Millions of people make the same New Year’s resolutions every year. Getting fit, losing weight, and eating healthy are always among the Top 10 of these promises. Sounds nice but sadly only 12% of these millions actually reach their goals.* The aim of this post is to help you make a New Year’s fitness resolution that will actually stick.
Date: December 29, 2011 Tõnis SaagComments:Comments Off
Date: June 3, 2011 Helen KalbergComments:Comments Off
Last week we asked our users’ opinion about Sportlyzer. Our aim was to find out who are our active users, what are Sportlyzer’s main values for them, what is missed most and so on. Given below is a short overview of the results with some comments from Sportlyzer’s side.
Our clients are mostly 20-40 years old and besides their favourite endurance sports practice also ball games and gym. The most valuable features according to their opinion are:
Training advice. Further improvements are on process and more precise feedback and advice are on its way.
Weekly overview, the graph and split between sports (endurance, skill sports and strength training) and heart rate zones.
Goals. It’s nice to see that users have adapted it so well. Goal development (more personalized goals) is in our plans but it’s too soon to give out specific dates.
There are also 3 things that stood out in responses for question “what do you miss most”:
- Specific trainings for each day, more precise advice on the structure of training. It is our top priority and the work on this feature should start any day now. So, be patient – this is worth waiting for .
- Better integration with devices such as Garmin, Suunto, Polar and so on. Point taken. Our tech team is already working with the integrations.
- “Totals” (e.g. how many km/miles run during the season, last month’s total etc.). Indeed, it’s not possible to count totals yet, but it is in our to do list and we hope to add it to our new design as soon as possible.
The key point, why people come back to Sportlyzer was mostly similar to the to 3 features, but in addition to that, our Heart Rate zones system got quite a lot of votes. The fact that we’ve managed to educate users to train according to heart rate zones makes us very happy.
There were many other intersting suggestions and we’ve them added all into our roadmap. Thanks for your feedback and while we keep on working with improvements, you keep on giving valuable feedback. So, don’t forget to use Sportlyzer’s feedback feature and/or our forum.
Date: March 22, 2011 Helen KalbergComments:Comments Off
Sportlyzer launched a virtual trainer that focuses on training advice – a required supplement to numerous exercise tracking applications and devices. Sportlyzer is providing a virtual trainer that uses complex algorithms to compose and modify workout plans and give training advice based on a user’s previous workouts and current training schedule. Just as well as a real trainer. This major step is the result of months of hard work and development – yet it is just the beginning of the next generation virtual trainer.
Sportlyzer’s uniqueness is based on 2 core features:
- Relevant training advice delivered by the virtual trainer
- Uniquely tailored training plans which adapt to changes.
The virtual trainer is supported by social networking which enables users to do numerous training related things. Hereby we would like to give a short overview about the possibilities in the public beta.
Adding and editing workouts is made easy. Workouts can be added either manually or from a heart rate monitor (Polar .hrm and .gpx are currently supported types). It is also possible to add multiple workouts to the same day.
Goal setting and individual workout plans.
Based on physical characteristics, goals and previous workout history, Sportlyzer’s algorithms tailor a unique workout plan for each user. Workout plans are flexible to changes and are therefore modified after every change in scheduled workouts.
Training advice from the virtual trainer.
Virtual trainer gives training advice based on individual workout plan and data from previous workouts: suggests training loads and warns if user’s training load is too high or too low. As common in newer sports practices, the training advice is concentrated on heart rate zones and minutes instead of kilometers/miles. Explanations are available for the beginners and to those who are new to this system.
Workout community and shared training routes.
One of the most common reasons why people skip workouts is lack of people to train with. “Community” and “Join a friend” tools in Sportlyzer enable users to share workouts and join friends’ trainings with just one click. Besides trainings, it is also possible to track your favourite routes on map and “borrow” interesting training routes from your friends.
Sportlyzer’s team is working with further improvements. Until then, everyone is welcome to join, try and give us feedback, so we could tailor our virtual trainer according to our users’ needs.
Date: December 30, 2010 Mike LyzerComments:Comments Off
For many people, mixed feelings of dread and bad expectations arise in the final days of a year. But such a dread can also be accompanied by expectations full of wonderful promise. The promise of Christmas is followed by the promise of New Year’s Day – a time for new beginnings and resolutions aimed at changes for the better. Those are our unrealistic expectations and attitudes that give rise to our bad expectations:
Aim for your destination, concentrate on the journey. How pleasant it feels to dream about the happy, healthy, and productive person I’ll become after I have got down to it on the January 1st! However, willpower is not enough for long-term success. Willpower is just a good basis for careful goal setting and planning.
Motivation evolves from small successes. Even if you feel full of power for big changes, only keeping the ultimate outcome in mind most likely won’t help you for long time. Break down large goals into smaller ones, and keep your concentration on the closest one. For instance, if your resolution is to lose 8 kg, then joining a swimming club and improving your eating habits are two general action plans. Now, list all steps that are required to take, accompanied by target dates and strategies for maintaining new habits once you reach your goal. A SMART specific action goal for the first week could be two swimming workouts of 30 minutes each. This is a specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-related goal. Even if you didn’t lose any weight by the end of the week, you are one step closer to your ultimate goal – you have already changed your habits.
Make a daring Plan B. If you aim your goal, it is wise to make plans for setbacks. One could think about alternative workouts that can be grabbed at when swimming plan is changed by holydays, betraying exercise buddies or simple boredom.
Happy New Year’s resolutions!
Date: December 15, 2010 Mike LyzerComments:Comments Off
Finding the motivation to train or do exercise on a regular basis isn’t always easy. Demanding schedules and illness are just a couple of the things that can interrupt your fitness routine. Motivation can be found by following the SMART approach to goal setting. Many athletes, coaches and serial exercisers use this formula successfully to set both short and long-term training goals.
Setting your goals – remember be SMART:
- Specific – these are the most motivating goals. A specific goal is to reduce the time you take to swim 1000 m from 30 minutes to 20 minutes within 6 months. Quite often people just say they want to get faster. That is far too general to really motivate you in the pool.
- Measurable – it means that simply saying that you want to get faster is not enough. You need to be able to map the progress toward your goal. One way to measure your progress is to assess your performance at set intervals. In the above example you may want to time your 1000 m swim twice a month.
- Adjustable and Action-Oriented – goals help you only if they are flexible enough to allow for unexpected changes. An illness or injury may force you to readjust your goal. It doesn’t need to mean abandoning all your plans and dreams, you just need to find another way to action them. Importantly, keep your plans focused on your actions. Quite often people focus only on what they want to achieve, but forget to plan how to achieve it.
- Realistic – base your goals on your actual situation. If you never swam 1000 m, start by planning small sub-goals. Swimming 1000 m in 20 minutes is a perfect long-term goal, but in the short-term you may want to shoot for 35 minutes. This is a healthy and realistic plan. On the other hand, if goals are too easy, you won’t get much satisfaction from attaining them.
- Time-related – connect your measurable, realistic and challenging goals to your schedule. In our example this would be to reduce the time taken to swim 1000 m within 6 months. You may also need to set interim goals with shorter timelines to keep your landmarks in view. Note that having only goals that are achievable in more than 6 months, will make heavy demands on your motivation. Try to re-evaluate your progress every 2-3 months.
Last but not least, goal setting is not actually a prerequisite for attaining your goals. Nor can setting goals ever guarantee achievement of those goals – because all sorts of obstacles can hold you up. However, goal-setting is a tried and trusted technique to improve concentration and motivation, and so it increases the likelihood of achieving your dreams.
Date: November 17, 2010 Mike LyzerComments:Comments Off
As many as half the people who start training drop out again within six months – and the most frequent reason given is lack of time. If we looked closer, we’d probably see that in most cases it’s more a matter of managing the time available than having no time at all. Let’s have a look where can you find time to keep yourself more active. Here are some small steps to help structure your life and give you back control.
Active transportation: Could you walk or bike to school or work? If you take the bus, could you get off a few blocks earlier and walk the rest of the way? When you go to the mall, could you park your car in the furthest corner of the lot and walk the extra distance? Could you take the stairs instead of an elevator?
Exercising cues: Could you remind yourself to exercise a little more? People use cues and reminders to make it a bit harder to forget about exercising. For instance, they keep a pair of walking shoes in the car to be ready whenever they find a few minutes to walk. Or they take their sports bag into the office to remind them to finish work on time and get to the gym.
Make it social: What about making exercise a social activity? Is there a badminton club or hiking group in your neighbourhood? Or could you initiate a lunchtime walking group at work? Even if you just all walk to a restaurant a bit further away and back – it all helps make exercise social. The routine on one side and the support of a group on the other may be just what you need to help you stick with a new activity.
Active TV watching: Could you get active while watching TV? Some former couch potatoes have started to change by just using hand weights (or cans of beans or packs of sugar) while watching TV. Would some yoga or core-strength exercises be something you could do during your favourite show?
Put it in your calendar: Lastly, could you plan your workouts and other physical activity in the calendar? Many people schedule physical activity as they would plan any other appointment during the day. It’s all too easy to change vague plans every time something else comes along—so we end up with a permanent lack of time, but specific plans with times and details make it a little bit harder to skip exercise.