To Fight Hunger, Try Jumping Up and Down
Exercise that involves vertical movements like jumping rope may fight feelings of hunger , research shows.
Time to make up for December's bad habits by doing better in 2012. Here are the best tech tools to help you shape up and keep healthy. Who knows? You might actually keep your new year's resolution this time around. Sure, Basis can tell you time, but if you want to know your blood flow, motion, temperature, heart rate, sweat level and blood oxygen level, it'll tell you those too. With a plethora of sensors, the monitoring watch keeps an eye on your vitals, giving you an overview of health, sleep and exercise habits. Basis is an honoree for the upcoming CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Awards in the health and wellness category. Available for pre-order for $199. This article is part of a series about getting fit in the new year. Check out the entire Man up! feature here.
MotoActv Heart-rate Monitor
The MotoActv wants to be your personal trainer. This tiny device tells when you reach or leave your target pace, heart rate or PowerZone based on your programmed profile and goals. And to keep you going, it creates a performance playlist, pulling songs that you burned the most calories to. It also takes on a few personal assistant duties, including fetching your incoming calls and displaying on-screen text messages. Begins at $249.99.
Withings WiFi scale
For better or worse, scales don't lie. In fact, the Withings WiFi scale tells you the cold hard truth: weight, body fat percentage, and BMI. Each time you step on, it registers these stats and sends them over your home wireless network to a private Web interface. The dashboard keeps tabs on your progress with static and interactive charts. You can share this information with your doctors, personal trainers, friends and family. If you feel so inclined, you can even tweet your progress to the entire world. Available from ThinkGeek for $164.99.
BitGym Fitness Games
The average American household has 1.15 cardio machines according to the San Francisco-based health startup BitGym. But overwhelmingly, they're left to collect dust. Get ready to use the treadmill again because BitGym's iOS games are designed to keep you going. One of them, Trail Runner, shows inspiring landscapes as you're on an exercise machine, speeding up or slowing down based on your real-life workout performance. Game prices vary, but lite versions are available for free.
If you prefer to run outdoors, Runtastic is an app that tracks your location, distance, time, pace and calorie consumption. It has charts that show your speed, altitude, pulse and training history. The pro version includes voice feedback, live tracking, cheering, pulse-reading, geotagging, workouts, competitions, and an integrated music player. Its iOS and Android apps have the most functionality, but Runtastic is also available on BlackBerry, Windows, and bada phones. Prices vary by device.
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JayBird Freedom Earphones
The JayBird Freedom was designed for the gym rat. It uses Bluetooth connectivity, so there aren't long cords to trip over. The sound is big -- great motivation when your power track comes on. Plus, it's got enough variety of ear cushions, tips, and hooks to make sure you find the right fit; one that stays on when you're on the go.
Fitness Technologies Underwater MP3 Player
Music can motivate runners to go longer distances, why not apply the same principle to swimmers? Generally electronics and water don't mix very well, but Fitness Technologies' UWaterK7 was built for just that. The compact waterproof MP3 player debuted in the fall and will be making an appearance at CES in January. Also expected to make an appearance: the company's line of HD waterproof action cameras and waterproof stereo Bluetooth headsets. Available for $100.
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Mophie Outdoor Battery Extender and Maps
Grab your iPhone. You're going for a hike. Not only does the mophie juice pack plus outdoor give you extended battery life (about 2,000 mAh, or eight hours of talk time on 3G), a corresponding app gives you access to 5 million square miles of high-resolution maps covering the continental U.S. and Hawaii. Once you download them, you no longer have to worry about losing reception. Plus the app records your progress, speed, distance, elevation, and geo-tagged photos. Available for $119.95.
Drift HD Video Camera
A good workout doesn't always mean hitting the gym. Head somewhere beautiful and find a fun activity, like biking or snowboarding. Action cams such as the Drift HD can be a good motivator to go outside. They capture amazing moments in 1080p HD video, which, upon watching, will make you want to go right back outside again. The small, light camera can be mounted to helmets or strapped on wrists and can also be controlled remotely. A night mode also means you can record in dusty or dark conditions. Feeling motivated to get your workout on? Visit our Man up! feature, chock full of info that will get your heart pumping.
Exercise that involves vertical movements like jumping rope may fight feelings of hunger better than other forms of exercise, a new study from Japan suggests.
Studies have shown that exercise suppresses appetite for a short period, and research has suggested that appetite-regulating hormones released by the gut are involved in this effect.
The authors of the new study wondered if the "gut disturbance" that happens during exercise that moves the center of mass up and down would change levels of hormones like ghrelin, which is released when we're hungry, more than other types of exercise.
Studies have suggested that running suppresses appetite more than cycling, they said, and jumping rope moves the whole body up and down more than running. There is also no movement in a horizontal direction, so jumping rope is a more weight-bearing exercise than running. Therefore, it's possible that jumping rope "leads to greater gut disturbance than running," and could induce greater suppression, the researchers said.
To test their idea, the researchers looked at 15 healthy men whose average age was 24. On separate days, the men either skipped rope for 30 minutes or rode a stationary bicycle, or rested. The researchers adjusted the cycling sessions so the amount of energy each man expended while cycling matched the energy he burned while jumping rope.
At several points during and after the exercise, the researchers measured levels of appetite hormones, and asked the men how hungry they felt, along with how much they wanted to eat salty, sweet, sour and fatty foods.
Results showed that the men reported feeling less hungry during both the cycling and the rope skipping, compared with the control, resting sessions. This feeling of less hunger continued until 15 minutes after they stopped exercising.
In addition, the men reported feeling less hungry when they were jumping rope, compared with when they were cycling, at 25 minutes into the exercise sessions.
Moreover, the researchers found a similar trend in the men's desire to eat fatty foods — the men reported less craving for fatty foods while they were exercising, and this was more pronounced during the rope-jumping session.
And further, after the cycling session was over, the men rated themselves as hungrier than they did after the control trials, but after the rope-skipping sessions, they did not. This suggests that cycling, but not jumping rope, causes hunger that leads to "compensating" for the energy that was burned, the researchers said.
However, the gut hormone levels were not different after the cycling sessions compared with the rope-jumping sessions. It may be that some other mechanism explains the difference in hunger levels, the researchers said.
"Taken together, our results suggest that aerobic exercise, particularly rope-skipping exercise, may regulate the desire to eat fatty foods, and thus improve dietary behavior regarding fatty foods in adults," they said.
Barry Braun, associate professor and director of the energy metabolism laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, said that the study was well-designed in that the researchers matched the energy expended between the rope-skipping versus cycling conditions.
However, there were only "very small differences" in hunger between the two exercise protocols, Braun said.
"It is possible that more vertical motion leads to more gut distress (although that was not measured) and that resulted in less hunger during the exercise itself, but the effect is subtle," he wrote in an email. Rather than gut hormones, the small decrease in hunger seen in the study could also have been due to larger rise in body temperature during the rope-skipping, he said.
The study presents "an interesting idea, from an 'I wonder why?' perspective," Braun said.
The new study was published online Feb. 10 in the journal Appetite.
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