This year, fitness manufacturers are focusing on tracking your progress through the cool looking fitness gadgets. Have they run out of ideas for new exercise tools or just taking a break? Who knows, but one thing is sure, we have been introduced to more than enough fitness equipment over the years and are in a desperate need to keep track of our fitness activities.
Within just a few months, the market got flooded with the funky little gadgets that would track anything from the distances you walk to your sleep patterns. The options are endless; FitBit Flex, MIO Alpha, Nike+ FuelBand and Misfit Shine are just to name a few. But aside from just tracking, these devices play a much bigger role in one’s fitness journey.
1) Develop Better Habits. Deciding to lead a healthy lifestyle means replacing your unhealthy habits for healthy ones, which requires constant motivation. You can get a great deal of guidance from your personal trainer and motivation in your boot camp class, but what happens during the hours when you are not around the gym? Getting in shape is not a one-hour-a-day endeavour, you should be working on yourself 24/7. Fitness tracking devices nudge you towards being more active on a daily basis.
2) Provide Constant Feedback. Getting immediate positive feedback is the most effective way to form a habit. Any FitBit or FuelBand is able to tell you how many steps you have left to reach your daily goal and congratulate you when you do. Immediate feedback reinforces behavior, and eventually forms habits. And healthy habits lead to a healthy lifestyle.
3) Set Goals. It’s great if you have joined a boot camp and started to eat healthier, but you also should know exactly why you are doing all this for. It is important to have a clear goal that you are working towards and track your progress to see how close you are to achieving it. Fitness trackers will help you to set goals and make daily changes in your routine.
4) Social Aspect. It is much harder to make progress, when you are alone than it is when you have a strong support system. We always compare ourselves to others, this is just the way our brains are wired and when we have a network of friends that are doing the same thing as us, we are never alone on our fitness journey. In fact, exercising and eating healthy becomes more fun when we try to beat our friends at it!
Tracking everything you do at the gym and in the kitchen is an amazing way to break through plateaus and get better results, in general. Fitness trackers do just that and they will also make you look like a pro – kind of like an athletic jewelry.
But before I tell you about it, I want you to read the following disclaimer that applies to all supplements. Here we go:
“Do you want to lose the stubborn belly fat without exercising and eating healthy, just by taking one pill a day? If you answered yes, then this supplement is NOT for you. Yes, there are supplements that will HELP you achieve your goals, but that’s all that supplements do – they supplement healthy nutritional habits and vigorous exercise. If supplements actually did what their manufacturers professed, then they would be called wonder-ments.”
So no, there is no supplement that burns fat, but there are supplements that HELP you do that, when all the other elements of fitness (healthy diet, regular exercise, balanced lifestyle and stress reduction techniques) are present.
One of the few supplements I trust is Rhodiola Rosea (commonly known as just Rhodiola). This plant is commonly found in Asia and Eastern Europe and grows at high altitudes. It has been known to increase brain function and increase athletic performance for years (yay! You will be able to do algebra during your workouts!). But, what is more exciting, is that Rhodiola belongs to a group of plants called adaptogens. Adaptogens reduce stress in the human body and Rhodiola is one of the most effective ones!
Elevation of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline has unfortunately become a common part of our busy lives. When these hormones are elevated for long periods of time, the body starts storing energy in the form of fat “just in case” to conserve as much calories as possible. This is our body’s protective mechanism and there is no other way around it but finding an effective technique to reduce stress.
Rhodiola is great at ridding the body of belly fat, as it reduces cortisol and adrenaline. Furthermore, Rhodiola contains a compound called Rosavin, which triggers hormone-sensitive lipase, an enzyme that helps breaking down the fat in the stomach area. This, along with the stress reducing properties, makes Rhodiola a unique and effective supplement that will help you burn belly fat effectively!
- Zakir Ramazanov, Z. et al. (1999) “New secrets of effective natural stress and weight management, using Rhodiola rosea and Rhodendron caucasicum” ATN/Safe Goods Publishing, CT.
- De Bock K, Eijnde BO, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307.
- Abidov M, Crendal F, Grachev S, Seifulla R, Ziegenfuss T. Effect of extracts from Rhodiola rosea and Rhodiola crenulata (Crassulaceae) roots on ATP content in mitochondria of skeletal muscles. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2003 Dec;136(6):585-7.