story

My Book: Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales

by Penn Jillette

The reason I write for this blog, the reason I pimp Withings products, is that I was told by a guy who I call CrayRay that if I wanted to lose weight and save my life, I had to start with a scale that would let him keep track of my progress. Well, I lost the weight and now I swear by Withings (it doesn’t take much to get me to swear).

I’ve written a lot of books. I wrote them because I had an idea in my head, or at least an advance in my bank. But my new book, Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, which will be out August 2nd and is available for pre-order right now, I wrote because I was asked to write it. By a lot of people. “Hey man, you gotta let me know how you lost all that weight.”

If you take medical advice from a Vegas magician, you deserve to die. I write in the book about how I lost the weight. More accurately, I write about how I think I lost the weight. This book isn’t science; there’s no control group. There isn’t another Penn out there living a non-Withings life and not writing a book. Even my guru CrayRay has guided only hundreds of people through his system so far. Logic tells us that some of the stuff I’ve turned into healthy habits isn’t really necessary or even helpful, and we don’t yet know which stuff that is.

The book is also about atheism, sex, politics, family, magic, sex, juggling, music, and sex. It’s not a diet book, it’s not a weight-loss book – it’s a Penn book.

One of the first pieces of advice in the book is to buy Withings stuff. Once you do that, you can shell out another couple bucks for the book, right? You might like it.

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Editor’s note: We read an advance copy of “Presto!” and it’s completely awesome — and we’re not saying that because he mentions us in it. Do yourself a solid and buy it.

OK — want more Penn while you’re waiting for your book to arrive/download? Check out all his articles in our Penned by Penn section and then get to know CrayRay and many more of Penn’s friends.

The post Penn Jillette On His New Book About His Amazing Transformation appeared first on Health Boosters.

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