Sit-Ups – Finish It Friday

I won’t lie about sit-ups, I hate them.  Almost as much as running.  They are a necessary part of testing for law enforcement agencies around the country though so I have to do them.

Despite being among my least favorite exercises, sit-ups are great for working out your abs.  The more you do the better you will get at them.  Unfortunately, people with larger middle sections it can be difficult to perform sit-ups without having someone to hold your feet.  It isn’t impossible though.  I have found a variety of solutions, mainly placing my feet under something such as a desk, a set of shelves, or my bed.  When doing this you need to make sure that the object you are using to hold your body down won’t lift off the ground when you do a sit-up.

There are a variety of different theories behind how many sit-ups you should do at a time.  When I had a trainer we did repetitions of 15 mixed with another two ab working exercises.  This is great because it allows you to keep your abs working instead of burning yourself out all at once.  The other major theory is to do as many as you can, take a break, then do as many as you can.  The problem with this is that when you are taking a break nothing is getting worked out.

If you want to increase the power of your exercise take a kettlebell and hold it in your hands on your upper chest while you workout.  Don’t let the kettlebell move.

How To Perform Sit-Ups

To perform a sit-up start by laying with your back on the floor.  If you need to have something hold your feet get them so that your knees are at an angle but your feet are flat.  You want your feet to move as little as possible.  With your arms out to your sides and your shoulders straight, place your fingertips behind your ears.  During a sit-up your fingertips should not leave your ears.

Lift your upper body up so that your shoulders are off the ground.  The longer that you work at doing sit-ups the further off the ground you can go.  Eventually you will be able to touch your elbows to your knees.  My goal is to be able to touch my elbows to my knees around 38 times in a minute.  The more I perform sit-ups the easier it is to do them.

Here is a video how to perform a proper Army sit-up.  The difference with this video is that the Army has you put your hands interlocked behind your head.

Tips To Keep At It

If you ever feel that you are slipping in your goals or in your progress to get them you will probably find yourself wondering what you can do to get back on the horse.  That is if you even notice it.  Sometimes I find myself slipping but only realize it after it has significantly started.  Here are some of the ways that I have used to stay on track or to keep at it.

Reminding Yourself of Why You Want It

We all want our goals for a different reason.  I have multiple reasons to fuel my progress.  Despite the fuel sometimes you take it for granted and let it slip to the back of your mind.  Because of this it is important that you regularly examine your goals and the reasons for them.  One way to do this is to have a Word document with all of your goals and the reasons for them written out.  Once a month you go through and edit them.  Save both copies of your document and look at how they differ.

Put Your Goals In Your Face

A lot of people have success in putting their goals in their face.  This is something I have been considering trying.  One way to do it is to get a poster board and write on it all of your goals.  Place it somewhere you see every morning.  If I do this I am thinking I will put one copy in my bathroom and one on my fridge.  This is so that I see the goals every morning then again when I go to get food.

Write A Blog

Part of the reason I started this blog was to help push myself to stay on track.  Every week I sit down to write articles that are a mix of help and of my personal experience.  I also write a weekly update.  This helps me to keep accountable for my goals. I also hope that it helps you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Change It

As you continue on your path to your goals you might find out that what you are doing may work but there is a better way to do it.  For example, with my blog I am trying new things and experimenting.  Change happens and as long as you work with it you can make it work for you.  Sometimes though you need to be the driving force behind that change.

Walk It Out

No, not work it out, walk it out.  Go outside and start walking.  It doesn’t matter where you go just keep walking.  As you walk you will find out that you have very few things to think about than what you are doing and because you are exercising your mind will eventually lead you to your goals.  I do this often.  I go out on walks after work or in the evening.

Jawbone Up Move Review

My Fitbit broke last week so I went to Best Buy to order a Jawbone Up Move.  In the car in the parking lot I was able to open up the container and get it tracking my steps.  Getting it to connect to my phone was another issue.  At home I was able to get it to connect to my Nexus 6, for 10 minutes that is.  Then I had to restart the phone to sync.

After suffering through a day of that I called customer service and they had me go through a series of steps to connect the watch better to my phone.  But the support specialist did let me know that the Nexus 6 is not a compatible device.  Nowhere on the box for the Jawbone Move Up could I find a list of compatible devices.  Going to their website I found that there were in fact, very few officially supported devices.  So few that you could fit them on the box.

The lights on the Jawbone Up Move are great for tracking the percentage of your goal complete during the day but they aren’t great for the time or for knowing the exact number of steps.  If you want the number of steps or the exact time, you are going to have to pull your phone out.  I haven’t used the app much besides to sync my steps but the interface is a little simpler than Fitbits, enabling you to more easily track your steps at a glance.

What I like the most about the Jawbone Up Move is that you have the choice to wear it on your wrist or on your belt and you can change out the bands.  You can get a wide variety of colors and there are some unofficial bands on Ebay that come with designs.  Its hard to get bored with a fitness tracker that you can change based on your mood.

Jawbone Up Move Pros:

  • Simple design with a loose strap
  • Recognizes sleep and exercise automatically
  • You can change the color of your band/clip
  • Great phone support team

Jawbone Up Move Cons:

  • Limited phone syncing compatibility
  • Clock could use work to tell a more exact time

Would I Buy the Jawbone Up Move as a fitness tracker instead of a Fitbit?  No.  The limited compatibility is a big negative for me.  I would get it if I needed an affordable tracker quick, like I did.

Weekly Check-In 11/2/2015

Hello all!  So I am trying something that a friend recommended.  They said that when they weighed themselves every week they saw success at first, then it started to go downhill.  I am going to try taking this week away from weighing and see what I come in at next week.

Despite my last weigh-in saying that I gained weight I have been noticing differences in my body that show that I have been losing weight, at least from certain areas.  My shoulders are becoming less fatty and my legs are starting to show more sign off muscle than they did before.  My duty belt is still loose and I am still comfortably at the last hole in my regular belt.

As I announced last week my Fitbit broke.  I got ahold of Fitbit again and they agreed to send me a free replacement.  It didn’t even take any convincing.  I was a little surprised that I didn’t have to argue at all.  When you find a company with good customer service in this modern world it can be shocking!  My only complaint is that at times it was quite obvious that the person was reading from a script.  Customer service is more than reading from a script!  My Fitbit is estimated to arrive tomorrow.  I will be giving the Jawbone up to my fiance to use since she doesn’t have a fitness tracker.

My cold is almost completely gone.  All I have left is the cough and I am starting to get energized and active again.  Yesterday I was moving around the house and hanging art with my fiance.  I also walked to the store and did several other cleaning tasks.  All on my day off.  Having the energy again and only a small, occasional cough is nice.

For this upcoming week I want to be above 6,000 steps on the lowest step day.  I also want to try and get another day where I walk over 20,000 steps again.  It’s been a while since I have seen that many steps in a day.  My most steps walked last week was 15,902.  Stay tuned tomorrow for a review of the Jawbone Up.  I will say that I am mixed on the device.

Uh Oh My FitBit Broke

Yesterday I went to shower and as I was going to undo the strap on my FitBit my FitBit broke.  My FitBit is one of the tools I rely on greatly in my weight loss efforts.  It allows me to track my daily progress.  As soon as it broke my first thought was how am I going to track my steps, my blog!

So I called FitBit just before they closed and spoke with their sales department hoping to just order another band.  Turns out that you cannot buy a band for the FitBit Charge HR.  According to the sales person I have to speak with someone in their customer service department to determine whether they can fix it for free or I will have to pay for it.  After the amount of wear my FitBit has seen it isn’t too surprising that my FitBit broke but I like it.  I am really hoping to hear that they will fix it for free.

My FitBit Broke, Now What?

After I was done with all of that my next thought was my FitBit broke, what am I going to do about my Pact?  Well I looked at the Pact app and it will sync with the Jawbone Up Move.  The move is labeled as a throwaway fitness tracker and at the price of $49 it is hard to disagree.  I have a friend who has one so I decided to give it a go.  At the very least it will give me a way to track my steps while my FitBit is being sorted out.

My FitBit Broke

When I arrived at Best Buy there were only two options black and red.  I went for the black one.  The Jawbone Up Move normally comes on a clothing/belt clip but because I lost my first FitBit because it had a belt clip design I wanted to get the watch strap for it.  I got a pack of watch straps from Best Buy, black, yellow, and a redish color.

Until further notice I will be using the Jawbone Up to keep track of my steps and possibly my sleep.  The device doesn’t have a heart rate sensor so it fits a lot looser on the wrist which is nice.  It almost feels as if it wasn’t there.  I am still trying to get used to the Jawbone Up Move but the app is a little confusing and it seems to be having some syncing issues.  As far as I can tell there is no option to force a sync with the device.

Once I have worn the device for more than a day and have had a chance to figure things out I will post a review of the Jawbone Up Move so that you can know a little more about it.  I will also keep you apprised of what FitBit says about my Charge HR.

Weekly Check-In

Yesterday when I got home late from work I was completely pooped.  This cold has been kicking my ass.  This week isn’t going to be a normal check-in.  You aren’t going to see a weight or a step count.  The reason?  My scale started spinning and not uploading weight when I tried earlier in the week and I didn’t get the chance yesterday.  As for the steps?  Last week was terrible and I know it.  I spent most of my free time in bed.  I will say that I only walked 67,471 steps all last week.

My Pact

My first worry when I became sick was my Pact.  When I started my Pact I wasn’t sure if there was a way to report being sick because I couldn’t find anything like that.  I had looked because there was a week in which I was hurting.  This week when looking I did find a section labeled medical emergencies buried in the menu structure.  I received a response while at work yesterday from them that last week will be invalidated, aka, it will no longer count against me.  This week is already off to a good start with over 16,000 steps.

Sore Throat Cures – You Can’t Finish It If You Aren’t Well

Yesterday I got on to write my post and found some issues with the last two posts, I was sick and the only thing I could manage to do was try and fix the issues with the website.  Both of the issues should now be fixed.  I started thinking about what to write for finish it Friday this week and I knew almost instantly what to write.  You can’t finish it on Friday if you are sick.  So here are some of the best sore throat cures from around the internet.  Some of the cures that I have tried, some of them have been reviewed well by people on the internet.

Sore Throat Cures

Chicken Noodle/Chicken Soup

Soup - Cures For Sore Throats

I used to be a huge fan of chicken noodle soup, especially as far as sore throat cures go.  Now the broth from chicken noodle soup tends to leave me with a weird taste.  Just because I don’t like it anymore though doesn’t mean that it isn’t among one of the most popular cures for sore throats.  In fact, when we were out shopping the other day, my fiance told me that we have chicken noodle soup in the cabinet at home and that I should eat it.  Doctors believe that the sodium in the soup broth could be what is causing sore throats to be eased.  Sodium is known to act as an anti-inflammatory.  I have always heard of chicken noodle soup being one of the best sore throat cures but as I was doing the research for this article I found that chicken soup can also be used.  It also helps that soup is easy to eat, even when you have a sore throat.

Hot Totty

Hot Toddy - Cures For Sore Throats

This is a classic recipe for sore throats that you obviously need to be 21 to enjoy.  A hot toddy is a mix of honey, rum, and boiling water.  You can also use an other spirits such as whisky and brandy.  Some people choose to finish the hot toddy off with decorations such as a lemon or add flavor with a cinnamon stick in the glass.  I have used this method before and it goes away quite well.


Hydration - Sore Throat Cures

Dehydration can be a cause of sore throats so staying hydrated is a great way to cure them.  Even when your sore throat is caused by another issue water can cure it.  When I was in high school I would sometimes wake up with sore throats and the first thing I would go for was water.  Almost everytime this would solve my sore throat.  Some people recommend drinking hot water in order to get the best results but under most conditions I don’t like drinking hot water.


Tea - Sore Throat Cures

Tea has been used to cure ailments around the world for years.  It isn’t a surprise then that it is considered among sore throat cures.  Tea soothes the throat and depending on what you mix into the tea it can help your sore throat in a variety of ways.  If you want to help the tea go down, add a dab of honey for smoothness.

The Salt Water Gargle

Gargling - Cures For Sore Throats

As I have said before, I love salt but I haven’t tried this one.  Gargling salt water is supposedly among the best sore throat cures.  The warm salt water is said to lessen the swelling in your throat and even ease the discomfort.  One must gargle at least once every hour and more frequently if you have a runny or stuffed nose as part of your sickness.


Marshmallows - Cures For Sore Throats

This one may be one of the tastiest cures for sore throats for most people.  Marshmallows contain a sap that for years has been used to treat sore throats and other ailments.  The most common form that this sap is used in though is as a tea.  There is no scientific proof that marshmallows help with sore throats; however, there are plenty of people that feel that it does help.  Some other professionals also think that the gelatin in the marshmallows coats the throat causing your throat to feel relief.  This is one of the cures that I don’t think I will try.  I don’t like marshmallows, especially the regular sized or large ones.  The taste and texture have never done anything for me.

Avoid Smoking and Smoke

Avoid Smoking - Sore Throat Cures

Smoking in itself has been known to cause sore throats among many other medical issues.  Because of this it is imperative you stop smoking at least while you are trying to get over your sore throat.  If your sore throat returns when you start smoking again you know what is causing the issue.  Second-hand smoke is known to have its issues and among those is causing sore throats and causing them to last longer.  This also applies to the other tobacco products.


Sleep - Cures For Sore Throats

One of the best sore throat cures and cures for other ailments is sleep.  Many times our body just needs to sleep more than we would normally want to allow it to.  I spent most of yesterday sleeping to help recover.  I woke up still feeling sick but a lot less so than I had been feeling the day before.  Sleep sometimes acts as a reset switch for the body.  It allows ailments to heal, energy levels to restore, and our brain to reinforce pathways.  This is also why it is so important to get enough sleep regularly.  It helps to keep us healthy and prevent colds in the first place.

When it comes down to sore throat cures there are a lot of them out there.  Some of them may work for you while others may work for your friends.  Finding the right cure might take a little bit of trial and error.  Luckily, all of the cures listed here are without medication so that you can try as many of them as you want.  Well, okay, one of them has alcohol in it but for most people that isn’t a deal breaker.

Based on how my sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and coughing has progressed I should be better before Monday and have a quality check-in post, hopefully with some good news.