Health and Fitness

United Healthcare Shows Their Techy Side

Company: United Healthcare Products on Display: Not everything UHC had was directed at consumers, but even the doctor-facing technology is a boon for the patients. They have ideas and systems for every aspect of the insurance and healthcare experience, from prescription drugs to estimated costs.   What Caught Our Eye: One of the areas United Healthcare is focusing on is education for everyone, not just UHC customers. They’ve launched a website (UHCTV) with tons of original content to help people learn exercises, healthier eating techniques, and offers the chance for users to ask their experts questions about the various subjects….


New Yale Study Using MRI Brain Scans Links Fructose to Weight Gain and Obesity

A new study from Yale University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported at Bloomberg details something that has been gaining more and more scientific support: fructose has a significant link to weight gain and obesity. I have been compiling links for several months now about all of this stuff, including a report from last year put out by the UK Guardian that made a bold claim – that we are on average more than 40 pounds heavier than we were three decades ago, and much of it isn’t about eating more or exercising less ……


10 Simple Ways to Eat Better in 2013

From now until 2013, we’re going to take a look at some New Year’s Resolutions and a Gear Diary way to help you keep them. New Year Resolution: Eat Better in 2013 I have been very public with my running goals and accomplishments as well as my weight loss this year on Gear Diary, Facebook, and in my daily life. As a result, I have often been asked in every forum ‘how do you do it’? The simplistic and truthful answer is ‘eat less and exercise’. Of course it is never so simple – my exercise routine has me running…


Get In Shape For 2013 With The Right Footwear

From now until 2013, we’re going to take a look at some New Year’s Resolutions and a Gear Diary way to help you keep them. New Year Resolution: Get in Shape in 2013 It’s a new year and you’ve decided to make it a new you! So you’re really going to buckle down and get fit, but before you pick up a new gym membership or start downloading “Map My Run” to your iPhone, you need the right gear– starting with your feet. Even if you aren’t going to head out for a run, footwear matters. You need a good…


‘This is One Serving’ Holiday Party Snack Edition

Remember how we posted about a cool article at the Greatist that broke down the traditional Thanksgiving meal by showing the approximate size of a single serving of our favorite dishes? Well, for many of us the entire month of December seems like one long binge-fest of appetizers, cookie-swaps, pass-a-pot luncheons, and so on. So naturally the folks at the Greatist have come up with a NEW visual guide to remind you of just how badly you are overeating at those holiday events. Here is a sample: Egg Nog Serving Size Equivalent: A three-ounce espresso cup 143 calories, 6 grams…


That ‘Warm Feeling’ of Nostalgia Might Just Be Real

Have you ever had a pleasant sentimental thought and felt ‘all warm inside’? Turns out that feeling might be an actual physiological response, at least according to some research cited over at the Greatist. Here are the basics: Researchers conducted five separate studies to see if there was a connection between nostalgia — a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past — and physical warmth. •In the first study participants kept a journal for 30 days. Results showed they recorded more nostalgic thoughts on colder days. •In the next, volunteers were placed in either a cold, comfortable, or hot…


Cool Story Behind a Great Picture

Chances are if you or anyone you know is into running, you have since the picture above this week. Running clubs and individuals have picked it up everywhere, but as so often happens it was done without attribution or a link to the original source. Today on my own local Facebook running group there was a link to the original source. In case the image isn’t clear, it says: 50 Fat Diabetic Ahead of you Turns out the picture was taken by a woman who blogs as the ‘T-Rex Runner’, and she tracked down the guy wearing the shirt and…


Magellan Switch Review – a Full-Featured Yet Flawed ‘Wrist-GPS’

I recently reviewed the Garmin ForeRunner 10, and have been thrilled with it as a simple, entry-level running GPS-watch. But what if you want to use a heart-rate monitor, ride a bike, go into the water and so on? At that point you need a new device – something like the Magellan Switch series. Magellan is very explicit that the Switch is designed as a multi-sport device, and was kind enough to send along a review sample of the Switch for me to check out (UPDATE: Magellan recently sent me a pre-release update for the Switch, and I will comment…


Shocking News – Some Smartphone Health Apps Are Totally Bogus, and Most Are Shaky at Best

It seems like a perfect fit – we all want to be more active and eat better, and more of us than ever are using smartphones … so it only makes sense that there has been an explosion of health and fitness apps on iPhone and Android devices. Don’t get me wrong – there are some great apps out there, things like RunKeeper, FoodUcate, Lose It, Couch-to-5k, and more. Those apps use the GPS, or maintain a great database that is based on established health science, and so on. In other words, they are good health program – made mobile….


Things You Didn’t Want to Know – THIS Is One Serving!

I have generally had two thought patterns about Thanksgiving and eating: when I am thin and health-conscious I choose to eat whatever I want for Thanksgiving dinner and maintain my normal eating and exercise routine otherwise … and when I am neither thin nor health-conscious I choose to eat whatever I want for Thanksgiving dinner because – well, just because. Based on my weight and general eating habits, my portions and servings will vary, but regardless I have certainly never really considered my real-world servings compared to ‘single serving portions’. Over at Greatist, they take a pictorial look at the…


Outdoor Exercise in Winter – 5 Important Things to Remember

Last weekend the mercury climbed to above 70 F for the last time (until some time in at least April) where I live, and it was bookended by mornings below 20F last week and this week. We also ‘fell back’ an hour, which no longer provides a two-week respite from total darkness at the start of my runs. Winter has arrived in terms of darkness and temperature, and with it we need to remember some basics of safety as we embark on our morning – or evening – exercise routines. Wear a Headlamp and Reflective EVERYTHING Or maybe a waist-lamp…


Virtual Runner iPad App Lets You Experience Great Race Locations From Your Treadmill!

While I have not been so thrilled at the number of sub-freezing morning runs these past couple of weeks, and I have truly relished the couple of warm shorts & t-shirt runs these past couple of days … I cannot ever see myself exercising inside again, unless injury or extreme weather demanded it. But for many, including a good friend at work for whom joint issues derailed her running habit, each morning includes some time on the treadmill. Now imagine that instead of watching CNN or reading a book, your treadmill time could include heading up Heartbreak Hill on the…


Standapp Review

Type of app: Fitness Platform/where to buy: iOS App Store Developer: Lyonel Douge Description: Desk job? Sit too long and often? Did you know sitting can be deadly in the long run? Standapp helps combat “Sitting Disease”. Price: Free Major features: Standapp aims to help you not sit so much. Sitting is bad for our bodies for a number of health reasons, but it’s not always practical to have a standing desk. I know in my office I sit in a cube farm, and it would look awfully weird if I was standing and looming over the top of all…


Beware the ‘HumbleBrag’!

Despite the fact that in February of next year I will mark 24 years since I first ‘went out for a jog’ at almost 23 years old in order to help lose weight, it has been less than 6 months that I can say that I have really been ‘in love’ with running – and even less that I have considered myself ‘a runner’. I recently wrote about achieving a major milestone by completing my first marathon … and it is something I am proud of and want to share. As I have progressed through my training and various road…


Should Doping in Sports Be Considered Cheating?

I like to skim my news RSS feed every morning just to catch up on headlines, world events, etc. Most of the time I blow off CNN’s Opinion columnists, because frankly they tend to be either fluffy rehashes of public opinion or purposeful bear-poking statements. Today’s, though, has me outraged, as the author had the gall and ignorance to argue that performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs, should be legalized in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Rather than just rant on my feelings regarding doping (spoiler alert: I think it’s cheating), let me go piece by piece through Prof…


Garmin ForeRunner 10 GPS Watch Hands-On Review

I usually like to lead my reviews with an intro, give the company providing a product the chance to say something, and then dig in … but not this time, because the Garmin ForeRunner 10 is simply that easy to recommend. In fact, here are the only people I would NOT recommend getting the Garmin ForeRunner 10: You run races of more than 50 miles distance or 5 hours duration. You don’t like to sync/charge your GPS watch within 50-60 miles or 5-6 hours of use (or 7 ‘events’). You need to use a heart-rate monitor or other ANT+ wireless…


The Five-Second Rule Can Make You Sick

I’d be the first to admit that for years I have used a shorter variant of the five-second rule, which at my house we called the three-second rule. When Sarah was growing up, if she dropped something hard and dry on the kitchen floor, at least one person would gleefully shout out “three-second rule!” and the item would be picked up and consumed. For (what should be) obvious reasons, this rule did not apply to wet or sticky items, but it did apply to adults as well as children. Hey … parenting is all about compromises and on the spot decision…


Cheater or Sympathetic Character? It Depends upon Who You Ask.

So much of a story is about perception. Present someone’s tale as one of woe, with the right keywords and attitude, and you can make a sympathetic figure. Present it differently, and the sympathetic victim becomes the villain. Today the running news has been buzzing with the tale of Christian Hesch, an elite runner who confessed to blood doping and is facing a ban from the USADA as a result. What really fascinates and appalls me though, is the wide disparity in how it is being presented, made worse by a major newspaper whose coverage blatantly manipulates the facts. Here’s…


iBike POWERHOUSE Complete Cycling Fitness Plan

Through the years, I’ve reviewed several devices for iPhones and iPods that purport to be sturdy protective mounts for bicycle usage. Keeping in mind that there are inherent dangers in listening to music while you’re cycling, especially if you have to worry about dangling headphone wires, it’s important to make sure that safety is your first concern. The iBike POWERHOUSE ensures both the safety of your iPhone and your body with its well-designed mount for the 3 and 4 series iPhones. (No luck for you early iPhone 5 adopters yet.) Add in a software solution for exercise and cycling technique…


From Couch to Marathon in 6 Months, Losing 85 Pounds on the Way!

I have to confess that inside of myself, even as I notched 5Ks, 8Ks and a half-marathon, I still held the notion that I wouldn’t be a REAL runner until I completed a marathon. And having just completed my first marathon – the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY – and having done it better than expected … I am now a REAL runner. At the beginning of June, I wrote about what I termed the “Adult Vanquishing of Childhood Monsters” … as I ran my first (and second) 5K Road Race and totally banished my self-imposed thought of myself as…


The New Garmin ForeRunner 10 Prepares for the Wineglass Marathon!

I had posted about the Garmin ForeRunner 10 announcement previously, and we were expecting a review sample but had been notified that they were still waiting for stock before shipping. While acknowledging the message and thanking them for the update, I mentioned that it was too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the Wineglass Marathon I am running this weekend, but since I would be running a half-marathon in a month it was no big deal. Justin at Garmin got back to me quickly, saying that he would have one in my hands by Friday (yesterday) … just in time…