Study: Light activity throughout the day provides same benefits as gym


Good news Weighthackers! You already know that fidgeting more can help you lose weight, but now new research out of Oregon State University says that simple things like doing chores and taking the stairs instead of the escalator can be just as beneficial to you as going to the gym. The study looked at 6,000 people nationwide and found that even activities that take only a minute or two count toward your health as long as you end up being active for at least 30 minutes in total by the end of the day.

“Our results suggest that engaging in an active lifestyle approach, compared to a structured exercise approach, may be just as beneficial in improving various health outcomes,” said Paul Loprinzi, lead author of the study. “We encourage people to seek out opportunities to be active when the choice is available. For example, rather than sitting while talking on the phone, use this opportunity to get in some activity by pacing around while talking.”

People who did so-called “short bout” movements improved their blood pressure, cholesterol and waist circumference, and were less at risk for developing metabolic syndrome (which is basically a slew of health-related problems that overweight people experience). The study also suggests that incorporating short bout movement might be more beneficial than going to the gym in the long run since it’s easier to fit into your existing lifestyle and doesn’t cost anything, so you’re more likely to keep at it.

If this sounds like something you want to do, I suggest getting a movement tracker like one of the ones in this list to help you out. Knowing how much you move each day can help you see if you need to add something new to your routine (like parking further away from the entrance to your job so you walk more) to get more activity in, and it can also inspire you to reach specific goals. For instance, thanks to my Fitbit I know today is my 151st day in a row of walking 10,000 steps or more, which makes me more likely to take 10,000 steps again tomorrow.

Posted January 29, 2013 @ 2:50 pm | Tags: ,

7 ways you can use your iPad to help you lose weight

In Weighthacker’s roundup of 11 Gadgets That Can Help Any Geek Lose Weight I deliberately left off the iPad, not because it’s a bad weight loss gadget, but because it’s an awesome one.  You can do so much with an iPad in terms of health and nutrition that it deserves its own entry.

Here are 7 ways I’ve been using my iPad to help me lose weight and get fit. I think you’ll find at least a few things here that can help you too. It you’ve found other ways your iPad can help lose weight, please let me know in the comments.

Note to Android and other tablet owners: A lot of these things can be done on your devices too. If you’re using a different tablet to help you lose weight, please leave examples of how in the comments  to help out other geeks.


1. Track What You Eat

Keeping tabs on what you’re eating throughout the day helps you eat better and eat less, but it can also be a pain. So check out food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal, which is the reigning king of the genre. Most of them have pre-populated databases of different foods and their nutritional breakdown, so you don’t have to mess around with entering any of that data yourself. And a lot of the apps are based on existing Web-based tracking services, allowing you to effortlessly sync data between the two. Some even come with a barcode scanner for food labels.


Posted May 17, 2012 @ 11:15 am | Tags: ,,,,,

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