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I tried Lilly Sabri’s Lean fitness app and I love it – T3

Posted: August 2, 2021 at 1:50 am


Lilly Sabri has recently launched a fitness app off the back of her hugely popular YouTube channel that's sitting at 3M subscribers and still growing. Offering personalised guides, meal plans that celebrate her love of food, and early access to her Lean branded products, the app already ticks a lot of boxes; but there's even more in store.

You can find out what Lilly has planned for the app, from live Q&As and workouts, and a community feature, in our Lean app interview. You can also catch up with her journey so far in our profile of the fitness influencer, but for now, let's dive into what the Lean app has to offer and what makes it so different from the plethora of other fitness apps on the market.

(Image credit: Lilly Sabri)

The Lean app is intended to be a place where users can get personalised workouts, meal plans, as well as a slew of other content. In addition to the workout guides which are determined by your answers to a few questions during setup, there are classes, warm-ups, activations, and cooldowns that you can mix and match however you like. You'll also find a Challenges section comprised of shorter workouts that can be swapped into your guides in place of the finishers.

The setup asks for your weight, how often you want to workout every week, how many meals you want to eat per day (between three and five), and four options for dietary restrictions: standard, pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan. You'll also be asked to pick your goal on a sliding scale, with 'fat loss & tone' on one end, and 'sculpt & build muscle' on the other', and 'tone and maintain' right in the middle. You can change these preferences at any time, which will affect your workout guide and meal plan.

The workouts themselves don't lose any of the personality and engagement that Lilly Sabri fans have become used to from her YouTube channel. Rather than gif-based workouts, the Lean app features real time workouts with everything that made Lilly so popular in the first place; from her dog Teddy sitting on the side or trying to get involved with workouts, to having her cheer you on as she battles through the workout alongside you.

In addition to the workouts, you'll find a physio section (Lilly's forte after graduating with a BCS in physiotherapy) that covers injury prevention and pain management, as well as a 'Learn Exercises' section to make sure your form is correct for things like deadlifts, side planks, and so on. As with the workouts, these are real time videos not just gifs.

There's an exhaustive nutrition section featuring both Lilly, and Lean nutritionist Alan Kenny, as well as a section on Lilly's Lean resistance and HIIT bands. The recipe section lets you browse all of the meal and snack ideas on the app, while the Habits tab is the app's mental health page, offering journaling and a habit tracker.

If that massive library of content wasn't enough, fans of the Lean with Lilly brand who have been eyeing up the Lean bands drops and new supplements in the Nourish and Glow range will get early access in the Store tab. While Lilly says the product drops won't be as limited or small as they have been previously, they're still incredibly popular with her followers, so getting a chance to grab them before they roll out for her social media followers is a big bonus for app users.

I'm actually blown away by the sheer amount of content in the app, and the commitment to not copping out with boring recipes or gif-based workouts which Lilly told us would have been the easy option.

Lilly's YouTube workouts are tough, but the Lean app workouts are gruelling by comparison, although you still have the option to customise the guides to some degree. Each day in your personalised plan is comprised of a warm up, activation, main workout, finisher, and cool down, but you can toggle the activation and finisher if you're short on time or feel you don't need them.

Nothing is lost in the transition from YouTube to the app, with the real time workouts offering the same level of enthusiasm and motivation you'll find on Lilly's channel. The guides run for four weeks, with off days designated based on your answers to the setup quiz, but thanks to the option to mark them as complete as you progress, you can still take it at your own pace.

I will note that the app isn't perfect at this stage; there are some teething issues and more tweaks to be done. For example, you can't switch out your rest days at the moment, and my guide got stuck on day five after I tried to manually swap out my rest day for a workout. The day-to-day workouts are now out of sync with the guide, and while I can go into the overarching guide section to pick the 'correct' day, it's a bit frustrating. Happily, Lilly says the ability to swap your off days around is on the way.

Music is a big part of Lilly's YouTube workouts and that hasn't been neglected in-app. As well as casting your workout to the TV, you can click on the Spotify or Apple Music icons to be taken to the respective apps to pick your soundtrack. The Spotify button will direct you to Lean with Lilly playlists for the respective exercises (pilates, cardio, and so on) but you can play whatever you like.

It's worth pointing out that you'll need an internet connection to play the videos, but being home workouts, that's not likely to present too much of an issue. If you plan on popping out to a park to indulge, you'll need to use your mobile data, so just bear that in mind.

If you love your food, the recipes and meal plan will not disappoint! From shakes, smoothies bowls, and snacks, to burgers, shakshuka, and malaysian coconut curry, the Lean app is brimming with absolutely mouth-watering recipes.

The library is a mix of mostly Lilly's own recipes (and those of her friends and family) and a la carte meals from the Lean chef which require a little more prep and ingredients. The latter category of meals is currently sitting at 15 total, but expect more recipes from both Lilly and her Lean chef.

Your plan will offer up designated recipes based on how many times a day you chose to eat, but if you're not happy with the selection, you can hit the shuffle icon and browse for alternatives. Unfortunately, this feature is scuppered for me. While less than 3% of users are experiencing bugs across both Android and iOS, a secondary issue appears to be a slower user experience for Huawei users. It's not affected the workout videos themselves, but when it comes to rejigging the meal plan, it's unresponsive for me.

I'm in the minority here though, and I can still browse the recipes. It's not ideal, given the full experience of the plan is being missed in terms of meal planning, but Lilly says the development team is looking into how they can speed up functionality for Huawei users. The experience will be significantly smoother and less irksome if you're using something other than a Huawei handset that's packing more RAM.

The shopping list functionality is particularly handy. You can view your list for 'today' and the week as whole, with a toggle on the week tab that lets you split your shopping list by the day.

If it wasn't for my phone's impact on this portion of the app, I'd be a lot more enthused about it. But going by the range of recipes as a whole, foodies will be in heaven! And of course, there's the option to toggle macros on and off if you're rather not see that info and just enjoy your food, knowing that you're eating what you need in order to achieve your aesthetic goal while enjoying every mouthful.

Mental health was a big aspect of the Lean app. The macros toggle is intended to avoid triggers for people with disordered eating, while the dedicated Habits section allows user to journal and track their habits.

You can enter a habit name which will offer ideas in a drop down based on your input. You can then set its frequency either daily, or weekly and how often you intend to keep it up within that timeframe. Customisable push notifications will help encourage you, and you can allocate colours to spruce up your page.

The journal feature has a text and image component, and while the habits are visible on the tab, the journal entries are tucked away under the 'My Journal' section so as not to flood the main tab.

I prefer pen and paper over typing my thoughts into an app, but if you've transcended beyond the need for such primitive tools, this section is a nice way to document your fitness journey. Personally, it's not for me.

Lilly has mentioned a community features so if there's some kind of integration for that aspect in this tab, that might make it more appealing for the existing community who are very vocal and supportive of one another on social media.

All in all, the Lean app goes above and beyond the standard expectations of a fitness app. It could easily have gone down a less complicated route with regards to the workouts and recipes. But by ensuring that it captures the essence of what made Lilly resonate with so many people to begin with, it knocks it out of the park.

The ever-evolving nature of it, and the nature of the promised content to come make it incredible value for money, as well as bringing the community feature that the Familia have fostered on social media.

I haven't even managed to explore all of the existing content yet, and knowing there's more being added completely justifies the the 9.99 monthly subscription cost. Lilly has designs on making it an engaging forum where fans can connect with professionals and each other, as well as developing a positive relationship with food alongside their workouts.

Of course, there's always the free workouts on YouTube, but the Lean app offers real value over and above the free content. If you're looking for real time workouts that will keep you feeling motivated and encouraged, a huge library of recipes that celebrate food, and tons of extra content besides, you should give the Lean app a whirl.

The Lean app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play with three subscription models available. You can pay $13.99/ 9.99 / AU$17.99 / 10.99 for a monthly subscription, $33.99 / 24.49 / AU$43.99 / 27.99 for quarterly billing and a saving of 15%, or $111.99 / 79.99 / AU$144.99 / 91.99for an annual membership plus seven day free trial that offers a saving of 33%.

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I tried Lilly Sabri's Lean fitness app and I love it - T3

Hatha Yoga and other upcoming fitness events around Houston – Houston Chronicle

Posted: at 1:50 am


Camp Gladiator trainers will lead a 1-, 3- and 5-mile community run at CityPlace. Open to the public, no sign up required. 6 p.m. July 29; CityPlace, 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring; cityplacenow.com.

Hatha Yoga

A vinyasa yoga class, led by Andria Dugas, for enhanced awareness and a strong, healthy body. 9-10 a.m. July 31; Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney; discoverygreen.com.

Zumba by Tiny Fitness

This hour-long Zumba class will have you grooving, shaking and toning to salsa, hip-hop, samba and bhangra beats. Open to all fitness levels, no equipment necessary. 9-10 a.m. Aug. 1; Levy Park, 3801 Eastside; levyparkhouston.org.

Barre in the Park

A full-body workout, focused on low-impact, high-intensity movements that lift and tone muscles to improve strength, agility and flexibility. All fitness levels are welcome. 6-7 p.m. Aug. 3; Evelyns Park, 4400 Bellaire; evelynspark.org.

ana.khan@chron.com

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Hatha Yoga and other upcoming fitness events around Houston - Houston Chronicle

Kids’ grip strength is improving, but other measures of muscle fitness are getting worse – The Cambridge News

Posted: at 1:50 am


(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) Physical fitness in kids refers to their ability to perform physical activity. Their fitness level is not only important for success in sports and athletics, but also for good health.

Aerobic fitness the ability to supply oxygen to the bodys big muscles during continuous physical activities, such as running, biking or swimming has long been known as important to health in kids as well as adults. Muscle fitness refers to the ability of the muscles to produce force maximally, quickly and repeatedly otherwise known as strength, power and endurance.

Research on the health benefits of muscle fitness for children and adolescents has increased significantly in the past decade. One systematic review of this research found that low muscle fitness was associated with high body fat, poor bone health and low self-esteem, as well as a high risk of developing heart disease in later life.

We are a professor of kinesiology and an epidemiologist who conduct research that focuses on physical fitness and health. In 2019, our research team published a study that compiled more than 30 years of aerobic fitness data on 1 million kids from 19 high- and upper-middle-income countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States. We found that the aerobic fitness of kids in these countries significantly declined from 1981 to about 2000, with little change ever since.

This research got us wondering: Has kids muscle fitness also declined? So we decided to take a look at that as well.

The muscle fitness of todays kids

Our research team reviewed hundreds of studies. They contained decades of data on the muscle fitness of tens of millions of kids aged 9 to 17 years, mostly from high- and upper-middle-income countries. We focused on the measurements of grip strength, standing long jump for leg power and sit-ups for abdominal endurance, because these are the most common ways researchers worldwide measure kids muscle fitness.

So it appears that todays kids have better grip strength than their parents and grandparents had when they were kids. Their leg power and abdominal endurance is better than what their grandparents had, but the same or worse than their parents.

To explain these findings, our research team looked at several national trends in each country, including trends in muscle fitness, physical activity levels, body size and income inequality.

We found no significant links between muscle fitness trends and trends in either body size or income inequality. But our research showed that countries with the largest declines in physical activity levels also had the largest declines in leg power and abdominal endurance. For example, physical activity levels and abdominal endurance have recently declined in kids from Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. On the other hand, both have recently increased in kids from Poland, Slovenia and Spain.

This suggests that kids muscle fitness might be improved by increasing their physical activity levels, like when achieving the U.S. governments recommended physical activity guidelines. For school-aged children and adolescents, they include doing 60 minutes or more a day of moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activities, along with muscle and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week.

This is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, because lockdowns appear to have dramatically reduced kids fitness levels. For instance, Slovenian kids fitness levels dropped by 13% to a 30-year low after only two months of self-isolation.

Kids get diverse benefits from muscle fitness

A growing amount of research suggests that kids of all ages can benefit from properly supervised resistance training. A recent review of studies on resistance training among children and adolescents found that it improves muscle fitness, body composition, sports performance, self-confidence and self-esteem. Building muscle fitness requires at least three sessions a week lasting more than 30 minutes and steady increases in weight.

Although there may be fears among parents that such activities are unsafe for growing children, research also shows that participation in a properly supervised resistance training program does not stunt kids growth or damage developing growth plates.

Improving muscle fitness makes it easier for any kid to move and lift things and play sports. Our research suggests that resistance training may especially benefit overweight and obese adolescents who may be unwilling or unable to perform aerobic activities. In a different study we published in 2014, we found that six months of supervised resistance training made overweight and obese adolescent boys stronger and more confident about exercising.

What can kids do to improve their muscle fitness?

Muscles get bigger and stronger from doing weight-bearing or resistance physical activities. These are exercises that cause a muscle or a group of muscles to contract against an external resistance, such as a barbell, exercise band or ones own body weight.

[Over 100,000 readers rely on The Conversations newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]

Although often performed in a gym, resistance training can be performed anywhere using different activities and equipment. Jumping, climbing on playground equipment, push-ups, squats, lifting weights and yoga are all weight-bearing activities.

As their muscle fitness improves, kids can try increasing the time or difficulty of their favorite physical activity, or doing activities more often.

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Kids' grip strength is improving, but other measures of muscle fitness are getting worse - The Cambridge News

How Having No Time and Two Kids Inspired This Fitness Entrepreneur to Launch Her Own Business – Entrepreneur

Posted: at 1:50 am


Jennifer Jacobs details the launch and growth of the J Method.

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July30, 20214 min read

In thisongoing series, we are sharing advice, tipsand insights fromreal entrepreneurswho are out there doingbusinessbattle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Who are you and whats your business?

I am Jennifer Jacobs, CEO and founder of the J METHOD, and the newest Super Trainer of Beachbody.The J METHOD is not just a workout program, it is a mindset to resist your limits and unleash your best self.The J METHOD teaches you to train with a purpose towards your goals by improving movement, developing balance, redefining strength, and optimizing nutrition through a functional training approach.The J METHOD is an efficient and effective way to train less, gain more and train anytime, anywhere.

Related:How These Teen Sisters Make $20 Million a Year in the Beauty Biz

What inspired you to create it? What was your "aha moment"?

I created the J METHOD out of a personal need to improve my own fitness and health after having my two children and in response to a growing demand for personal training clients.As a mom of two small children, I didnt always have time to go to the gym, and I didnt always have a lot of time in general.I needed to figure out an effective and efficient way to train myself.

What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?

I was training most of my clients virtually online via streaming for many years prior to 2020.In fact, even before companies thought of using virtual streaming as a way to reach people, I was training my clients via Skype.With the changes in 2020 when many people were forced to figure things out and go virtual, I was already there!I did plan to have several in-person events in various cities across the country in 2020, but that obviously had to be put on hold.A large part of what I do, and a large part of my why is helping people to live a healthy lifestyle, so I had to think of other ways to connect even more with my community such as conducting live events or discussions around nutrition and fitness through social media and other electronic platforms such as Zoom.

Related:Being an Entrepreneur Is All About Punching Today in the Face, Says This Co-Founder

What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?

There are always the traditional ways people look for funding, but it sometimes is always in a place where you will least expect it and through someone you never thought of. So always lean into your network and work on expanding your network because you never know who someone may know and who may be interested.

What does the word entrepreneur mean to you?

The willingness to believe in yourself, what you want to achieve and putting in the hard work to make it happen.Being creative, innovative, thinking outside the box and willing to take risks.

What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don't?

A completely well-thought-out plan.If you have an idea, try it out and see if it sticks.And if it doesnt, know that it is okay.Pick yourself back up and try again.It doesnt mean you failed, it just means you learned something and that always makes you better for the next time around.

Related:Never Underestimate the Value of What You Have to Offer, Says This Entrepreneur

Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?

Yes, it is something I have been saying for years The sky is not the limit its just the view.Its a new vantage point to see yourself more clearly and to climb even higher.Its a reminder that as long as we keep believing in ourselves and open up our minds to greater possibilities things can truly be limitless.

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How Having No Time and Two Kids Inspired This Fitness Entrepreneur to Launch Her Own Business - Entrepreneur

Life Insurers Are Promising Discounts if You Let Them Track How You Exercise and Eat – MONEY

Posted: at 1:50 am


For years, health insurance plans have been offering perks like a Fitbit or free gym membership as a reward for working out. Now life insurance companies are increasingly getting into the game.

The trend to what might be called insurefitness began about five years ago, when John Hancock launched its VitalityPLUS plan, which allows you to earn up to a 25% discount on premiums. Now online broker Health IQ says it also offers such breaks to its healthiest applicants. Sproutt, another such broker, says it will soon launch policies that provide up to a 20% benefit for fitness activity, either through a discount on premiums or a free increase in death benefit.

Apart from the benefits to policyholders, the programs make good business sense, says John Hancock chief executive Brooks Tingle. Theyre the life insurance equivalent of good-driver discounts on car policies a reward to the customers who embody less risky behavior. And many more insurers will soon be joining in, says Jonathan Godsall, a partner at McKinsey & Company. He sees incentives for healthy living as the most important trend in life insurance in at least a decade, and predicts industry-wide adoption of fitness and healthy behavior as a ratings factor within three to five years.

Even if your insurer doesnt have such a program yet, theres value in knowing how the current incentives work and how the growth of insurefitness might benefit you, now or in future.

Activity-based life insurance programs require sharing more information with your insurer than the usual medical data or exam specifically, details about your exercise, eating and sleeping habits, either self-reported or via such wearable monitoring devices as Fitbits and Amazon Halos.

The experts we contacted for this story all reported a high level of comfort among customers with such sharing, especially when there are incentives to do so. And when data must be self-reported people tend strongly to tell the truth, says Sproutt chief executive Assaf Henkin in part, he says, because they may know the importance of accuracy when applying for life insurance, since fudging on the facts can complicate things later.

Here are details on three of the major programs:

Tingle correctly describes his companys plan as a frequent flier program for life insurance, but with rewards for healthy behavior rather than miles flown or dollars spent with an airline. All John Hancock customers have the option to automatically enroll in the Vitality GO program for free at the basic Bronze membership level. That allows points to be earned for workouts and other positive behaviors, data on which is mostly fed automatically to the insurer via the Vitality app. So, as examples, you can earn 10 Vitality points a day for walking 5,000 steps and 30 points for completing a 30-minute workout at home or in a gym.

Earning 3,000 points grants an upgrade to VitalityPLUS. (That perk also comes free if you have a term policy with Hancock, or for $3 a month extra if you hold a permanent policy.) You can then enjoy such discounts as 25% off healthy foods at thousands of grocery stores, Tingle says, and be eligible for premium discounts. Being upgraded to Silver through your healthy behavior might cut your premiums by 5% to 7%, he says, while earning Gold status increases the discount to more like 10%, and achieving Platinum status entitles you to up to 25% off.

Tingle says the programs most rewarded members arent really triathletes and the like. Instead, he says, theyre more like average people who are less healthy when they start the program and then take measures to improve their health, such as quitting smoking or losing weight in order to better control their diabetes.

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Sproutt now uses self-reported data on your fitness activities, eating habits and more to help complete a pre-approval process that Henkin says helps the broker pitch and match customers to insurers, using information beyond what is typically asked when applying for life insurance to get better rates for applicants.

But within a few months, says Henkin, Sproutt plans to unveil its own policies, underwritten by major re-insurers, that will incorporate ongoing fitness data into policy pricing and coverage. Henkin says benefits from healthy behaviors could either cut premiums or increase the policys death benefit. Lets say you qualify for a $1 million benefit under the other factors, and pay 100 bucks a month. Because youre fitter than most, we might increase that benefit to $1.2 million but still charge you only the $100.

We have less detail on Health IQs offerings than those of the others, since the company did not respond to an information request a situation some other media outlets who have contacted the online broker have also reported.

But the Health IQ website suggests the company delivers discounts to its customers of up to 8% for displaying health literacy, plus potentially up to an additional 9% for having an active lifestyle. Further discounts of up to 24% are awarded, the company claims, through reclassifying applicants into more favorable risk categories based on their health knowledge and fitness activity.

Obviously, the programs weve profiled are intriguing options if youre shopping for life insurance and also plan or at least aspire to initiate or continue healthy habits in your life. The prospect of lowering the cost of insurance by taking better care of yourself may even provide added incentive to take steps youve wanted to take for a while. You can kick the tires of the Sproutt program by completing the companys online healthy living questionnaire, which will yield a Quality of Life Index that allows you to see which health and fitness factors are helping and hurting your eligibility for insurance.

When insurefitness programs come to your life insurer, says Godsall, theyll almost certainly utilize devices such a wearable monitors, together with either existing fitness apps or new ones the insurers develop. So the likely arrival of such programs could be further incentive, too, to begin using such devices and apps now to track your activity and encourage you to exercise more.

A proper life insurance policy will protect your loved ones from the unexpected.

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Life Insurers Are Promising Discounts if You Let Them Track How You Exercise and Eat - MONEY

Zion Williamson Caught Sliding Into Fitness Model’s DM: ‘Do You Still Want To Link?’ – Fadeaway World

Posted: at 1:50 am


Zion Williamson was apparently exposed, trying to get the attention of a fitness Instagram model. The New Orleans Pelicans young star is trying to live his life, shooting his shot with beautiful girls on social media.

Recently, one fitness model showed some Zion messages on Snapchat, with the sophomore asking her if she wanted to link up. This video is very short, but that didn't matter for fans who made it viral. Now, everybody is talking about Williamson's adventures on the internet.

The lady in question, Morgan Davis, made it clear that she didn't expose Zion. Instead, she blamed her brother for trying to get attention with a Tik Tok video.

It's not surprising to see this nowadays. When you talk about a high-profile name like Williamson, you know people will pay attention. However, the player received the fans' support, diminishing the whole situation and making jokes about it.

This is not confirmed, though. Some say Zion's bitmoji is different on Snapchat, which makes the situation even weirder. The Pelican starred in a similar situation two years ago, trying to get into his bedroom.

Morgan is a pretty good girl and it's likely that somehow she caught Zion's attention. Still, this situation got out of control really quickly.

While other people try to bash him, Zion is getting ready for the 2021/22 NBA season. His Pelicans will try to finally make the playoff after a couple of rocky campaigns. Williamson will try to bring some help and make it to the big party in a stacked Western Conference.

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Zion Williamson Caught Sliding Into Fitness Model's DM: 'Do You Still Want To Link?' - Fadeaway World

Dancing improves cholesterol and fitness in postmenopausal women – Open Access Government

Posted: at 1:50 am


Postmenopausal women are susceptible to weight gain, overall/central body adiposity increases, and metabolic disturbances, which together, increases cardiovascular risk.

At the same time, postmenopausal women are often less physically active and as a result, often suffer from decreased self-image and self-esteem.

A new study, designed to analyse the effects of dance practice on body composition, metabolic profile, functional fitness, and self-image/self-esteem, has found credible benefits of a three-times-weekly dance regimen.

Dance therapy was found to not only improve the lipid profile and functional fitness but also self-image and self-esteem.

Dancing is also known to improve balance, postural control, gait, strength, and overall physical performance.

Dr Stephanie Faubion, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) medical director said: This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem. In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of comradery from the shared experience of learning something new.

The full study has been published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

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Dancing improves cholesterol and fitness in postmenopausal women - Open Access Government

Male diet affects female fitness and sperm competition in human- and bat-associated lineages of the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius | Scientific…

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I tried the three most popular cheap fitness trackers on Amazon. My verdict? You get what you pay for – T3

Posted: at 1:50 am


I knew it'd come to this. T3 lured me in with the idea of being able to test all the best running watches and best fitness trackers but it was only a matter of time before the bait-and-switch happened. And the time came when I was asked: 'Matt, would you want to test and review the three best-selling Amazon fitness trackers?'

I, gullibly, agreed and took on the not-so-noble task of analysing fitness wearables that cost less than a large takeaway pizza. As matter of fact, the price of the three trackers in question combined costs less than a Fitbit Inspire 2, and that's not even the best Fitbit.

After a few weeks of testing the finest Letscom and Teminicer have to offer, I think I have a firm understanding of what people would be up against, should they decide to buy these fitness bands. Without spoiling my verdict too much, I hope no one buys these trackers expecting to have their minds blown. Sure, the Teminice band has a4.3-star rating (out of 5) on Amazon, based on almost 21,000 reviews, but that says more about the reliability of Amazon reviews than the tracker itself...

Nevertheless, it would unfair of me to just say 'these fitness trackers are awful' so I'm not going to do that. But should you buy any of them if you want to improve your fitness level or track everyday activity? Without further ado, let's see how these fitness band perform.

(Image credit: Future)

Price: Currently sold out but was 25

Stats: TFT LCD colour screen, 210 mAh Li battery, charging time 3 hours

The Letscom Smart Watch ID205L is a Fitbit Versa 3-esque fitness watch that comes in an Apple Watch-like box. It's the best looking of the tested fitness trackers, although it does feel cheap on your wrist very plasticky and is far from being the most competent fitness band I've ever tried.

On the positive side, the Letscom Smart Watch ID205L has a functioning and bright touchscreen that's not too laggy either: good start. The actual display is a lot smaller than the watch face bezel lovers will be in heaven but not so small that you can't work out what's going on.You can kind-of make out the edges of the display on the picture above.

The button on the side of the watch looks like an Apple Watch-style crown but it's actually just a button: it can only be pressed, not turned. Since this a touch-enabled device, it's not likely you will use the button too much so it's not a great loss. The strap is soft but doesn't radiate quality, which is not surprising, given the low price point: some (a lot of) corners were obviously cut.

The heart rate sensor at the back of the Letscom Smart Watch ID205L is the same as the ones on the fitness bands below but rotated 90 degrees. Heart rate average was not terribly off during runs although it just showed me a flat 90 bpm when doing strength workouts. It's cool that this watch has multiple smart modes, but it's not much use if the sensor doesn't work in some of them.

(Image credit: Future)

The Letscom Smart Watch ID205L has connected GPS and it takes a while for the fitness tracker to connect to the phone and, naturally, drains the battery more. General accuracy for distance and speed isn't terrible, but the VeryFitPro app see below is not the greatest when it comes to analysing your runs. There are a few activity summary widgets available on the watch including steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled.

The battery life is not bad. I wasn't using the watch excessively but I didn't usually have to charge it more than once a week. If you use the GPS or keep the screen on often it falls off, however.

The sleep tracking feature on the Letscom Smart Watch ID205L wasn't too bad either, although the data collected from it does not appear in the VeryFitPro app, so you can't easily see how it changes and develops over time.

Additional functionality here includes a relax timer, general timer and music controls all very basic. My favourite bit was the question the watch asked me when I aborted a relax session: "Confirm the end of this relax?" Sure.

In conclusion, the Letscom Smart Watch ID205L isn't a terrible fitness wearable but it's still far from being something I'd recommend to people.

Interestingly, this watch like the other two reviewed here are currently sold out. This might seem like a problem, but it's not, because if you look on its Amazon page you will see a load more watches that appear to be almost exactly the same as it. Hmm.

Left: VeryFitPro workout summary, right: Coros App workout summary

(Image credit: Future)

Letscom Smart Watch ID205L uses the amusingly named VeryFitPro to store your stats and let you choose your settings. Conveniently, VeryFitPro also does the same thing on the other Letscom tracker and on the Terminice one, so all my comments here apply to all three devices.

Companion apps are almost as important as the fitness wearables themselves and the VeryFitPro app is on par with the trackers in terms of performance. And what I mean by that is that it's pretty basic.

Just like the bands, the main appeal of the VeryFitPro app is that it's super simple. The home page displays your daily stats activities, sleep and heart rate while the 'Details' page provides an overview of the same stats but for a longer period week, month, year. You can change wearable settings on the 'Device' page and set targets/change personal info on the 'User' page.

Compared to other companion apps such as those from Fitbit, Garmin and Coros, you miss out on a lot clarity that might help you better understand your health stats. I couldn't find a way to analyse older data in a meaningful way. You can't check previous sleep data either.

There is also no extra content around anything in the VeryFitPro app no blog, workouts, or explainers nor is there a community to interact with. There is no gamification in the VeryFitPro either: you can't collect badges and unlock different trophies by hitting certain milestones.

(Image credit: Future)

Another thing I found 'interesting' was the fact that the watch was tracking and displaying heart rate in the app even when I wasn't actually wearing the watch. The screenshot above was taken with the watch sitting on the table in front of me, measuring the heart rate of the air.

You can't expect VeryFitPro to show you much data, considering the wearables themselves don't collect that much information in the first place.You miss out on things such as stress tracking, SpO2 level monitoring, advanced sleep tracking, different workout modes, all of which are offered by more advanced/expensive bands.

These all add to the overall fitness wearable experience, especially if your goal is to improve your health and fitness level. The Letscom and Terminice wearables I tried out aren't amazing in their own right, but they are still let down by this app.

The green lights of the optical heart rate sensor often flashes up, even when the tracker isn't on the wrist

(Image credit: Future)

Price: Currently sold out but was 20

Stats: 0.96-inch TFT-LCD screen, 90mAh Li battery, charing time 2 hours

It's true that when compared to more capable bands, such as the Honor Band 6 or the Garmin Venu 2, the Letscom Tracker ID152 performance is less than stellar, but this fitness tracker is not completely without merits.

For one, it has an 'up to' 10 days battery life, probably helped by the smallish display and It's also pretty lightweight, not to mention it has an IP68 water rated case. The user interface is simple but perhaps a bit too simple, particularly if you've ever tried a more expensive fitness tracker before.

The Letscom Tracker ID152 is not a touchscreen wearable, unlike more illustrious fitness trackers: there is only one capacitive touch button under the display. The only way to interact with the fitness band is to short/long press this sad little button. No swiping, people!

Tapping the button once will cycle through the basic menu options, long pressing it will start/finish workouts: that's it. The widget views available on the tracker are: watch face, step counter, heart rate, walk (sport mode), run (sport mode), bike (sport mode), stopwatch and... that's it.

Twin towers: Letscom Tracker ID152 vs Teminice Fitness Tracker ID152

(Image credit: Future)

I couldn't find a way to change any setting on the watch or to check old activity data either, such as run history etc. There is no way of turning the tracker off either, surprisingly.

Speaking of running: during the run workout test, the average heart rate reading from the Letscom Tracker ID152 wasn't far off from the one gathered from the COROS Pace 2, the latter which is an accurate running watch in my experience. Better still, both heart rate graphs looked kind-of similar: not too shabby!

The Letscom Tracker ID152 has no built-in GPS but it can connect to your phone's GPS in a similar way to older Fitbits do. However, when running without the phone, I found that the pace and distance data were waaaaaay off, which is to be expected, considering the price.

Another thing I noticed is that the workout data fields e.g. current heart rate are way too small to read when you're working out, especially outdoors. The lack of screen contrast doesn't help either when trying to work out what's going on the fitness tracker during exercising.

For reference, take a look at the image at the top of the page: you can hardly read the display and it wasn't even a very sunny day when I took that photo. My face resembled that of Ken Jeong's on that tiny text gif when trying to read my real-time stats during running.

Left: Letscom Tracker ID152, right: Teminice Fitness Tracker ID152 (or is it the other way around?)

(Image credit: Future)

Price: Sold out but was 23

Stats: 0.96-inch TFT-LCD screen, 90mAh Li battery, charing time 2 hours

Being fairly unfamiliar with the world of cheap trackers on Amazon, I was a bit taken aback to discover the Teminice Fitness Tracker ID152 and the Letscom Tracker ID152 are literally the same device. They look the same, use the same app and just are the same thing. So everything I just said about the Letscom Tracker ID152 applies to the Teminice Fitness Tracker ID152. Perhaps I should have known this as the 'ID' number on both bands is the same.

The only difference, then, is price: the Teminice model is more expensive, or at least it was since, again, you can't actually buy the Letscom tracker at the moment. These were the top 3 best-selling fitness trackers on Amazon when we bought them, and now they're unavailable. Although you can console yourself with the fact that Teminice is now selling a very similar fitness tracker with no number at all. As with the Letscom watch there are also devices that look uncannily to the ID152 from various other brands you've never heard of.

As expected, when you pay very little money for your fitness tracker, you get a cheap fitness tracker experience. Sure, not everyone needs a Garmin Forerunner 945 or a Polar Vantage V2 but there are less expensive fitness trackers available on the market today that provide a way more accurate and enjoyable fitness wearable experience.

Although admittedly they're not as insanely inexpensive as the ones looked at here, the Amazfit GTS 2e, Huawei Band 6 or the best cheap Fitbits cost under 100 and are much better watches with far better apps. The wider ecosystems and ever-growing communities of more expensive fitness watch brands really help motivate you more to keep getting and staying fit and healthy.

I worry that these cheapo fitness trackers will end up in landfill sooner rather than later, both because users are likely to get fed up of them and because their sheer cheapness is likely to lower their longevity on average. The carbon footprint of manufacturing and shipping these wearables must be significant, especially given they probably won't be used much.

So buying one means bringing about the demise of the planet a little faster, without even giving you the improved fitness you'll need to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

My advice is to do yourself and the planet a favour by getting a decent fitness tracker or running watch. Yes it'll cost more than 20 but it will help you reach your fitness goals in a meaningful way and should last for years to come, whilst getting new software upgrades and features along the way.

Today's best prices on the best current Fitbit fitness trackers in our order of preference

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I tried the three most popular cheap fitness trackers on Amazon. My verdict? You get what you pay for - T3

Fitness planner: How to run faster, and top your personal best – Moneycontrol.com

Posted: at 1:50 am


To do hill repeats, quickly run 400-800 meters up a mildly challenging hill. Jog down. Repeat four to six times.

The need for speed is very real in the world of distance running. While its a professional hazard for the elite athletes, recreational runners usually want to get faster in search of a personal best or as a sign of improvement once they have achieved the distance goals they set for themselves.

There are plenty of workouts that can help you get faster and the good news is that you dont have to do them all. And, the bad news is no one speed workout is going to help you log any significant improvement, so you will need a combination of workouts. If you have a coach, they would take care of the planning but if you dont have one, try out various combinations till you figure out which works best for you.

You will begin to notice initial results as early as four to six weeks once you include speed work in your training plan. But, like with everything involved in long distance running, the process takes time and you will need to be patient for four to six months to notice sustained and significant improvement.

Hill training

Training in the high altitudes and hills improves strength and endurance. The long runs at a higher altitude help build your endurance while the hill training runs help build strength, says Amrish Kumar, coach to several of Indias Olympics runners.

Hill repeats are a very challenging yet rewarding workout for runners looking to get faster as it helps build strength, which is key to gaining speed. In hill repeats, you choose a mildly challenging slope with anything between 400m to 800m of uphill run. Run up at your best pace and then jog back. Repeat this workout four to six times. In case you are in a city, you could do the exact same workout by choosing a safe and convenient flyover before the traffic builds up (remember to take safety measures likewearing reflective clothing or putting reflectivetape on your clothes).

Tempo runs

One way to become fast is to train fast, says Tanvir Kazmi, founder of the 100 Days of Running challenge. It might sound simple, but it works. Running at a faster tempo on certain days works, he says.

Tempo runs require you to cover middle to long distances or run for a pre-decided time period, whilegradually increasingyour pace tillyou feel your lungsarebursting and then sustainingthat pace over time.

A typical 40-minute tempo run begins with 10-15 minutes of easy running, accelerating to somewhere about 5km race pace for 10-20 minutes with a peak near the middle, then slowing down slightly for the last 5-10 minutes of your run, suggests Kazmi. Going by distance, a 8km tempo run would have you run the first 2km to 2.5km at an easy pace gradually hitting your 5km race pace and sustaining till the 6km mark and then slowing down slightly for the last 2km of the run.

Interval training

By alternating between easy and high intensity, interval training works both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems of the runners body, Susheel Chand, running coach at Life of Tri, a triathlon coaching start-up in Bengaluru.

The most common examples of interval training are Fartlek and Yasso Loops.

In Fartlek, you run fast for a minute and then run slow for a minute. If you are starting out, attempt 10 Fartlek intervals, so 20 minutes in all and then increase the intervals to 15 and 20 over time.

Yasso loops involve running 800m at a fast pace followed by 400m run at a recovery pace. A typical workout session for beginners would involve doing four Yasso loops.

As you get used to interval training, the pace of both the fast and recovery runs ought to go up for both Fartlek and Yasso loops.

Have a go at LSD

It sounds contrarian, but to get faster you need to start running slow but for longer distances. The Long Slow Drag or LSD requires you to run longer distances, at times longer than your race, but at a pace slower than your race pace. This is the one workout you cannot skip as a distance runner who wants to improve. Chand suggests increasing the weekly mileage gradually and consistently; this builds your foundation for distance running and slow runs should make up 70-80% of your total run volume.

The long runs help build your endurance base and improve VO2Max, which is the bodys capability of absorbing oxygen during exercise, says Kumar. The higher the VO2Max, the better would be ones performance. A strong endurance base and high VO2Max helps improve speed.

Mile/Kilometre repeats

The mile/kilometre repeat requires you to run as fast as you can over a mile or a kilometer. Immediately after that you slow down to a recovery run for a pre-planned period of time anything from 90 seconds to four minutes, depending on your conditioningand then head out for another kilometre or mile as fast as you can. If you haven't done these repeats before, start with 2 x 1km repeats with a 2-minute recovery period in between and gradually move up to six repeats as you progress in your training.

Prep the body for speed

Thebody needs a bit of preparation to handle the additional stress of running at faster speeds. You need to strengthen your musculoskeletal system so that it can generate more force and withstand higher loading at every step, says Chand.

Doing specific strength and conditioning and plyometric workouts helps prepare your body for the extra workload, he adds.

Link:
Fitness planner: How to run faster, and top your personal best - Moneycontrol.com

Life Time will eliminate plastic water bottles at its fitness clubs by Labor Day – Bring Me The News

Posted: at 1:50 am


Life Time

Chanhassen-based fitness club chain Life Time will stop selling plastic water bottles at its locations starting on Labor Day, the company announced Friday.

Chanhassen-based Life Time will replace the plastic bottles at more than 150 locations in North America withaluminumbottles, according to the announcement, in the process eliminating the sale of more than 1.6 million plastic bottles of water annually.

The company cited statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency that state less than 10% of plastic bottles in the U.S. end up recycled, while more than half of aluminum bottles are recycled.

"Environmental stewardship is something we're deeply focused on at Life Time in keeping with our healthy people, healthy planet, healthy way of life philosophy," Life Time CEO Bahram Akradi said in a statement.

"As part of this journey, we'll continue eliminating single-use plastics from our destinations, while remaining focused on energy use reduction through the healthy design and operation of our Life Time athletic resorts."

In addition to eliminating plastic bottles, Life Time will also offer swimsuit bags made from recycled ocean plastic in its locker rooms, paper mouthwash cups, cotton swabs made without plastic and compostable containers and cutlery at its cafes.

In April, the company announced its sustainability goals over the next five years, including plans to reduce gas and electric consumption by 20%, and water consumption by 40%.

If you're looking to be more eco-friendly, Ecowatch.com suggests getting a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic and metal waste. You can find its suggested products here.

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Life Time will eliminate plastic water bottles at its fitness clubs by Labor Day - Bring Me The News

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