SUPER-SIZED FOOD

Been eating too much on your last business trip? I definitely did!

Globally, there are now more than 1 billion overweight adults, and at least 300 million of these obese.

Current obesity levels range from below 5% in China, Japan and certain African nations, to over 75% in urban Samoa. But even in relatively low prevalence countries like China, obesity rates are almost 20% in some cities.

In the USA, one-third of all children born in the current decade will be diabetic.

Why…

The typical hamburger is now four times the size it was in the early 1980s. You can get an order of french fries/chips that is nearly three times as large as an order from 20 years ago. At the movies, you used to get five cups of popcorn, now you can get a tub that holds a whopping 11 cups.

Even our plates are bigger! The typical plate from the 1970s was nine inches across, now they’re on average 13 inches across.

But being on a diet is not always cheap… the average person spends USD$55 a week on food, but these diets cost a lot more than that:

Jenny Craig $138 per week; Nutrisystem – $113 pw; Atkins $100 pw; Weight Watchers $96 pw; Zone $92 per week

The answer… burn more calories than you consume!

OFFICE FIT

Does this sound familiar… another long morning of meetings, need to blow off some steam and feel exhausted by lunch time? It’s time you hit the gym or went outside for a run (or even a walk)

It has been scientifically proven that people who exercise on work days are more productive, happier and suffer less stress than on non-gym days, in addition to being better equipped to handle whatever the day threw at them.

Companies have been encouraging employees to exercise more for years (to improve health insurance premiums, some corporations offer reimbursements for gym memberships, while others have resorted to paying employees by the km to run or swim). But, most employees still exercise before or after the business day as they are made to feel too guilty to ditch work in the middle of the day to work up a sweat. It seems it’s ok to go out and eat or shop at lunch, but not so accepted to go to the gym.

It is possible to exercise at lunchtime and be back at your desk on time, it just takes some planning (especially for us gals)
1. Try and pick an earlier or later time (11am or 2pm) as the gym isn’t as busy so you won’t have to wait for any machines (and the change rooms aren’t as hectic too)
2. Bring your lunch to eat at your desk so you don’t use valuable time lining up to buy a sandwich
3. Ladies – don’t plan on washing your hair post-gym workout. Tie it back that day and go with minimal, easy make up
4. Join a gym close to the office – or just go for a run/walk to save time

If all else fails we could go and work for PepsiCo, HBO, or Google who have their own on-site fitness centers (Google offers 230 exercise classes a week). Or even move to Denmark where each day at 10.45 am the factory door at AXA Power closes for 1 ½ hours and all staff members gather outside to walk, run, bike, swim or row.

MUST HAVE MONDAY – Run to Me


I love my Nike Free running shoes (and no, I don’t get paid to mention them) so when I found out you can personalize them I was even more excited. Gone are the days when you have to pay an artist located in Tribeca a year’s wage to get a pair of custom painted sneakers – now it costs you about $20 extra to come up with your design and all from the comfort of home. A ‘must have” for anyone who wears sneakers for exercise or pleasure.

NikePick materials, colours and even have a one-on-one design session with a consultant for you or a group thanks to NIKEiD studio. http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/index.jsp#home

ConverseThe Converse MAKE project is pretty irresistible. And they have some funky kids options. http://www.converse.com/#/products/shoes/converseOne/scratch/all

Not satisfied? New Balance and Reebok have also joined in to offer online design services.

And ever wondered what happened to one of the original “design sneakers”… LA Gear! Introduced in 1992 the immortal L.A. Lights, was the shoe line from L.A. Gear that featured red LED bulbs in the heels that blinked every time you took a step. Alongside Reebok’s Pump series, the wildly popular sneakers dominated the shoe scene in the early ’90s with athlete endorsers such as Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep the company going and they filed for bankruptcy in 1998. LA Gear has since eased its way back into the market, and re-released the classic L.A. Lights hoping to take piece of the retro market.

FASHION FRIDAY – Bagged


With the Olympics around the corner, women’s handbags trends are racing toward the finish line with all things athletic. Perforated leather, mesh paneling, and athletic detailing are being woven into all pieces. And these aren’t just for gym bags and backpacks, it’s for every day, take me anywhere use.

Don’t worry guys – you get to look stylish in a “manly” way too. Billy Reid has a range of leather bags made especially for men which will be the envy of everyone at the gym or going to work. http://www.billyreid.com/category/luggage/horween-cordovan.html

These are certainly a step up from the original duffle bag (the name comes from Duffel, a town in Belgium where the thick cloth used to make the bag originated) which are still used by military personnel.

WIRED WEDNESDAY – Sports Watches

A great way to incentivize yourself and keep your new year’s resolution of getting fit going, is to of course buy another gadget that makes it more fun (but unfortunately no less painful) As running is my number one choice of exercise, here are the latest and greatest watches that will help track just about everything you do. Now all you have to do is lace up your shoes and go outside and run!

Garmin Forerunner 210 – $200
While not the most expensive in the Garmin series, it has a broad set of features that caters to everyone from the beginner to elite Triathletes. It is GPS-equipped and lets you check data like time, distance, and pace at a glance while you’re running. You can then review that same data, along with maps of your routes and more detailed workout information when you’re back at your computer. It can also be paired wirelessly with a heart rate monitor.

Garmin Forerunner 910XT – $400
Then grown up version of the 210, it is a serious watch for the serious athlete. If cycling and swimming are going to be part of your routine then this is the money!

Polar RCX5 – $350
A slimmed down version of the old Polar watches that were a chunky feature on everyone’s wrists for years. The ZoneOptimizer feature measures complex heart rate calculations (calculates your level of fatigue before each workout – very cool!) And of course it plugs into Polar’s web app, where you can view your progress, recovery time, and training loads. It’s like a having your own magic endurance coach, without the part where they yell at you!

Nike Sportsband – $59
I have an expensive sports watch, but personally I like simplicity and found it in the Nike Sportsband. Water resistant so you can run in the rain, and just one touch of a button to start it. You can easily toggle between time, calories, distance and average speed without losing a step. Easy to upload info, and the online program to track your runs is pretty good. Just one catch, you have to wear Nike shoes to run in!

WIRED WEDNESDAY

Have a ton of old headphones laying around that aren’t comfortable or don’t fit well? Try these http://sculptedeers.com/

The new latest and greatest are sculpted headphones that are actually molded to fit into your ear – very cool idea and perfect for the gym or using on the plane.

WIRED WEDNESDAY

A few months ago I discovered Spotify, and am now addicted. I was annoyed with spending a fortune on iTunes music, but I now subscribe for $9.99 a month (premium service) to unlimited downloads for on AND offline music with Spotify – which means I can download music to my iPhone or iPod (or android device) and listen to all my music anytime, without a wireless connection. Perfect for business trips and using in hotel gyms. Even better, it works with my Sonos system at home.

Only downside I have found so far is that you can’t sync to an iShuffle, but I can live with that for the price!

http://www.spotify.com/