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4 Ways to Get Fitness Benefits From Wearables

4 Ways to Get Fitness Benefits From Wearables

For the more than one-third of American adults who are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strapping on a wearable device could be a meaningful first step in taking control of health and longevity, and preventing life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Wearable devices that are powered by Microchip technology deliver personalized data to the wearer and alert users of important health information, such as physical activity and heart rate.

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    Research and advisory firm Gartner reports wearable devices sales will have grown by more than 18% in 2016, as people crave the ability to use technology to optimizeall aspects of their lives. Wearables with functionality that allow users to input nutritional intake and get fit socially with friends provide extra advantages. If you’re considering using a wearable to help you achieve your fitness goals, here are four benefits wearables provide.

    1. Get a Clearer Fitness Picture

    You may think that you’re more active than you actually are, but that walk to the bagel shop isn’t as effective as you think. Sedentary lifestyles are particularly dangerous to one’s health, as the Mayo Clinic reports sitting down for prolonged periods of time increases risk of death, heart attack, and chest pain. While you may work out regularly, if you work a job where you are sitting for long periods of time, negative effects can still occur.

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    Some wearable devices, like Fitbit, have built-in alerts to remind users to get up and get moving. By tracking your activity over time, you can see when you are most likely to be inactive and proactively take breaks for walks, or swap an elevator ride for a climb up the stairs. Having a visual representation of your fitness helps key you in to where you can make small improvements that add up.

    2. Make Your Fitness a Social Activity

    Wearable devices that feature a social aspect—ones where you can connect with other wearers to compete and cheer each other on as you work toward fitness goals—are very powerful. The American Psychological Association reports psychological research supports the effectiveness of taking a group approach to fitness, as support makes it easier for those trying to lose weight to stay motivated and stick to a fitness plan. Sharing your goals with others helps you stay accountable, especially when wearable data is transparent to other contacts.

    From steps taken, to pounds lost, to minutes being active, there are many fitness factors that can be compared by using data from wearable devices. Some wearable devices even allow participants to set up challenges with ease. A little friendly competition makes being fit more fun, while positive reinforcement helps wearers maintain momentum. If you have friends who also use wearables, you can enlist them as fitness buddies, where you check in with each other and encourage each other to keep improving on your fitness goals.

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      3. Optimize Your Gym Time

      Whether you’re working with a trainer at a gym or are exploring the myriad options you have at the gym to build muscle and lose fat, a wearable acts as digital trainer support to alert you to calories burned while holding you accountable.

      Trainers who require their clients to keep food and exercise logs will get a crystal-clear picture of what exactly the wearer is doing. Instead of clients having to write down activity in a journal that might get lost or damaged, a wearable device and app maintains an access-from-anywhere digital log that also provides more accurate calorie counts for food intake.

      Those who have busy schedules will also appreciate the rich fitness data wearables provide in helping wearers become clued in to the most effective exercises. Wearable data that shows the user weight fluctuation paired with the exercises done during that period helps users vary their routines, improve their workouts, and do the exercises that help them stay the fittest. While a wearer may have sworn cycling was the most effective workout for their body type, a wearable may clue them in to the fact rowing provides far more benefits.

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      4. Be More Conscious in Your Food Intake

      Food intake often makes a greater impact on weight loss than exercise does, and research shows keeping an accurate log of consumption helps people lose more weight. The University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Prevention Support Center reports individuals who keep track of the food they eat and drinks they consume each day lose twice as much weight as those who do not. Frequency of logs also correlates with weight loss.

      Wearable devices provide wearers with an accurate amount of calories they have burned through exercise, and how many they should consume if they want to stay on track with their fitness goals. By using a wearable app that ties this data in with a food log, wearers see how their food choices affect their weight, and can start to see patterns in types of food consumed with weight fluctuation.

      Sharing a wearable food log with friends can also reinforce the social component that helps users alert each other to where healthier choices could have been made, and encourage each other to make those choices in the future.

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      From becoming more active at more moments throughout the day, to getting more realistic about food portion sizes and calories consumed, a wearable device can provide users with the information they need to improve their lifestyles. And, getting social support from other wearable users adds a positive emotional layer to becoming fit, which reinforces working toward goals and improves attitudes toward health.

      Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

      Listen carefully:

      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

      1. Pray Daily

      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

      3. Smile Often

      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

      4. Organize Your Working Desk

      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

      How do you do that? This is my formula:

      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

      8. Go Exercise

      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

      The Bottom Line

      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

      More Resources About Mindfulness

      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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