53 and In The Best Shape of My Life

Hi I’m Greg and I’m 53 yrs old. I have 3 adult children and 5 Grand Kids with #6 due in September 2012! I am a Materials Manager, which lends itself to a very sedentary work environment, not only that but there have been many lunch and dinner opportunities as well. I bit too many…

In my early 30’s I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on medications to control it. In my early 40’s I was told I was Insulin Intolerant and would need to start on medications for that condition as well! I tried modifying my diet somewhat and added cardio in the form of treadmill work, but still my numbers were not that good. I was headed down the wrong path and something needed to change. My Dad was Type I diabetic and suffered the consequences due to his poor management. I could see what lie in my future if I did not take steps to correct my behaviors.

In November of 2009 at 49 I started weightlifting again after 30 years. I was weak, out of shape and my body could not live up to my ego! During this time I started tracking my workouts, I was doing both weigh training and cardio to will my body back to health. But frankly, writing everything down in a journal was cumbersome to me. I wanted to see my progress, but it was very difficult to be consistent in notating everything I did.

I had switched phones to an iPhone and looked for an app that would help me. I had apps on my Droid based phone to track the exercises, but I wanted more! I found what I was looking for in Fitdigits iCardio and immediately upgraded to the “Pro” version. Using this app with the Garmin heart rate belt proved to me that my weight training sessions were indeed awesome cardio sessions! I was dropping fat and adding lean muscle! I knew I was indeed on the right path with the right tools!

10 weeks after I started my intense weight training, my dosages for my type-2 diabetic were cut in half! It seems by putting in the work, eating right, and using an awesome tool like Fitdigits, anyone can turn it around! The Fitdigits screens allow me to monitor my heart rate so I know I am getting the most out of my time.

I can say at 53 years old, I am in better shape than I have ever been! I competed in two Bodybuilding competitions, the Masters 40+ and Masters 50+, placed in the top 5 and brought home some hardware!

There is no activity I do that I don’t strap on the HR belt and record a workout! No matter if it’s simply out for a walk, a bike ride, cardio session or a full on heavy duty weight lifting session, I am always prepared with Fitdigits!

Fitdigits has helped me transform my body!

Fitdigits Takes Personalized Cardio Fitness to a High-Tech Level by Alex Kacik, Noozhawk

By Alex Kacik, Noozhawk Business Writer | @NoozhawkBiz | Published on 06.16.2012 | Full Article

At one time, Michael Williams was a fit marathon runner. Over the course of several years, however, he grew to be about 50 pounds overweight while relying on an array of medications to treat high cholesterol, asthma, acid reflux and high blood pressure.

But a CBS series on obesity flipped a switch for him. The last segment concluded that the disease is socially contagious and sometimes, he said, there’s not a lot a person can do about it.

“That infuriated me,” he said. “I got up from the couch, ran to the bathroom and threw my inhaler in the trash. I got a heart-rate monitor, blood-pressure cuff and a weight scale. I’m a recovering CPA so I tracked all this stuff in Excel and figured out what caloric burn rate I needed to maintain to stay on my plan to lose 50 pounds in seven months.”

The hardest part wasn’t the exercise, it was tracking it, he said. So Williams started to implement a system that eventually turned into Fitdigits, a cloud-based data aggregation service that customizes workouts.

“It occurred to me that I had a running watch, the elliptical computer at the gym, a bike computer, a blood-pressure cuff, a weight scale and a heart monitor, and they were all these disparate computing devices,” he said. “If I bring all of that to one place and track all that automatically for people, then I could provide people a dashboard for healthy living.”

Read the full article at: http://www.noozhawk.com/article/061612_fitdigits_cardio_fitness/

Fitdigits president and CEO Dean Hovey discusses the company’s cloud-based fitness data aggregation service at a Santa Barbara Mobile Meetup at the Synergy Business & Technology Center.

Understanding Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of your body in vessels called arteries.

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is the measurement of force applied to the artery walls. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Blood pressure measures how hard your heart is working to keep you alive and specifically, it is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood into the arteries. When your heart beats and pumps your blood, your blood pressure rises which is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls and this is referred to as diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure changes during the day. It is lowest as you sleep and rises when you get up. It also can rise when you are excited, nervous, or exercise.

Blood Pressure is displayed as a fraction

Your BP is communicated as a fraction.

Systolic
The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

Diastolic
The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

So what does the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend for healthy blood pressure?

BP Recommendations from AHA

Source: American Heart Association

For most of your waking hours, your blood pressure stays pretty much the same when you are sitting or standing still. That level should be lower than 120/80. When the level stays high, 140/90 or higher, you have high blood pressure. With high blood pressure, the heart works harder, your arteries take a beating, and your chances of a stroke, heart attack, and kidney problems are greater.

Why Track Blood Pressure?

As we age, the risk for high blood pressure (hypertension) rises.  High blood pressure can lead to cardio vascular disease, strokes, and other health issues. However, regular physical activity (exercise) makes your heart stronger.

A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure. Whether you currently have high blood pressure or looking to maintain healthy blood pressure, exercise is a highly effective tool for a healthy heart and Fitdigits can track it all on your iPhone or Android.

In fact, studies show that regular exercise can reduce your systolic blood pressure by an average of 5 to 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). For some people, exercise is enough to reduce the need for blood pressure medication or eliminate the need altogether.

If your blood pressure is at a desirable level — less than 120/80 mm Hg — exercise can keep it from rising as you age. Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, another important way to control blood pressure.

Can I exercise to lower my blood pressure?

Adding a moderate amount of exercise for 20-30 minutes per day is enough to experience the benefits. For example, jog, play tennis, try hiking or use the elliptical machine at the gym. Then, add a brisk walk a few days a week, too. The idea is to increase your heart rate during exercise and track it using Fitdigits and a heart rate monitor belt. Use heart rate zones to guide your effort level and try to get your heart rate in Zones 2 and 3 for at least some of your exercise.

For your overall activity, try to increase the amount of steps throughout the day. For example, park at the end of the parking lot, take the stairs and walk around the block while you talk on the phone rather than sit in your desk. Try to achieve 10,000 steps per day and track this using Fitbit which will automatically sync to your Fitdigits account.

Since it takes about one to three months for regular exercise to affect your blood pressure, it’s important to continue exercising. If you want long-term health benefits, consider these changes as lifestyle improvements.

Sources: American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Life Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Livestrong and Wikipedia.

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

We love this video and the message behind it. Thank you, Dr. Mike Evans, for creating a wonderfully informational and entertaining video that communicates the message that exercise and walking is not only necessary, it’s good for you!