The two-minute fitness manager
Remember the Tamagotchi and other “virtual pets” that were popular a few years ago? That fad has died out (although they still exist) but that technology could be put to good use in fighting obesity.
I had that thought when I read this post in Obesity Panacea about a study concerning the effectiveness of automated cell-phone text messages to help people stay on track with their weight loss program. The participants who simply received automated reminders throughout the day on their cell phones lost an average 10 pounds in 4 months compared to the control group–not too shabby. It’s often said that nagging doesn’t work for weight loss, but maybe it depends on whether the source is a bot or your mother.
Since I spend way too much time on the computer, I looked around for a free (the best kind!) program that would remind you to get up and move, at intervals of your choosing. I found Scirocco Take-A-Break, which sits in your icon tray and gives you a popup window at break time, then a countdown clock during the break. I set mine to go off every 20 minutes, and did 2 minutes of some sort of exercise during the breaks. Here’s what I did today, using a 12kg kettlebell and a Wii:
10:06 – kettlebell deadlifts
10:26 – 30 seconds each of kettlebell deadlifts, slingshots, high pulls and slingshots. (Thanks to Kettlebell Wall for the idea!)
10:50 – turkish getups, “naked” (no weight)
11:13 – 12 cleans on each side, and 10 goblet squats
11:35 – 4 cleans and presses on each side, and 33 swings
After lunch, at 1:30 – 1 Helix song on Wii
2:00 – 12 presses on each side
2:18 – Plank, 1 minute (ouch!) and 1 Helix song
And so on – I was just winging it, but later I might put together a deck of index cards with simple 2-minute mini-workouts on them.
I’m going to make these workout breaks a habit and see where it gets me. And if they come out with the Biggest Loser Tamagotchi, I hope I can get a cut!