"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." -Buddha
There’s no getting around it: we, as Americans, have a major issue with unhealthy dieting. Overindulging in the wrong foods too frequently is prompting a wide range of health problems. We know it’s wrong and frantically want to change, but how? Everything tastes so good. And good tasting food is everywhere.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself though. High caloric food is rare in nature. So our brains are wired to seek it out and work for its energy. Luckily, what your brain considers to be high in energy is largely relative. So we can actually retrain our brains on what we crave. Instead of suppressing cravings, try teaching your brain to desire something else. This requires some willpower in the beginning. You may have to restrict yourself to certain foods, and it won’t be enjoyable (at first).
When initially adjusting to a healthier lifestyle, what we may struggle to determine what feels good and what feels bad. Eating an apple versus crackers and cottage cheese... what’s the difference? But wait and pay close attention to your cravings. At the start, they will only be for foods outside of your regular diet. Then, over time, you’ll notice you’ll begin to develop a broader range of preferences inside of your once-feared new meals. In fact, you’ll start looking forward to meals again! You’ll also notice you have more lasting energy (rather than fleeting, ecstatic bursts), and better moods!
Once you make the transition to a healthy, well-balanced diet, congratulations! However, just because the hard part is over, doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Food is like a drug, so you are very susceptible to relapse. To prevent a dietary relapse, to it’s imperative to understand the conditions that helped bring about bad eating habits. Note that none of these are justifications for a poor diet!
Bad food everywhere!
And we mean EVERYWHERE. Stroll down almost any aisle of any grocery market and you’ll see the shelves lined with junk food. So much so that you probably don’t even realize it. Almost everything has high fructose corn syrup in it. Most whole wheat bread, juice, granola bars, canned fruit, processed oatmeal, canned tomatoes (the list goes on and on) all have high fructose corn syrup. Unhealthy food is practically unavoidable. Be sure to eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables and avoid the hidden nasty ingredients.
Portions are out of control
We all grew up being told that if we didn’t finish our meals then it's like that same food portion was being taken away from someone who is starving. However, don’t feel ashamed about leaving some food on your plate (you can always have leftovers later). Unfortunately, so much about American food begs to be eaten in its entirety. When we start eating a pizza or burger, we feel more compelled to finish it because the food is all in one piece.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to meeting the challenges we face in our current world of abundance with some personal discipline. And if you’re struggling with your diet, don’t think that in order to be healthy, you can’t enjoy food as much. By adjusting and monitoring your eating habits, over time, food can taste wonderful again. And, over time, you will shift from trying to stay motivated and disciplined to eating and moving well because of built-in habits.
In addition to a healthy diet, you can never go wrong using a pair of Core Flytes! And remember to share your workouts with us on Instagram and Facebook.
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing & Customer Engagement Manager
We love our customers! And thanks to their outstanding posts on Instagram and Facebook, we can put together inspirational rap videos! Check out our latest one below. And learn more about the Core Flytes here!
In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. - Carl Jung
In our culture, dancing is often regarded as something that is done without a purpose. We may dress up and dance at a special occasion, like a wedding or concert, but rarely make a routine out of it. There are hundreds of music genres all with unique ways of moving to their beats. However, in our minds, the word "dancing" predominantly conjures up an individualistic and youthful interpretation of the art form. This can be downright awesome (just check out Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Wolf of Wall Street below).
But, actually, dancing is so much more than a good time. It's great cardio! Any activity that keeps you moving is! And when you're enjoying yourself, it’s like a free workout. During a dance, we're often too "in the moment" to feel tired. It's only when the dance is over that we realize just how exhausted we really are.
This is great, assuming our culture's approach to dancing is in line with our motives. But what about people who are shy? Or for the elderly? Can dancing be for them too? Absolutely! There was a number of dance workouts that get their inspiration from real traditional dances all over the world. Some of which are surprisingly strenuous. But you might be having too much fun to even notice! While these dances aren't as spontaneous as say, dancing out on the town, they are a good start for a expanding our definition of dancing and welcoming more people onto the dance floor. Not to mention getting a killer workout.
One such dance routine (scene below) is The "Powwow Sweat". It takes its roots in traditional Native American dancing. In the program, participants hop up and down to a drum beat to break a sweat. Without the drums and colorful uniforms, it might just be another workout. But being able to enjoy yourself is huge part of any dance craze. Who wouldn't want to make some feature designs, break out the drums, and dance?
WARNING: Skip to 0.25 if you don't wish to get their intro song stuck in your head!
In addition to dance crazes, they're are many festivals and clubs that specialize in group dances that are a great alternative to hitting the treadmill! Give the Kalamatiano a try the next time a Greek festival's in town!
Is it time for A Core Flyte dance? How would you bust a move (without getting hurt) on your Core Flytes? Let us know your thoughts! We'd be very interested in hearing your ideas! And remember to check out our Facebook and Instagram for workout ideas and fun content.
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing & Customer Engagement
"I think you have to try and fail, because failure gets you closer to what you're good at." - Louis C. K.
Some people dislike going to the gym but love working out. Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? For me, spending time at a gym is occasionally enjoyable, but difficult to routinize. Up until recently, once or twice a week I would garner up the motivation to head to my gym and hit the treadmill for a nice long run. If I was lucky, I could grab one of the treadmills near the window. It was nice to be able to look at the changing scenery outside. I’d see cars going by, people walking, and maybe a bird or two. And then one day, after having to workout on one of the wall facing machines for an hour, I decided to take my workout mobile.
I found that not only was jogging outside a great way to liven up my routine, but it actually gave me a number of experiences that wouldn’t have been possible in the gym (some good, others bad). Here are a few new elements of your workout to expect, should you decide to take your cardio outdoors.
You’ll get to explore! When first transitioning to running outside, I had been living in New York City for a few months, and between work and other commitments, I hadn’t had much time to explore. There’s no better way to get to know a new place than on foot. I would plan my routes ahead of time. However, if I was feeling adventurous (or just got lost), I could pay no attention to my route and just enjoying being outside. Often times, I would find myself in interesting neighborhoods taking in the culture and (as a post-workout reward) food.
There’s more sense of accomplishment. One of the downsides to running in one place is not having a feeling of distance you’ve traveled. In my experience, looking at a panel at miles ran is so much less rewarding than actually traveling that distance on foot. It's a great feeling to see a target off in the distance and watch it become closer.
You’ll use more mental energy. This one can actually go either way. Sometimes it's enjoyable to have the mental challenge of navigating and timing streetlights. I tend to enjoy this more during first half of my run. Other times, near the end of my run, while experiencing more physical strain, it can be difficult to focus. Always remember to stay alert, regardless of how much your body is hurting! Because I hear getting hit by a car can be much more painful.
And my favorite of all - it’s refreshing! This really depends on what climate/season you are in. Here in New York, Spring and Fall tend to be my favorite season for running. When the weather is a bit chilly, about 45 degrees, there’s no better feeling than having the wind hit your face after taking the last few strides. It’s also a good feeling to start running on a chilly morning and become warm from the exercise itself. And then there’s always pouring water on your face during the summer months. I’m sorry to say there isn’t really any positives to running in the winter here. But that being said, it’s certainly doable to keep your workout outdoors. Just be on the lookout for ice and remember to dress in layers!
As the weather gets warmer, we can't wait to see all the unique ways our customers are using Core Flytes outside.
For awesome content and exercise ideas, check out our Instagram and Facebook.
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing & Customer Engagement
"We now have evidence that a social media fad has led to catastrophic results." - Dr. Elvin Montbard, Harvard University
An Unusual Experience: A Terrifying Day in Boston
For Boston resident Megan Brown, January 11th should have begun as a typical weekday morning. Megan Brown woke up to her alarm at 6 am in her North End apartment and then things went terribly wrong. She was awake and conscious, yet unable to move. Her body lay completely still as her alarm continued to ring.
Her roommate, Ali Sherwin, recalled, "I knew something really weird was going on because Megan was an early riser who always jumped out of bed to get a head start on her day before leaving for work. It seemed very strange to hear her alarm blaring for a few minutes without interruption. I don't think I had ever heard it for more than 10 seconds."
Sherwin, understandably concerned, knocked on Brown's door, and, lacking a response, rushed in. She found her roommate and friend of eight years lying completely still with her eyes open. Sherwin, a physician at Tufts Medical Center, checked Brown's pulse and breath, both of which seemed normal, and then began to gently shake Brown. After several minutes of increasingly frantic attempts to help her friend wake up, Sherwin said, "Megan finally began blinking nervously, took a deep breath, and asked me why she couldn't move. She was terrified." Sherwin had called 9-1-1 and an ambulance arrived soon after Brown's temporary paralysis ended. Brown was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for testing and evaluation.
At first, the medical staff believed that Brown was experiencing sleep paralysis, a state in which individuals endure a brief inability to move, typically a few seconds. However, after realizing that by the time Brown was able to move, nearly 20 minutes had elapsed, the staff knew that something else was going on. More tests were done, including an evaluation of Brown's recent activities. Brown had taken part in four "Mannequin Challenges" as an organizer and participant, and that fact began to become more of a focus of the medical investigation. Brown was documented as the first case of hyper-extended sleep paralysis (HESP). The medical community is now worried that an outbreak may afflict tens of thousands of people over the next few months.
The Mannequin Challenge: All Fun & Games
The Mannequin Challenge, in which participants remain motionless while the camera filming them weaves its way around and between them, became a viral social media phenomenon last fall. It was popular in diverse groups across the globe, with participants including the Portugal national soccer team and star Cristiano Ronaldo, NBA superstar Steph Curry and his wife, singer-songwriter Adele, and Michelle Obama.
Gym Mannequin Challenge
The above video shows why the Mannequin Challenge became so popular: it is fun, allows for creativity, and looks really cool. As you can see, everyone in the video looks like a mannequin, carefully holding unique poses as the camera sweeps around them.
An estimated 22 million Americans have participated in the challenge since it began last October.
Long-Term Effects: A Warning From the Scientific Community
Megan Brown's case seemed like an anomaly at first. Over the last two months, however, similar cases were documented in Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv. While the Mannequin Challenge appears to be a playful and innocent activity, new research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that participants are at-risk for experiencing hyper-extended sleep paralysis (HESP).
Sleep paralysis itself is not uncommon: 40 percent of Americans are affected at some point during their lifetime and six percent endure recurring sleep paralysis. Yet sleep paralysis does not last very long and is considered uncomfortable yet safe. NIH has reported 62 cases of HESP in which otherwise healthy individuals have experienced "consciousness without mobility" for 15 to 50 minutes at a time. In all cases, those affected had participated in at least one Mannequin Challenge event.
HESP can be dangerous -- and extraordinarily scary -- for those afflicted. Harvard Medical School neurologist Dr. Franklin Lestar noted, "the most disconcerting finding is that there does not seem to be any discernible predictor for which Mannequin Challenge participants will be afflicted." Therefore, there is no way to know which of the millions of people worldwide may experience hyper-extended paralysis the next time they wake up.
Early Hypothesis on Triggers for HESP
While the consensus is that the Mannequin Challenge causes HESP, the exact relationship between the event and the disorder has not been established. University of Pennsylvania neurologist Dr. R. Anthony Harris shared his hypothesis in the American Journal of Medicine. He argued, "As silly as it sounds, the old wives' tale we tell our children that 'if you keep making that face, it will stay that way forever,' has some truth. However, it is not the body that stays that way on its own. It is the mind that creates neuro-sensogenic loops that prevent the brain from communicating with the body and instructing it to move.
There is ample evidence to support Harris' position. A (notably small) study conducted by the Mayo Clinic closely monitored the brain activity of six individuals who have experienced Mannequin Challenge-induced HESP for 10 consecutive days and nights. Four of the study's participants experienced at least one episode of HESP during the study, and, in each case, the brain was firing neurons that were unable to transfer due to an expansion of synaptic clefts. Mayo Clinic Senior Director of Research Dr. Sally Chung said, "The brain knows what it wants to do, but it is unable to send the signals far, which effectively creates a series of 'unanswered calls.'" Chung says that eventually, the clefts shrink, which ends the HESP incident, therefore bringing mobility back to the individual afflicted.
A brain scan from the Mayo Clinic's study shows a patient undergoing HESP, with constant firing of neurons and no transfer of signals due to expanded synaptic clefts.
Hope for Those Afflicted: Core Flytes
Due to both the devastating impact and unpredictable nature of HESP, the research community has formed a diverse and unprecedented coalition to tackle this emergency. Early research by the newly formed HESP Research Board consisting of experts in the field of neurology, social science, kinesiology, and ethnochoreology (the study of dance), has identified effective preventative measures.
The group recommends that those who participated in the Mannequin Challenge incorporate basic exercises that increase proprioception and neuromuscular connectivity. Harvard's Dr. Lestar, the director of the HESP Research Board, said, "The most effective approach for preventing HESP is to use Core Flyte dynamic stability training tools for 15 minutes, three times a week. Exercising with Core Flytes increases the brain's ability to defend against synaptic cleft expansion by developing stronger neuromuscular connections." Core Flyte exercises, which involve performing bodyweight movements while on small, padded platforms that move on three balls, keep muscles and minds active for extended periods of time. Dr. Lestar's team has found that the increased muscle activation is effective for fighting off the threat of HESP.
While conclusive results from the HESP Research Board are pending publication, the team recommends that "anyone who has been a member of a Mannequin Challenge event, even one that wasn't that long or entertaining, should immediately order Core Flytes and begin a safe exercise regimen." In addition, the group has petitioned the World Health Organization to add the Mannequin Challenge to its list of unsafe activities, along with cigarette smoking and consumption of foods high in saturated fat.
Please take precautions before taking part in the next fad... and always check the date of the articles you read!
Check us out on Instagram and Facebook for updates!
Be Flyte Fit,
Jeff Latimer & Jeremy Greenberg
Core Flyte Rap Video
Check out our awesome customers combining Core Flytes and Everlast!
Learn more about Core Flytes here.
“Physical feelings are what arise as soon as the brain interprets emotions." - Antonio Damasio
As each of us perform daily activities to keep up with our busy lives, we experience emotions and physical feelings. These sensations often occur simultaneously. For example, when experiencing sadness, there is often a tension felt in the chest. And when we’re happy, we can sometimes feel lighter. Perhaps the physiological and the psychological are more linked than we believe?
Beliefs and traditions seem to point towards an arbitrary distinction between the mind and body. So much so, that most of us feel as though we are an operator of our body, rather than the body itself. Ultimately, the sensations we feel, whether by thought, or from external force, are impossible to categorize as exclusive to our body or psyche.
The Yo-Yo Effect
The mind-body relationship can be illustrated by the "Yo-Yo Effect." Antonio Damasio, a well known neurologist, explains that once there is a physical stimuli, the brain quickly interprets emotion in order to respond to that stimuli. The emotional response from a physical stimuli (and vice versa) is similar to a yo-yo returning to its starting point after being let go. The two sensations are a unified process. Damasio refers to our body’s response to fear. He states, “When we are afraid of something, our hearts begin to race, our mouth becomes dry, our skin turns pale, and our muscles contract”.
Understanding the link between mind and body can change the way we live. Some activities can activate our mind and body at once. Most of us are already reaping the benefits of this to one extent or another. Think about the feeling of psychological relief after a physical exercise.
Ideally, workouts should strengthen both mind and body. The key is to introduce complex variety into exercise routines. By discovering new ways to challenge our body, the brain can form new pathways. Stability workouts are a great example of this. Stability control requires constant focus. The Core Flyte makes possible thousands of stability exercise varieties that challenge balance and movement. They also can be used as a secondary element of instability to your workout. For example, using a punching bag with one foot on a Core Flyte.
We love seeing new and creative workout methods that challenge the brain and body! Check us out on Facebook or Instagram for daily updates and workout ideas!
Be Flyte Fit,
Contributing Writer, Flyte Fitness
Certified Group Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer
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If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. - Bruce Lee
Struggling to fall asleep is something we can all relate to. The majority of us are all too familiar with this scenario: It’s 10:30pm on a weekday - time for bed. It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow. By getting to bed early, we’re ensuring a productive day ahead of us. There have been sleepless nights before - but this is not one of those nights! So we’ll lie down, maybe with our laptop or cell phone, and before we know it, it’s 3:00 in the morning and we’re 90 minutes into a Lord of the Rings movie.
All this would be fine if we were nocturnal animals (and who doesn’t love Lord of the Rings), but unfortunately, most of us have classes, a job, or other responsibilities that are expected of us during the day. Tiredness prevents are brain and body from working to it’s full potential. Although much about sleep is still a mystery, we know the brain needs periods of unconsciousness to process conscious experience. Turning to coffee or 5-Hour Energy can temporarily solve the problem. However, they are no substitute for a good night's sleep.
We want to feel our eyes get slowly heavier as 11:00pm approaches, notice our mind start to drift off into la-la land, rest our heads, and then, like magic, it’s morning! It may sound like a dream (pun intended), especially having this experience happen night after night. But it’s very possible. Here are a few habits to get you dreaming again.
Lighting - You’ll want to stay away from light in the hours before you sleep. More specifically, blue light (emitted from electronics). This type of light can throw off our sleep rhythm and confuse our biological clock. Naturally, when we see light, our brain - which has been evolving for billions of years without the presence of technology - thinks, Oh it’s bright.. I should probably go looking for food or potential mates. And as a result, we are restless.
There are a few methods to cheat your brains recognition of blue light (like browser extensions that will change screen color and blue light blocking glasses). But they are no real substitution for a nice dark room.
Breathing - If blue light is too tempting, controlled breathing is another route to better sleeps. The 4-7-8 Method has grown in popularity recently and involves controlling breath for counts of 4,7, and 8. The method, which apparently takes practice to master, is said to be able to put you asleep in 60 seconds. If nothing else, breathing exercises help us relax. And relaxation is probably the most important tool for getting to sleep.
Staying out of bed during the day - The brain is certainly a recurring theme when talking about sleep. The human brain is an network of connections. Some of the connections our brain makes could be harmful for falling asleep. Light (from above) is an example of this. Another more day to day example is the connection our brain makes with our bed. Our brains perceives places we spend time in during the day to be those that need conscious awareness. Beds are the best example of this. By spending time in bed during the day, our brain (which at this point in the article, we are starting to despise), associates bed with daytime activity.
Hopefully, leaving the bed at some point during the day isn’t too challenging, but even lying down after work can cause sleep problems later in the night.
Exercise - Because sleep is largely a process to regain energy, it helps to use up energy given by the previous night. Going back to biology, our brain knows that exerting energy during the day is necessary. Our brain is used to working for food (as opposed to working for money to buy food). So when we lay down after a day being behind a desk, our brain is getting conflicting messages. Hopping on the Core Flytes for a few minutes a day can help here!
Final Thoughts: Ultimately falling asleep is still largely an involuntary process that will happen best naturally. The best method is the one that’ll put you at ease. Find your happy place and your brain will do the rest.
Check us out on Facebook or Instagram for daily updates!
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing and Customer Engagement Manager
Core Flyte & BOSU Rap Video
Check out our amazing customers combining Core Flytes and BOSUs for awesome exercises.
Learn more about Core Flytes here.
"Change is the end result of all true learning." -Leo Buscaglia
A new year brings changes we can all adapt to. January is a time where the gym is a little more crowded, but aside from that, it's business as usual. 2016, for some of us, was a year of routine. We counted reps, pushed hard, and felt the satisfaction of putting in a good workout. Inevitably, with all this focus, certain trends might have slipped under our radar. Luckily, we can give you a heads up for what can be expected in 2017.
While Flyte Fitness continues to pave the way for mechanical ball transfer gym technology, computerized gym-tech will also have a huge role to play in the coming year. It's hard to imagine computers in the gym. However, over the past few years, they have been steadily entering the exercise room. In 2017, we can be sure that trend will continue to effect the lifestyle of gym-goers - but how exactly?
According to The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the biggest exercise science and medicine organization in the world, wearable computer tech will dominate 2017. Their survey, which gathers information from fitness professionals of all types, examines new technology and how it will influence the way we train. Wearable tech includes GPS devices, heart-rate monitors, and smart watches. These devices tend to be more geared toward cardiovascular exercises. For our workout routines, monitoring progress in terms of time and exertion is important. Wearable tech lets us do just that. Now, we can measure steps, heart-rate, reps, time (that one's easy), and location via these devices. Experts in the industry are working to integrate AI too. By capturing data from your workout and comparing it to your existing health patterns a computer will, in the not so distant future, be able to suggest the right workout schedule to meet your goals.
All this change is happening so quickly. Fortunately, our gyms aren't run by super-humanoids (yet). But in the meantime, here are 4 more trending workout related topics for 2017:
Body Weight Training
In addition to computer tech, another emerging gym trend is body weight training. This type of training requires little equipment, leading to convenient and less expensive workouts. Although humans have been using this method for a while, only recently has it really started to catch on. We recommend adding instability into these workouts with Core Flyte. This works more muscle groups, adds an extra creative challenge, as well as improves balance. When creating Core Flyte, portability was also a goal of ours. We wanted to keep the convenience of body weight training, but give the results of a multi-machine gym workout.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
It can be good to speed things up from time to time. High-Intensity Interval Training uses short bursts of energy with limited recovery time. This workout style will continue to make headlines in 2017. It's tiring, but effective. HIIT has both cardio and muscular benefits, which is one of the reasons it's become so popular. In addition to that, we've also noticed people tend to be more satisfied with their workouts after HIIT sessions.
Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
If you're interested in a fitness career, we have good news. ASCM predicts that fitness education and certification programs will continue to grow. Because the health and wellness field is becoming more complex, there is an increasing need for professionals to lend their advice. Speaking to a fitness professional (or just a fellow gym member) helps to open our eyes to new exercises and muscle groups.
Although we can all appreciate a good cardio, there's nothing like hitting the heavy weights.
Linking low-reps strength training without adding too much weight by adding instability is what we love! Instability can mean that by only adding a little more weight, the exercise can become exponentially more difficult. In the coming year, we hope to discover new strength challenging options that integrate Flyte Fitness with all types of other gym equipment.
It's thrilling to see the volume of customer videos with newly discovered Core Flyte applications! And it's great to communicate those innovative ideas back to the Flyte Community. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for daily updates! Send us your unique Core Flyte applications - you might set the next big trend in fitness!
Be Flyte Fit,
Marketing and Customer Engagement Manager