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Thursday Thirteen #83 Fitness Edition

Hoop Life
Greetings, Kittens!

This week finds me fitness minded after several conversations on the topic, with more to come. When I say fit, I don't mean simply being thin. I'm talking about having stamina, endurance, flexibility, strength and healthy organ, muscle and adrenal function. Regular exercise, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and proper hydration all lead to this, but you get healthy and fit, long before you get thin, so focus on the right numbers that nothing to do with the scale. Here are a few of my favorite fitness gadgets and gizmos.

Enjoy.

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1. Pedometers: This is the number one go-to gadget out there. It's small, simple to use, inexpensive to own, and immediate feedback on your activity for the day. There is absolutely nothing else out there that beats the sheer accessibility of using a pedometer daily and building your steps.

2. Stationary Bike: Whether upright or recumbant, stationary bikes allow for intense cardio that doesn't require you to be able to stand for extended periods of time. It also saves stress on your knees and back. Recumbant bikes are especially good for back issues, but they do cause you to lose a slight bit of pedaling intensity with change in angle to compensate for that.

3. Elliptical: Gentle on joints and able to mimic running for knees that will never do so, ellipticals are a dream machine when properly adjusted to height and stride. Unless you're following a pre-programmed routine, intensity can lag, but like anything, you get out what you put in.

4. Treadmill: Adjustable treadmills are fabulous. I have shin issues that keep me off of them for now, but there is nothing like an inclined treadmill for the back of the thighs and the glutes. Interesting fact that anyone who's been on a treadmill can relate to: they were original built for prisoners as a punishment. *grin*

5. Balance Ball: I swear by my balance ball. It improves posture, works the core through simply active sitting, and supports the back during strength training and crunches. It also allows for several modifications to exercises like lunges, squats and planks to make them via to a larger audience.

6. Free Weights: I don't have any right now, they were left behind when we moved, but I love dumbbells. There's something real and solid about having a weight in your hand and seeing the number get larger as you get stronger. No amount of color coding or cord numbering with machines can replace the sense of accomplishment of working with real weights.

7. Weight Lifting Gloves: Yes, even with your tiny 5lb weights, a good pair of gloves is the difference between calloused, sore hands, and hands that are supported during your workout. Lightly padded gloves are great to keep you from gripping the weight too tightly.

8. Door Gyms: Sometimes real weights aren't an option due to safety issues or convenience. Adjustable door gyms can take you all the places that a set of weights can and they can do it anywhere you have a standard door. They have the smoothness of machines with the portability of fitness bands.

9. Heart Rate Monitor: These come in all makes and models and you can benefit from even the simplest design. Not only does it allow you to gauge your intensity, but it is a direct measure of your fitness improvement as well. From your resting heart rate, to your 80% max, a good HRM can guide you on your fitness path like little else.

10. A Bodyfat Scale:  If you're going to get caught up in the numbers, then have all the numbers. Bf scales aren't as accurate as going to the doctor or a fitness center, but with a good scale, the numbers will be consistant and you can monitor changes in body composition that aren't going to show up on a regular scale.

11. Pilates Equipment: Pilates is a great way to stretch, build strength and work the core, all in a gentle, but continuous routine. Mat pilates is great, but eventually you'll need some sort of resistance equipment to keep pilates challenging. These are as simple as cords, similar to powerbands, or as complicated as dedicated pilates machines that take up an entire room. I suggest the Pilates Power Gym or something similiar. It's like a mini version of the Total Gym, but constructed with pilates in mind. It takes up little room and allows for marked progression in strength and flexibility.

12. DVD Routines: I prefer to workout at home and dvds offer a wide variety of options from walking routines, to bellydancing, to Tai Chi, to Tae Bo. You can walk, kick, punch and shimmy your way to great health, all in the privacy of your own home.

13. Great Shoes: I'm a New Balance girl myself and I hear wonderful things about Ryka, but any brand that gives you proper support and won't break your budget is a good choice. That said, make sure to expand your budget as much as you can, proper shoes are an investment that will keep you from spending even more to rehab an injury.

Other Thursday Thirteeners

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Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 22nd, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Yay Fitness
I think any exercise equipment or program will work if you like it enough to keep with it.


http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2011/09/apple-facts-that-might-surprise-you.html
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
Re: Yay Fitness
Everything works if you work it! These are just the things I like.

~X
ladymaddy
Sep. 22nd, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
I just read an interesting book called Health At Any Size by Dr. Linda Bacon. Basically she says you don't have to lose weight be be physically fit. A larger person who is regularly active can be far more healthy than a thinner person who doesn't excercise. And she cites lots of studies to prove it.
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
New Face of Fitness also talks about fitness at every size and I completely believe in the benefits of exercise no matter your weight.

~X
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
All great gadgets! I'd add P90X because I love it!

*hugs*
Paige

My TT is at http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
I hear such great things about P90X, so happy to know you love it! :)

~X
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
From The Gal Herself at One Gal's Musings
The Door Gym sounds cool. I just began experimenting with resistance cords, which will have to do for me until I get back to the health club and my much-missed stationery bike.
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: From The Gal Herself at One Gal's Musings
It's a very nifty device, and incredibly inexpensive! I really like it. :)

~X
robin_l_rotham
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Wow, this is some great information! I can vouch for thinness not being necessary for fitness. I also love the treadmill, stationary bike, free weights and balance ball. (Plus BodyPump and Zumba!) I laid off my fitness regimen for two years because of chronic plantar fascitis and I feel GROSS. But deciding that my foot hurts whether I walk or not, I ordered a new treadmill and will start getting fit again as soon as it gets here next Friday. Eventually I want to get an Airdyne bike too.
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
Chronic knee problems knocked me off course for the last year+, but finally have my stationary bike back in rotation and so far so good. YAY! :)

~X
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Alice Audrey
Great list. Now what did I do with my pedometer?
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: Alice Audrey
I have to replace mine. It's completely MIA. Guess that's the task for the weekend. :)

~X
(Anonymous)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
My big outside trampoline and small house one are the best investments I've made. I just got a weighted vest too since I learned I have a degree of osteoporosis.
xakara
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
I used to have a mini trapoline, I miss it. I might have to buy a new one and file it under knee rehab. :)

~X
KMenozzi
Sep. 23rd, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
Just what I needed
to prompt me to get out on my bike today. Even if it's nothing more than a couple of miles - a short spin, really - it's better than sitting on my tushie at home for the entire day!

Happy (belated) TT!
xakara
Sep. 24th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Just what I needed
I hope you enjoyed your bike ride and have had another since. :)

~X
Adelle Laudan
Sep. 23rd, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
I really want a treadmill. I think it's the perfect exercise for me.
Happy T13!
xakara
Sep. 24th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
I love inclined treamills. The shin issues won't let me have it as a primary exercise, but I love it as a supplemental! :)

~X
(Deleted comment)
xakara
Sep. 24th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
I have two bad knees and a trick ankle, it's why I use a recumbant stationary bike. You can't beat it when it comes to bad knees! Ellipticals and gliders work really well too! :)

~X
Sherilee Coffey
Sep. 24th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I love gadgets, and I suppose fitness ones are no exception, but I've been happiest lately when I lace up my sneakers and just hit the road... I do find my Nike app on the iPhone VERY helpful as it records time/speed and lets me know if I'm getting close to a personal best, etc.

Fun post!
xakara
Sep. 24th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
I've heard alot about fitness apps lately. I'm so glad to hear how it works for you! I can't wait to be able to just walk again. It's not an option right now since there's no telling when my knee will give up, but I loved it! :)

~X
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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