The Feel Good Report June 2013
Michael Korb on the latest trends in health, beauty and fitness.
THE SMART FORK
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes something so shocking, so revolutionary, that you’re forced to say, “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Where can I get one?”
The amazing item in question is none other than the HapiFork, the new smart eating utensil that counts bites during meals, helping (hopefully) to get dieters eating more slowly and possibly losing weight. When metal tines of the HapiFork touch the mouth, a circuit is closed, registering a bite. That data is then sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The fork can stay charged for 15 days. The core pops out for easy washing.
It has an app that allows users to track eating habits, including duration of meals and even frequency of forkfuls. As a tool for behavior modification, it vibrates anytime the eater is eating too quickly. (Any bites that occur less than 10 seconds apart trigger the vibration. Your chewing may vary.)
At press time you could get the $99 device only through Kickstarter. But you should be able to order one through the company in September. hapilabs.com
MUSIC TO SWEAT BY
Let’s face it, you need to get moving. Your body is slowly turning into pudding. But the truth is, it’s hard to get motivated. We get it. So researchers at the School of Sport and Education at London’s Brunel University looked into the music we listen to during workouts. They found that songs with between 125 and 140 beats per minute are optimal to both boost motivation and reduce the sense of exertion.
Other studies have shown that when athletes synchronize their movements to a musical beat, they can handle more: Treadmill walkers could go farther and cyclists needed less oxygen. So what are some popular songs that fit this workout sweet spot? Not surprisingly, Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory make the cut, as does Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas and Gangnam Style by Psy.
You’re probably listening to those right now, so get up and move.
FULL WORKOUT WHILE YOU RIDE
Because we love gadgets more than the exercise they were created for, we will gladly recommend the Stridecore. It looks like a bicycle, but works more like a stair stepper. Cyclists love it. Gym rats love it. And why not? It incorporates a full-body, non-impact cardio workout outdoors by combining cycling, running and strength training.
The riding position reduces stress on the back, neck and shoulders and gives riders a commanding view of their surroundings. And the nine-speed is fully adjustable for riders of varying height and weight. Take deep strides for glutes and small strides for quads. It is a cool way to fit in your workout while being outdoors. It comes in four versions (ranging from $2,299 to $3,847) and a host of colors and wheel choices. Best of all, it’ll fit on your bike rack. stridecore.com
HIP SURGERY AND YOUR LOVE LIFE
No one debates the benefits of hip surgery. Today a person can go from slow and creaky to quick and nimble with a short trip to the anesthesiologist. Recent advancements leave patients with less down time, shorter recovery time and less pain than ever before. Consequently, more and more people are going under the knife to restore their quality of life. Who knew they were also restoring their ability to get down with the ones they love?
According to research presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, people who suffered from arthritis often said it was infringing on their sex lives. And among a survey of recent patients who made the complaint, 81 percent said they were back in the saddle post surgery, mentioning increased stamina, libido and their ability to, shall we say, reach the end of their journey. So if you’re looking to “get down” (and get back up comfortably), consider hip surgery. It’ll give you a new lease on (love) life.
TO STRETCH OR NOT TO STRETCH?
Don’t you hate it when things you’ve accepted as the truth turn out to be wrong? Since the dawn of time, it’s been widely preached that stretching before exercise would help us be looser, better and stave off injury. But two new studies have concluded that if you stretch before doing things such as lifting weights, you’ll actually feel weaker and less stable than if you had done no stretching at all.
One of the studies compared 104 past studies that met their criteria of experiments where volunteers stretched and then jumped, dunked, sprinted, lifted and/or had their muscle strength tested. The results were enough to give even speed demons pause: Static stretching reduces muscle strength almost 5.5 percent. A similar study found volunteers who did static stretching lifted 8.3 percent less than those who did not.
GOOD FOR YOUR FACE
If you are on the cutting edge of looking great, you need to know about a new facial available at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Naples. It’s called the HydraFacial and it incorporates hydrating technology that leaves your skin feeling fresh, clean and supple—like a baby’s bottom, only more acceptable to passersby on the street. And all you need to do is lie back and be pampered in a way that only the Ritz-Carlton Spa can.
It’s a multi-step process that utilizes a series of HydroPeel tips that exfoliate the skin several times with each pass. It’s like having your skin vacuumed, shampooed and pressure-washed while the scent of lilac wafts through the private room. Though customized for each client, it features a gentle acid peel, extractions (via vortex suction), hydration with DermaBuilder and protection to help fight off the free radicals caused by beautiful sunshine and swaying palm trees.
Maybe it’s the robe and slippers talking, but this is an experience you owe yourself— it’ll take years off your smiling face. ritzcarlton.com