Holding plank for a long time is pointless

According to Stuart McGill, emeritus professor of spine biometrics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, fitness fanatics will see greater gains from doing shorter holds more frequently.

He advises three bouts of 10 seconds as the ideal regime, and claims that classes which recommend minutes of planking are not useful… More at The Telegraph.

Well, he is a McGill so that adds weight to his argument, but it has made me think about this particularly activity because Fitbit Coach is making me do ever longer plank holds among many other weird and wonderful exercises.

One option for Fitbit’s survival

The fitness-tracker maker has had a good run but has failed in its efforts to innovate soon enough and diversify quickly enough into new, emerging markets. While Fitbit has cobbled together an impressive array of companies that could help change that dynamic, it increasingly looks like the best use of those technologies will be assisting a bigger competitor in exploiting them — through a buyout… More at The Motley Fool.

I had to replace my Charge 2 today because it simply stopped working and this is not the first time. Fitbit hardware has been, in my experience, poor at best and at times shocking in its ability to deal with normal usage.

The software is superb so one option would be to licence the sensor technology and software for use in smartwatches. At this time, most non-Apple smartwatches have poor fitness tracking and Fitbit’s are lacking in quality. This would solve problems, but I’m not convinced there would be enough money in it. It may, however, be the only option if the numbers continue to decline.

Fitness Trackers Don’t Help You Lose Weight

If you love your Fitbit, prepare yourself. This story might bring you down. A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that fitness trackers don’t help you lose weight. Instead, they may impede your efforts. Researchers monitored the activity and weight loss of participants for 18 months to come to these conclusions… More here.

I kind of agree with this from my experience. I have used various fitness trackers over the past few years and at no point did any of them help me get fitter or lose weight. For some reason it all came together over the past 8 months with exactly the same device I had failed with in the past, and now it is integral to keeping the weight off and helping me to get fitter. Ultimately, it is all down to the individual, but I am also convinced that with the right mindset they can be very helpful for keeping the good behaviours going over long periods of time.

Forget walking 10,000 steps a day

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These days it is hard to walk the streets without running into someone who is anxiously looking at their wrist to see if they are on target to reach the magic 10,000 steps.

Is it really a goal worth striving for, or might there be something better?

And where did that figure come from?

You might be surprised to hear it was the result of a 1960s marketing campaign in Japan.

In the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a company came up with a device which they started marketing to the health-conscious… More at The BBC.

Interesting stuff.

A Periodic Table of Stretching Exercises

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Stretching increases your joint range of motion, warms up your muscles, and aids in muscle recovery.   There are two different types of flexibility, static flexibility and dynamic flexibility.  Static Flexibility is the range of motion of a joint with very slow, controlled movement. Dynamic Flexibility is the range of motion of a joint with fast, explosive movement.  Your static flexibility is probably higher than your dynamic flexibility (perhaps you can do the splits, but can you jump and drop into the splits?), but dynamic flexibility is more important for most athletic activity… More at Strength Stack 52.

This could be more useful than you think.