Monday, June 9, 2014

PumpUp App: Using technology to it's fullest potential when working out

To continue with the June PDBA focus on the body this month, we recently came across an article introducing a new fitness app that connects all the common social media networks through image sharing and combines it with a useful workout tracking program.  PumpUp is a fun app that allows you to take your healthy lifestyle a step up and organize your workouts through photographing your progress with your body as it changes, display new tricks on the pole, or share images of your favorite healthy dishes and recipes.  With a simple click, you can collectively share your progress with all your favorite social media sites. 

I wanted to get to know this app a little more so I decided to download the free app from the Apple App store.  PumpUp is also available in the Google Play store for non-iphone users. 

Once downloaded, you can sign in via your Facebook or email.  After logging in, you will be prompted to complete your profile.  Once your profile is complete, you can log your activity, start a workout, track weight, or simply share a photo.  When logging activity, various fitness activities are shown in a list format.  For my pole dancing workout, I choose dance as my activity.  The app then allows you to enter the duration and intensity of your activity and based on the height and weight you entered when completing your profile the calories burned will calculate. 

After you've entered the information for your logged activity, you may also add a picture.  I decided to take some screen shots from my workout and with the help of the picture collage app PicStitch, I created an image that displayed all my screenshots for a single shared image: 

The app overall resembles Instagram in it's layout except it has the additional benefits of keeping track of your workout.  One of the uses for this app that I can see a huge motivator would be to combine a side by side image with a FITspiration image and your progress towards achieving your FITspiration aerial, pole, yoga, or flexibility pose. In our June PDBA blog hop, we defined the term FITspiration and discussed this movement in the fitness world.  I think this app can be fun and useful for fitness enthusiasts.  I'm interested to see how PumpUp will develop over time and fit into my fitness regimen. 

Aside from the quick logging of your workout, PumpUp allows you to build a workout based on your training goal to lose weight, get toned, build muscle, or just to be healthy.  After choosing a category for building your workout, you then choose the intensity level, duration, and location of your workout.  Based on your location, the app will ask you what equipment you have available.  The equipment varies from weights, cardio, machines, and other.  You may also choose no equipment.  The app further walks you through what muscle groups you'd like to target.  Once you complete all the selections, the app will build a workout and coach your through each exercise starting with a warmup.  The entire activity gives image tutorials of each workout with instructions on how many reps and how long.  All this activity is saved and logged to your profile to track your progress and allow you to repeat the same workout at another time.  As an instructor always looking for new ideas to add to my conditioning class, this app will serve as a tool to add great exercises that target key muscle groups I'd like to focus on in my classes based on my student's needs. 

We're excited to start using and figuring out more benefits to PumpUp.  If you've downloaded PumpUp fitness app, be sure to find and follow us @PoleHarmony.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June PDBA Blog Hop: FITspiration

This month's Pole Dancing Bloggers Association (PDBA) blog hop theme is the body issue. We're talking about anything and everything in modern day culture related to the body and pole dancing.  Our body is our temple. It is our sacred shell that we should enjoy and take care of.  A huge ritual of taking care of our body includes the actions we participate in to meet our fitness goals.  With all the instant access to social media and photo sharing, the culture of the fitness industry has adopted the use of images to draw inspiration to meeting those fitness goals.  The term FITspiration has been coined to describe this phenomenon.  Urban Dictionary defines FITspiration as follows:

In the pole world, FITspiration has been prevalent long before the use of picture sharing sites such as instagram and pinterest.  Pole dancers have been taking pictures of pole moves and sharing via social media to inspire each other for years.  Through these images, we have grown as an industry including bringing awareness to pole dancing for fitness.

FITspiration brings about a renewed meaning to the infamous quote, "A picture is worth a thousand words," -Napoleon Bonaparte.  An image can mean so many different things and every observer will interpret the image differently.  This is where FITspiration, although intentions may be good, can lead to very negative messages.  The REEMBODY Blog points out six FITspiration themes that take this trend in a negative direction that promotes a dangerous mindset and culture in the article, The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible "FITspiration" Photos.

Since there is no filter out there for FITspiration, I wanted to offer some tips to consider when using FITspiration images to motivate you towards your goals.  In choosing your image as a positive FITspiration, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does this image align with the concept I want for my body?
2. Is this a goal I feel I can achieve for my current level or body's capabilities?
3. Do I have the appropriate support to work towards this goal safely?
4. Is this image free of promotional measures that exceed my body's internal alerting system?

Safety should be a huge consideration when looking for motivation.  It's easy to see an image and want to draw inspiration from that image.  A healthy image promotes healthy results by safe and healthy means.  When using images as a business, I'm often looking for details that include proper form and technique.  I feel like keeping these details in mind also keeps my business aligned with my mission of promoting safety to my students. It is through owning my own business and promoting fitness and health to others that I have become body conscious. I hope that through the use of tools that are available, others will benefit from drawing inspiration to heighten their body awareness and fuel their motivation to succeed. 

Continue the discussion: Are you someone who uses FITspiration?  What kinds of FITspiration images do you use? Is there an overall theme to your inspiration, i.e. flexibility, tricks, strength? 

Blog Hop is a monthly blog topic involving pole dancing blog contributors from around the world actively involved in the online Pole Dancing Bloggers Association. Each month we write our perspective about a given topic pertaining to the pole dancing community. To read fellow Pole Dancing Bloggers Association June Blog Hop entries: