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Healthy Lifestyle

Apps that help me move more

October 17, 2016
Pink Kettleball and Shoes

There are thousands of apps that can help people increase their physical activity. Here are a few free apps that help me exercise and increase my physical activity. At the end of this post, is an update on how well I faired this past week.

 

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal

I primarily use My Fitness Pal (MFP) to track my food intake, but it also has an physical activity tracker. The physical activities track however grossly underestimates the calories that I burn, especially with cardio exercise. So generally I would manually input the correct values from my heart rate monitor. However, recently I’ve purchased a Jawbone UP2 and linked it to My Fitness Pal and the apps automatically sync to one another. If you’d like to connect on MFP my user name is BodyElectric1 (it’s a Lana del Rey reference).

 

Up by Jawbone

Jawbone UP

So I purchased the Jawbone UP2 and it arrived this past Thursday, 13 October 2016. Jawbone is basically a fitness tracker. It tracks the amount of steps you take, your activities and even your sleep. So far what I find interesting is my sleep pattern. Over the past two days that I’ve tracked my sleep, although I do wake up in the middle of the night, I jump between sound sleep and light sleep often. As I’ve had the app and device for less than a week, I’m still testing it out. I will post a review and my thoughts on the Jawbone UP2 soon.

Edited to add: I no longer use Jawbone. The strap broke in less than 3 months. As the strap cannot be repaired, they sent me a new one, which did not work. So I returned it and I’m on the market for a new fitness tracker.

 

101716-nrc

Nike+ Run Club

This is such a nifty app from Nike. The Nike+ Run Club (NRC) takes your runs, or in my case, walks and attempts to jog. It shows your pace, distance covered, total kms run per month and a number of personal records and averages. At first I was using the app to improve my pace, but I’ve decided to focus on my distance. NRC has helped my discover an easy 5km route from my house. The only thing I’m sad about, is the fact that it does not connect to Jawbone.

 

Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO

When I started walking again, I used Pokemon Go. Cause I needed to hatch my eggs! Pokemon Go is a game, but players are required to walk actual distances and go to specific places in order to play it. Unfortunately distances are not tracked if your phone is locked, the game needs to be actively on your screen. When I started using Pokemon Go, I was really slow and used the excuse that I needed to ensure that the app was constantly open to hatch my eggs. In a way this helped me from keeping my pace down and go further distances. If I went fasted I would have tired quickly and given up quickly. These days I don’t really care about hatching my eggs during my workouts so I don’t really use it anymore.

Play Music and Deezer

I cannot go out without music. It helps motivate me and keeps me going. Normally I use Play Music and depending on the amount of data I have, Deezer. On Play Music I just play a random bunch of songs that I like. Deezer has a number of amazing upbeat playlists that keeps me moving.

The past week in review

Last week I set a goal of covering 20km. Sadly I did not reach that goal. Monday the wind was terrible so I didn’t go out. On Tuesday, the weather was once again bad so I walked on the treadmill. As you may be aware from my introduction to move more mondays, I prefer walking/jogging outdoors. My treadmill is basically my last resort. When I use it I feel like giving up after 5 minutes, I go much more slower than I would outside and I drink a lot more liquids. So I only ended up completing 2.35kms.

On Saturday and Sunday I done a little over 5km each day. According to NRC I ran my fastest 1km this year on Saturday. Even though Sunday was ridiculously windy, I put on my jacket and went out. Furious wind plus hills, there was no why I was going to attempt to jog any section. So I walked the entire distance. I also had a 20 minute strength session, which focused on my arms, on Sunday.

Total distance covered for the week: 12.54 kms.

This week I’m going to set a more realistic goal of 15km.

What apps do you use to increase your physical activity?

Image via Pixabay.

Healthy Lifestyle

Move More Mondays: An Introduction

October 10, 2016

A while ago, I wrote a post on how I lost 15kgs in three months. Unfortunately I managed to gain back all of the weight back plus some more. How embarrassing. What can I say? I’m lazy and I love food. My weight has reached the point where I can no longer ignore it. As a way to motivate myself to sticking to a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise, I’m creating a new series on the blog called Move More Mondays. I didn’t come up with the phrase, I’m not sure who did, as it is all over the net.

What is Move More Mondays about?

Well it’s all about moving more. I used to belong to a gym, there’s a possibility I may still belong to one, its just that I haven’t been to gym in a year and they haven’t answered their phones every time I’ve tried calling. It was one of my goals to complete the Knysna Half Marathon this past year, but decided to focus on my studies instead. So that goal was missed

If you’ve been following the blog for a long time, you’ll know that I used to be an amateur runner. Yes I was one of those people that Twitter loves to complain about, the ones who run for fun. Back then I was one of the slowest runners in my club, with my fastest 5km being 32mins. I always felt as if I was super unfit, but looking back I realise I wasn’t. I tried getting back into running multiple times, but it never lasted more than three or four months. The reason being that every time I started I thought I could go as fast I used to, not taking into account I’m not as fit as I used to be and I weigh nearly twice the amount that I used. I’ve come to accept this and no longer over push myself to that point.

What will I be doing in order to move more?

I’ve gotten back into running. Well technically, it resembles speed walking than actual running, but I’m working my way up. What I’ve realised is that I enjoy jogging outdoors more than I do on the treadmill. On the treadmill I get bored easily and I’d be barely into my warm up and already feel like giving up.

When I’m walking outside, I persevere. I continue even in the wind and up the hills. I persevere when my thick thighs feel like lead and I continue through pain and stiffness in my calves and through the dull cramps in my feet. There’s just something about the fresh air that keeps me going.

I’m considering going back to gym or joining a new one. I’m still weighing up my options.

At the moment I am not following a specific plan, but would to like to continue building up my distance. Once I  can comfortably do 5kms I will start a plan and work towards longer distances.

My first goal for Move More Mondays is complete 20kms this week. Normally when I go out I complete around I complete between 4kms and 5kms, so the goal is to either complete four 5km runs or five 4km runs. Wish me luck!

Healthy Lifestyle

Ultimate Who?

November 4, 2015
athletes running

A few weeks ago I started the Sleek Geek Ultimate You challenge with a buddy and have been failing hopelessly by eating everything within a 100m radius of me. I’m not kidding. On Sunday I remembered that I was still doing the challenge and decided to still go ahead and submit my measurements and weight.

I lost 0.3kgs in four weeks. Oh well at least I didn’t gain anything.

On Sunday I also remembered that I set a goal to run the 2016 Knysna Forest Half Marathon and had not taken any steps to reaching that goal. I was going to do what I normally do with goals that I don’t achieve, pretend that I never set them and go on with my life. Then I remembered that I blogged about it.

Eish.

Considering that I have roughly eight months to train for it still, I have no excuse not to complete it. Having a fast pace is not a priority for me. As long as I cross the finish line before cutout I will be happy. On Monday I started the Runners World Beginners 5km training plan. I’ve completed it before so I know it’s doable. Once I’ve completed the training plan and am comfortable with 5kms again, I will progress to 10kms and so forth.

Image via Pixabay

Healthy Lifestyle

Homemade Coconut Milk with Desiccated Coconut

September 21, 2015
homemade coconut milk

I recently shared this homemade coconut milk recipe on Instagram and thought it would be good to share here as well. If you don’t know, in June 2014 I deleted my Instagram account (read here). This was mostly due to privacy concerns. A few months ago I decided to reactivate my account and fortunately my old username was still available. Long story short, I decided that as long as I don’t share anything that is too personal, it’s okay and for the most part I’ve been sharing my fitness and weight loss attempts. You can find me on IG as @osoinspired.

One of the things that I’ve shared on Instagram and would like to share here is my coconut milk recipe. Milky drinks make me gassy (TMI I know) and I use coconut milk as a dairy replacement.

Coconut milk has become increasingly popular as a dairy alternative in South Africa over the past year, however buying a liter in a store is four times as costly as dairy milk, and that’s only the cheapest that I’ve seen.

Making homemade coconut milk with desiccated coconut is so quick and easy, and depending on how thick you like your milk, one liter can cost less than a liter of cow’s milk. A packet of desiccated coconut costs between R10 and R16, and I when I make my own coconut milk, I get at least one to two liters from one packet. I’ve been making my own for the past few months and here’s how you can too:

Ingredients
My preferred ratio of coconut to water is 1:2. If you prefer a thick milk, you can try a ratio of 1:1.
2 cups (500ml) Desiccated coconut
4 cups (1 liter) lukewarm water

Method
Soak the coconut in the water for 15 minutes or until it cools completely. Pop into a blender and blitz on high for 2 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender, which is what I use as I find it more convenient. Once you’ve finished blending it, strain through a sieve into a large bowl. Transfer the wet pulp into a clean tea cloth and squeeze all of the excess milk into the bowl.

I find that storing it in a glass milk bottle makes it last longer, but it can be kept in a plastic jug if you intend on using it within 3 days. By keeping the milk in the fridge it can last up to 5 days. beyond this I cannot vouch for as I normally use mine finish between four and five days.

Tip: Use a large bowl to squeeze the milk into then transfer the milk into a bottle or jug. It will be easier to collect the milk. Et voila! Enjoy your homemade coconut milk in a beverage or dish.

Image via www.pixabay.com

Healthy Lifestyle

2016 Knysna Half Marathon

July 3, 2015
athletes running

In order to achieve a goal, it needs to be realistic. In April when I began researching different exercise programs, I stumbled across the link to the 2015 Knysna Half Marathon. Four years ago I used to run regularly, often doing 5km and 10km runs. Back then I used to think I was unfit doing a 5km run in 32 minutes, now I cry at the time it takes me.

The furtherest I ever ran was 15km and it was gruelling. Honestly, I was so overwhelmed when I crossed the finish line that I burst out in tears, in front of my (then) team mates. If you know one thing about my, it’s that I am an ugly crier. Choking on tears, sobs and ugly streaks, perfectly describe me, but I digress. That was four years ago and I knew that no matter what training program I did, I did not have enough time to train to finish a 21.2km race within cut off. Which is why currently, my biggest fitness goal is to participate in and finish the 2016 Knysna Half Marathon.

Why Knysna? I haven’t been in the town for years. Many runners describe it as a challenging but beautiful race, as it is in a forest. I want to do a half marathon and it’s a perfect excuse for a weekend away. I have a year to prepare for it, so there is no excuse for to not do it.

Image via Pixabay.