An Indiegogo campaign has launched to finance SmartMat, a yoga mat that talks to you and corrects your posture. It looks like your average yoga mat, but it’s equipped with seven pounds’ worth of sensors and technology that connect with a SmartMat phone app via Bluetooth. The app adjusts its measurements based on things like your gender, height and weight. Then — and this is the cool part — the mat instructs you through a private yoga practice in your own home.
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Today in research not achieving very much: The American Council on Exercise sponsored a study to see what order of workouts is most effective when you’re doing both cardio and strength training in one go. I’m going to skip to the very very conclusion of their findings and then fill you in on the caveats: Basically, they found out that sometimes it’s better to do cardio first and sometimes it’s better to do resistance training first, and also all bodies and workout needs are different, and also do what you need to do for yourself, which is really, really vague. Keep reading »
Gladys Misiewicz of Grand Rapids, Michigan almost never goes a day without exercise. She and 16 other residents of Villa Maria Retirement Community, where she lives, are training for a 5K — her very first! At age 100, she credits her long life with years of focus on activity and nutrition, and growing up without a car during the Great Depression. A fast walker who’s light on her feet, Gladys gets up at 4:30 every morning and attends every fitness class offered at the retirement home. When asked about her tai chi classes by local news station WZZM 13, Gladys says, “Guess how many mornings a week I go? Always.” Keep reading »
In March, I signed up for a 5k called Bacon Chase that took place in June (the lure being that you got unlimited bacon at the end). I figured by the time it rolled around, I’d be ready for it. So, of course, I proceeded to not prepare at all and then run it anyway to get my money’s worth — and I did OK! I managed not to stop running the whole time, and I ran at my normal 12:00 pace.
What happened next is what’s kind of messed in the head: I thought, OK, now I’m gonna do a 10k. The next day I thought, Oh, fuck it all, I’m doing the marathon. Yes, I have poor impulse control and I self-aggrandize about my capabilities. But it’s turned out all right. I was able to get registered on the Advocate Hospitals charity team to raise money for one of their city-based behavioral health centers (they serve the underserved and they need it, please donate!), so far I’ve stuck pretty well to the plan, and to my complete and utter surprise it is no longer a big deal for me to run 10 miles in a day anymore.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned during my marathon training so far… Keep reading »
Krystal Cantu, a 25-year-old Texan and member of Ballistic CrossFit, was just a few days away from participating in a competition last summer when she and her boyfriend got into a car accident that forced her to amputate her right arm. Up until that day, CrossFit had been Krystal’s outlet for de-stressing and building confidence, and she wasn’t about to give up such a big lifeline. Only one month after the accident, Krystal was back to CrossFit and working with a coach. Three months later, she was competing in the Working Wounded Games. Now, she can lift heavier weights than she did before her accident and looks forward to competing as an Adaptive CrossFit Athlete. She’s also inspired countless fans to drop the excuses and work towards their goals.
She told Refinery 29, “I went back because I didn’t die … and my pride and competitive nature didn’t die, either. I’m a human, I’m scared of a lot of things — lightning storms, the world ending, and flying in planes — but, I’ve never been scared to go after something I love.”
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Yoga already has lots of known benefits, like better posture, flexibility and physical health, but now we can add something new to the list: increased brain function. According to new research through the University of Illinois, practicing hatha yoga three times a week helps you think more clearly, especially compared to stretching or toning exercises. The study examined a group of 100 people aged 55-79, and found that the 61 of them who practiced hatha yoga at least three times a week for eight weeks showed major improvement in ability to recall information, mental flexibility, and task-switching. The members of the group who did stretching and toning exercises for eight weeks instead of yoga showed no significant change in their cognitive abilities. The researchers controlled for other factors like gender, age or other demographic circumstances, so it’s pretty clear that yoga is the direct cause of the improvements. Keep reading »