How many times has it happened to you? You are nearing the end of a cardio session, just knowing that you destroyed it, sweat dripping in puddles around you. You unveil the screen of the machine of choice and after an hour, the calories burned reads somewhere in the realm of 150! WHAT??!!! “Excuse me, sir!…your machine is defective! I mean, I burn more calories just getting dressed in the morning!”
You check-in to your facebook, twitter, and instagram (since you’ve been without it almost an hour!), just to be bombarded with photos from your friends’ news feed showcasing their 700+ calorie cardio loss and instant bragging rights. All the actual hard work and high intensity training just disappears in your mind as you think, wow, I guess I didn’t push it hard enough. Self doubt, intimidation, failure. I call it the calorie crush.
It shouldn’t resort to this!!!
First off, the proof is in the pudding. How do you look, and feel? Are you meeting your desired goals?
I always recommend taking weekly progress pictures, because body changes happen gradually and sometimes you don’t notice them. I also take weekly weight counts, but this can be deceiving due to lean muscle growth, water retention, or even faulty scales. Your BMI can be calculated once a month, to see changes in your body fat, but note that breast implants can affect the accuracy of this read as well.
Back to the calories though! On my last trip to New York, I stopped into the Nike Store on 57th ave. I saw everyone crowding around the front display, so I popped my head in to see what all the hullabaloo was about. The store clerks were showcasing Nike’s newest product and technological breakthrough, the FuelBand.
I’m not usually into the newest trends; I wouldn’t be seen in legging for the first year or two, I never rocked a Livestrong band, and I don’t own a pair of Ray Bans (although I find all three to look great on those that do…well, not in the case of leggings, but maybe after reading this post, that will change!). This little band, though, glowing on your arm with mini LED lights, is the coolest thing ever! It’s so 21st century, and makes you feel like you’re powerful and half android!
It calculates your daily calories burned by using a built in, sport tested, accelerometer (which basically means it tracks your body movement, calculates it, and reports it as calories burned). It also connects to your computer or mobile device, so you can download your daily calories into a chart that you can easily read to track your goals. Neat right?!
Few things to mention, though. 1. Since it tracks your calories for the day, just remember how much you started with before cardio and then after your cardio session, subtract the two numbers to get the amount for that activity (or just wait till you check the graph on your home computer or iphone). 2. It is meant to be worn on your wrist and gives an accurate reading for sports like running, walking, basketball, etc… but if you’re cycling, or even working out on an elliptical machine and not moving your arms, I recommend attaching the fuel band to your ankle or strapping it to your shoe somehow. 3. Nike FuelBand is not going to be as accurate as a heart rate monitor, but unless your an elite level athlete, you probably don’t need that level of precision. 4. Before the calorie display, there is something called the NikeFuel display. This is mean to be interactive so you can “compete” with others that install the app on their phone or computer. In my case, I’m an animal, I compete against myself, so I’m not going to be using this feature. If you’re new to fitness or just want to see how you compare, it could be fun and motivating to see your name at the top nationwide (I know my followers would definitely NOT be in the bottom!).
Either way, pedometer, heart rate monitor, or Nike FuelBand, you don’t have to fall victim to calorie crush anymore!