Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v06n24)
Gettin' Ripped in Ripple - by Laura Minor
posted: Dec. 04, 2009
Information technology has helped man-kind progress in ways we once never dreamed possible. Computers and the internet have "shrunk" the world incredibly and have contributed to thousands of inventions to make our lives easier. But this technology does not come without its own drawbacks.
While our lives are easier, and our world is shrinking, our waistlines are growing and getting around doesn't seem quite as easy. In most of our daily lives, our bodies are less needed to do the same job. . . .for example, instead of walking to a co-worker's desk or going to walk the mall for gifts, we use e-mail and text messaging to communicate, and shop on-line. This "growing" problem is becoming quite an issue, but avoiding technological advances can leave one in the dark. So, I say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
I found a few "virtual weight-loss" techniques that you might want to take advantage of to add technology to your weight loss tool box. Below are a few examples:
• Weight Loss Simulators: I saw this on the local news a few weeks ago and thought I would check it out. This tool allows individuals to upload photos of themselves and then see what they would look like at their desired weight. Some sites even allow trying on swimsuits, which can push the motivation that much further! Hang your "desired" self on the fridge or in your cubicle to keep yourself on track and before you know it, you might be staring that same person right in the face.
• Cell Phone Apps: There are literally hundreds of applications that you can upload to your phone which can help guide you to become and stay fit. They run the gamut. . . .from workout programs/videos, advice from dieticians, calorie tracking, and healthy recipes. . . you name it, and it's there. They are typically very affordable as well, so shop around for a good price.
• Online Weight Loss Support: There is often no replacement for a good empathetic ear. Group and peer support are a highly effective method in losing weight and getting healthy. Also, it might be helpful to talk with those outside of your close family and friends, to share emotions, challenges and embarrassing stories without feeling judgment, while also inspiring others. There are dozens of on-line weight loss groups you can join (many are free) to get support and most also include logging food, exercise and mood. Thousands of people have benefited from this resource!
• Ipods and MP3 Players: Music has long been known as a great motivating tool. I know when I hear a catchy beat, I tend to naturally pick up my pace, and it also helps me to get into the "zone" on my runs. However, most people are not aware of the other awesome programs you can upload to you music player. There a many applications that you can subscribe to for new and continuous mixes to keep you moving along. My personal favorite is PodRunner on Itunes which puts out a new 60 minute mix every week and, best part, its free! There are also episodes with various coaches that talk with you during your workout to push you along (its pretty neat!). Go online and it is easy to find.
• Wii-Fit: While I largely abhor video games, the Wii-Fit is one that I can accept in certain circumstances. Yes, it is good that the participant is moving his/her body, and yes it is much better than sitting on the couch, but it can never replace actually doing the activity either in the physical or mental sense (i.e. Wii-Fit tennis does not compare to the experience of actual tennis!). In my oh so humble opinion, use Wii-Fit on days where you simply don't have time or the weather is horrendous. . . basically as a last resort.
In summary, I challenge you to use our society's technological advances to make yourself more fit instead of the opposite. You need to take the tools in your box to work for you and not against you; especially in this time of year when time, weather and money are challenges.
Laura Minor owner and operator of So.Be.Fit. Personal Training and Fitness studio located at 54th and the Monon. She is passionate about teaching others how to "FIT" exercise and physical activity into their daily lives, and have fun while doing so! Visit her website at www.sobefitindy.com or e-mail laura@BroadRippleGazette.com