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Mid-Week Into The New Year ….. Is Getting Healthy Still On Your Radar?

The ball has dropped, the last glass of champagne has been toasted, or whatever your favorite beverage was on this memorable night. And you joined in with the rest of the festive gatherers on making yet another New Year’s resolution. But do you really intend to keep them?

We all know that making a commitment to getting healthy can be done any time of the year, but it seems like New Year’s Eve tops the list on everyone’s agenda to get themselves fit for the New Year. Especially so they have that toned body that’s ready for be shown off for the beach patrol! After all, you’re not going to be alone in making all these new resolutions, in fact, I’d bet 90% of those made were also made last year, and the year before, and the year before that. You’re going to hear countless declarations from your friends and family about getting a new, fresh start this year. To right the wrongs and make some improvements in their life and health.

Everyone will have their ideas on how to go about being fit and eating healthier and many goals will be set, and some may even be reached. But most people won’t get very far. That gym membership will soon go unused, that new "Home" treadmill, that you had to have, will serve as a convenient drying rack for everything from bath towels to that new exercise outfit that still has the price tags on it.

Most people will run out of motivation and determination long before they have a chance of being successful in reaching their goal. Why? Because a hastily chosen, and ambiguous goal without a clear action plan has a minimal chance of success. You are really just setting yourself up for failure again, without a predetermined goal and action plan to help you reach it.

Let’s face it, everyone needs a goal to work towards in most anything that is worthwhile in life. Whether its advancement with your job, any kind of relationship, it all takes commitment to working towards a set goal. Being fit and getting yourself in a healthier state also takes commitment, and creating a series of goals that are achievable, that is the key! The problem with most people when they start off in trying to get fit usually centers on losing some weight. But again, people tend to set an unrealistic goal and when they miss it, say, lose 25lbs by Valentine’s Day, they simply lose heart and then go back to their old ways of eating and not being active.

But the goal has to be clear-cut. And it’s got to be realistic. So first, let’s talk about what makes a good goal. We’re going to borrow an oft-mentioned business concept – the "SMART Goal" (SMART is an acronym.)
SMART goals are:
Specific – The goal must be clearly defined or identified.
Measurable – It’s best if the goal can be measured in a quantitative, unambiguous way.
Achievable – Ambitious goals are good, but it needs to be within our reach (maybe with a bit of stretch).
Relevant – The goal should apply to you, and your desires about what you wish to become or how you want to improve your situation. Therefore, you’ve got to set your own goals – nobody can do it for you.
Timely – Having a timeline by which you will accomplish your goal (a deadline, if you will) is an important concept – it helps drive motivation and is critical to the planning step of the process.

An example of a “Bad Goal” Not being very well defined. “I want to lose weight”
An example of a Good Defined Goal: “Lose 3″ from my waistline, and improve blood work and blood pressure to acceptable levels in 6 months”.

Once you’ve created your own goal, and remember, once you’ve attained it, you set another one, then another and another after that! You then need an action plan on how you’re going to go about it. Say your goal is to lose 10 LB. in 4 months, sounds pretty achievable, right? But stating it and not following up with the “How” probably means that all you’re going to have at the end of those 4 months is that same goal, but it hasn’t been reached!

Now you may say, you’re going to eat less and exercise more. That’s a start but you still need to be more explicit. You can say I need to lose at a minimum of 2.5 pounds per month for the next 4 months. I’m going to do this by cutting out high sugar content beverages. Such as sodas, juices, and specialty coffees, you know the ones. Not mentioning any names but they all contain enough sugar to keep you wired for about 2 days with one serving! Try and only drink water, but you can add electrolytes supplements, especially with working out, you can also add tea, green or black give you added benefits, or coffee (mostly black).

Secondly, I will decrease the amount of carbohydrates in my diet and increase protein and fat, along with good fiber-rich foods, such that I feel satiated and not prone to hunger pangs.” A good way to give you that feeling of fullness is eating carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, an assortment of beans and grains such as Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). That actually helps you to pass some of those bad carbs right out of your body.

And regarding the exercise:
“I will walk an extra 1/2 to 1 mile per day, with the goal of walking at least 10 miles per week”. Again this is a goal that can be adopted by anyone at any time of the year, not just on January 1st.! But as you accomplish your goals and nail losing those 10lbs. You then need to set another goal, like maybe starting a short jogging pace and again, work up from there.

Now, this is the beginning of an action plan that you can grow with. What’s great about this plan is that it’s got some wiggle room, you don’t have to nail an exact caloric deficit every day, nor do you have to walk a lot. At least not at first, remember goal setting and achieving? And if you miss a day, you can always “catch up” the next day. But there are a few more components needed, such as, a log-book for those old-fashioned ones that need to write their progress down.  This is necessary so you can log your activities and the foods that you consume on a daily basis.  

Another is a good, reliable activity watch, or monitor. Remember, being accountable means tracking that exercise you’re going to be doing to help you achieve your goals, especially if it means losing weight and getting your body into a healthier state. One great activity monitor is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+GPS Activity Tracker  It is a great activity tracker and for the price you have a useful tool that not only tracks your activity but if you take up serious walking, or jogging both the built-in GPS and Heart Rate Monitor will provide you with all you need in order to keep track of how you’re doing and how hard your working towards those goals you’re going to be setting for yourself. And with the wrist based heart rate monitor with the easy touch screen capability you can easily stay in sync with your results.

So as you can see, getting fit and committing finally to achieving that New Year Resolution, can start you off with not only being healthier but by default, it can also help you to continue to lose weight and increase your body’s stamina, which will, in turn, empower you to reach new goals that you can set for yourself. And as you can see the cycle can continue all through not only this year but for the rest of your life.  You may even become a role model for your friends as they start to notice your progress after a few months of achieving your goals. Now, how about that?

 

 

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The ball has dropped, the last glass of champagne has been toasted, or whatever your favorite beverage was on this memorable night. And you joined in with the rest of the festive gatherers on making yet another New Year’s resolution. But do you really intend to keep them?

We all know that making a commitment to getting healthy can be done any time of the year, but it seems like New Year’s Eve tops the list on everyone’s agenda to get themselves fit for the New Year. Especially so they have that toned body that’s ready for be shown off for the beach patrol! After all, you’re not going to be alone in making all these new resolutions, in fact, I’d bet 90% of those made were also made last year, and the year before, and the year before that. You’re going to hear countless declarations from your friends and family about getting a new, fresh start this year. To right the wrongs and make some improvements in their life and health.

Everyone will have their ideas on how to go about being fit and eating healthier and many goals will be set, and some may even be reached. But most people won’t get very far. That gym membership will soon go unused, that new "Home" treadmill, that you had to have, will serve as a convenient drying rack for everything from bath towels to that new exercise outfit that still has the price tags on it.

Most people will run out of motivation and determination long before they have a chance of being successful in reaching their goal. Why? Because a hastily chosen, and ambiguous goal without a clear action plan has a minimal chance of success. You are really just setting yourself up for failure again, without a predetermined goal and action plan to help you reach it.

Let’s face it, everyone needs a goal to work towards in most anything that is worthwhile in life. Whether its advancement with your job, any kind of relationship, it all takes commitment to working towards a set goal. Being fit and getting yourself in a healthier state also takes commitment, and creating a series of goals that are achievable, that is the key! The problem with most people when they start off in trying to get fit usually centers on losing some weight. But again, people tend to set an unrealistic goal and when they miss it, say, lose 25lbs by Valentine’s Day, they simply lose heart and then go back to their old ways of eating and not being active.

But the goal has to be clear-cut. And it’s got to be realistic. So first, let’s talk about what makes a good goal. We’re going to borrow an oft-mentioned business concept – the "SMART Goal" (SMART is an acronym.)
SMART goals are:
Specific – The goal must be clearly defined or identified.
Measurable – It’s best if the goal can be measured in a quantitative, unambiguous way.
Achievable – Ambitious goals are good, but it needs to be within our reach (maybe with a bit of stretch).
Relevant – The goal should apply to you, and your desires about what you wish to become or how you want to improve your situation. Therefore, you’ve got to set your own goals – nobody can do it for you.
Timely – Having a timeline by which you will accomplish your goal (a deadline, if you will) is an important concept – it helps drive motivation and is critical to the planning step of the process.

An example of a “Bad Goal” Not being very well defined. “I want to lose weight”
An example of a Good Defined Goal: “Lose 3″ from my waistline, and improve blood work and blood pressure to acceptable levels in 6 months”.

Once you’ve created your own goal, and remember, once you’ve attained it, you set another one, then another and another after that! You then need an action plan on how you’re going to go about it. Say your goal is to lose 10 LB. in 4 months, sounds pretty achievable, right? But stating it and not following up with the “How” probably means that all you’re going to have at the end of those 4 months is that same goal, but it hasn’t been reached!

Now you may say, you’re going to eat less and exercise more. That’s a start but you still need to be more explicit. You can say I need to lose at a minimum of 2.5 pounds per month for the next 4 months. I’m going to do this by cutting out high sugar content beverages. Such as sodas, juices, and specialty coffees, you know the ones. Not mentioning any names but they all contain enough sugar to keep you wired for about 2 days with one serving! Try and only drink water, but you can add electrolytes supplements, especially with working out, you can also add tea, green or black give you added benefits, or coffee (mostly black).

Secondly, I will decrease the amount of carbohydrates in my diet and increase protein and fat, along with good fiber-rich foods, such that I feel satiated and not prone to hunger pangs.” A good way to give you that feeling of fullness is eating carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, an assortment of beans and grains such as Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). That actually helps you to pass some of those bad carbs right out of your body.

And regarding the exercise:
“I will walk an extra 1/2 to 1 mile per day, with the goal of walking at least 10 miles per week”. Again this is a goal that can be adopted by anyone at any time of the year, not just on January 1st.! But as you accomplish your goals and nail losing those 10lbs. You then need to set another goal, like maybe starting a short jogging pace and again, work up from there.

Now, this is the beginning of an action plan that you can grow with. What’s great about this plan is that it’s got some wiggle room, you don’t have to nail an exact caloric deficit every day, nor do you have to walk a lot. At least not at first, remember goal setting and achieving? And if you miss a day, you can always “catch up” the next day. But there are a few more components needed, such as, a log-book for those old-fashioned ones that need to write their progress down.  This is necessary so you can log your activities and the foods that you consume on a daily basis.  

Another is a good, reliable activity watch, or monitor. Remember, being accountable means tracking that exercise you’re going to be doing to help you achieve your goals, especially if it means losing weight and getting your body into a healthier state. One great activity monitor is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+GPS Activity Tracker  It is a great activity tracker and for the price you have a useful tool that not only tracks your activity but if you take up serious walking, or jogging both the built-in GPS and Heart Rate Monitor will provide you with all you need in order to keep track of how you’re doing and how hard your working towards those goals you’re going to be setting for yourself. And with the wrist based heart rate monitor with the easy touch screen capability you can easily stay in sync with your results.

So as you can see, getting fit and committing finally to achieving that New Year Resolution, can start you off with not only being healthier but by default, it can also help you to continue to lose weight and increase your body’s stamina, which will, in turn, empower you to reach new goals that you can set for yourself. And as you can see the cycle can continue all through not only this year but for the rest of your life.  You may even become a role model for your friends as they start to notice your progress after a few months of achieving your goals. Now, how about that?

 

 

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Autumn Is A Great Time To Get Out On Your Bike And Enjoy The Clean, Crisp Air.

Just Make Sure The Leaves Are The Only Thing That Is Falling!

Yes, the sun is rising a little later now that Fall is upon us. And the weather begins to move from warm and humid to cool and clean with a morning breeze to help chase those cobwebs from your brain. But with this change comes the opportunity to experience a feeling of embracing this change and maybe get out on some trails that you put off till now because you knew the terrain is a little more taxing and you wanted to put it off until a cooler time of year.

With the anticipation of getting out this time of year you need to and want to have the necessary tools on hand in order to make sure you’re going in the right direction, especially if you're going to be taking some new trails to enjoy the autumn season.

One good tool to have with you now and really any time of year is a good cycling computer, with an accurate GPS function to plot where you are against where you want to end up being. One that fits the bill is the Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Cycling Computer . Besides having preloaded maps, targeted on where you are, it also has the newest “Rider-to-Rider” messaging and Group-Track functions to help you stay aware and communicate with your buddies as you go. Edge 1030 is compatible with Varia rearview radar and smart bike lights, and it has built-in incident detection to help create a safer riding environment.

But with this change in the weather and the surroundings around you. You also need to prepare both you and your bike for things that go hand in hand with the Fall season.

One thing that a lot of people neglect to do this time of year is to check their tire pressure. After all, tire pressure varies with the changes in the temperature and with your tires being in direct contact with that cold hard road, the temps can make a difference with the air in your tires. A good rule of thumb is “Tire pressure can change with fluctuations in temperature. One example to use when comparing tire pressure to air temperature is for every 10 degrees F, tire pressure will adjust by 1 psi. For example, if the outside air temperature increases 10 degrees, the tire pressure will increase by 1 psi”.

That’s about as easy as I can make it. But you need to be aware of the fact that you should be checking that tire pressure on a regular basis and as the fall season moves into the colder winter months it should become a regular routine for you to make sure the tire pressure corresponds to the temperature changes. After all, there are and will be plenty of nice days in December, January and even February that you can get out there and enjoy the changes in the scenery that Mother Nature provides us with!

The Fall Season also brings shorter daylight hours along with grey days and rainy weather with it. Which means you should have your lights checked as well as that tire pressure. And it’s not a bad idea to get into the habit of checking both at the same time. This way you won’t have any surprises as you flick that switch and instead of seeing a nice bright beam of light, all you get is a tired, dim projection of gloom.

You want to make sure those batteries are at full strength. With that being said, lights are very important this time of year as we just mentioned. A great name in bike lighting is Varia. And two great lights that work in tandem with the Garmin 1030 are the Varia Smart Bike Lights for “Frontal Lighting” and the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar Tail Light . They both can work independently and they seamlessly integrate with the compatible Edge® cycling computers, the model 1030 that I mentioned above.

As a rider’s speed increases, the headlight automatically projects further ahead or closer, as a rider’s speed decreases when paired with select Edge computers.

As light conditions change, the smart Varia headlights and tail lights automatically get brighter or dimmer, so they are a great pairing of products that work when you need them to.

In the summer most cyclists are rarely caught out in the dark but in fall, particularly after the time changes, it can happen more often than not. Another simple rule that most of us forget is that if you are cycling west at sundown, the sun is in everyone's eyes and it can be very hard to see. For both you and those who may be sharing the road with you!

One other thing to keep in mind, as a helpful reminder is that you should be really careful on the few days after November 1st when the clocks roll back. This usually happens in the early part of the month. But regions of the country fluctuate so know when it happens in the area in which you cycle. Studies have shown a significant increase in the number of accidents immediately after the change because people are tired and they are not used to the conditions.

According to the CBC: A study, by two researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007, found that daylight time has a significant impact on the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the time switch in the fall. People walking during rush hour in the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in the autumn were more than three times more likely to be fatally struck by cars than before the change.  And this can impact the luckless cyclist as well, so be aware of whats happening in front of you as well as alongside of you, the best that you can!

Then there is the weather to consider. Getting caught in a light rain in August can almost be pleasant, but it's no fun in November, and even worse in January or February when those temperatures really take a plunge. When cycling this time of the year, you need to be prepared, (like a Boy Scout) it’s a good idea to keep a scarf, hat and gloves, with you in a saddle pouch or knapsack (waterproof), just in case the ones you’re wearing get wet or frosted.

Another good item to have with you is a "a rain poncho and waterproof carrying bag. After all, the idea is to keep yourself dry, not have to put on slightly damp clothes from a non-waterproof bag, right?

Rainy windshields on cars, combined with earlier darkness make bicyclists and pedestrians even harder to see. Wearing lighter-colored clothing, a reflective safety vest, sash or clothing that reflects cars headlights are an important part of your fall/winter riding gear. And remember, always using lights, in proper working condition will keep you visible, to those sharing the road with you!

Another thing to keep in mind is that leaves are slippery when wet! And you don't know what's under them. It’s a good idea that you avoid them when possible, which is hard when you are sharing the road with cars, or you're on that mountain path and the leaves are the only thing your seeing on the trail. So slow down, and be really careful when navigating those turns.

But, again, the purpose of this post is to just get you out there enjoying what you like about the sport of cycling. If you’re lucky enough to live in parts of the country that constantly go through a seasonable cycle, then you know that the Fall and early Winter season can offer some great vistas for you to enjoy as you travel down those frosty paths. Enjoy, Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
From your cycling buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

Read more

Just Make Sure The Leaves Are The Only Thing That Is Falling!

Yes, the sun is rising a little later now that Fall is upon us. And the weather begins to move from warm and humid to cool and clean with a morning breeze to help chase those cobwebs from your brain. But with this change comes the opportunity to experience a feeling of embracing this change and maybe get out on some trails that you put off till now because you knew the terrain is a little more taxing and you wanted to put it off until a cooler time of year.

With the anticipation of getting out this time of year you need to and want to have the necessary tools on hand in order to make sure you’re going in the right direction, especially if you're going to be taking some new trails to enjoy the autumn season.

One good tool to have with you now and really any time of year is a good cycling computer, with an accurate GPS function to plot where you are against where you want to end up being. One that fits the bill is the Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Cycling Computer . Besides having preloaded maps, targeted on where you are, it also has the newest “Rider-to-Rider” messaging and Group-Track functions to help you stay aware and communicate with your buddies as you go. Edge 1030 is compatible with Varia rearview radar and smart bike lights, and it has built-in incident detection to help create a safer riding environment.

But with this change in the weather and the surroundings around you. You also need to prepare both you and your bike for things that go hand in hand with the Fall season.

One thing that a lot of people neglect to do this time of year is to check their tire pressure. After all, tire pressure varies with the changes in the temperature and with your tires being in direct contact with that cold hard road, the temps can make a difference with the air in your tires. A good rule of thumb is “Tire pressure can change with fluctuations in temperature. One example to use when comparing tire pressure to air temperature is for every 10 degrees F, tire pressure will adjust by 1 psi. For example, if the outside air temperature increases 10 degrees, the tire pressure will increase by 1 psi”.

That’s about as easy as I can make it. But you need to be aware of the fact that you should be checking that tire pressure on a regular basis and as the fall season moves into the colder winter months it should become a regular routine for you to make sure the tire pressure corresponds to the temperature changes. After all, there are and will be plenty of nice days in December, January and even February that you can get out there and enjoy the changes in the scenery that Mother Nature provides us with!

The Fall Season also brings shorter daylight hours along with grey days and rainy weather with it. Which means you should have your lights checked as well as that tire pressure. And it’s not a bad idea to get into the habit of checking both at the same time. This way you won’t have any surprises as you flick that switch and instead of seeing a nice bright beam of light, all you get is a tired, dim projection of gloom.

You want to make sure those batteries are at full strength. With that being said, lights are very important this time of year as we just mentioned. A great name in bike lighting is Varia. And two great lights that work in tandem with the Garmin 1030 are the Varia Smart Bike Lights for “Frontal Lighting” and the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar Tail Light . They both can work independently and they seamlessly integrate with the compatible Edge® cycling computers, the model 1030 that I mentioned above.

As a rider’s speed increases, the headlight automatically projects further ahead or closer, as a rider’s speed decreases when paired with select Edge computers.

As light conditions change, the smart Varia headlights and tail lights automatically get brighter or dimmer, so they are a great pairing of products that work when you need them to.

In the summer most cyclists are rarely caught out in the dark but in fall, particularly after the time changes, it can happen more often than not. Another simple rule that most of us forget is that if you are cycling west at sundown, the sun is in everyone's eyes and it can be very hard to see. For both you and those who may be sharing the road with you!

One other thing to keep in mind, as a helpful reminder is that you should be really careful on the few days after November 1st when the clocks roll back. This usually happens in the early part of the month. But regions of the country fluctuate so know when it happens in the area in which you cycle. Studies have shown a significant increase in the number of accidents immediately after the change because people are tired and they are not used to the conditions.

According to the CBC: A study, by two researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007, found that daylight time has a significant impact on the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the time switch in the fall. People walking during rush hour in the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in the autumn were more than three times more likely to be fatally struck by cars than before the change.  And this can impact the luckless cyclist as well, so be aware of whats happening in front of you as well as alongside of you, the best that you can!

Then there is the weather to consider. Getting caught in a light rain in August can almost be pleasant, but it's no fun in November, and even worse in January or February when those temperatures really take a plunge. When cycling this time of the year, you need to be prepared, (like a Boy Scout) it’s a good idea to keep a scarf, hat and gloves, with you in a saddle pouch or knapsack (waterproof), just in case the ones you’re wearing get wet or frosted.

Another good item to have with you is a "a rain poncho and waterproof carrying bag. After all, the idea is to keep yourself dry, not have to put on slightly damp clothes from a non-waterproof bag, right?

Rainy windshields on cars, combined with earlier darkness make bicyclists and pedestrians even harder to see. Wearing lighter-colored clothing, a reflective safety vest, sash or clothing that reflects cars headlights are an important part of your fall/winter riding gear. And remember, always using lights, in proper working condition will keep you visible, to those sharing the road with you!

Another thing to keep in mind is that leaves are slippery when wet! And you don't know what's under them. It’s a good idea that you avoid them when possible, which is hard when you are sharing the road with cars, or you're on that mountain path and the leaves are the only thing your seeing on the trail. So slow down, and be really careful when navigating those turns.

But, again, the purpose of this post is to just get you out there enjoying what you like about the sport of cycling. If you’re lucky enough to live in parts of the country that constantly go through a seasonable cycle, then you know that the Fall and early Winter season can offer some great vistas for you to enjoy as you travel down those frosty paths. Enjoy, Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
From your cycling buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com

Read more

If Your Into Healthy...

Than Your Fitness Watch Should Be ON Your Wrist, NOT Left In A Drawer!

I know, most everyone from time to time has tried to get on the fitness treadmill. But there always seems to be something that takes you off that healthy track and into the “Jungle of Guilt” where you’ve labored for a while, even though your intentions were good, you slipped over to the “Dark Side” of eating those “Fatty Foods” again and seeing yourself entering the movie theater instead of going inside your gym.

Some of us have used incentives to motivate ourselves into getting healthy by purchasing the latest and greatest fitness watch, aka… Activity Monitor. Sure, you made sure it has all the bells and whistles, even has a heart rate monitor too, cause you’re gonna make sure you're working out to your fullest.

But you soon find out that even the best fitness monitors are like gym memberships. In the beginning, their shiny, new and you like showing it off as you work out, especially when you're amongst your fellow “Grunters and Sweaters” at the gym. Then, three months later you find that the novelty wears off and you realize that you haven't developed the body of a chiseled athlete and bit by bit you're visits to the gym are getting less frequent.

Well, you’re not alone, there are stats out there that show that most people, who make the purchase of an activity monitor whether it be a Gamin, or a Fitbit,  or some other popular fitness device, actually stop using them within the first 6 months!

So, how do you fix it so that you’re not one of the fitness wannabe’s out there that has their fitness watch laying alongside their old Timex? The answer is really simple. It’s all about what you want and your commitment to getting there. You need to approach your new fitness tracker, no matter the brand, (Naturally we like the two Brands we’ve spotlighted named above) with the right mindset!

Remember, just because you've strapped a tracker onto your wrist, doesn't mean you're going to get fit. What you've got here is a tool, and if used correctly, it can be a great, even life changing tool to aid you in staying motivated.

But if you asked us for our own personal favorite, we think the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch  fits our purpose, quite nicely. It’s a multi-function activity tracker, so whether you run, bike, walk, jog or even swim laps or take a dive out in the ocean. This activity tracker does just what it says it will do. Track your Activity, period! It also monitors your running dynamics, which includes tracking your cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Yep, we are talking an advance tool but also one that can easily be worn during your workday, or social outing because it looks great on your wrist!

But this activity watch, like any other tracking device, Is NOT a replacement for your own desire to succeed. You may have been thinking about getting in shape for months or even years but you simply did nothing about it. You may have even made multiple attempts before this to get in shape, even purchasing other exercise devices to help get you there. Just like the rowing machine, set of free weights or that yoga mat you bought, but the reality is, if you don't interact with it and use it, it won't help! If you accept from the outset that the hard work and a lifestyle change is still down to you, you'll have more success.

Most fitness trackers come with preset step goals. Your current lifestyle might mean you can hit these targets with ease. But we all know doing what you've always done isn't going to bring about the change you're looking for. Use the tracker for a week and see how you compare and then change the targets to be more demanding.

At the same time make a list of the times during your day when you realistically have the opportunity to add in more steps. This will help you understand where you might need to make bigger changes for greater impact.

Challenge yourself or Ramp up your daily activities. Once you've made your list, it's time to work out how to change your behavior. One big problem with fitness trackers is that they'll sit there recording what you do all day but won't actually have any effect on your daily habits. One way to change that is to create micro targets during the day. Walk more steps on the way to work or at lunch.
Challenge yourself to walk at least 100 steps per hour. These small targets and goals help you focus during the day rather than just drifting to the an-end-of-day total.
In order to boost fitness and stay healthy, it's important to avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. Worse than that, sitting for long periods of time can actually increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. So if you’re like a lot of us, you spend your days sitting at a desk only getting up for lunch and the occasional coffee or heaven forbid a soda, diet or regular,  please note, both are NOT good for you, so, this is one habit to change.

Moving for five minutes every hour has been proven to aid overall wellbeing and fend off some of the bad habits mentioned above. Many of the latest fitness trackers including those from Garmin and Fitbit come with handy reminders. Make sure these are set to on and don't ignore them. Use your hourly strolls away from your desk as an excuse to go get a drink of water for a healthy double dose of good.

The bottom line on all of this is, the activity monitor of your choice, (we’ve picked our favorite lines above) are meant to make you aware of your progress, or lack thereof, in order for you to improve your health. But you need to accept the fact that you are responsible for YOU.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we are here for you to help you achieve a life goal of being healthy. Feel free to send us an email, to let us know we are helping you in changing up your lifestyle habits. We hope WE ARE!

Your friends in attaining good health. The staff here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

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Than Your Fitness Watch Should Be ON Your Wrist, NOT Left In A Drawer!

I know, most everyone from time to time has tried to get on the fitness treadmill. But there always seems to be something that takes you off that healthy track and into the “Jungle of Guilt” where you’ve labored for a while, even though your intentions were good, you slipped over to the “Dark Side” of eating those “Fatty Foods” again and seeing yourself entering the movie theater instead of going inside your gym.

Some of us have used incentives to motivate ourselves into getting healthy by purchasing the latest and greatest fitness watch, aka… Activity Monitor. Sure, you made sure it has all the bells and whistles, even has a heart rate monitor too, cause you’re gonna make sure you're working out to your fullest.

But you soon find out that even the best fitness monitors are like gym memberships. In the beginning, their shiny, new and you like showing it off as you work out, especially when you're amongst your fellow “Grunters and Sweaters” at the gym. Then, three months later you find that the novelty wears off and you realize that you haven't developed the body of a chiseled athlete and bit by bit you're visits to the gym are getting less frequent.

Well, you’re not alone, there are stats out there that show that most people, who make the purchase of an activity monitor whether it be a Gamin, or a Fitbit,  or some other popular fitness device, actually stop using them within the first 6 months!

So, how do you fix it so that you’re not one of the fitness wannabe’s out there that has their fitness watch laying alongside their old Timex? The answer is really simple. It’s all about what you want and your commitment to getting there. You need to approach your new fitness tracker, no matter the brand, (Naturally we like the two Brands we’ve spotlighted named above) with the right mindset!

Remember, just because you've strapped a tracker onto your wrist, doesn't mean you're going to get fit. What you've got here is a tool, and if used correctly, it can be a great, even life changing tool to aid you in staying motivated.

But if you asked us for our own personal favorite, we think the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch  fits our purpose, quite nicely. It’s a multi-function activity tracker, so whether you run, bike, walk, jog or even swim laps or take a dive out in the ocean. This activity tracker does just what it says it will do. Track your Activity, period! It also monitors your running dynamics, which includes tracking your cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Yep, we are talking an advance tool but also one that can easily be worn during your workday, or social outing because it looks great on your wrist!

But this activity watch, like any other tracking device, Is NOT a replacement for your own desire to succeed. You may have been thinking about getting in shape for months or even years but you simply did nothing about it. You may have even made multiple attempts before this to get in shape, even purchasing other exercise devices to help get you there. Just like the rowing machine, set of free weights or that yoga mat you bought, but the reality is, if you don't interact with it and use it, it won't help! If you accept from the outset that the hard work and a lifestyle change is still down to you, you'll have more success.

Most fitness trackers come with preset step goals. Your current lifestyle might mean you can hit these targets with ease. But we all know doing what you've always done isn't going to bring about the change you're looking for. Use the tracker for a week and see how you compare and then change the targets to be more demanding.

At the same time make a list of the times during your day when you realistically have the opportunity to add in more steps. This will help you understand where you might need to make bigger changes for greater impact.

Challenge yourself or Ramp up your daily activities. Once you've made your list, it's time to work out how to change your behavior. One big problem with fitness trackers is that they'll sit there recording what you do all day but won't actually have any effect on your daily habits. One way to change that is to create micro targets during the day. Walk more steps on the way to work or at lunch.
Challenge yourself to walk at least 100 steps per hour. These small targets and goals help you focus during the day rather than just drifting to the an-end-of-day total.
In order to boost fitness and stay healthy, it's important to avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. Worse than that, sitting for long periods of time can actually increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. So if you’re like a lot of us, you spend your days sitting at a desk only getting up for lunch and the occasional coffee or heaven forbid a soda, diet or regular,  please note, both are NOT good for you, so, this is one habit to change.

Moving for five minutes every hour has been proven to aid overall wellbeing and fend off some of the bad habits mentioned above. Many of the latest fitness trackers including those from Garmin and Fitbit come with handy reminders. Make sure these are set to on and don't ignore them. Use your hourly strolls away from your desk as an excuse to go get a drink of water for a healthy double dose of good.

The bottom line on all of this is, the activity monitor of your choice, (we’ve picked our favorite lines above) are meant to make you aware of your progress, or lack thereof, in order for you to improve your health. But you need to accept the fact that you are responsible for YOU.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we are here for you to help you achieve a life goal of being healthy. Feel free to send us an email, to let us know we are helping you in changing up your lifestyle habits. We hope WE ARE!

Your friends in attaining good health. The staff here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

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Don’t Let The Humidity Beat You Down This Summer

Sum, Sum, summertime is here and we are loving it. But with the summer heat also comes the humidity. Those of us that have embraced a healthy lifestyle and take every chance we get to get our runs or even a fast jog in can sometimes get into a little trouble with the dense air (Humidity) that sometimes ushers in with the jet-stream. Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. If you don't pay attention to your body, when exercising in the heat, you risk the chance of becoming seriously ill. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature and humidity can increase your core body temperature. To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin.

Most of us, who like to run, make it a point to hit the open air trails instead of the fluorescent interior of a gym, the downside to this is there is NO air-conditioning. But we feel the need to move horizontally when we exercise… and if you’re like me, I exercise a lot. I need to run on the trails to get into that meditative state so many runners crave. But in the early summer months, my training schedules change to adapt to the heat and humidity of the Northeast. Yours should too!

You need to remember, that running or cycling in 90-degree weather is not the same as running in 50 or 60-degree weather. Your blood volume is lower than it needs to be and other systems within your body are simply not ready to take on the heat, much less the dense moisture laden air on a humid day. For many runners and cyclists, properly adapting to exercising in the heat can improve their performance in more temperate conditions. But you need to be aware of your body's strengths and weaknesses. One way to stay on top of your body's signals is with a good Heart Rate Monitor watch, especially one that tracks your V02 Max data. VO2 Max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense, or maximal exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. It's one factor that may help determine an athlete's capacity to perform sustained exercise.

Since most of us that like to get out and run on trails off the beaten path. An activity watch with a good accurate GPS function is a must. And as long as you’re going to maintain your fitness routines by getting out and enjoying the fresh air and scenery, having a Multi-Function monitor that doubles as both a heart rate monitor and one that does monitor your VO2 max data is a win-win. The one that I have found fits all my needs is the Garmin Fenix3 MultiSport Strapless Heart Rate Monitor (https://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/products/garmin-fenix3-strapless?variant=15691645254). It keeps track of your heart rate, counts steps while walking and monitors sleep. The watch monitors your heart rate and provides precise information of the calories burned during your intensive sweat sessions. By keeping a record of these factors, you can check the quality of your workouts and improve it to get better results. Based on your VO2 levels and max number, it monitors your running speed and heart beats per minute. This is used to calculate the estimated volume of oxygen you can consume per minute.

Running in the heat and humidity takes a lot more effort than running in cool crisp weather. Your VO2 max or your ability to use oxygen to create energy diminishes. You will dehydrate much quicker which not only will further diminish your VO2 max, it can create electrolyte imbalances too. Heat Exhaustion, which can lead to Heat Stroke, where your body temperature rises to dangerous temperatures is an ever-present danger and can be fatal if untreated promptly. That is why knowing your VO2 max is an important tool once those dew-point levels climb up into the higher 60's too that oppressive 70 %!

Running in the summer, or even a good jogging pace can bring on the summer sweats. Sweating is the bodies’ way of trying to control your temperature. Under most circumstances, it works very well. In high heat/humid settings, it can sometimes work to your disadvantage if you are not prepared. In very dry, or very humid conditions sweating can lead to severe dehydration. Any experienced runner knows that they need to hydrate, and hydrate a lot! During an extended period of time can have you losing a few liters of fluid. In high heat, but low humidity conditions, the sweat is evaporated rapidly. You may feel like you’re not losing a lot of fluid, but you are! In high humidity environments the sweat does not evaporate nearly as rapidly, therefore your body’s response is to sweat more as it attempts to cool you down. The volume of fluid in your blood vessels might only be 3-5 liters. If you sweat or exhale 3 liters of fluid during exercise and do not replenish it your body will draw fluid away from your muscles, and other organs to maintain the fluid level in your blood vessels. That is why dehydration can affect all your systems in your body. The key rule to remember is to drink often if you wait till your mouth is dry, you’re waiting too long!

Water is a great restorative, especially when it's that hot and humid. But sometimes it’s best to get those lost electrolytes replenished as well. One product line that we like is the Nuun Active Electrolyte Supplement  Nuun active, is a sports drink, packed with electrolytes and low-calorie clean ingredients to help you stay energetic during your intense sweat sessions. It will help you get rid of cramps and improve muscle function. It also aids efficient distribution of energy.

But in order to tote that energy/electrolyte packed drink on your run, you need a good, insulated bottle. One great item that is always at my side, (literally) is the Camelbak Delaney 21oz Podium Insulated Chill Bottle  This insulated bottle is just about hands-free, and since it comes with its own waist hugging adjustable pack it does not get in the way and is easy to use. The pack itself provides enough storage (without being bulky) for energy bars or gels, keys and even my phone. So don’t start off on the wrong foot by NOT carrying the right water container and remember to take any opportunity while you’re out on the trail to refill it. You never know what may happen as you get farther out on a trail that you’re not familiar with!

If you’re running consistently, your body is already working on getting used to the summer heat and humidity. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks before your body adapts, so listen to your body as the temp. begins to rise. Your body will increase the volume or amount of fluid in your vessels to ready itself for exercise. This is likely due to sodium and protein retention. Many other adaptations take place. Our sweat glands become more efficient too. You will sweat more often and more efficiently. You will begin to notice that your body is getting used to exercising in the heat when your heart rate decreases despite running at the same pace. You will also notice an increase in your endurance and your VO2 max.

After your body adapts to the stress of exercising in the heat and humidity you should be able to return to your normal training schedule. Remember, all this above assumes you are a healthy well trained athlete to begin with! If you are just starting out or you have chronic heart, lung or other illnesses you should definitely talk to your physician first, before doing ANY stressful exercise!

Not doing so is beyond being foolish, so make sure if you’re a rookie that you have your physician sign off on your being able to not only run, but being able to run when the heat index starts to climb.

 

Read more

Sum, Sum, summertime is here and we are loving it. But with the summer heat also comes the humidity. Those of us that have embraced a healthy lifestyle and take every chance we get to get our runs or even a fast jog in can sometimes get into a little trouble with the dense air (Humidity) that sometimes ushers in with the jet-stream. Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. If you don't pay attention to your body, when exercising in the heat, you risk the chance of becoming seriously ill. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature and humidity can increase your core body temperature. To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin.

Most of us, who like to run, make it a point to hit the open air trails instead of the fluorescent interior of a gym, the downside to this is there is NO air-conditioning. But we feel the need to move horizontally when we exercise… and if you’re like me, I exercise a lot. I need to run on the trails to get into that meditative state so many runners crave. But in the early summer months, my training schedules change to adapt to the heat and humidity of the Northeast. Yours should too!

You need to remember, that running or cycling in 90-degree weather is not the same as running in 50 or 60-degree weather. Your blood volume is lower than it needs to be and other systems within your body are simply not ready to take on the heat, much less the dense moisture laden air on a humid day. For many runners and cyclists, properly adapting to exercising in the heat can improve their performance in more temperate conditions. But you need to be aware of your body's strengths and weaknesses. One way to stay on top of your body's signals is with a good Heart Rate Monitor watch, especially one that tracks your V02 Max data. VO2 Max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense, or maximal exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. It's one factor that may help determine an athlete's capacity to perform sustained exercise.

Since most of us that like to get out and run on trails off the beaten path. An activity watch with a good accurate GPS function is a must. And as long as you’re going to maintain your fitness routines by getting out and enjoying the fresh air and scenery, having a Multi-Function monitor that doubles as both a heart rate monitor and one that does monitor your VO2 max data is a win-win. The one that I have found fits all my needs is the Garmin Fenix3 MultiSport Strapless Heart Rate Monitor (https://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/products/garmin-fenix3-strapless?variant=15691645254). It keeps track of your heart rate, counts steps while walking and monitors sleep. The watch monitors your heart rate and provides precise information of the calories burned during your intensive sweat sessions. By keeping a record of these factors, you can check the quality of your workouts and improve it to get better results. Based on your VO2 levels and max number, it monitors your running speed and heart beats per minute. This is used to calculate the estimated volume of oxygen you can consume per minute.

Running in the heat and humidity takes a lot more effort than running in cool crisp weather. Your VO2 max or your ability to use oxygen to create energy diminishes. You will dehydrate much quicker which not only will further diminish your VO2 max, it can create electrolyte imbalances too. Heat Exhaustion, which can lead to Heat Stroke, where your body temperature rises to dangerous temperatures is an ever-present danger and can be fatal if untreated promptly. That is why knowing your VO2 max is an important tool once those dew-point levels climb up into the higher 60's too that oppressive 70 %!

Running in the summer, or even a good jogging pace can bring on the summer sweats. Sweating is the bodies’ way of trying to control your temperature. Under most circumstances, it works very well. In high heat/humid settings, it can sometimes work to your disadvantage if you are not prepared. In very dry, or very humid conditions sweating can lead to severe dehydration. Any experienced runner knows that they need to hydrate, and hydrate a lot! During an extended period of time can have you losing a few liters of fluid. In high heat, but low humidity conditions, the sweat is evaporated rapidly. You may feel like you’re not losing a lot of fluid, but you are! In high humidity environments the sweat does not evaporate nearly as rapidly, therefore your body’s response is to sweat more as it attempts to cool you down. The volume of fluid in your blood vessels might only be 3-5 liters. If you sweat or exhale 3 liters of fluid during exercise and do not replenish it your body will draw fluid away from your muscles, and other organs to maintain the fluid level in your blood vessels. That is why dehydration can affect all your systems in your body. The key rule to remember is to drink often if you wait till your mouth is dry, you’re waiting too long!

Water is a great restorative, especially when it's that hot and humid. But sometimes it’s best to get those lost electrolytes replenished as well. One product line that we like is the Nuun Active Electrolyte Supplement  Nuun active, is a sports drink, packed with electrolytes and low-calorie clean ingredients to help you stay energetic during your intense sweat sessions. It will help you get rid of cramps and improve muscle function. It also aids efficient distribution of energy.

But in order to tote that energy/electrolyte packed drink on your run, you need a good, insulated bottle. One great item that is always at my side, (literally) is the Camelbak Delaney 21oz Podium Insulated Chill Bottle  This insulated bottle is just about hands-free, and since it comes with its own waist hugging adjustable pack it does not get in the way and is easy to use. The pack itself provides enough storage (without being bulky) for energy bars or gels, keys and even my phone. So don’t start off on the wrong foot by NOT carrying the right water container and remember to take any opportunity while you’re out on the trail to refill it. You never know what may happen as you get farther out on a trail that you’re not familiar with!

If you’re running consistently, your body is already working on getting used to the summer heat and humidity. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks before your body adapts, so listen to your body as the temp. begins to rise. Your body will increase the volume or amount of fluid in your vessels to ready itself for exercise. This is likely due to sodium and protein retention. Many other adaptations take place. Our sweat glands become more efficient too. You will sweat more often and more efficiently. You will begin to notice that your body is getting used to exercising in the heat when your heart rate decreases despite running at the same pace. You will also notice an increase in your endurance and your VO2 max.

After your body adapts to the stress of exercising in the heat and humidity you should be able to return to your normal training schedule. Remember, all this above assumes you are a healthy well trained athlete to begin with! If you are just starting out or you have chronic heart, lung or other illnesses you should definitely talk to your physician first, before doing ANY stressful exercise!

Not doing so is beyond being foolish, so make sure if you’re a rookie that you have your physician sign off on your being able to not only run, but being able to run when the heat index starts to climb.

 

Read more

When You’re Hitting The Streets, Does A Stop Sign Mean Anymore To YOU Then STOP?

I like to go for a fast walk in the early morning, usually starting out about 5 AM. I find that time of the day is the best for me. For one thing, it’s quiet around where I live. I see the occasional patrol car making its rounds. Usually, the paper-girl, (in my case) and I wave to each other as we pass and I’m on a first-name basis with the other early risers, who drive by on their way to work.

Now, where I walk or jog maybe is a better term. I encounter 6 stop signs. Now everyone has been trained from an early age to know that the “Stop Sign” means just that, come to a complete stop. Usually, this is for vehicles, but it is also a good warning for those that walk, run, or bike around these same roads to make sure they keep a good eye out for anyone that does not abide by the rules of the road.

It’s funny, but early in the morning, you would be surprised at how many drivers simply ease through the stop sign and keep on going or there are some that just drive right on through some of them that have a free line of sight. So much for the rules of the road.

To me, I always make sure I look around prior to coming up to the stop sign, just to make sure I still have the right of way. But along with the main purpose of the sign, for me, it also has another significant purpose. It reminds me of why I wanted to get up early in the morning and do my 6 miles each and every day.

I started this process just about 3 years ago, because, on July 19, 2014, a picture was taken of my family in which I happened to be in it. Now for me, I never liked to have my picture taken. It wasn’t because I was shy, far from that, I’m a people person, but in dealing with people, usually over the phone for my business. I was able to forget just how overweight I actually was. But when this picture was taken, it was then emailed to me, and I keep it on my phone as a reminder of just what I looked like back then.

Seeing that picture was I guess a revelation for me! I came to feel ashamed of what my family and friends have been putting up with over the past 10-15 years. Yes, I have been told many times that I was grossly overweight, but I shrugged it off and plain just didn’t care. But it was something about this picture that hit a nerve and made me fess up to myself that I had to do something, or I wouldn’t be around to see my grandchildren grow up and start their own life. You see, that picture was taken to commemorate the wedding of my son and his wife. So seeing everyone else looking fit and fine and then me looking like,,, well Nuff said.

That picture started me thinking and I finally consulted a nutritionist, about how to go about changing my eating habits and spoke with my new doctor to get a series of tests done so that I was cleared to start an exercise program.

My doctor recommended walking to get me moving and get my body used to exerting itself, in a slow measured pace at first, then to continue to add the miles as my body adapted to the new strain I was putting on it. Since I wanted results, I wanted to be able to track the distance and the calories that I was burning on my first real ambitious goal to gaining a slimmer me. I guess I failed to mention that when I started this journey, I weighed in at 357LBS. And since I’m only 5ft. 7, I looked more like a bowling ball with legs than a 58-year-old man.

But, as I was saying, I wanted to track my progress, so the first thing I acquired, was a good activity monitor. One that I had no problem in reading and one that felt comfortable with, knowing that the data it reported was accurate. Since I was taking this new step in my life seriously, I wanted to hold myself to the actual data that was right in front of my face each and every day. After doing some homework I decided on the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Activity and Sleep Tracker  One of the best things I like about this tracker, is that it learns my patterns and after a while can set the next attainable goal for me, without me having to do anything. So after walking/jogging, over a period of 2-3 weeks, it lets me know that I have a new goal to push myself to, in order to continue to improve myself.

Now, if you're curious about the title of this blog and what all I have had to say means with such a topic. Well, it’s because at first in seeing a stop sign, early on in my walking program, I was happy to come to a stop, look each way and continue. It basically gave me a breather. But after a couple of months, like most people, I was getting tired of the same-same old thing each and every morning. Then, like seeing myself in that picture. Seeing the stop sign on my walk, it hit me. The word STOP didn’t just have to mean, come to a stop as a rule of the road. But the word STOP for me, meant something to me for each letter.

S-Strive…. Push myself to strive to do better each and every day, so that each day meant something special to me and I could look forward to that daily walk and used that time to plan out my day and what I could do to make not only my life better but to help someone else’s to be better as well.

T-Try… Try to be just a little bit better today and every day, to the people I meet.

O-Overcome… The word says it all. Don’t let anything be an obstacle to keep you from doing what you need or want to do in order to improve yourself.

P-Persevere … Keep going on your chosen path. For me it was to maintain my new way of life. Not just the walking, but also the change in eating habits, that I undertook to lose weight and get myself healthy to be there for my family. The big thing was to just get out of bed each morning and stick to my goal!

So, that is why a Stop Sign means moving forward to me instead of just coming to a stop. And like I said, this July 19th, 2017. 3 years will have passed and in that time, with using the call letters of that stop sign I can say that I have seen a 137LBS drop-off, SO FAR! and I am now a fitter 220LBS. It’s taken a while, but with Perseverance, and keeping to the new eating lifestyle that I have adopted. I feel better and my new goal is to take off another 50 LBS between this July 2017 and July of 2018. Oh, and just to mention it, I am now up to walking 8 miles on weekdays, and I try for 10 miles on the weekends!

Want to come join me??

 

Read more

I like to go for a fast walk in the early morning, usually starting out about 5 AM. I find that time of the day is the best for me. For one thing, it’s quiet around where I live. I see the occasional patrol car making its rounds. Usually, the paper-girl, (in my case) and I wave to each other as we pass and I’m on a first-name basis with the other early risers, who drive by on their way to work.

Now, where I walk or jog maybe is a better term. I encounter 6 stop signs. Now everyone has been trained from an early age to know that the “Stop Sign” means just that, come to a complete stop. Usually, this is for vehicles, but it is also a good warning for those that walk, run, or bike around these same roads to make sure they keep a good eye out for anyone that does not abide by the rules of the road.

It’s funny, but early in the morning, you would be surprised at how many drivers simply ease through the stop sign and keep on going or there are some that just drive right on through some of them that have a free line of sight. So much for the rules of the road.

To me, I always make sure I look around prior to coming up to the stop sign, just to make sure I still have the right of way. But along with the main purpose of the sign, for me, it also has another significant purpose. It reminds me of why I wanted to get up early in the morning and do my 6 miles each and every day.

I started this process just about 3 years ago, because, on July 19, 2014, a picture was taken of my family in which I happened to be in it. Now for me, I never liked to have my picture taken. It wasn’t because I was shy, far from that, I’m a people person, but in dealing with people, usually over the phone for my business. I was able to forget just how overweight I actually was. But when this picture was taken, it was then emailed to me, and I keep it on my phone as a reminder of just what I looked like back then.

Seeing that picture was I guess a revelation for me! I came to feel ashamed of what my family and friends have been putting up with over the past 10-15 years. Yes, I have been told many times that I was grossly overweight, but I shrugged it off and plain just didn’t care. But it was something about this picture that hit a nerve and made me fess up to myself that I had to do something, or I wouldn’t be around to see my grandchildren grow up and start their own life. You see, that picture was taken to commemorate the wedding of my son and his wife. So seeing everyone else looking fit and fine and then me looking like,,, well Nuff said.

That picture started me thinking and I finally consulted a nutritionist, about how to go about changing my eating habits and spoke with my new doctor to get a series of tests done so that I was cleared to start an exercise program.

My doctor recommended walking to get me moving and get my body used to exerting itself, in a slow measured pace at first, then to continue to add the miles as my body adapted to the new strain I was putting on it. Since I wanted results, I wanted to be able to track the distance and the calories that I was burning on my first real ambitious goal to gaining a slimmer me. I guess I failed to mention that when I started this journey, I weighed in at 357LBS. And since I’m only 5ft. 7, I looked more like a bowling ball with legs than a 58-year-old man.

But, as I was saying, I wanted to track my progress, so the first thing I acquired, was a good activity monitor. One that I had no problem in reading and one that felt comfortable with, knowing that the data it reported was accurate. Since I was taking this new step in my life seriously, I wanted to hold myself to the actual data that was right in front of my face each and every day. After doing some homework I decided on the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Activity and Sleep Tracker  One of the best things I like about this tracker, is that it learns my patterns and after a while can set the next attainable goal for me, without me having to do anything. So after walking/jogging, over a period of 2-3 weeks, it lets me know that I have a new goal to push myself to, in order to continue to improve myself.

Now, if you're curious about the title of this blog and what all I have had to say means with such a topic. Well, it’s because at first in seeing a stop sign, early on in my walking program, I was happy to come to a stop, look each way and continue. It basically gave me a breather. But after a couple of months, like most people, I was getting tired of the same-same old thing each and every morning. Then, like seeing myself in that picture. Seeing the stop sign on my walk, it hit me. The word STOP didn’t just have to mean, come to a stop as a rule of the road. But the word STOP for me, meant something to me for each letter.

S-Strive…. Push myself to strive to do better each and every day, so that each day meant something special to me and I could look forward to that daily walk and used that time to plan out my day and what I could do to make not only my life better but to help someone else’s to be better as well.

T-Try… Try to be just a little bit better today and every day, to the people I meet.

O-Overcome… The word says it all. Don’t let anything be an obstacle to keep you from doing what you need or want to do in order to improve yourself.

P-Persevere … Keep going on your chosen path. For me it was to maintain my new way of life. Not just the walking, but also the change in eating habits, that I undertook to lose weight and get myself healthy to be there for my family. The big thing was to just get out of bed each morning and stick to my goal!

So, that is why a Stop Sign means moving forward to me instead of just coming to a stop. And like I said, this July 19th, 2017. 3 years will have passed and in that time, with using the call letters of that stop sign I can say that I have seen a 137LBS drop-off, SO FAR! and I am now a fitter 220LBS. It’s taken a while, but with Perseverance, and keeping to the new eating lifestyle that I have adopted. I feel better and my new goal is to take off another 50 LBS between this July 2017 and July of 2018. Oh, and just to mention it, I am now up to walking 8 miles on weekdays, and I try for 10 miles on the weekends!

Want to come join me??

 

Read more