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Your Sweat Could Soon Charge Your Phone

Written on August 20, 2014 at 10:09 am , by

Major #fitnessgirlproblems: when your struggling smartphone never seems to stay charged past the one-mile mark, leaving you music-free and potentially data-less. The solution? It could be those beads of sweat you’re forming.

A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a sticky, temporary tattoo that acts as a bio-battery and uses lactate to generate power. Where does the battery get lactate? Right from your sweat.

“We’re trying to use our own body to generate power,” says Wenzhao Jia, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego who led the project. “This happens when sweat contacts the bio-battery, and it’s less toxic than a [standard] chemical battery.”

But there’s one caveat: if you tend to be a heavy sweater, you can’t assume your device will be ready for an Instagram spree. “You won’t necessarily be creating more power,” explains Jia. In fact, it’s the other way around. The harder your body works, the more lactate it produces. In other words: “The fitter ones produce less power; the less fit make more,” she says.

While this form of power serves up some motivation to push through that last set, Jia says she and the team still have a long way to go before the bio-battery becomes powerful enough to charge electronic devices. Still, it’s an interesting development we’ll anxiously be tracking. Who needs wall outlets these days, anyway?

Photo courtesy of UCSD

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Fit Links: An Equipment-Free Home Workout Challenge and 2012′s Top Fitness Findings

Written on December 21, 2012 at 11:02 am , by

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Save those dumbbells for another day. You won’t even need them for this workout! (Photo by Jason Todd)

Stay Fit (and Sane) All Holiday Season with Alison Sweeney

Written on December 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm , by

Alison Sweeney (with her adorable kids) knows how to balance fun and fashion! (Photo by Andrew Southam)

She has two kids, two jobs, one lofty fitness goal and a crazy holiday schedule ahead…how does Alison Sweeney do it? The host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives, who is currently training for the L.A. Marathon in March has a few tricks to keep her life organized, manageable and healthy all at the same time. We recently spoke with Sweeney to snag some secrets and learn more about her relationship with Bob, Jillian, and this season’s two new trainers, Dolvett Quince and Anna Kournikova.

How do you stay fit during the holidays?

It’s really important to find a workout that you can do with no excuses. [See below for Sweeney's at-home exercise routine!] And I keep track of my nutrition. With so many treats around, it’s really easy to just pop brownies without thinking about it! You may not even be hungry. I also eat before going to parties so I’m less tempted when I get there and am satisfied with a smaller amount of the treats.

Do you and your family have any seasonal traditions?

We shop for gifts and pick out a tree together. When I was young, my parents always took me skiing in the winter, which was really festive since I grew up in L.A. It was so fun and exhausting—you’re basically burning calories all day long! Now, when I’m skiing with my family, I take a picture at the top of the mountain and email it to my dad. I thank him daily for instilling this love of activity at an early age.

So you mentioned that you shop and travel—as a busy working mom of two, how do you stay connected and keep track of your to-buy lists and events this month?

There are so many distractions during the holidays, so I try to use technology to keep my family together. I use my Windows phone, which syncs with my computer, to keep track of my calendar and get photos texted to me. It’s really family-oriented and you don’t need a manual to understand it!

To learn about Sweeney’s 2012 resolutions and get the scoop about the future of The Biggest Loser, keep reading.

Read more

Whole Motion Fitness: Strengthen More Than Your Typing Fingers

Written on May 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm , by

Back pain from hunching over...Is there an app for that?

Back pain from hunching over our phones...Is there an app for that?

Written by Nicole Brennan, editorial intern

Almost all of us can admit that we spend too much time hunched over our tech tools—which can do some damage to our strength and posture. Trainer Sandra Hahamian is out to fix our weak spots with her new fitness program called Whole Motion Fitness.

Three things make this method stand out, Sandra says:

  • Hit all angles. “Most workouts we do focus on linear movements leaving out key part of our muscles.” Training your muscles in 3D can help to prevent injuries, plus athletes have been training this way for years.
  • Don’t just go through the motions. “Connectivity between the brain and muscle group focuses on a complete full motion, it is how your body naturally wants to move.”
  • The core contains many muscles.Focusing on the core is the key to success because that is where most of our power comes from. When most people think of the core they think abs, but in reality, the largest part of our core is the glutes. We need to train them fully.”

I decided to see if I could feel the difference in one of her classes! In the first few minutes of this 30-minute session, I could definitely understand what she meant. Doing her lower body sequence, you feel parts of your muscles engaged that you don’t normally train, and you realize you have been cheating this major muscle group.

Sandra has teamed up with Katrina Garnett, her best friend and founder of My Little Swans (a website devoted to all things travel) to launch a Whole Motion Fitness downloadable 30-minute video online in July 2011. One big plus is that it can be done anywhere—which is great for travelers because it alleviates muscle stiffness and strains from being cramped on a plane or in a train or car for hours.

Now tell us: How do you maintain your fitness, posture and strength with a gadget-filled lifestyle?