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HIKERNJ's Photo HIKERNJ SparkPoints: (42,768)
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8/10/11 10:09 P

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My PT had me stack pillows at home and balance on one foot. Also had me put one foot on a bosu or pillow stack and squat with the other leg. That one really helped with balance strength combo.....

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7/14/11 1:02 A

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My PT had me do the balancing on one leg with my eyes closed as well. I felt better at my lack of balance at the time when the rest of my very fit family had a few issues with balance once they closed their eyes. It is amazing how much we count on visual alignment.

I tried the standing on one leg while washing dishes tonight. Great idea. I often do calf raises when I am waiting somewhere. Now I have another exercise as well.

I do have a Bosu that resides in my daughter's room. I think I will pull it out and give it a try. I remember how much work it took to balance on it when I took Pilates a few years ago.

Thank you all for the great ideas and information. I am looking forward to the hike this weekend and hope the weather cooperates. My family says the view from the top is amazing.

KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
7/13/11 10:29 P

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I have a bosu, I love it, it's great for balance work. You can also just do one legged exercises, that helps too, even if you don't have any other equipment.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
7/13/11 2:26 P

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I've done the same thing to improve balance and strengthen ankles and knees - I stand one one foot whenever I'm in line, like at the grocery store, or 'waiting' for something, like at the gas station - it does help a lot. SparkPeople also has a neat inflatable 'balance board' that is great for that, too - and strangely enough, walking with the trekking poles does not prevent the knees or ankles from getting stronger - they just prevent injuries.

One other thing - my husband's balance was really bad but someone showed him how to set up a series of uneven surfaces at the gym - a couple of Bosu pads, some smaller inflatable balance boards, etc - he walks over them several times whenever he's at the gym and it's done wonders for his balance so I'm planning on trying it, too.



Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
7/13/11 9:41 A

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I had some PT a few months back, and they had me balance on one foot with my eyes closed to see how long I could do it, I got up to about 45 seconds....it was very helpful! (weak ankles....)

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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7/12/11 9:03 P

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Thank you both for the feedback on the poles. While I think they would be worth investing in, my goal is still to work on strengthening my knees and my ankles with a lot of balance work.

KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
7/11/11 11:13 P

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I'm not sure the poles would be that helpful in scree....but are great on downhill in general, I find you do have to take some care on the placement, it's not fun if they slip out from under you! for scree (depending on my comfort level, and how tired I am) it seems like it's easier if you can sort of slide down it on your feel (like plunge stepping in soft snow, if you've ever done that)

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,489
7/10/11 11:52 P

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Poles can definitely help your stability on a steep slope.

While they can take some of the weight off your knees, they can't really bear your full weight - when it comes to scree, the best approach is always to be very careful about where you place your feet.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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7/10/11 10:00 P

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I am really curious about the hiking poles. Next weekend, my family is doing a 6.5 mile hike that has a 1600 ft. elevation gain. There is a lot of scree, so the downhill is dicey. I would love to join them, but am a bit concerned with the downhill trek and a somewhat unstable knee and ankle. Would the poles help in a hike like this and what is the learning curve in using them?

WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
7/6/11 2:53 A

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I have one hiking pole, but if I can burn that many more calories I might as well get a second! My stability is much better this season with 79 pounds less of me than last summer, but it still can get a little nerve wracking now and again. I find it especially handy when I need to navigate a large step down, I'm still feeling tentative about falling and having an extra leg is helpful. Eventually I hope to be much more agile, but I'm feeling great about the progress I've made in the last year.

I wonder if the Sleep Wake Clinic can upload my sleep data if it is in clinical use. It would be great if they could. Sleep logs done by the individual are unreliable, you don't realize when you nod off or all the waking up for short spells.

I'm a member at 24 Hour Fitness, and some of the trainers are really curious when I tell them about my sibling to the BodyBugg and I think most of them see where it has the advantage. Of course they're not going to say as much, being employees, but I can tell from their curiousity.

The latest GWF uses a smart phone instead of a watch if you want to display your real time data. On one hand you don't have to pay extra for the watch, on the other you have to pay for air time. I'd rather have the watch.

I also love gadgets. I used to have a heart rate monitor, but the watch disappeared sometime this winter and I need to get another. The calorie burns it was giving me last year were ridiculous. One five or six hour hike had me at over 5000 calories.

I have respiratory problems caused by long term carbon monoxide poisoning, which makes me prone to pick up bronchitis easily. I did get asthma as a result, but mostly it manifests itself in coughing fits which won't stop. It doesn't really affect my hiking, so if I'm breathing hard, it's usually because I'm working hard.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
7/5/11 9:14 P

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I wear a pedometer all the time and do use it for hiking but I don't try to concern myself with accuracy on the calorie count unless I'm going on a multi-day backpack and need to make sure I get ENOUGH calories to keep up the energy - otherwise, I just count the effort as 'walking' and figure anything burned over that is a bonus. I figure my body knows what it burns even if my head or other gadget I might use doesn't, haha!

My pedometer has a feature to adjust it for my stride and I find that the 2000 steps per mile is pretty much a guestimate many people use but my average stride is 30" so it works out to 2112 steps per mile, although my stride varies depending on my speed, terrain and a number of other variables.

But the exact number of 'miles' is kind-of irrelevant if you go by steps, though, because the effort is exerted by the number of steps, not the mileage, so a person with a short stride would burn more calories in a mile than someone with a long stride but they might be more equal with the same number of steps, assuming everything else about them was equal.

I agree that hiking downhill can sometimes use a lot of effort compared to walking downhill on a sidewalk, for instance. But because there is so much variation in terrain from one hike to another, it's difficult [or impossible] to get any formula to stay accurate on all of them. For instance, going down on scree is different from going down over boulders which is different from going down on a cross-country route, etc.

The GWF is fantastic for tracking some thing, not so much with others - I know the sleep part is a major advantage over some other gadgets and I think there are a few other features that make GWF superior over BB - the company that manufacturers both also makes another device that can be used in clinical settings, in case you didn't know that. They developed BB as a 'licensed product' sold exclusively through 24 Hour Fitness and haven't incorporated all the newer developments because of the licensing agreement - I think they did come out with one or two but the GWF has gone through several upgrades in the meantime. Mine is a couple of years old and I keep meaning to check to see if there is a newer version out now. I find it works more as a motivational device for me but it is also frustrating at the same time because it doesn't do well with stationary bike or some of the other gym eqpt. I'm kind-of a gadget geek so have all sorts of stuff - pedometer, HRM, GWF, altimeters, GPS - and always love to find out about new gadgets, haha! I don't wear them all at once, of course, but often have more than one going - it keeps me mindful if nothing else!

Research shows that perceived rate of exertion can be very accurate but some individuals may have a distorted 'perception' so their actual numbers may vary from their perceived effort. There are other things that may affect it, too - for instance, I have allergies that trigger exercise-induced asthma in some settings so I can be huffing and puffing, trying to catch my breath like I'm ready to collapse when my muscles don't really think I'm working 'that hard' - allergy treatments have made this much better but what happens is that when I breathe a little harder doing exercise and I'm in the vicinity of one or more of my allergens, they get sucked deeper into the lungs and cause a 'double reaction' - in other words, what might not bother me another time of year or another place suddenly does have an affect. We just have to learn to 'roll with the punches'

Do you use hiking or trekking poles when you hike? They actually increase the calorie burn by up to 40% and prevent many injuries, especially going downhill - most of the 'real hikers' I know do use them, although I've also run into lots of people on the trails who scoff and think of them as 'crutches' - I'll be sure to wave my poles at them when they're carted off with a broken ankle or after their hip or knee replacement!! Seriously, it turns you into a 4-legged hiker instead of a 2-legged hiker, which increases stability, and gets your arms involved more than people who don't use the poles, which increases calorie burn. I have expensive Leki poles and several other specialty types but also often use the cheapie ones I got at Wal-Mart for $20-something if I'm not doing a very technical hike.

As for getting the accurate data for your hikes to run through the calculator, well that means you need another gadget, haha! Seriously, using a GPS altimeter like a Garmin 'wrist computer' can do it - you can also get the data for routes from Trails.com and a number of other hiking sites if it's a popular route or track the route with a regular GPS and plug it into topo software [told you I'm a geek - sorry!]

Boy, reading over my post, I hope I don't sound like a 'know it all' or like I'm trying to be some sort of expert authority - it's just that I've been reading/studying this stuff for more years than most hikers have been breathing so I've accumulated more knowledge in the process than I might have had otherwise.

Happy trails!!

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Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
7/5/11 10:06 A

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I'm guessing hiking and a pedometer don't mix well, for all the reasons you stated, your stride length will vary so much from terrain, etc.



highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
7/5/11 2:32 A

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Lynda, actually mine is a GWF as well, I just don't have to explain so much if I say its a Bugg. Another GWF owner on the Body Bugg/GWF team posted about the same problem recently, so I don't know it's just some glitch (pardon the technical term). I think the GWF is superior, because it tracks my sleep. As a person with 5 different sleep disorders who is supposed to track sleep, it saves me so much trouble.

The thing that I don't understand is how my perceived rate of exertion is so high and the calorie burn is so low. I really feel like I'm working hard, but you'd never guess it from the calorie burn on the hike. Tonight I power-walked around the park while waiting for fireworks to start and reached a max burn of 9.3 with little exertion at all. My hiking burn range is 3.6-6 calories a minute and I feel almost every step including downhill which requires more control so that I don't go tumbling down the trail (a history of ankle problems and falling has me pretty cautious).

I checked a recent hike where I was able to do the full length through that calculator and it seemed quite accurate. Some of the hikes I've been doing don't have data to run through, have obstacles or time restrictions and/or I never had any expectation of doing the complete length, so I don't know the distance or elevation gain (planning to go to map navigation class soon at REI)

Pedometers and hiking and me don't seem accurate on the 2000 steps per mile theory. I think my stride must be much shorter (it's probably calculated for a 6' 2" male, not a 5' 4" female), plus going uphill and over rough terrain I take more steps.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
7/4/11 9:15 P

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Keep in mind that the SparkPeople Fitness calculator says hiking UPHILL so if you used that to calculate the entire hike, including downhill sections, it would definitely be an overestimate.

I have a GoWearFit [basically a BodyBugg that isn't sold by 24Hr Fitness, made by the same company] and it's fairly accurate but the most accurate hiking calculator I've found was created by a doctoral student who hikes - you can see it at hikingscience.blogspot.com/p/calcula
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-calories-burned_22.html


Another thing to remember is that ALL of the numbers are guesstimates based on generic formulas but "individual results may vary" - that is, two people weighing 214 lbs can do an identical activity with different calorie burns in REALITY - there are a ton of variables that will alter the actual results so while it's really good to keep track and we can only rely on whatever tools we have, none of it is 100% accurate.

Even the BodyBugg and HRM rely on generic formulas, although they have more individualized input data to feed into those formulas - but it's still an estimation rather than an exact measurement.

In fact, you could do exactly the same thing 3 days in a row and burn three different calorie amounts doing it - this used to drive me crazy because I didn't know about all the variables and would go crazy thinking "I know I burned 3500 calories but didn't lose a pound" or something similar. Then I found out that maybe I didn't really burn that many calories doing what I was doing, even though all the gadgets measured it as being at least that much - I'm talking HRM, GoWearFit and a number of different fitness calculators. Once I got beyond the ordinary information about calorie expenditures and learned a little more of the technical stuff, I realized there can be a huge variation from one person to another or from one day to another in the same person. I got my metabolism measured and calorie burn measured in a laboratory environment and discovered that my numbers are much lower than the formulas estimate - oh, gee, lucky me.

But no matter what the numbers tell us, the bottom line is that if we move more and eat less, we will most likely lose weight - even though there is no way to have a 100% accurate measurement of our calories burned unless we are in a laboratory environment using really expensive stuff and a very controlled setting. Ho-hum - in the meantime, us peasants just have to rely on the generic formulas returned by various calculators.





Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
6/26/11 12:15 P

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I would take the SP estimate very lightly, it's a lot more generic than your body bugg. I have a HRM (Polar) that I use, I don't even check the spark estimate, as it has no indication of so many factors that your body bugg and my HRM would keep track of.

It would be great to think that the calorie burn would be as high as Spark told you, but I think reality is more than likely closer to your body bugg. And it does feel just as hard for less calorie burn the fitter you get, as disappointing as that sounds, but the good part is, you're getting fitter! That's a great thing!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
6/26/11 2:20 A

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I've found that my calorie burn has been plummeting lately. Friday's hike of 100 minutes up Furguson Canyon burned only 300 calories on less intense terrain.

Frankly I'd like to think that I burned 2001 calories, because it felt like a lot of work today! 772 calories seems like such a little number for all that sweat and elevation.

I'll have to check some of my other cardio through the SP calculators and see what it says. My calorie burn on everything has been dropping and I feel like I'm still working every bit as hard. I know my weight has been going down, but it hasn't dropped that much in the last couple of months.

Maybe I'll see what the team leader on the Body Bugg team says, she hikes.

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,489
6/26/11 1:50 A

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Spark's hiking estimate doesn't include any estimate for speed, so it can potentially be out depending on the speed with which you hike. Terrain and the roughness of the trail surface are also significant factors.

I know I weight less than 214 lbs, and yet even on level ground without a pack I burn more than 772 calories in 2.5 hours. But then again, I walk fairly briskly.

If you have a Body Bugg or the like, yes it is probably reasonably accurate. But in general, I have found Spark's estimate to be reasonably reliable for the hiking I do.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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HICKOK-HALEY's Photo HICKOK-HALEY Posts: 43,077
6/26/11 1:45 A

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That's interesting. Good for you for all the calculating! emoticon

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WISTERIALODGE Posts: 846
6/26/11 12:34 A

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I have a Body Bugg and forgot to check the time and calorie burn when I got done with today's hike. While stopping on the way home to get milk, I did some mental arithmetic on my then calorie burn of 3 calories a minute, calculated probable time elapsed since coming off the mountain and deducted that off my reading.

Upon getting home, I uploaded the data for my fitness monitor to see where the calorie burn dropped off (I had it pegged to a 5 minute time frame and reality had it as minute 4 of those 5). I was able to pull up the minute by minute burn total: 772 calories for a 214 pound female hiking 168 minutes.

I then plugged in the data into the SP calorie estimate for hiking up hills (about 1500 feet of elevation it seems reasonable), carrying a pack waying under 10 pounds. Calorie burn estimate: 2001 calories.

Okay, we did stop and look at the guide and maps, let's knock off 20 minutes and change it to cross country. Revised estimate: 1541.

My fitness monitor calculates every thing based on my individual readings. It can even distinguish between laying in bed and sleeping, so this is pretty sophisticated. I trust the monitor.

I'[m shocked at just how wildly off the SP estimate is!

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