Tag Archives: Fitness

I have a new bracelet that can change the world

Now my rehab is in full flow I have become addicted to fuel points. I got a Nike+ Fuelband at the start of my rehab to record my steps and energy output, or whatever fuel points really are.

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When I was looking at getting an exercise bike, above, I was trying to find the best bike with the best monitors. I worked out that I was looking at spending over £600 to get a really decent bit of kit, or £1,300 if I wanted to muck around on Google maps.

What I have settled for is a massive hodge bodge of kit, which I think gets me the best of everything. I got a racing style exercise bike without any techie bits, and with a £300 discount, a Nike Fuelband+ (£129) which can be used all the time, the latest iPod Nano(£108) which is paired to a polar heart rate Wearlink+ Nike (£46) so that plays music and monitors my fitness. All in all about the same price I would have paid for a techie bike but my rational was; I could use the different parts in multiple ways, not just with the bike and obviously MORE SHINY TECH STUFF.

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Here is the interesting bit. Without any knowledge of wtf fuel points really are, they are very addictive. Each day that passes I am striving to beat the previous day or get my best day of the week or my best day ever or soak my goal (this is when you beat your goal by over 50%, over 100% you ice it). It also sets you milestones of reaching 25,000 fuel points, 50K and so on. The Fuelband is a great motivational tool, as with most things it can be cheated but if you are buying one, why cheat? Yes you can share the results with your friends and get competitive, but cheating them as well as yourself is even worse.

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Nike has opened its APIs to third-party developers to bring greater health connection to the platform, which can only improve the users’ knowledge and assessment of the impact of any workout. The potential seems pretty endless for this little puppy but at some point it would be nice they told the public what on earth a fuel point is and how it is calculated. It uses an accelerometer to take the measurements but the points are not directly comparable, you don’t get the same amount of points for waving your arm in the air as you do for walking, and the same with running. I can’t imagine this is a perfect measurement but the key is that it is an motivational tool.

So the main point is a Fuelband is awesome but if you don’t have the heart, don’t buy the band. You should want to challenge and inspire yourself with your workouts and day to day activities, and for this it is the best thing ever.

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The current No.1 App on my iPhone

This is my new best app ever, I might be exaggerating a little bit but it is pretty good. It is only available on iOS at the time of writing, but android is said to be coming soon.

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It not only incentivises you to exercise, it also rewards you for doing so. So far I have been a member for two weeks, done 7 workouts and earned $3.5. Ok it’s not megabucks, but if I keep this up in a year I will have paid for at least one month’s gym membership, not bad. If I don’t keep it up I will be $10 poorer for every week I miss.

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The concept is easy and works well. You make a pact to workout X amount of times a week, and if you fail to do that you forfeit $X from your bank account. If you are good and complete your pact you get a reward, the reward comes from a pot of all the users that didn’t complete their pact. The app GPS locates you to a gym when you check in and you must workout for a minimum of 30 minutes, and  it works in conjunction with RunKeeper if you prefer to run on the roads, and again you must clock a minimum of 30 minutes.

There are definitely some hiccups though. Firstly the app didn’t recognise my first week’s activities but, that was very easy to sort, with a quick email. The second problem, is the check-in at a gym system needs GPS, so if you gym is underground it cuts out. Not helpful, but the gym pact team tried to correct my information pretty quickly, it’s all gone a bit wrong unfortunately but I’m sure it will be sorted.

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Yes, I know you savvy people have realised you could check in at the gym and spend 30 minutes sat in the cafe, but as you have to do a minimum of 2 workouts a week and that will earn you a reward of approximately $2. So, if you value your time at $2 per hour or £1.25 per hour in real money, go for it, but I hope you think more of yourself.

All in all, it is great. The premise is great, the motivation it creates is awesome and I hope in time the app will work perfectly.

 

I want to run and run and run

I have started to hit gym, and roads, again after my operation.

What is the goal?

The goal is to run a marathon.

Why?

Well there is a long list of reasons, but the main one is that I never thought I would be able to, because of the state of my joints.

When?

I’m not mental; I’m giving myself 2 years. I would love to be able to say I’ll do one next year, but I need to make sure I will be able to walk afterwards and that means test my knees and ankles for a long sustained period.

Why am I writing this up?

This is my pact with you. If by 16th October 2014 I have not signed up to run a marathon, you can kick me in the shins and flick my ears.

 

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