Monday, May 17, 2010

The Top 7 iPhone Apps for Fitness and Weight Loss

The Apple iPhone provides on-the-go access to convenient applications that facilitate our lives in a number of ways. When it comes to fitness and weight loss, the iPhone offers the same mobile convenience, complete with applications that count calories, estimate body fat, coach workouts, track running routes, guide yoga sessions, and more. To discover the iPhone application that will help you stay in shape, check out the following top seven iPhone apps for fitness and weight loss.

1. LIVESTRONG.COM Calorie Tracker – Realize your weight loss and fitness goals by tracking both daily calories consumed through diet and calories burned during exercise. Simply set your weight loss goal to determine a daily calorie target and gain access to The Daily Plate’s extensive database of over 525,000 foods, complete with nutritional information like total fat, carbohydrate, protein, sugar, cholesterol content and more. You can also search more than 2,000 fitness activities to determine actual calories burned as well as your net calorie balance for the day. Available for the iPhone for just $2.99, LIVESTRONG.COM Calorie Tracker is one of the best on-the-go tools to lose weight.

2. 40•30•30 – Did you know that there are nine calories in one fat gram, and only four calories in a gram of protein or carbohydrate? If not, then you probably do not know enough about the nutritionist recommended 40•30•30 carbohydrate/protein/fat ratio. The 40•30•30 iPhone application ensures a healthy balance of the three main macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat), without the need for calculators or number crunching. Simply enter the grams of each macronutrient as they appear on the Nutrition Facts label and determine the percentage ratio in just seconds. Your daily goal is to achieve a balanced diet complete with 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.

3. iPump FITNESSBUILDER – Complete with audio coaching, over 400 workouts and more than 4,000 male and female exercise images and videos, iPump FITNESSBUILDER for the Apple iPhone is an extremely versatile and useful fitness app. iPump FITNESSBUILDER features two free full body workouts targeting all the major muscle groups in the body, designed in a specific order to help you gain strength, increase endurance and lose weight. In addition, you will gain access to sample exercises from 19 other iPump applications and educational information on fitness facts & myths, and exercise philosophy. Track and log your reps, sets and rest intervals while listening to your favorite workout music, and email your progress to friends and family members, all in one great iPhone app.

4. StepTrakLite – A free pedometer app for the iPhone, StepTrakLite offers a useful and original application ideal for hiking or simply for keeping track of long walks. Accurately count every step you take in real time and StepTrakLite will classify each step as “vigorous” or just normal. Record walking steps, running steps and total steps taken to track with 100% confidence.

5. iMapMyRun – Embrace the built-in GPS technology of your iPhone 3G to track runs in real time while displaying elements such as time, distance, pace, speed and elevation. View both your current location and where you have traveled via an interactive map or manually record indoor gym activities such as treadmill running. All data from your run uploads automatically to where you can view your route, run data, and view a comprehensive workout history. iMapMyRun also supports Twitter integration, so you can tweet your runs to family members and friends.

6. Prt-Yoga Lite – Realize an unparalleled yoga experience with pose-by-pose, breath-by-breath instruction from Kathleen Kastner, your personal guru. Complete with meticulously designed yoga sequences, Prt-Yoga Lite for the Apple iPhone will guide you through your yoga journey in discovering the beauty and joy of this popular fitness art. Change your body and the way you think while deepening your connection to yourself with the help of Prt-Yoga Lite.

7. 2Fat – Ideal for the body fat conscious, 2Fat is a simple, intuitive iPhone application that calculates body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. Complete with useful and helpful features including metric support, BMI categories and easy-to-use scroll wheels, 2Fat is the convenient, accurate way to estimate body fat.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Exercising With Your Baby

Juggling a daily exercise routine with the responsibilities of motherhood is a difficult task for any woman looking to stay in shape without separating from her newborn. The daily responsibilities of mothering your baby alone can be challenging and tiring, and can leave any woman feeling overwhelmed at the thought of fitting in daily exercise. Fortunately, with the help of a few techniques, you (and your baby) can remain active during this special time.
The Benefits of Exercising with Your Baby
Exercising with your baby can be one of the most beneficial (and fun) activities for both you and your baby to enjoy. Daily exercise will give you and your baby a time to connect while keeping your baby calm and content as you benefit from:
• Reduced stress – You will sleep better at night with daily exercise
• Reduced risk of post partum depression
• Reduced risk of osteoporosis through strength training
• Improved self-esteem
• Increased stamina

Basic Exercises You Can Perform with Your Baby

When most women think about exercising with their baby, the concept of walking around the block pushing your baby in a stroller is usually the first that comes to mind. While that is great, there are a number of other exercises a mother can perform by using her baby as added weight to build muscle and improve endurance. These basic exercises, which you can perform in front of the television or to some music, include:

Baby squats – Cradle your baby against your body, slowly squat halfway to the floor and raise back up.
Baby lifts – Hold your baby under the arms, slowly and gently lift the baby off your chest and gently lower your baby back down.
Baby bends – Balance your baby on your thighs and slowly raise one knee at a time.
Baby crunches – Place your baby in a sitting or lying position across your tummy or chest and perform a regular crunch.
Baby lunges – Stand up straight and hold your baby against your chest in an infant carrier. Place your hands on your hips, take a large step forward with the right leg and bend at the knee with your foot on the floor. Lower your body straight down and rise back up to a standing position. Repeat movement with the left leg.

Cardiovascular Activities for You and Your Baby

As if the benefits of strength training with your baby were not enough, you can both take advantage of the various forms of cardiovascular activity. Cardiovascular activity burns calories and provides for a surge of energy that will help you keep up with your newborn. Try to incorporate any of the following activities into your daily schedule:
Walking with your baby– Use a baby sling or carrier to hold your baby while you walk instead of carrying hand weights.
Biking with your baby – Use a bike carrier and take your baby on a fun and exciting bike ride.
Dancing with your baby – Pop in your favorite CD, hold your baby in a sling or carrier and dance together.
Swimming with your baby –Join a fun swim exercise class with your baby.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Lose Weight Fast

One of the greatest tools a person can utilize for successful weight loss is motivation – and a great motivator is a solid understanding of how exercise helps you lose weight. Remember, knowledge is power – and the following guide should start you down the road towards a slimmer, healthier “you.”

A Brief Lesson in Weight Loss
In order for the body to lose weight, it must burn more calories than it consumes – a concept known in the nutritional world as a “calorie deficit.” Although a low-calorie diet, resistance training and cardiovascular exercise all contribute to the calorie deficit required to lose weight, cardiovascular activity remains cornerstone of rapid weight loss.

The Weight Loss Benefits of Exercise
Physical exercise at a moderate intensity level elevates your heart rate and gets the blood pumping, causing you to breathe heavily and sweat. These factors cause the body to burn a significant amount of calories and help you lose weight fast. Another benefit of physical exercise is that through burning calories you can create the calorie deficit you need to lose weight without making any changes to your diet.

Types of Exercise for Fast Weight Loss
Depending on your level of exertion (intensity), length of activity and current body weight, you can burn anywhere from 150 to over 500 calories in a single session. Higher intensity exercises over longer periods of time burn more calories than shorter, easier exercises and the heavier a person is the more calories they will burn. To illustrate the idea, below is the average number of calories burned in a 30-minute session for a 150-pound person:
• Walking 4mph: 170 calories
• Running 5mph: 270 calories
• Stationary Bike: 238 calories
• Elliptical Training: 387 calories
• Rowing: 247 calories
• Swimming: 270 calories
• Jump Roping: 282 calories

Exercise and Calories
There are 3,500 calories in pound of body fat – and the safest, most effective way to lose weight is dropping one pound per week. In order to lose a pound of body fat per week, nutritional experts recommend 45 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical exercise most days of the week. If this amount of exercise seems overwhelming, start slow and build your way up to longer sessions. In addition, you can alter your diet by cutting out calories, as this will help you create a larger calorie deficit to lose weight fast.

Crunch Time
With this basic knowledge about cardiovascular activity and weight loss, you are ready to hit the gym and set the wheels in motion. To locate a Lucille Roberts women’s gym in your area, complete with scheduled classes and weight loss programs, visit

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Exercise – Learn the Benefits, Limitations and What to Avoid

If you are pregnant and the terms “shorter, less painful labor” and “faster weight loss after delivery” mean anything to you, it may be time to drop the motto “Rest is Best” that traditionally applies to pregnant women. According to Kate Kelly, Managing Editor for American Baby magazine, “Labor is a marathon, and you should never go to a marathon without any training.”

First Things First
For all women concerned about their own health and the health of their baby, be sure to visit your doctor to discuss these concerns prior to continuing an old exercise routine or starting a new one.

The Facts about Pregnancy, Exercise and Potential Dangers
Contrary to popular belief, exercise during pregnancy does not increase the risk for miscarriage, low birth weight or preterm delivery in normal, low-risk pregnancies. In fact, moderate exercise is actually beneficial for not only the pregnant mother, but also her baby.

Exercise is good for your baby’s fetal heart rate and helps you stay motivated to remain healthy during your pregnancy. Exercise also builds stronger muscles and a fit heart that ease both labor and delivery – and some studies show it may even lower your risk of complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

More Benefits
Exercise releases endorphins, otherwise known as the “feel good” chemicals in the body – and your body needs these chemicals even more during pregnancy. Daily exercise for a duration of about thirty minutes (i.e., walking on the treadmill, biking, Pilates) is medically proven to reduce stress, boost energy and minimize bouts of moodiness commonly linked to pregnancy. Exercise also builds confidence, a character trait desired by all women – pregnant or not.
Exercise during pregnancy also helps you look better by increasing the blood flow to your skin to produce a healthy glow while preventing excess fat from accumulating around the body.

Common Concerns
Some women may be concerned about their physical ability to exercise during a pregnancy. However, studies show that if you were athletic before you became pregnant, you can most likely continue your regular routine throughout your pregnancy. Therefore, runners can still run, bikers can still bike and yoga enthusiasts can still participate in classes – you may even want to try swimming as an exercise.

Women who are hesitant to exercise during pregnancy should find out if their gym hosts prenatal exercise classes but be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new routine.


If you are just starting an exercise program to improve your health during your pregnancy, listen to your body - as it will tell you if it is time to reduce your level of exercise. Always be sure to ease into any routine and not to overexert yourself. A great indicator of overexertion is exhaustion or breathlessness – two signs that your body and your baby cannot get their necessary oxygen supplies. Other signs that your body has had enough include dizziness, fatigue, heart palpitations and pain in your back or pelvis.

You may also need to limit your exercise if you have early contractions, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding or premature rupture of your membranes (also known as water breaking). Always discuss these issues with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

During your workouts, take frequent breaks between exercises and drink plenty of fluids. Remain conscious of your diet during your pregnancy and always incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to remain healthy.

What to Avoid
Despite recent studies on the importance of physical exercise during pregnancy, there are some activities to avoid. Typical limitations include downhill skiing, horseback riding and scuba diving, as well as high impact activities, contact sports and back or abdominal stretches. Never exercise in extremely hot temperatures while pregnant, according to Nemours’ KidsHealth website, as becoming overheated with your body temperature being greater than 102.6° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) can cause problems with the developing fetus (especially in the first trimester), potentially leading to birth defects.
Avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back during the second and third trimesters, as these exercises decrease blood flow to your womb. Obviously, this includes most abdominal exercises, so try gentle standing pelvic tilts, seated belly breathing or tightening, holding then releasing your abdominals as an alternative to keep them in top condition.

Whether you are an athlete looking to continue your training throughout your pregnancy or a woman of an average fitness level looking to ease the pain of labor and realize faster weight loss after delivery, exercise during pregnancy under these restrictions, limitations and warnings is not only healthy – but recommended. Do not be afraid to lace up your Nikes and hit the treadmill - you and your baby are in store for numerous benefits throughout the pregnancy.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lucille Roberts: Size 16 women's fitness wear to appear in shop windows?

Women could soon see ladies fitness wear in larger sizes modelled in shop windows, as Debenhams has become the first UK department store to use size 16 mannequins in its shop-front displays.

The average woman in the UK wears a size 14 or 16 yet most retailers display their clothes, including gym wear, on size ten mannequins.

Debenhams Oxford street store will be the first to use the 'plus-sized' mannequins but they will later appear in the windows of selected outlets across the UK.

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and equalities spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, has welcomed the news, claiming it will help to boost body confidence.

"The more realistic we can get companies to be, the better women are going to feel about themselves, whatever their shape or size," she said.

Ms Featherstone suggested that this move was a positive step in the fight against the promotion of thin as being perfect.

"In the end, we all deserve to be happy just the way we are," she added.

Posted by Martin SebbornADNFCR-2569-ID-19629738-ADNFCR

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lucille Roberts: Six Psychologically-Based Eating Problems and How You Can Solve Them

As a weight-conscious society, millions of Americans continue to struggle with both overeating and obesity despite their efforts to cut back on calories and lose weight. According to recent studies, however, common problems such as overeating may reside not only in our stomachs, but also deep within our psyche. Researchers on the topic now believe that external signals and cues, as well as poor subconscious eating habits, may add more inches to your waistline than actual physical hunger. Below is a list of solutions to six of the most common psychological eating problems.

Problem #1- Big packages and servings, as well as super-sized meals, train our brains into thinking big portions are normal.

Solution - Cut your portions, eating about a fifth less than you normally would at each meal. This will help you eat less without feeling hungry or deprived. Also, use smaller plates and bowls that discourage overeating.

Problem #2 - Eating in front of the TV encourages snacking, a failure to concentrate on quantities and eating for too long – this is a triple overeating threat.

Solution – Eat at the dinner table and avoid eating in front of the TV, while on the computer or while reading at all costs.

Problem #3 - An underestimated food intake is one of the main causes of overeating and obesity. Normal people underestimate their intake on average by 20% while obese people underestimate by up to 40%.

Solution – Consciously decide how much food you are going to eat before starting a meal. Start a food journal also, as this will help you keep track of your daily caloric intake. Many fast food restaurants now post calorie and fat information so that you can be informed when eating out and make a healthier choice.

Problem #4 - Supermarket deals such as “buy two, get one free” encourage overeating. We typically buy 30-100% more reduced price foods (and eat them, too).

Solution – Avoid keeping supermarket foods stockpiled in your cupboards. Keep snack foods out of sight and out of mind, storing them on top pantry shelves and in the back of your refrigerator.

Problem #5 - Our desire for food diversity encourages overeating in restaurants, often causing us to order more food than we should be eating.

Solution – Avoid ordering an over-sized or multiple course meal when dining out. Instead, make healthier food choices such as an entrĂ©e and a side salad.

Problem #6 - Restaurants and fast food chains that serve healthy-sounding products create a false sense of security, often causing us to overeat because we believe these foods can do no wrong.

Solution – Consumers generally consume up to 50% more when eating low-fat products than they would if the products were not low-fat. They also amplify the health benefits of these types of foods, often taking in more calories than they think. Even with low-fat foods, however, be sure to keep track of how much you are eating – the calories add up fast!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lucille Roberts: Good and Bad Drinks That Impact Your Weight Loss Efforts

When it comes to losing weight, you may want to consider altering more than just your eating habits – what you drink counts, too! By substituting sugary sodas and energy drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages with healthier alternatives such as water, green tea and vegetable juice, you can boost both your metabolism and success rate for shedding those unwanted extra pounds. Below is a list of five quick fixes you can make today to start you down the road towards slimness.

Poor Drink Choice #1: Soda - Due to its large quantities of calories and making up for 10 percent of the caloric intake of the average American, soda consumption is without a doubt a significant contributor to weight gain. In fact, it would take approximately 27 minutes of walking to burn off one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola-Classic. Moreover, with such a high concentration of both sugar and starch, soda may also contribute to appetite increases and overeating.

Healthy Alternative: Fruit Juice – Loaded with vitamins and nutrients, fruit juice with natural pulp and very low quantities of sugar can actually help you feel more full, often curbing your appetite so that you will not overeat at your next meal.

Poor Drink Choice #2: Coffee Drinks - While drinking a two-calorie cup of black coffee in the morning will not put a dent in your calorie-reduction efforts, a venti-sized Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks will sabotage your hard work, accounting for an entire meal's worth of calories. At a whopping 660 calories, this popular coffee drink among caffeine cravers is a definite “no-no” for anyone trying to slim down.

Healthy Alternative: Green Tea - With a plethora of positive health benefits and plenty of helpful antioxidants, consuming 3 to 5 cups of green tea on a daily basis can boost your metabolism and speed up your body’s fat-burning mechanism by up to 40%.

Poor Drink Choice #3: Smoothies – Although a smoothie made from only ice and frozen fruit serves as a healthy and refreshing snack, beware of high-calorie frozen drinks made with enormous amounts of sugar. Jamba Juice’s 30-ounce Peanut Butter Moo’d Power Smoothie, chiming in at an unheard of 1,170 calories and 169 grams of sugar, accounts for 4 days worth of the recommended allowance of sugar.

Healthy Alternative: Fruit Smoothies – Fruit smoothies made from your favorite fruit and a touch of skim milk are among the top five healthy drinks to help you lose weight. Just be sure not to consume any fruit smoothie that contains caloric giants such as added sugar, whipped cream, honey or other sweeteners and your healthy selection will surely pay off.

Poor Drink Choice #4: Energy Drinks – Accounting for $3.4 billion a year in revenue, popular energy drinks such as Red Bull contain massive amounts of sugar – there are 27 grams of sugar in one 8.3-ounce can of Red Bull. While it may “give you wings,” this energy drink will also affect your metabolism adversely, often leading to undesired and inevitable weight gain.

Healthy Alternative: Ice Cold Water – Most of your drowsiness in the morning is a result of overnight dehydration, therefore, reaching for a refreshing glass of ice cold water may provide the boost you are looking for. You will also burn an extra 200 calories a day drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water, while boosting your metabolism up to 30%.

Poor Drink Choice #5: Beer – With the average light beer accounting for just over 100 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates, its effect on weight gain may only be minimal. However, keep in mind that it would take a total of three hours and 20 minutes to walk off drinking one can of beer a night for a week.

Healthy Alternative: None - Since beer contains the macronutrient alcohol, a healthy alternative that offers the “buzz” you are looking for simply does not exist. Yet, drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in moderation is a much healthier alternative to late-night binge drinking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exercise Improves Memory for Older Women

BMJ Group, Tuesday 12 January 2010 00.00 GMT
Article history

Exercise might improve mental sharpness for older people starting to suffer from memory loss, researchers say. However, the benefits were seen mainly in women, and required an intensive, six-month exercise programme.
What do we know already?

Researchers have hoped for some time that exercise might have positive effects for the brain, perhaps by improving blood flow. If the benefits were proven, exercise would be used as a way for older people to prevent memory loss, or even Alzheimer's disease.

So far, research shows that older people who are more active are less likely to have memory problems, but it may just be that healthier, mentally sharper people find it easier to get out and exercise. There have also been some promising animal studies.

In a new trial, researchers asked older adults with slight memory problems to complete a six-month, high-intensity aerobic exercise programme. People exercised for up to an hour, supervised by a trainer, four times a week. They were compared with a second group, who did a more relaxed set of stretching exercises. The average age was 70.
What does the new study say?

Women who exercised intensively improved more in tests looking at things like memory and verbal fluency, compared with women who just did stretching. The researchers don't say whether the improvements were large enough to make a difference in day-to-day life.

For men, there was no clear improvement in most of the tests, despite the fact that men's fitness levels had improved the same amount as the women.
How reliable are the findings?

The main problem with the study is that it's very small. It started with just 33 people in total, and four dropped out before the end. Studies with fewer people tend to be less reliable, especially when you're looking at treatments that only have a small effect.
Where does the study come from?

Several of the researchers were based at the University of Washington, in Seattle. The study appeared in Archives of Neurology, published by the American Medical Association.

Funding came from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and from the Alzheimer's Association.
What does this mean for me?

The exercise programme used in the trial was quite strenuous. People had been carefully selected to be able to cope, but even so, four of the 23 people doing the intensive programme dropped out because of problems like chest or joint pain. So, it might be that not all older people would be able to complete this type of exercise programme.

The people in the study were aged between 55 and 85, and all had mild problems with their memory. So, we don't know if the results apply to healthy people, or to people with serious memory problems because of Alzheimer's disease.
What should I do now?

It's still too early to say what effects exercise has on how mentally sharp you are. But we know that exercise can protect your health and help keep you fit generally, so it makes sense to stay as active as your health allows. Government guidelines recommend about 30 minutes' exercise, five days a week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lucille Roberts - How to Make Your Commitment to Diet and Exercise Easier

Like any commitment in life, sticking to a healthy diet and exercise program can be a challenge – often draining you both emotionally and mentally in the process. If you have ever tried to develop newer, healthier eating or exercise habits, then you know just how difficult it can be to eat right, stay motivated and stick to a plan that works for you. Fortunately, with the right tips and a little bit of knowledge on the subject, you can develop a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and exercise that will help you look and feel your best while improving your overall health and wellbeing!

Keep a Journal - Start by keeping a journal with a list of all the foods you eat in a given day. Your journal can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be – some people simply jot down the foods they eat while others prefer counting calories or calculating macronutrients such as total carbohydrate, protein and fat grams consumed.

Not only is a food journal a great way to keep you on track, but it also shows you which foods are stifling your progress. If you avoid fatty foods such as French fries for a month and decide to indulge in Aussie cheese fries from Outback Steakhouse – check your weight the following day. If you gain a pound or two, you know to keep those greasy fries off your plate in the future. On the contrary, if you want to continue eating the fries, you may decide to cut 250 calories from your daily diet to make up for it. A journal is a great tool for that, too.

Feel free to include your exercise sessions in your journal, complete with the activity, duration, intensity and calories burned. Logging your exercises is a great way to track your progress, giving you a sense of purpose and direction while at the gym.

Get Involved in a Support Group
- If you are just starting out your journey towards healthy eating, you will definitely benefit from talking to, or simply being around, like-minded people. Peer support is a great motivational tool for any type of commitment, and diet and exercise are no exception. There are plenty of support groups and clubs available, both locally and over the Internet (Weight Watchers, for example), designed to keep you motivated and connected with people on the same path as you.

Set Realistic Short and Long-Term Goals
- Never underestimate the power of setting realistic goals in both your eating habits and exercise program. For example, if you would like to take up a cardiovascular activity such as running, avoid going from the couch to a 3-mile run in one week. Set small goals for yourself and you will stay motivated and excited about making progress each time you exercise.

Depending on your current fitness level, you may want to start by jogging for 90 seconds, followed by a brisk, 3-minute walk and then another 90 seconds of jogging – repeating this process for twenty to thirty minutes. The next week, you can try jogging 3-minutes intervals followed by a 3-minute walk, gradually increasing the interval times until you reach your long-term goal (jogging 3 miles, for example).

Short and long-term goals work great for your diet, too. Feel free to set daily goals, monthly goals and yearly goals to keep you motivated. An example of a daily goal would be consuming a set number of calories, where a monthly goal may be to lose ten pounds. Write your goals down and keep them in your journal so that you have objective evidence about the progress you are making.