OK Fair warning: This blog is going to be long and rambling and not very entertaining, so you might just want to leave now.
I have been wearing the the BodyMedia Fit monitor for a week, and so far I really like it. Some of you may know this device as the "BodyBugg". Its basically the same monitor made by the same company, but Biggest Loser bought the rights to the name Body Bugg, so if Body Media wanted to sell any on their own, they had to change the name.
What it does:
-Monitors the actual calories you are burning at 1 minute intervals throughout the entire day.
-Montiors your activity levels throughout the day and lets you know how many minutes of moderate intensity and vigorous intensity exercise you perform
-Counts your steps with a pedometer (very accurate - i tested it)
-Monitors your sleep. It detects when you are falling asleep, sleeping and waking up and lets you see a graph of how soundly you slept and how many instances of waking you had during the night. This is really cool!
Here is a sample shot of what you see on your computer when you upload your data for the day:
and each of those status bars have a pull down graph that break it out for you minute for minute during the day like you see under the calorie bar
What it doesn't do:
-Monitor heart rate.
-Make me coffee.
What things have I learned from wearing it for a week?
-I burn less calories when I am inactive than the average person of my height weight makeup.
-Increased calories burn after exercising drops off almost immediately with either cardio or weight training, at least for me.
-I have a higher VO2 Max than the average person in my height weight group, even though I'm less cardio-fit.
-If I sit idly on my computer all day and do no other activity, I will only burn 1296 calories in a 24 hr. period.
-If I just leisurely walked around my computer continuously all day and did no other activity, I could double that.
I usually have 2-3 episodes of wakefulness during the night, and my sleeping efficiency is below 85%
What is bad about it:
-It costs $250
-You are supposed to wear it 24 hours a day, every day except when you are in water. The band does get a little irritating after a while and you can't switch where you wear it. Always the same place on your left arm. I can wear it for about 12 hours before I need a break for an hour or so.
So, the verdict is that I like it. It was well worth the money I spent on it because it gives me a real visual tool that shows me exactly how many calories I am burning throughout the day, and really motivates me to move more.
Until you see it in graph format, its hard to understand exactly how many minutes of real slow calorie burn inactivity you have during your day. Just getting up and walking around the room can double or triple your burn rate.
My fear that I had a lower BMR than Spark and all the charts and graphs have been telling, has been proven. And now that I know it for a fact, it no longer scares me. Because seeing it graphed out gives me a way to deal with it and makes the fear dissipate. I have a real concrete tool that I can use to complete my goals!
(thats me. you can tell by the boobs)
OK. On to the Female Body Breakthrough Challenge.
This week is week one and is designed to ease you into a new program while you are PMSing.
Cool right? Its a novel idea. My energy is always very low my PMS week and I get frustrated at the gym when I can't lift as much or work as hard as a previous week. In this program you aren't supposed to. This week, cardio is optional. The strength workouts are circuit style and they do get your heart rate going. The warmup exercises are particularly intense. They take about 15 minutes to get through and your heart is really pumping by the time they are done. Its a nice motivator to get you into the weight portion.
Every phase of the program lasts 1 month and every phase has 2 resistance routines. You alternate the routien each day and have a rest day or 2 in between. I did 3 sessions this week: Tuesday Thursday and Saturday. I am quite sore, as all the exercises are new to me (and some of them are kinda weird to do in a gym - people give you sideways looks on "The Inchworm"), and my muscles are working in a new way. I love when a routine makes me sore. It lets me know my body is actually doing something.
The workouts in the book are laid out in such a way that they are easy to understand and there are photos of a model performing each exercise as well as a detailed description. I think everything is well suited for a beginner, and can be modified or weighted for the more advanced.
The diet plan is fairly simple and common sense for phase 1. Eat 5 meals a day all prepared from whole foods. No simple carbs. Eat more on days that you workout and always have a post workout snack within 15 minutes of finishing your workout. She recommends a whey protein shake, but they don't sit well for me, so I substitute 8oz of chocolate milk and a banana. :) I like mine better.
So 1 week down, 15 to go. I think its going to be a good program. Sorry for the long boring update, if anyone is actually still reading. I'm sure I would have stopped reading this ages ago.
For those of you that got this far, here is a pirate: