Tag Archives: exercise


Running Helps You Grow New Brain Cells

Over the years here at ProfHacker we’ve published a variety of posts about physical fitness, from Meagan Timney’s “Nurturing the Mind Body Connection” to Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s “Prioritizing Exercise” to Ryan Cordell’s endorsement of a 7-minute workout to Natalie Houston’s advice on how to fit exercise into a busy conference schedule.

Staying active obviously has benefits for one’s physical health, but researchers have demonstrated that there are also benefits for one’s psychological and intell…


Ten Things to Do Instead of Checking Email

steaming pot

So, let’s imagine that you’re in your office, and have about 15 minutes before you need to walk out of your building to get to a meeting. What do you do in those 15 minutes?

Many readers probably answered “check email.” Checking email has become the default work-ish activity for many professionals. I said work-ish because while checking email may be work-related, for most people it is not a central activity of their work.

In fact, checking email can easily become a kind of distraction, keeping …


Get Started Exercising on a Tight Schedule with the 7-Minute Workout

8084682666_5244eb9f50_bWe write about fitness quite a bit here at ProfHacker. I must confess, though, that until quite recently I was all excuses. Beginning in grad school and through my first post-grad-school job, I was far, far “too busy” to work out. I had excuses every day—writing, teaching, grading, and family—all good priorities, to be sure, but none that truly took over my life so as to make exercise literally impossible. I fell out of the habit, and over a decade lost any will to do it. But my reticence ha…


Open Thread Wednesday: How Fitness-Friendly Is Your Campus?

Bicycling Magazine just published their list of “9 Great Colleges for Cyclists,” and it’s got me thinking about the extent to which a campus does — or doesn’t — make infrastructure choices that encourage cycling or walking (or running) as a means of getting from place to place.

For example, when I went to a conference at Stanford University a few years ago, I was especially impressed by what seemed to be a very robust campus bike community. As the above linked article explains,

The California s…


30 Days of Biking in April

I’ve been looking for a structured way to start getting more exercise, and it looks like the “30 Days of Biking” project–which starts tomorrow, April 1–might be just what I’m looking for. As the associated website explains, “Very simply, it’s a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, however far you want, no matter the weather! Next, you share your adventures online, with #30daysofbiking. That’s all there is to it.”

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Two Months with the Basis

Basis tracker In June of this year I wrote about using the Fitbit Flex, which was the first general-purpose fitness tracker I’d used. I have used heart rate monitors and running watches for specific fitness training for many years, but only for specific activities. An athletic heart rate monitor is a fantastic cardio training tool, as it helps you monitor your exertion level very precisely, especially for interval training. But those kind of heart rate monitors are not designed for continuous use — they usual…


Four Simple Ways to Improve Your Day

green spaceFour simple ways to change your day, right now, using one of the most powerful free technologies available: the human body.

Close your eyes and breathe.
When you close your eyes and focus on your breath for even just a minute, the nervous system begins to slow down, increasing the ratio of alpha waves produced in your brain, and lowering pulse and blood pressure. Don’t worry about trying to breathe deeply or slowly (though that will naturally happen if you have more than a minute to devote to th…


In Case of Emergency: ID Bands & Tags

3529708761_9f121328e5_mWe take physical well-being seriously at ProfHacker. Recently, for example, Natalie wrote about her “Month with the Fitbit Flex,” Ryan has written a series about his journey with a standing desk and Konrad has offered the “Portable Ninja” version. I adapted one of my favorite posts, “The Rule of 200” to exercise: “The Rule of 200: Fitness Edition.” Guest author Meagan Timney has encouraged “Nurturing the Mind-Body Connection,” and Kathleen Fitzparick has written about the importance of Prioritiz…


A Month With the Fitbit Flex

fitbit wrist The Flex wristband by Fitbit, released in May, is the latest personal fitness tracker to bring some aspects of the quantified self movement to the general public. I had pre-ordered the Fitbit Flex earlier this year and waited eagerly for it to arrive. I’ve now been using it for about a month and I’m very pleased with it.

Why I Chose the Fitbit Flex

I’ve been interested in personal fitness trackers for some time and had looked at the available options. I nearly bought a Nike FuelBand two years a…


Digital Distractions: Zombies, Run!

We tend to think of our digital distractions as exactly that—distractions from the otherwise productive business of our daily lives. The Zombies, Run! game, however, could just as easily fit alongside the health and wellness posts on ProfHacker. This smartphone app (available for Android and iOS devices) is essentially a running app wrapped up in zombie narrative. Each run enacts a single “mission” in post-apocalyptic world threatened by zombie hordes. You play Runner 5—a courier with a my…