Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have been going to Virgin Active Health Club for over a year now and still enjoy it.  I have a good mix of group exercise classes that I attend, and usually am there 3-4 days per week.  I do kickboxing and spin for cardio, Body Pump for weights, and Pilates and Body Balance for mind/body.  The instructors are all great and quite nice.  I've been particularly enjoying the kickboxing class because the instructor we've had for the past few months actually comes up with her own routines, which are much closer to what I was used to in the States.

I have also just recently started to keep a food and exercise diary.  I found a fantastic free app for my iPhone called MyFitnessPal (they also have a website you can use).  You start out by entering in details about yourself, what kind of weight goal you have and how much you would like to lose each week.  It then calculates how many calories you should eat in a day.  So many foods and brands are already in their database that it is easy to accurately put in what you are eating and drinking. Since it keeps a record of what you have previously listed,  most times it's just a matter of moving things across for each meal.

The MyFitnessPal site is also good because you not only enter in food but also your exercise.  It takes both into consideration when calculating your net calories and how many you have remaining for the day.  In addition, it also gives you a nutritional breakdown summary each day, so you can see if you are meeting your targets there as well.  I have found the data interesting because on days where I have exercise classes I usually have a lot of calories left over, but when I'm not exercising it's either even or a bit over my goal.  Also, having a food diary really keeps you honest, and when you see that a small cookie has the same calories as an apple, it makes you reconsider heading for the cookie jar for an afternoon sugar hit at work.

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