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Most of us may have tried some sort of fitness tracker in the past, with the most popular choice being Garmin. These little clever devices use GPS satellites to track where, how fast, how high and how long you have been running, swimming, cycling and even kitesurfing for. Despite being the most popular brand, there are lots of other choices; here is our fitness trackers review, and the best four.
Tom Tom multi sport cardio
The Tom Tom multi sport cardio monitors your heart rate without the need for a chest strap. Not only is this easier and less faffy but also avoids the dreaded chest strap stink. Instead it monitors heart rate by measuring blood flow through the wrist. It’s also waterproof to 50m and can provide information not just on distance run but also calories burned. £250 www.tomtom.com
Samsung gear fit
This nifty watch has a superb extra wide screen and combines fitness monitoring with smart functionality. It can connect to galaxy phone, allowing you to read emails and texts. £169; www.samsung.com
This bad boy comes in a choice of nine different colours, and is also the most sleek and unobtrusive of the trackers on the market. It uses an app, so once you have set your goals the circular pattern of lights show you how far you have come – and soon it will be over! £80; www.johnlewis.com
This slim and lightweight tracker use light reflective technology to detect your heart rate, breathing patterns and blood oxygenation levels. It then combines them into a “vita” score of your overall fitness. It just plugs into your phone, you touch the sensor with your thumb, and off you go! £74 for IOS; www.zensorium.com/tinkie
Personal trainer Wilson on The Supervet
Our personal training assistant Wilson has decided to move from modelling and PT into acting, and will be featuring on C4’s popular primetime show “The Supervet” on tomorrow’s episode (29-10-2014) at 8pm.
Having initially qualified as a personal trainer with Premier Global (dog division), and been scouted as a striker for Postlethwaite FC, Wilson’s good looks and remarkably human personality were soon noticed by local photographer Martin Price. A subsequent photo shoot saw his image picked up by a well known ice-cream brand for their advertising campaign. Along with the constant “oohs” and “ahhs” he was getting while out walking, Wilson decided recently to try acting, taking the plunge into TV.
“I love football, but I think this is a natural step. I generally use method acting, and have now perfected several looks, from happy, to sleepy to sad. My personal favourite is looking hungry, desolate and sad all at the same time. And Julie (Walters) my acting coach says I’ve got the best frown since Marlon Brando.” says Wilson.
Hullo magazine reports this week that Wilson is in talks with Grumpy cat’s agent, with a possible movie partnership on the cards. “He’s so talented, I’m sure he can do it” an insider reported.
“I keep trying to call Spielberg, but my thumbs just won’t oppose, it’s very frustrating” said the super dog.
So be sure to tune in for this weeks episode – personal trainer Wilson The Supervet star.
By Adam Atkinson
How quickly can I get fat? Those of you who have tried (and succeeded) to lose weight will know that to lose one pound of fat you need to eat 500 calories a day less that you burn. This comes to 3500 calories a week. Logic dictates therefore that if you eat 500 calories a day more than you need then you will put on 2lbs of fat a week. However, in reality it is not just a numbers game. Humans are not just machines, and the amount and speed that we store fat will vary greatly from individual to individual.
Our hormones play a great part, as does the type of food that we are overeating. If we are eating sugary foods, then these will trigger a larger insulin reaction than proteins and fats, and we will store fat more quickly. Similarly, the amount of stress we are under will also have an effect – more stress = more cortisol = more fat storage. A myriad of other factors are involved too. From what gender you are, age, genetic inheritance, metabolic rate, hydration levels, amount of water in food consumed and so on. The more fibre that is contained in the food then the less calories will be digested, passing though the digestive system.
As a rough guide you will store excess energy 12-24 hours after you have eaten. If you can manage to eat enough then you will see the weight gain and fat storage the next day, or within the next 24 hours. There is technically no limit to how much fat we can store – otherwise we would not see 30+ stone individuals. In a week, through over eating and keeping the content to mainly high GI sugary foods you can gain around 6lbs of fat a week.
Again, results will vary greatly from individual to individual. Some of the only studies done on the topic have been done for TV. “Supersize me” featured Morgan Spurlock, an American independent documentary maker. Spurlock’s film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which he ate only McDonalds. Eating 5000 calories a day he put on 24.5 lbs, or 11kg in the 30 day trial.
Get fit and look amazing for as little as £28 a week with a highly qualified DDW personal trainer in Windsor, Maidenhead and Sunningdale. We know many of you are pressed for time, so from autumn 2014 we are now offering ½ hour personal training sessions from £28 a session.
Having a dedicated professional look after your health and fitness gives you the best possible chance of getting (and staying) fit and trim. Struggling to do it alone? Our ½ hour sessions pack in lots of fun targeted and effective exercise. They also include all the extras that our clients get with full length sessions: comprehensive nutritional change and eating help, an increase in exercise outside of the sessions and dedicated homework that fits around all your other commitments. Plus ongoing support to make sure you stay on it via email and text.
It’s a commitment to exercise and healthy eating; it’s simple and it really works.
Call or email us to arrange a free consultation – if not now then when?
Having won our successful summer challenge and completed 60 push ups in one minute, Roger Huntingford has just been named by Ladbrookes as the favourite for our next autumn challenge – the burpee test. How many burpees can you do in one minute? Can you stop him winning again?
There will once again be ladies and gents trophies to put in your cabinets, plus kudos and respect from your other trainees. Winners will also be featured on our website and our popular Facebook page.
What is a burpee? Only the toughest bodyweight exercise there is, according to the Royal Marines.
The burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training and as aerobic exercise. The basic movement is performed in four steps and known as a “four-count burpee”:
Good luck everyone, look out for updates and videos on our Facebook page!
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, with a Costa or starbucks opening on every street corner it would seem. People spend time and effort trying to stay in shape bbd keeping slim by watching what they eat; often though we neglect the calories hidden in liquids that we drink so often.
That cappuccino on the way to work may well be sabotaging your weight loss. Just a single drink from Starbucks could be as much as 50% of the calorie allowance for a female trying to lose weight. Recent reports from the World cancer Research Fund says “these types of drinks as an occasional treat won’t do you much harm. But if you are having them regularly then they will increase the chances of you becoming overweight, which in turn increases your risk of developing cancer as well as other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease”.
Here are some of the worst culprits from just one chain, Starbucks, and just for interest, some fast food equivalents. It can help to reduce intake (or for you to make better choices) if you make a strong mental link with an unhealthy food that correlates with the energy in your latte.
1. Venti signature hot chocolate with whipped cream and whole milk – 690 calories (Supersize bigmac and fries)
2. Venti white chocolate mocha with whipped cream and skimmed milk – 624 calories (big mac with normal fries)
3. Venti iced hazelnut mocha with whipped cream and semi skimmed milk – 599 calories (supoersixe quarter pounder with cheese and fries)
4. Grande signature hot chocolate with whole milk – 556 calories (big mac)
5. Venti peppermint mocha with whipped cream, drizzle and whole milk – 555 calories (same as a Big Mac)
6. Venti strawberries and cream frappucino with whipped cream – 459 calories (double cheeseburger and fries)
There are of course lots of options for making healthier choices, with just as much caffeine in.
This strong after-meal beverage is traditionally served as a single shot of strong black coffee with no milk. It contains around 80 to 100mg of caffeine, no protein, and around five calories.
Dietitian Catherine Collins of London’s St George’s Hospital says: ‘An espresso has no nutritional value, but for those who want to lose weight it is low in calories. The high dose of caffeine should give you a good kick to last you throughout the afternoon.’
Our health rating: 3/5
Cappuccino is an espresso topped with a generous amount of steamed milk made from full or skimmed milk. It contains about six grammes of protein from milk, a small amount of sodium and 150 calories when made with whole milk and 95 calories when made with skimmed milk.
Although a cappuccino is not best for those looking to lose weight as it is quite calorific, the large amount of milk provides a good source of protein and calcium which is important for bone health and will also help to maintain lean muscle mass.
Our health rating: 4/5
A latte is made from an espresso and much more steamed milk than a cappuccino. Each contains around ten grammes of protein from milk, five grammes of fat – the equivalent to a single butter pack – and around 225 calories when made with whole milk and 135 when made with skimmed milk. Again the protein and calcium content will help offset any sugars.
Coffee and tea
No calories, provided that you don’t have any sugar. If you must have some sweetness then feel free to cheat and have a sweetener. Plant based ones are the least unhealthy, like Stevia based sweeteners.
Our health rating – 4/5
By Adam Atkinson
Out this week is the news that yet another study has shown that waist measurement, as opposed to weight, is the most important guide to health and longevity.
Researchers have come up with a simple formula to deduce how long a person will live for, and how many years you will lose if you are overweight. Measure your waist (without breathing in). If this measurement is half your height or less than you should live to the average life expectancy of 81 in the UK. However, every inch that you are over will represent time that you will have cut off your life. So if a 30 year old man who is 5’10’’ has a waist measurement of 35 inches then he will be likely to live to the age of 81. But, if his waist is 42 inches than his life expectancy drops by 1.7 years. As people get closer to obesity, so the equation becomes more harsh. If the same man has a waist of 56 inches then he loses 20 years, dying at the age of 61.
The research by the Cass Business School in London was based on the medical records of 300,000 adults over 20 years. A high waist circumference is also considered to be a useful indicator of high cholesterol, probability of suffering from diabetes and a higher likelihood of heart disease.
Ongoing assessments with a DDW personal trainer includes body fat %, waist to height measurements and of course structured exercise coupled with healthy eating. This will ensure that you go well past the average 81!!
The thousands of UK patients that go through painful knee surgery may only be getting negligible benefits, a new study has discovered. As people get older the meniscus – the cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber – thins out, making it more likely to tear. Researchers in Canada studies 811 procedures and the results were published in the Canadian medical Association Journal; they found that there was little evidence to show that surgery achieved better outcomes than not operating, or even performing a placebo operation. Other treatments like weight loss, anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise and physiotherapy should be used first, with surgery as a last resort only.
Top physics and personal trainers second this advice through experience. Following surgery the limb will never return to 100% effectiveness. Often, exercise (in particular muscle strengthening and prorioception work) can get the joint into as goo shape as a painful operation. Plus there is no lengthy recovery period where fitness, confidence and strength can decline further.
So before you go under the knife, call us! Remember, surgeons need to do surgery to stay in work and pay the bills!
By Adam Atkinson
Want to run faster? Many of us are have-a-go runners; some of us run competitively, or have at least done the odd 10k or half marathon for charity. But if we really wanted to step up and become great, what running tips could we get from double Olympic and European champion Mo Farah? How can we run faster?
Run3D, a company that analyses runners’ gait and is part of the University of Oxford, analysed footage of Mo Farah running to see what we, the lesser mortal, could learn from his style. Factors from arm position to foot strike were looked at and Dr Jessica Leitch came up with 9 points that help to make him (and could help you become) a great runner and to run faster.
Foot strike: The traditional way of running (in the West) is with a heel strike first, and then rolling through the foot and pushing off on the toes. Farah, however, hits the ground with his mid-fiit first. This is known as mid-foot striking, and by adopting this style the impact or “braking” as the foot hits the ground is less, reducing forces through the knee and the hip. It also makes running more efficient and allows for a faster cadence.
Foot position: his foot lands only marginally in front of him, again reducing the impact and braking effect. This “falling forward” into the run means that momentum is carried forward, not vertically.
Hang time: the amount of time that the foot is in contact with the ground is known as “stance time”. The ground equals friction, much less so the air. Mo has a very short stance time – milliseconds – so less energy is lost with ground contact. He is flying!
Twist and wiggle: body movement is measured in three planes – up and down, side to side, and rotational. While running we want most of the movement to be forward, and too much movement in the other planes can waste energy. So when Mo runs, his hips stay relatively still with little side to side movement.
Relaxed style: relax the jaw, don’t hunch the shoulders, don’t clench the fists. A relaxed running style uses less energy and means that you will run more efficiently.
Trailing leg position: just after the foot leaves the ground, Mo flicks the heel up towards the bottom like a sprinter. The shortens the pivot of the leg and means that less effort is needed to get the leg back forward for the next stride.
Cadence: this is the rate at which the feet hit the ground. A high cadence will mean greater speed. Many of the points above allow Mo to run at a greater cadence, and go faster!
Arm position: As he runs, Farah keeps his hands high and the elbows very bent. This again reduces the length of the arm level and means that there is less energy required to get back to the starting position. This generates a more powerful arm drive.
Forward, not vertical: all of the points mentioned contribute to less vertical bouncing and more forward movement, so his leg energy goes forwards, not up and down.
Even you, the amateur runner can immediately try to use some of these techniques to go faster straight away! If you need more help with technique, getting fit, strength training for running or a training programme, then we can help with some one-on-one personal training sessions.
By Adam Atkinson
Research published this week shows that British dogs are now among the fattest in the world, mirroring a trend among their “coach potato” owners. Four years ago 35% of dogs were overweight now the figure is 50%. Labradors are the most frequent patients at a specialist clinic, some of them are twice the weight they should be. Vets say being overweight can shorten the life of a dog by around 2 years or 20%.
Alex German from Liverpool University who runs a specialist clinic found that some owners over feed their pet with fatty treats such as fast food leftovers, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and chips.
Diesel, a boxer from Poole, is a regular at Pet Fit sessions. His family fed him so many sweet treats that his weight rose to 9st 2lb around double his recommended weight. His owner Suzanne Fox, 56, has now banned the custard cream biscuits that he was given because he can no longer squeeze through the dog flap.
Without long walks, obsessive compulsive behaviours such as spinning around in circles can also emerge. A walk where dogs stop and sniff other dog smells every 2 mins is our equivalent of catching up on Facebook. It can also be a sign of an under-exercises dog.
The obesity problem can be solved – German advocates a strict diet and exercise and says most of his patients lose 25% of their weight after owners are taught to measure out their food portions and increase levels of activity.
At Diets Don’t Work many if our outdoors sessions include dog exercise and rehabilitation, supervised by our mascots Wilson and Ryder.
by Debbie Earle