Archive for January, 2016

Smart Weight Scales

Smart Scales

Fitbit Aria

Fitbit Aria

I have to admit that I purchased a smart weight scale a few months back and log my weight on a weekly basis.

Today’s smart scales will measure not only your overall weight but also the percentage of your weight that comes from fat vs. muscle, bone and water.

Some scales will even measure your body mass index or BMI, which measures your weight in relation to your height.

Not all smart scales measure all the potential measurements, so you will have to shop around to see what is available and the cost.

The price for a smart scale can run anywhere from $40 upward to $200 depending on features and quality.

Some of these scales will download the data directly to a smartphone or tablet, for both an Android and Apple products.

I mentioned in the previous post that I own the Fitbit One tracker, the company also sells a weight scale that will automatically download data from their scale though it doesn’t offer many features like other scales now offer.

Based on an article I read in Consumer Reports, the accuracy of many of the products are questionable and in many cases the results were unimpressive. Some scales fared better than others.

Consumer Reports tested six scales which I will list in order of their score from highest to lowest.

  • Tanita BF-684W
  • Fitbit Aria
  • Taylor 722F
  • Withings WS-50
  • Weight Watchers WW701Y
  • Qardio Quardiobase

To get the best weight reading follow the following three tips:

1.Use the scale first thing in the morning with as few clothing items as possible

2. Place scale on hard even surface

3. Stand still and if you are measuring body-fat, you must be barefoot.

Shop around for the best price including online, I am providing a few Amazon links for your convenience.

Bed, Bath and Beyond sells several models and you can use a 20 % coupon to save even more.


Fitness Trackers

Fitbit One and Microsoft Band

The fitness trackers mentioned above are highly rated by Consumer Reports as best buys for the money. You can spend less than $100 or several hundred depending on a variety of features.

I wrote about the Fitbit One in a previous post, I have been using the product since May of last year. Still use it to this day, though from my understanding most individuals lose interest after six months or so.

The top rated product was the Fitbit Surge at $250 which comes with quite a few workout data with some smart-watch capabilities.

High-end fitness trackers use Global GPS mode to provide a more accurate picture of how far you’ve been running as well as walked.

If you want to monitor your heart-rate, some trackers can do that as well at the wrist. Limiting the need for the chest straps that was previous used during workouts.

Some units like the Fitbit One can measure stair climbing, my Fitbit One though miss counts on some days, calculating flight of stairs not even taken. 10 feet generally equals one flight of stairs, mine is usually 7 to 8 feet.

My tracker usually lasts 8 or 9 days before needing to re-charge; turning off Bluetooth will save battery life and extend your life between charges a few extra days.

Personally I prefer to use a clip-on vs. a band or watch; majority of trackers tested by Consumer Reports are either watch or bands.

To extend the usefulness of the trackers, you will find numerous third party apps as well as apps created by the manufacture of the tracker. These apps can use data from your fitness tracker to evaluate your exercise and food intake.

These apps can also connect you to your friends using social functions which can help you stay motivated.

I have provided the two best valued buys at Amazon below.

Stay fit.


Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Made Easy

Individuals have practiced its many forms for centuries. Even though it’s simple, it protects your heart just as well as aerobics.

If you are not aware, Yoga grew out of a Hindu religious philosophy of uniting the mind and the body.

Benefits of Yoga:

Yoga reduces stress – Participants who practiced yoga maintained the length of their telomeres over an eight-week period… while those who only had a one-day seminar on stress had shorter telomeres. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of your DNA.

Yoga helps arthritis – Yoga relieves stress on your joints, providing relief from arthritis. If you have never done yoga before, sign up for a class.

To make sure you stick with the classes, find a yoga buddy. If you are older than 50; many gyms and yoga studios offer senior-focused practices as well. Instructors design these programs for folks over the age of 50 who may have trouble holding poses for too long or have joint or back problems.

Yoga protects your heart – participants who practiced yoga saw decreases in blood pressure and heart rate equal to the decreases caused by aerobic exercise. Another benefit is the fact that yoga cuts your risk for atrial fibrillation. This condition is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots in the heart, and strokes.

Yoga strengthens the brain – As we grow older, our brains lose gray matter – where the clusters of nerve cells live. It’s responsible for much of our brain’s functions, including muscle control, memory, vision, hearing, emotions, and decision making.

With all the above mentioned benefits, what do you have to lose, check out a class today and have fun.


Saving Money on Your Medications

Cost of Your Meds

Saving on Medications

Saving on Medications

With the price of medications climbing almost every year, it is a good idea to do a bit of price comparison shopping.

Only 17 percent of people do any form of comparison shopping when it comes to their prescription drugs.

What is surprising is the fact that buying a medication out of pocket might be less than your co-pay with your insurance carrier; a fact pharmacist may neglect to mention or even know.

Another surprising fact is drugs could cost as much as 10 times more at one retailer versus another, even in the same location (city).

Cost of Med Tip – Price isn’t set in stone, ask for a discount or better price.

Often Costco or Walmart’s Sam’s has the best price, but not always. You don’t even need to be a member to buy drugs at either Sam’s or Costco.

Getting the best deal

Shop Online for pricing, offers “fair price” quotes that you can use to negotiate if a retailer asks for a higher price.

Skip chain retailers, the big pharmacy chains consistently charged the most

Don’t always use your insurance and ask for generics, but keep in mind that you might have a deductible that won’t be counted if you buy out-of-pocket.

Ask for the best price, prices change so check back often and compare with other pharmacies.

According to Consumer Reports, often small independents will quote a lower price though supermarkets may offer reduced costs but not always.

It is usually cheaper to buy in bulk, 90 or 100 (three months) pill supply. You also save on gas as you don’t have to refill as often or wait in line.

Prices vary greatly, so do ask for pricing before filling your prescription and do comparison shopping to acquire the best deal.



Staying Fit in 2016

Staying Fit in the New Year (2016)

Hope you had an enjoy holiday this past Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.

The New Year has just begun and it is as good a time to review your health and wellness progress in the past year and planning for 2016.

We will try to bring you more interesting articles and ideas to share with you on a variety of health and wellness topics in the coming months.

So do stay tuned.

Claudia and Dan