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FitBit's new sleep tracker is pretty darn cool

imagine what we’ll learn as warehouses worth of enhanced sleep data like get integrated into drug trials, therapy, physical exams, coaching, research and even education.

The Liaison Amani 2017 Virtual Marathon - Update March -

I therefore saw this challenge as a reason to change, I would be making myself accountable, raise awareness of the charity and have some fun banter with colleagues along the way. It has in all honesty completely changed my lifestyle. I now absolutely love walking and while I have had to build up my fitness, I reached a milestone on Sunday and achieved a 25km walk. I am now walking each KM 2-3 minutes quicker than when I started. Alongside the fitness and 21lb weight loss, the mental changes have been the biggest and most surprising change. It keeps me alert, helps clears= my mind after stressful or busy days and allows me to time to think.  Who knows, one day I might break into jog!

Science: Your new fitness tracker will not work miracles

People who are motivated to use today’s trackers can be reassured that “they really do a pretty effective job of letting people quantify their lifestyle habits,” says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise. “But there appears to be a gap between monitoring your habits and actually changing them.”

Ask Well: A Long Walk or a Short Stair Climb? - The New York Times

slowly climbing stairs demands almost twice as much energy per minute as does walking along a flat surface at an everyday (not brisk) pace. In practical terms, those numbers mean that you can burn nearly twice as many calories per minute climbing the stairs as strolling down the hall.

Holiday Challenge Participant - Motivated to Walk! - Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less

I now use every opportunity to walk more and increase my steps, sometimes thinking outside the box. For example, at the airport. Yesterday, my flight landed at ATL and I had 1 hr 10 mins to catch my next flight. I landed at Concourse A and instead of taking the train to Concourse B for my flight – I decided to get a fast paced walk in. I walked from my gate on Concourse A to Concourse E and then back to Concourse B for my next flight. I did not use walking escalator nor the train and I walked 1.28 miles. I still had some time at our gate and so decided to walk the B Concourse from gate to end and back to gate and added another ½ mile. So instead of sitting around wasting time with iPhone or eating Bon Bons, I walked almost 2 miles and feel great, a little sweaty but great!

Find your motivation to run across Iceland! - Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less

Racery serves as an amazing (and judgement-free) daily reminder to be active. You know that if you haven’t done something by 4 pm, their email will arrive and encourage you to get out and move.

Workout Pals in Distant Cities Take Spin Class Together, Virtually - WSJ

A Peloton bike costs $1,995 and Ms. Richter pays $39 a month for unlimited classes. Her Peloton bike shoes, which clip to the pedals, cost $125. Her private Pilates sessions cost $65 a 55-minute class.

What Is Fatigue? - The New Yorker

As the cyclists pedalled, a screen in front of them periodically flashed images of happy or sad faces in imperceptible sixteen-millisecond bursts, ten to twenty times shorter than a typical blink. The cyclists who were shown sad faces rode, on average, twenty-two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Those who were shown happy faces rode for three minutes longer and reported less of a sense of exertion. In a second experiment, the researchers demonstrated that subliminal action words (GO, LIVELY) could boost a subject’s cycling performance by seventeen per cent over inaction words (TOIL, SLEEP).

Want To Exercise More? Get Yourself Some Competition. | Annenberg School for Communication

Imagine you’re a CEO trying to get your employees to exercise. Most health incentive programs have an array of tools — pamphlets, websites, pedometers, coaching, team activities, step challenges, money — but what actually motivates people?[…]A new study to be published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports […]found these efforts should hone in on one area: Competition.

I Finally Found My Motivation - And Ran from Paris to Amsterdam! | Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh LessEat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less

I paid for races to jumpstart my motivation, but eventually even shelling out $75 for a race was not enough to pressure me into exercising regularly. My well of joy for running had totally dried up. After 5 years of hunkering down into my non-running funk, I finally discovered my magic bullet: virtual racing. I was invited into an online race through Racery.com, and it made running purely fun, social, and extremely motivating. I also uncovered a competitive side I never knew I had!

Gyms That Make You Want to Exercise More - WSJ

Some Precor cardio equipment allows gym members to log in and save workouts. Precor found that people who save workouts go to the gym more often, according to data from about 25 clubs in Canada. “We can’t tell you that a saved workout drives people to come in more often,” Mr. Bartee says. “We just know that people who do save workouts come in more often.” The data also shows that people who log into a cardio machine work out 33% longer than those who don’t log in. People who use a machine’s video-on-demand service also work out 15% longer than those who don’t, Precor data shows.

Want a new body? Get a new 'buddy'! | News | The University of Aberdeen

Dr Rackow added: “Once we found that having a new exercise companion increases exercise frequency we wanted to find out why this is beneficial and what quality of support they offer that has this effect.   Our results showed that the emotional social support from the new sports companion was the most effective. Thus, it is more important to encourage each other than doing the actual activity together. “

I Finally Found My Motivation - And Ran from Paris to Amsterdam! | Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh LessEat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less

After 5 years of hunkering down into my non-running funk, I finally discovered my magic bullet: virtual racing.

Your internal monologue during a workout determines success: study - The Globe and Mail

The study, led by Dr. Stephen Cheung and his student Phillip Wallace, explored the use of “motivational self-talk.” A group of 18 trained cyclists performed a series of tests that included a timed bike ride to exhaustion while maintaining a constant pedalling power, and a battery of cognitive tests in 35 C heat. Half of the group then received two weeks of self-talk training, and then they repeated the same series of physical and cognitive tests. The self-talk training, based on well-established sports psychology techniques, involved identifying negative thoughts that occurred to the cyclists during the first set of tests, such as “It’s so hot in here” or “I’m boiling,” and learning to replace them with motivational statements such as “Keep pushing, you’re doing well.” Each volunteer identified a set of statements that felt effective to them, with specific statements chosen for different parts of the test. The results, which were published online in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise last month, showed a clear difference. The self-talk group increased their cycling endurance from eight minutes to over 11 minutes, and also improved their speed and accuracy on a cognitive test that involved figuring out and remembering a route through a maze. The control group saw no change in either test.

The Hunger in Our Heads

In fact, the researchers calculated that the exercisers consumed about 25 fewer calories than they did during their baseline session. The nonexercisers, however, consumed about 100 calories more.

Walgreens pill reminder, activity tracking both improved medication adherence in study | MobiHealthNews

Activity tracking led to 11.2 percent higher adherence for antihypertensives, 5.1 percent higher adherence for oral antidiabetics and 4.5 percent higher adherence for antihyperlipidemics. Tracking blood pressure or blood glucose led to 6.8 percent higher adherence for patients taking antihypertensives and 12.3 percent higher adherence for oral antidiabetics. In another study, presented at Society of Behavioral Medicine's 37th Annual Meeting earlier this year, Walgreens demonstrated that users who took advantage of Walgreen's mobile pill reminder app were 12.3 percent more likely to have optimal adherence to oral antidiabetics, 11.3 percent more likely to have optimal adherence to antihypertensives and 9.1 percent more likely to have optimal adherence to antihyperlipidemics.

Zen and the Art of Running – Personal Growth – Medium

Ask someone what it means to do a good job on an intricate project at the office and it could take them an hour to explain and require charts and graphs. Ask that same person what it means to do a good job in their next race and I bet they can tell you in less than a minute, no PowerPoint required.

Why is exercise hard? | Harvard Magazine

This tension between activity and rest, he says, plays out in human physiological and anatomical systems that “evolved to require stimuli from physical activity to adjust capacity to demand.” Muscles become bigger and more powerful with use, for example. With disuse, they atrophy. Bone deposition and repair mechanisms likewise require the presence of mechanical stimulation, such as running. The absence of such stimuli can eventually lead to a risk of osteoporosis. “In the circulatory system,” Lieberman continues, “vigorous activity stimulates expansion of peripheral circulation,” improves the heart’s ability to pump blood, “and increases arterial elasticity.” Without exercise, arteries stiffen, the heart pumps less blood, and metabolism slows. All of this “downregulation” of biological systems evolved to conserve energy whenever possible.

Meb Keflezighi, Bernard Lagat, and the Secret to Running Forever - The New Yorker

“There are only two ‘secrets,’ ” Joyner told me, when I asked how a runner can continue to succeed until age forty and beyond. “Keep your VO2 max up by doing intervals, and don’t get injured.”

Overlooked benefit of successful healthy lifestyle programs: Improved quality-of-life -- ScienceDaily

Before beginning the program, each participant ranked his or her current health on a scale from 0 "worst imaginable health state" to 100 "best imaginable health state." The U.S. average is 79.2, whereas the participants averaged 71.5 at baseline. After completing the year-long Group Lifestyle Balance program, the participants increased their average health-related quality-of-life score to 78.2. When looking at only those with baseline health-related quality of life below the U.S. average, there was an even greater magnitude of improvement, from 61.8 at baseline to 74 at the end of the program. Once scores were adjusted for meeting weight loss and physical activity goals, participants who met the program goals were found to have increased their health-related quality-of-life score by nine more points compared to those participants who met neither program goal.

Ingress Has the World as Its Game Board

This blend of real-world, multiplayer interaction and complex digital strategy sets Ingress apart from other mobile games. Nodding to childhood pastimes like Capture the Flag as well as to vast online simulations like World of Warcraft, Ingress is one of the first popular games built using augmented reality, a technology that overlays virtual objects onto the real world. Developed by Google geolocation engineers and released to the public in December 2013, Ingress has more than one million active players in 4,000 communities worldwide, including heavy concentrations in the United States, Japan and Europe. Last year, Google spun out the development team into a separate company called Niantic.

New York’s Sidewalks Are So Packed, Pedestrians Are Taking to the Streets - The New York Times

“I don’t mind the walk, it’s just the people,” Ms. Singh, an account coordinator for the Univision television network, said. “Sometimes, they’re rude. They’re on top of you, no personal space. They’re smoking. It’s tough.” Ms. Singh is just one among many pedestrians experiencing a growing phenomenon in New York City: sidewalk gridlock.

This App Pays Your Favorite Charities For Every Mile You Run Or Bike | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Gurkoff claims the platform offers advantages over other types of cause marketing. "In most cause marketing arrangements, the company gives a bit to charity and spends 7 to 10 times [more effort] promoting it. The promotion is what drives the return on investment, not the charity," he says. "We are trying to reverse that ratio and generate the marketing R.O.I. that companies want from ordinary advertising. This enables them to repurpose their digital media budgets—money that never ever would have gone to charity—for social good." Charity Miles itself takes 50% cut of the money raised, with some of that going to a fund to cover the possibility that people will earn more for charities than is available from sponsors. "We cap our overall liability at 50% of our revenue, which works out because we generally have a 50% margin on our engagements," Gurkoff explains.

The 5K, Not The Marathon, Is The Ideal Race | FiveThirtyEight

[…]focusing on the 5K, you’re optimizing health benefits and minimizing injuries, and if you’re deliberate about your training, you can maximize your fitness gains too. Training seriously for the 5K will get you close to your biological potential for aerobic fitness, Joyner said. “Seriously is the key though,” he said. The secret is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT — short periods of very hard efforts interspersed with easier recovery bouts. Studies show that these high intensity workouts produce greater improvements in VO2 max than the kind of long, slow workouts emphasized in many marathon training plans.1

What's a virtual race? We're still learning.

Though our routes are made of pixels, they’re measured by real blood, sweat and tears.

Microsoft Research wants to pit you against virtual swimmers

Redmond's research division is working with a team of researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to develop SwimTrain. It's a system consisting of an app, a waterproof case for your smartphone and a pair of underwater headphones that provides sensory/auditory feedback. SwimTrain puts you in a team of three swimmers -- if you're competing, it tells you how you're doing against your two virtual opponents. If you're in the same team, it helps you maintain your strokes so you can keep up with your virtual teammates.