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CYBRARYCARD's Recent Blog Entries

Wow! Now THAT'S a fitness device! The "InfraV"

Monday, October 27, 2014

.....if it works....It's not yet in production. Not yet. They're planning to start selling in 2015.

If it does work--geez what a fantastic device!

Their indiegogo crowd-funding page:

Here's what they say it can do:


Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring
Heart Rate Monitor
Oxygenation Level
Body Temperature
Calories Burned and Current Burn Rate
ECG Waveform
Stress Level
Sleep Quality Monitoring
Kidney Function


Distance Traveled / tracking
Muscle Activation
Performance Goals and Alerts
Hydration Level


Touch Screen Interface
Smart Watch Functions (MP3 Control, Text, Email Alerts, etc)
Bluetooth LE Connection to Iphone or Android Devices
Triggers and Alerts
Live Cloud Based Data Tracking
Emergency Locator and Medic Alert over Mobile Phone Network
High Definition Still and Video Camera
Audio Recorder
Daylight Visible Ultra-Clarity Display
Memory Card Slot
Vibrating and Audible Alerts
Android OS
Apps and Games


The InfraV device looks like it would also be great for people dealing with serious health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney problems.

Their indiegogo page shows that they didn't meet the amount they were hoping for by their deadline but I'm personally hoping that a business or wealthy investor will find out about it and invest heavily, anyway. I'd hate to see something this amazing fall by the wayside.


Ah, well.....

My Polar's abilities pale in comparison.....but it's still a faithful non-sentient workout buddy.

....and it didn't cost several hundred bucks, either. ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIBUG49 11/14/2014 11:59AM

    It looks really big & I have a small wrist (probably only thing on me small). I loved my Fitbit Force until it left blisters on my wrist, so I would love something back like it. I have the Fitibt One but it's not as easy to see.

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AERO_NERDETTE 10/29/2014 11:32AM

    Yeah, I was leaning toward the Surge, but it would be nice if it wasn't so big and didn't cost as much as my phone. I like the capability it has for selecting different types of workouts, so if I picked "weight training" the activity would be tracked as that instead of "general activity" (I do kettlebell training, and the swinging motions would probably throw off the activity track). I also like the smart watch type functions like notifications and music controls for the phone; I wonder if it would work well with the Amazon mp3 app, since I listen to pre-downloaded playlists instead of streaming to save my data usage. I guess we'll see when the devices actually hit market (website says "early 2015).

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CYBRARYCARD 10/28/2014 7:24PM

    Hmmm...interesting. Just looked at the reviews n the iTunes page and one reviewer is saying that there really isn't a heart rate monitor. Will have to investigate further.

Edit: I considered the apple watch--it has both accelerometer and heart rate sensor. Not sure though if the heart rate sensor must be touched by finger like other non-strap type heart rate monitors or if it simply goes off contact with the wrist? However, it's cost prohibitive at about $ there goes that idea.

Ah! FitBit Charge HR band. "Coming Soon" at a price of about $150. Still fairly reasonable considering it should have other bells and whistles the brand is known for in addition to a working heart rate monitor that appears not to require a chest band or finger-touch activation.

They'll have a mega-tracker after that, "Surge" for about $250 but it looks ENORMOUS. I don't know--maybe not. Maybe it just looks that way on a computer screen.

Comment edited on: 10/28/2014 8:00:20 PM

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CYBRARYCARD 10/28/2014 7:12PM

    All excellent questions! Their indiegogo page says they're looking into making sure they allow for the options of very big and very small wrists but the other issues didn't appear to be mentioned. The battery issue might be alleviated by being rechargeable via usb but then it still brings up the issue of how reliable the information is when the battery is running low? I'm not sure that would be affected but I'd like reassurance that it wouldn't before buying. At the very least a "low power" warning so I would know not to depend on it for info. The thing that concerns me most, however, is the heat factor you brought up. Anyone with serious health issues would probably be sensitive to that. My phone puts off more heat than I'm totally comfortable with and it almost never has that much running at the same time. And I don't see how it could work without direct contact with the skin....though I'm certainly no expert in that.

Regarding Fitbit, it does sound like a great alternative--especially since the less expensive versions are a little less that $100 not counting tax and it tracks so much--calories, incline, sleep, etc. There are heart rate monitors that run into far greater dollar amounts. The next time my heart rate monitor needs changing out I may consider it. The last time I looked into FitBit I didn't see anything about heart rate. That was my biggest concern since heart rate is, to me, the easiest way of recognizing when I'm in plateau mode. A lower heart rate for the same workout means by body has become more efficient and therefore my workout needs an overhaul to create more challenge. I checked out the FitBit app on iTunes to see what was included in the data collected and there I saw heart rate included.

My Polar cost about as much if not more than the lowest priced Fitbit.

I might even get my mom one because she's worse than I am at logging fitness info. Since it's integrated into SparkPeople it's definitely something I'll be looking into in the future.

So, food for thought.

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AERO_NERDETTE 10/28/2014 4:36PM

    After seeing all these amazing functions, I have two questions (which I know you can't personally answer, but indulge a fellow geek):

1. Exactly how massive is this thing going to be (weight/dimensions)? I have tiny wrists and don't want to lug around a huge device when I run. My phone in an armband is more than heavy enough.

2. What's the battery life going to be? With all these data points requiring continuous monitoring, not to mention Bluetooth connection and GPS, it's bound to suck power like nothing else. Follow-up to this: heat generation and dissipation. If this thing gets too hot, I wouldn't want to wear it near my skin whether I'm working out or not.

Like you said, This would probably be more beneficial to someone who has one or more serious health concerns/issues that require constant monitoring (kidney disease, diabetes, etc), but overkill for your Average Joe/Josephine fitness enthusiast.

For now, I'm with Crysallis. I took a gander at the new Fitbit trackers yesterday, and I have to say that they're pretty impressive even if they don't have all the bells and whistles that this device does, and the Fitbit options offer more streamlined variants.

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CRYSALLIS1 10/28/2014 7:12AM

    Wow it's like taking an entire medical team with you. I'll strive for a Fitbit or something of that nature. emoticon

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A Few Educational Sites to Mention

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'll let you explore them in more detail but I thought it would be worthwhile to mention them...maybe give more attention to each later, I haven't decided.

First off is a FANTASTIC artist reference resource. It's on (yeah, I hate that name, too). But the artists reference work for human and animal anatomy is just amazing. Her guide to human types is wonderful for comparing people of various ethnicities.

Look under her tutorial work:

For gamified math (available for individuals and not just schools). There's which also offers an Android app (I have iPhone so can't comment there).

There's also Khan Academy. For most topics on Khan there's mainly just video instruction and discussion. However, when it comes to math, they've gamified it so that once you've mastered a skill you "level up" get badges and so forth. Only videos are found on their app but they also have math apps, as well. But be aware that those apps take up TONS of memory on your device due to the amount of videos they require.

Another gamified site & app is Duolingo. They don't have a huge variety of languages to learn (yet) but it is gamified to make it fun and easy. It even checks your pronunciation using your phone/computer's microphone.

I'm also looking forward to learning from The Code Academy. Another site with badges, levels and so forth which you are awarded for learning computer code which includes, HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery, PHP, Python, and Ruby (the last 2 I hadn't even heard of before). In addition to that they teach you how to use popular APIs to create your own applications.

They do have an Code Academy app but it's just easier to learn on pc. Not sure whether the app would be any good on a tablet, though.

So, if you want to practice drawing, learn (or brush up on) math, learn a foreign language, or learn computer coding these are some places online to check out.

Hope you enjoy!

Edit: forgot to mention--all sites and apps are free! Oh, yeah. Gotta love the free. emoticon

Oh, and hey! Don't forget to check out your local library's online resources! You can get into a lot of premium content for free by just using your card number and maybe a pin. Encyclopedia Britannica, alone, makes it worthwhile to look into.

Now if only I could find an awesome botanical reference resource for drawing and a site that taught music composition for free. Hmmm.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSALLIS1 10/28/2014 7:15AM

    Thanks for the info! emoticon

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LINTPICKER 9/19/2014 6:42AM

    AWESOME!! I have needed to refresh my spanish speaking skills. I love free!!

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ALICE_TENNIS 9/15/2014 6:51PM

    ooooooooooooooh, Thank you!

emoticon Looking forward to checking these out!

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PHHHISC 9/15/2014 4:53PM


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The Superhero Workout App by Six to Start (that I can't get--boo-hoo!)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

My iphone is too old to get this cool new app from Six to Start, makers of Zombies, Run! and The Walk (it requires iOS 7)

But even though I can't get it, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't share it for the sake of someone else out there who can.

Like the other Six to Start apps it is narrative based. This time instead of zombies or a spy story it's based on a space mission with you as the hero, fighting aliens "across land, sea, air, and outer space".

It uses the front-facing camera for motion tracking to count your reps and track your calories.

This article describes it better than I can since I can't explain it from first-hand experience:

The app costs $4.99 in the US iTunes store.

For those of you who CAN get this app and do, indeed, purchase it--to you I say.....

Go kick some alien butt! (and get in shape while you're at it) emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIBUG49 9/11/2014 10:42AM

    Thanks, I'm not sure about my phone.

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A Hunger Games Inspired Workout from

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Here's another workout based on a book series.

Personally, I am so out of shape this workout isn't even an option for me at this point. But, hey, that doesn't mean there aren't other sparkers who are at the place where they can do this workout.

And who doesn't want to be as fit as Katniss Everdean?

So here's how trains you like a tribute:

Created by Jennipher Walters:

The Hunger Games-Inspired Workout
After warming up, perform Circuit A (four exercises) three times with no rest between exercises. Rest/recover for one minute and then perform Circuit B (four exercises) three times with no rest between exercises. Follow up and recover with a cool down/stretch.

Circuit A
Single Arm Row
Curtsy Squat Lunge
Bear Squat
Quick Feet Drill

Circuit B
Spiderman Push Up/Dip
Goblet Squat Catch
Spinal Rock
Single Leg Runner Jump

Exercise A - Single Arm Row with Rotation
Equipment – Resistance band
Works – Arms/Chest/Back
Description – A single arm row simulates the upper-body action in archery by drawing one elbow back (engaging the deep muscles of the back) and slightly rotating the torso. Hook tubing around a stable pole or door jam and place both handles in your right hand. Step back until the tubing has some tension. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left, and then begin to pull the tubing back, right hand moving towards right hip. Add a slight rotation to the right, opening up the shoulder. Perform 12 to 15 reps and switch sides.

Exercise A – Curtsy Squat Side Lunge
Equipment - Dumbbells
Works – Legs
Description – To truly develop strong legs that are functional for running, jumping, leaping and carrying heavy loads, you must train them in all directions. Holding heavy dumbbells in each hand, begin with feet together. Step out to the side with your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hinge forward slightly but keep chest lifted with the dumbbells on either side of your right leg. Push off your right foot and immediately step back and cross behind the left leg, bending both knees into a curtsy squat. Perform 12 to 15 reps and switch sides.

Exercise A – Bear Squat
Equipment – None, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – The bear squat combines a full plank, which is fantastic for the core, and an explosive leg press. Begin in plank, then bend your knees and send your hips back over your heels, keeping the knees off the floor (spine is flexed and arms are extended). With a powerful push from your legs, extend back out to plank and hold. Perform 15 to 20 reps.

Exercise A – Quick Feet Drill
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Agility and core
Description – To be quick on your feet and have the agility to change direction quickly, you must train the muscles to fire rapidly. This drill is about quickness and endurance and really elevates your heart rate. Begin in the athletic ready stance (feet a little wider than shoulder width with knees slightly bent and a slight hinge forward from the hips) with arms out the side, palms forward. Start moving your feet as fast as you can as if running, keeping the feet close to the ground. Keeping your shoulders and torso stable, randomly twist your hips (knees and feet as well!) to the right and quickly back to the center. Repeat to the left continuing to keep you feet moving as quickly as possible. Repeat for 1 minute.

Exercise B – Alternating Spiderman Push Up and Dip
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Arms/Chest/Back
Description – Whether pushing boulders or being able to crawl on all fours, push-ups and dips are essential The Hunger Game exercises. Start in a push-up position on knees or toes. As you lower down into the push-up, bring the right knee to the right elbow. Push back up and return the leg to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Alternate legs for 30 seconds. Quickly flip over to a seated position with the knees bent, feet flat on the floor and the hands placed a few inches behind your hips with fingers facing forward. Lift your hips off the floor a few inches. Bend your elbows and then press back up, pressing your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Exercise B – Goblet Squat Catch
Equipment – Heavy kettlebell or dumbbell
Works – Legs
Description – Most lifting, catching, throwing, pushing and pulling doesn’t start with the arms. It starts with the legs, working from the ground up. Begin standing with feet a little wider than hip width with a kettlebell on the floor between your legs. Squat down, grabbing the kettlebell by the horns. With a powerful hips drive and knee extension, press to standing and pull the kettlebell up to chest, bringing elbows tight by your side. Holding kettlebell, squat down as low as possible, maintaining control. Stand back up then squat to lower kettlebell to floor. Perform 15 to 20 reps.

Exercise B – Spinal Rock
Equipment – None, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – Core conditioning is not just about a six-pack and basic crunches. Mobility and full range of motion gives your functional, usable strength. Start seated, spine neutral, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms reaching forward (if you have issues sitting up straight, hold onto your shins to extend your spine). Tuck your chin, curl your pelvis under and roll back, placing hands on the floor and bringing your knees to your shoulders, or for more advanced, reach knees up to the ceiling. Begin to roll back up, returning to a seated position and reaching forward. Repeat for 1 minute.

Exercise B – Single Leg Runner Jumps
Equipment – none, just your body weight
Works – Abs and core
Description – Explosive power can make or break any competition and being able to burst out of the gate is essential. Begin in a low lunge with your left leg forward, right leg back and your right hand on the floor. Drive your right knee forward and up, jumping off your left foot, at the same time reaching your left arm up to the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.



Any takers?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This is so cool - thanks for sharing

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LJCANNON 9/16/2014 6:42AM

    emoticon I may give at least part of this a shot. Jumps and Lunges are out of the question, but I think I can figure a way to modify it so it would work.
emoticon Thanks for sharing this.

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AERO_NERDETTE 9/10/2014 7:18PM

    Looks challenging! I may have to try it out...I definitely need more strength training; I've been focused more on cardio lately.

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HAZYHEART 9/9/2014 6:25PM


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The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Walk Challenges (No app required)

Monday, September 08, 2014

I don't know why but the fall and winter always remind me of The Lord of the Rings film and book series. So, in that spirit, here are some fitness challenges that run (or walk) along those lines. emoticon

I thought I'd share something that doesn't need an app and, after printing the challenge you want to participate in, doesn't need a website, either.

It's the Eowyn Challenge. Walk a certain amount of mileage and you can see where you would be located if you walked the paths described in the book series of The Lord of the Rings and also the single book The Hobbit.

This is the link to the site:

Below are several walk challenges to choose from. You CAN do the challenge in the time that they allot for the mileage given if you want but you DON'T HAVE TO do it in that time frame. It's just cool to see where you would be by looking at the table displayed.

There's also an interactive location finder which will show you where you would be on a Middle Earth map.

In addition, you can sign up for milestones celebration groups where you earn shields for every 25 miles traveled.

And, if you want, feel free to add this as a challenge for your group or post in the comments here what challenge you took and every time you reached another section of your challenge. emoticon emoticon

Below is the description of the various challenges and links to their respective walk tables, taken from the website:

"Walk, run, hike, bike, blade, swim - if you can measure the distance, you can do this challenge. Keep a log, and record your daily or weekly miles and the type of exercise. For walkers and hikers, you might want to invest in a walking meter, they look like wristwatches. Otherwise, you can estimate your distance at 1 mile for every 20 minutes of brisk walking on a flat surface.

If you would like to set a long term distance goal, choose any one of the following:


458 miles: Go from Hobbiton to Rivendell.

462 miles: Set out with the Fellowship from Rivendell to Lothlorien.

389 miles: Travel through Moria and down the Anduin from Lothlorien to Rauros Falls.

355 miles: Follow the path of Merry and Pippin from Rauros to Isengard.

484 miles: Follow the path of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli from Rauros to Isengard.

470 miles: Follow Frodo and Sam on the quest from Rauros to Mt. Doom.

517 miles: Ride with Gandalf and Pippin from Isengard to Minas Tirith.

786 miles: Travel with Aragorn from Isengard to Dunharrow through the Paths of the Dead to Minas Tirith.

578 miles: Ride with Merry and the Rohirrim from Isengard to Dunharrow to Edoras to Minas Tirith.

138 miles: Follow Aragorn from Minas Tirith to the Morannon.

120 miles: Return for Aragorn’s crowning from the Morannon to Minas Tirith.

1625 miles: Take the road home with the hobbits from Minas Tirith to Hobbiton.

535 miles from Minas Tirith to Isengard

693 miles from Isengard to Rivendell.

397 miles from Rivendell to Bag End.

467 miles: Follow Frodo to the Grey Havens and return home with Sam.


397 miles: Travel with Bilbo from Bag End to Rivendell.

570 Miles: Travel with Bilbo from Rivendell to Lonely Mountain.

~May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.~

emoticon Pleasant travels, fellow wayfarer! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADZEEE 9/10/2014 2:29AM

    Awesome exercise plan. I think I will be taking a trip to Rivendell very very soon... maybe even race there if I can find a couple of other people interested.

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LINTPICKER 9/9/2014 10:55PM

    You are so awesome!!

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HAZYHEART 9/9/2014 6:31PM

    I really like this one, should be fun emoticon emoticon

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AERO_NERDETTE 9/9/2014 8:53AM

    This is a pretty cool challenge! My husband and I are both fans of LOTR and The Hobbit. Maybe I can get him to join me for a few miles if I tell him about this!

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THINNERME2009 9/8/2014 9:10PM

    Love it, huge LOTR fans within our home. We have a work challenge The Shoe to the Big House as there is a huge rivalry between OSU and Michigan.. I think I will count it on both. Thanks.

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ACCTNGRRL 9/8/2014 8:51PM

    This is really cool! Have to share it with my family who are also big LOTR fans!

Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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    WOW! this is great, thank you so much. emoticon emoticon

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