Tag Archives: exercise

4 Ways To Connect To Your Body (3 x Human, 1 x Dog)

Let’s all get some BarkPoints!

There’s something deeply enjoyable about working online – you feel connected to other people, to your machine, to the vastness of the internet. Don’t know about you, but I can get a real buzz from just sitting at my desk for hours. Typing, Skyping, messaging, writing – the day flies by. BUT. While our minds zoom around in cyberspace, our poor bodies are stuck in a chair for way too long.

That’s why this week I’ve gathered together a few items to help you connect back to your arms, legs, and other fleshy parts. I’m sure your body will thank you for it! So, stand up straight, pay attention to your stressed-out heart, enjoy a walk in the fresh air and, while you’re at it, take the dog with you. All these activities (even the pooch’s) can be monitored and measured so you’ll have plenty of juicy data to play with when you get back. Up you get!

UP24 by Jawbone Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracking Wristband for iOS and Android

I wore one of the earliest UP wristbands for about a year. It tracked my wanderings around the neighbourhood and measured the ups and downs of my sleep. Not only was I wearing something beautifully blue and stylish but I learned a huge amount about my movements.

It didn’t take long before I had a good idea of the distances I walked (or didn’t walk), information which encouraged me to go further than I may have done otherwise. It vibrates to let you know if you’ve been sitting around for too long, but that’s quite pleasant and nicer than a dig in the ribs or a noisy alarm.

In my experience, especially if you’re new to fitness trackers, an UP wristband is definitely worth a try. And it comes in different vibrant colours and sizes, so it looks cool too.

Lumo Lift Posture Coach and Activity Tracker (requires the free Lumo Lift iOS/Android* app)

Lumo Lift

Posture is an important but often forgotten part of our daily lives, say Lumo. With plenty going on in our hectic and busy schedules, it can be a real challenge to practice the mindfulness needed to identify and correct poor posture. With Lumo Lift you can get gentle vibrational reminders for your posture whenever you slouch. Track your posture hours, steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned through the companion iOS, Android or Windows Desktop Lumo Lift app.

The Lumo Lift is a small, lightweight device that is worn just below your collarbone for posture coaching and activity tracking. Using angle displacement as a measure, its biomechanics let you know when you’re slouching with a gentle vibration as a reminder to straighten back up.

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor, Red

FitBark

FitBark, they say, are on a mission to get dogs and humans healthy together. It makes sense. There’s plenty of research to show that it’s good for humans to spend time with animals, so if both are also tracking their activity that seems like a double whammy of benefits!

But seriously, FitBark is “a beautiful sensor that monitors your dog’s daily activity and sleep and turns it into BarkPoints, so you can track progress. It’s a new way to keep your dog (and you!) healthy, explain changes in behavior, make better decisions with your vet, and share memorable moments with friends & family.” Available in 5 colours.

Let’s all get some BarkPoints.

PIP – White – Stress Management Biosensor + Apps. Measure, understand and manage stress

PIP Stress Management Biosensor (White or Black)

I’ve tried out the PIP myself and I really enjoyed it. See my article Changing a landscape with the power of your mind is hugely relaxing.  Since 2014, when that was written, the company has produced more apps for the PIP, including a Personal Stress Management Tracker and Clarity, for body scanning, mantras and counting the breath.

The company claims that Pip can train you to better manage everyday stress by detecting electrodermal activity (EDA) in your fingertips to accurately determine when your body’s relaxing or stressing. It uses to biofeedback to teach you how to visualise stress and try different techniques to learn to control it.

You need to download the free apps in order to use it, and they’re available for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. I found it very helpful, so it comes with my personal recommendation.

A curious form of travel: The Tree Climber’s Guide

“Tree climbing is a curious form of travel. Ascending, we cross the divide between two worlds, and the people passing beneath us become as separate as fish in an aquarium. Discovering a trunk with a clear path to the crown is enticing as finding a ladder to the moon; this is the essence of climbing, a method of passing between two spheres – the humdrum everyday and the elevated.” So wrote Jack Cooke in The Guardian recently.

First there was wild swimming and now, it seems, there is wild tree climbing. Not that the tree itself is necessarily wild, especially in cities. To see the world through Cooke’s eyes involves looking beyond the streets and buildings, and looking up as often as possible ‘Stepping off a bus or out from the underground, my first thought is to scan the street for its trees, learning to recognise crowns from afar and straying to catalogue new climbs.’

His list of the five best trees to climb in London includes parks – Clissold, Battersea and Lucas Gardens; Highbury Island, a large circle of green surrounded by roads; and the crumbling Paddington Old Cemetery.  Find out more in his new book  The Tree Climber’s Guide.

A neuroscientist says there’s a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed – Quartz

Source: A neuroscientist says there’s a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed – Quartz

Just consider how the educational system might be altered if we acknowledge exercise’s ability to brighten our mood, decrease stress, and improve our attention span and memory. The growing evidence that exercise improves these key brain functions should encourage schools around the world to increase—not decrease—students’ physical activity. Not only would this help students to better absorb everything from history lessons to chemistry experiments, they’d be a lot happier too.

Read the whole article