Getting the right elliptical for your body and budget!

Author Archives: Rachael Kraft



Mirror, Mirror On the Wall…Who’s The Fittest of Them All?

It seems there is always a new fitness trend claiming to be the “next big thing.” 

In fact, marketers spend millions to get you off the couch and into the best shape of your life.  Lately, one of the innovations we’re most excited about doesn’t look like a fitness machine at all.  In fact, it looks more like a decoration you’d hang in your living room!

Meet “the Mirror…”

Yes, I’m sure thoughts of Snow White’s magic mirror may be floating through your head.  The true magic with this gizmo is how it can use sophisticated technology to put other IKEA-brand mirrors to shame. 

This mirror has just one goal in mind… to get your butt into great shape!

It does this by giving you access to on-demand workout videos or live stream classes directly in your home. Suddenly, your living room is like a personal fitness studio complete with a trainer ready to help you along.  The app for this device lets you build a custom workout designed for your specific goals.

Wanna know more?  Well, here’s the “skinny” on a mirror that can make you skinny

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So Many Fitness Apps…So Little Time!

Your phone’s app store has page-after-page of fitness and exercise apps.  It’s an endless supply really.  You can find apps for everything from motivation … to meal planning… to yoga … marathon training… and more!

We’ve talked before about how programming, like iFit found on NordicTrack and ProForm ellipticals, can help you boost your workouts.  But other fitness apps found on your smart device can also be great tools to help keep you interested and motivated in your daily workout.

Whether you want to up your cardio game, build and tone muscles, or learn to stretch properly, there’s something to fit every need.

Nike + RunClub

There’s a good reason Nike comes to mind when we think of running and fitness. Nike just knows this topic inside and out.  They have scientists who spend all of their time studying how humans move and how to create athletic equipment to best serve athletes everywhere. This is why it makes such perfect sense that the Nike + RunClub app is a key tool to have in your arsenal.

You can choose from a variety of running workouts that range in length and help you focus on different aspects of your fitness. You can participate in the leaderboards and compete against other users.  (A little healthy competition certainly can’t hurt!) While you’re pounding the pavement — or working up a sweat on your favorite elliptical — listen to Spotify playlists tailor made for your pace to keep you on track.

Nike + RunClub is really cool if you are an avid cardio enthusiast and like to keep things interesting and fun.  But it’s also perfect if you’re a beginner who just needs to figure you what you’re doing. There are so many different workouts, including one called “Run With Mo,” which is an audio run guided by running superstar Mo Farah!

Sworkit

Okay, let’s face it… many of us just don’t feel like we have the time to work out. If you’re nodding your head, then Sworkit has got you covered. Simply choose the type of workout you want and input the time you have available — whether it’s seven minutes while dinner cooks or 45 minutes when you wake up in the morning. No judgment here!

This is fantastic because you can load a ten-minute workout right when you get up, get your blood pumping and feel like you’re already winning at your day. No other app will give you the variety when it comes to the short workouts. It’s nice knowing you don’t have to miss out or be bored because you’re busy.

FitBod

On your strength training days, let FitBod plan your workout for you. You can choose the muscle groups you want to work and it will give you a full routine, including weight, reps and sets.

As you continue to use the app it will keep track of your past workouts and give you continuously updated recommendations. This ensures you are hitting all of your muscle groups rather than neglecting certain areas.

FitBod App

Unless you are a person that follows a lifting regimen, odds are you don’t know how to work all of your muscles. (Or even know exactly where all of them are!) This is why FitBod is great, it knows “all the things” and you just follow along.

Asana Rebel

This app is based around yoga, so it’s great if you are already following a yoga practice. Or, it can be a life-saver if you are looking to incorporate yoga into your active recovery days.

Asana Rebel is another app that understands you don’t always have the time to exercise that you might like. They allow you to input your time and choose your intensity/ability level to generate videos catered to you. Or you can browse their extensive list of videos that focus on things like, flexibility, strength or toning.

We think Asana Rebel is great because you get the yoga instruction that you need without going to a class. Classes can be intimidating when you’re just starting out and aren’t sure what you’re doing. In a nutshell…this app is an awesome way to feel more comfortable without missing out on the benefits of your yoga practice.

8Fit

8Fit has been gaining a lot of popularity for being an all-around crowd pleaser. It puts all of your fitness needs in one place with workout videos, meal plans, recipes and health tips.

Let’s face it, exercise is only half the battle when it comes to being healthy. Having healthy food options right there with your workout keeps you focused…and might help you avoid looking for whatever sounds good in the fridge. (cough, cough…any midnight fridge stalkers here?)

One great feature on the 8Fit videos is the thorough explanation of each exercise. Your trainer will walk you through proper form and execution before you get started so there’s no wasted time trying to figure it out on the fly.

8Fit App

Plus, all of the workouts are equipment-free so you don’t need to scramble and make household items work in the place of the instructor’s equipment. Even though soup cans and water bottles make “great” free weights, it’s probably best to just not.

Aaptive

While some of us like listening to music and tuning out a little while we workout, it’s not for everyone. Especially if you are a beginner… you may need a bit more audio guidance on your workout routine. This is where Aaptive really shines.

Featuring a wide variety of audio classes, you have an instructor talking you through every step of your workout to ensure you are doing it right.

This also means you don’t have to worry about where you place your device, or if it’s angled correctly, because you don’t need to be staring at the screen to keep up. Crunches aren’t meant to be done with your neck turned to the side to see your screen.

Aaptive also has a massive video library so you don’t feel like you’re scrolling through the same five videos every day. From cycling and yoga, to stretching and elliptical workouts, you will always be able to find something new and fresh.

Keelo

All of us who’ve done it know… HIIT workouts are a GREAT way to see and feel the results of your hard work.  With every workout on Keelo timing in at under 20 minutes, you really don’t have any excuses for not getting your sweat on.

Keelo App

Keelo will tell you exactly what to be doing as it tracks your work and rest intervals. It also keeps track of your previous workouts to adjust recommended workouts based around your progress.

The best thing about trainer-led HIIT workouts is having a person telling you to keep going. HIIT workouts are tough and that extra voice telling you to keep pushing can make all the difference.

Stretching and Flexibility Plans

It is so important to stretch after a workout, but realistically, it’s something a lot of us slack on. We know we’re going to be sore…we know what happens…and then we rush and don’t stretch only to regret it the next day.

This Stretching and Flexibility Plan app has 50 stretching routines all ready to go, organized by fitness level and workout time. Each instructional video leads you through the stretches to make sure you’re doing them properly.

If the videos aren’t your style, you can create your own routines by choosing from the 300+ stretches included in the app. Either way, you’re saving yourself from the agony that comes with walking up and down the stairs with stiff muscles the next morning.

PumpUp

Motivation and inspiration are key when it comes to sticking with your fitness goals, which is why social media can be great! But not everyone wants their sweaty post-workout photo being seen by everyone they’ve ever known. (And your best friend’s grandmother probably doesn’t care about your new personal-best mile time.)

This is why PumpUp is perfect for the fitness forward social media user, it’s completely based around personal health and fitness. Pull some inspiration from other’s photos and share how you killed your morning run. Be proud of your progress knowing you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals — not politics and cat videos.

Choosing a fitness app to help you work toward the best version of yourself doesn’t have to be just another task to accomplish. Use the options above to tailor every workout to you and know you’re getting just what you need to beat your goals.


How To Use Your Music While You Work Out

Many of us listen to music when we work out…and for good reason! Music is a great way to boost your body and mind so you can get the most out of your exercise session.

The main reason music is so helpful has to do with something called “preferred tempo.” The preferred tempo for different activities or moods is based on what your body needs at that moment. Whether you are looking to stimulate movement or promote relaxation, the tempo of the music you listen to can have a huge effect on how your body and mind function.

Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover the best reasons to get your playlist ready the next time you’re lacing up your sneakers.

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Study Shows Red Meat and Processed Meat Cause Early Death

There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ American meal of meat and potatoes! However, new research and studies are showing that, while delicious, your juicy steak may be cutting significant years off of your life.

When it comes to your overall health, what you put into your body is as important as the amount of activity it gets. So let’s get real for a sec – and talk about how much red meat you should really be eating.

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Can 30 Minutes a Day Keep the Pharmacist Away?

According to the CDC, 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. That’s one in three, so chances are you know someone suffering from what the American Heart Association calls “the silent killer”. Most people manage their high blood pressure by taking a pill every day, but what if there was a better way to maintain healthy blood pressure.

When it comes to being healthy, you might immediately think about your weight and exercise routine. But a large part of being healthy is ensuring our bodies are able to perform necessary functions effectively and efficiently.

This includes things we usually don’t think about until there’s a problem, like your blood pressure.

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Losing Weight May Save You From a Heart Attack 

You probably hear people talk about weight loss and high cholesterol all the time, but did you know they are two sides of the same coin?

Knowing your cholesterol facts and the role your weight plays can help keep you be happy and healthy for longer.

What Is Cholesterol?

The word cholesterol strikes fear into the hearts of many, but it helps if you know your cholesterol facts. Not all cholesterol is bad, in fact, good cholesterol is healthy for your body and provides many benefits.

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What To Know About Bowflex’s New Intelligent Fitness App

Oops they did it again! Bowflex released something new and awesome!

Bowflex recently released a new “Max” Intelligence app to serve as your personal concierge of fitness!  It is featured on the new M6 and M8 Max Trainer machines.  This artificial intelligence monitors your fitness progress and tailors your workout experience each and every day.  It’s like having a personal trainer right there with you, every time you step on your machine.

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Lose Weight and Boost Health with Intermittent Fasting

With the millions of fad diets out there, how can you possibly decide the best way to lose weight?  With the rise of intermittent fasting, a new question is intriguing dieters:  “What if you could simply change WHEN you eat, not WHAT you eat, to lose weight and boost your overall health at the same time?”

workout in the morning

This is the idea behind intermittent fasting and science is backing it up. Keep reading to learn more and see if intermittent fasting is right for you.

Intermittent Fasting Overview

Before we dive in, we need to talk about what intermittent fasting is and what it isn’t…

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Burn More Fat and Boost Your Immune System with Simple “Cold” Practices

Most of us treat the cold as an inconvenience that we must conquer rather than embrace….coats, scarves, sweaters, heated blankets, seat warmers and steamy hot showers. Everyday approaches to keep coldness at bay.

But what if the cold is actually useful? What if instead of protecting ourselves from chilly temperatures we should be wrapping ourselves in the cold’s frigid benefits?

Not Everyone Bundles Up Against the Cold…

Wim Hof, also known as the “Iceman”, has changed his life and his body thanks to the cold. It all began when he was just 17 years old and took in a dip in an icy pool of water. The effects of that experience changed his views on how both his mind and body functioned, and that icy dip became a normal part of his regular routine.

Now 59 years old, Wim Hof holds 21 Guinness World Records and has racked up some astounding achievements. For instance, he ran a half marathon above the Arctic Circle, barefoot and wearing only shorts. He also climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in a swimsuit and can swim underneath ice for 66 meters.

These are things the rest of us shiver just to think about, but Hof claims that cold exposure is behind his ability to do these things.

According to Wim Hof, “Over time, we as humans have developed a different attitude towards nature and we’ve forgotten about our inner power. This is the ability of our body to adapt to extreme temperature and survive within our natural environment. The inner power is a powerful force that can be reawakened by stimulating these physiological processes through the Wim Hof Method.”

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New Shorter Exercise Recommendations

We hear it all the time – “Get up and get moving!”

Unfortunately, many of us are not moving near as much as we should in an effort to maintain our fitness.

Whether you are already moving and shaking on your fitness journey…or just setting out on the path to your best you…there are recommendations to help guide you along the way.

The government recently released new physical activity recommendations, so there are some updated guidelines to follow to keep your journey on track. Keep reading to find out how much you need to be getting up and moving, and just how to go about making it happen.

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