Category Archives: Fitness

Man Uses Google Maps to Walk 5,000 Miles Across Asia

In the summer of 2010, my brother Ryan and I drove from Miami to Los Angeles using only the Google Maps on my iPhone3G (in a Mini Cooper).  I thought that was impressive until I just heard about U.S. Marine Sgt. Winston Fiore, who used Google Maps to walk 5,000 miles across Asia.

Using an Android phone running Maps, Fiore walked across Brunei, China, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to raise money and awareness for the International Children’s Surgical Foundation, a charity that provides free facial reconstructive surgery for kids with cleft palates in developing countries.  He began walking last October and finished Monday.

In this journey that he dubbed the “Smile Trek,” Fiore said Google Maps was “the hub” of his entire trip.  He used it to find the most accurate and easy walking directions and it guided him through remote villages and along dirt roads.

“Walking directions in Google Maps were critical to my trek. The directions were accurate and efficient — it’s essential to take the shortest route when you’re walking 20-25 miles each day,” Fiore told Google. “But the best part was being routed onto roads and trails through areas I otherwise never would have discovered with, say, driving directions, or even a physical map.”

During Smile Trek, Fiore also used other Google products including Google Latitude, which allows you to find your friends and family on a map and share where you are with the people you choose, My Tracks, which records GPS tracks and shows live statistics such as time, speed, distance, and elevation and Google Translate.

In 408 days, Fiore raised more than $65,000 for the International Children’s Surgical Foundation.

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My South Florida Stay-Cation

After spending my last two weekends away in Pittsburgh (one for business, one for fun), it felt good to stay local this weekend.  I didn’t end up sitting on the couch and doing nothing except have a big Dexter marathon like I originally planned; instead I had a good time getting out, eating and enjoying the simple things in my native South Florida.

Friday evening after work, I went to one of my favorite happy hours- a 90-minute vinyasa flow class at Yoga Fox in Delray Beach.  After yoga, Jeremy and I decided to go out for dinner and I was set on trying something new.  We ended up at Fish Shack in Pompano Beach, a restaurant that was recommended to us by a friend.  If she had never checked in and posted an awesome review of it on Facebook, I would’ve never known the place existed.  It’s a little hole in the wall, tucked away in a residential neighborhood in an old, beat-up plaza next door to a convenience store.  If I hadn’t been forewarned about what it looks like on the outside, I’m not sure I would have gone in.

Fish Shack may be a little sketchy on the outside, but I’m really glad we went in because the food was incredible.  The menu mostly consists of local, fresh seafood dishes at extremely reasonable prices.  We ordered buffalo shrimp, fried Ipswich clams and the catch of the day, a red snapper.  At our server’s recommendation, we got it garlic butter-style lightly blackened.  Everything was fresh and delicious, and it only came to about $46.  That same meal would have easily cost $100 in downtown Delray Beach.  I am now a big fan of Fish Shack and I’m looking forward to going back and trying the rest of the items on the menu.

Saturday morning was the kickoff to this season’s Delray Beach Green Market, which is now held in Old School Square each week.  Jeremy came home with two baskets full of fresh local produce, and we had the most incredible brunch- cinnamon buns and Caprese sandwiches of fresh bread, basil, Roma tomatoes and handcrafted burrata mozzarella.

Last Saturday night was also the second Saturday of the month, which means that it was Art Walk in the Wynwood district of Miami.  Each month thousands of people come to Wynwood for a night of art, food, drinks and music in the streets.  The galleries and local businesses stay open later than usual, and dozens of food trucks are parked in a huge lot near NW 21st Street and NW 2nd Avenue. I personally go because I enjoy sampling lots of little snacks from the trucks (unfortunately I have yet to see more than one food truck in Delray at a time) and being inspired by all of the incredible art, both in the galleries and on the streets.  The people-watching is pretty intellectually stimulating as well.

Before heading to Wynwood, Jeremy and I stopped by one of my old stomping grounds, Lincoln Road. I went to “Lincoln” almost daily for the five years that I lived in South Beach and I really miss it sometimes. It felt great to visit one of my favorite book stores/ happy places in the world, Taschen, and to eat the sweet and spicy edamame from Doraku that I always seem to crave.  While I don’t really miss living in Miami, I miss the little things like that.  My friend Nadia, who was my first roommate in Miami, also happened to be in town for the weekend (she now lives in Orlando) and she met us at Doraku.  It was nice to sip lychee martinis just like old times and catch up with her.

Maybe it was the all the food I ate, or maybe it was the lychee martini (most likely the martini), but I did not want to wake up early on Sunday morning at all.  I had originally wanted to so I could join and support Jeremy for part of his long run.  He’s currently training for the New York City marathon, and he wakes up around 4 a.m. every Sunday to do his long run of the week along A1A.  Last week he ran 20 miles!  Instead I slept until 9:30, went to the gym and put the treadmill on the 5k setting.  Once I got warmed up, I ran the 5k with no problem, and kept running until I had gone six miles.  Not too bad for waking up feeling rough.

The rest of my Sunday was spent just taking it easy.  Jer and I went to visit my grandfather and have dinner with him, and then over to visit his grandmother.  When we got home I finally had my Dexter marathon on the couch, went to bed early and started my week off feeling fantastic.  Here’s to a great and productive week!

Jeremy after running 20 miles!

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Let’s Get Physical (In The Workplace)!

Considering that you are most likely reading this on a tablet or computer screen, you are most likely also sitting down right now.  If you haven’t gotten up in a while, you may want to do so.  Research finds that if you don’t get up and move around more often, apparently there’s a greater chance that you will not live as long as those who do.  According to several studies, sedentary behaviors like sitting and watching TV may have the potential to decrease your life expectancy, even if you exercise regularly.

According to a study published in the online journal BMJ Open, if you sit for more than three hours a day, your life expectancy is lowered by about two years.  This study’s findings are backed up by Australia’s Sax Institute, which says that even with exercise, sitting for several hours a day could cause you to die younger.

Another study tracked 123,000 Americans and found that the death rate for those who spent six or more hours a day sitting was 20% higher than for men who sat for three hours or less.  For women, the difference was even scarier at 40%.

I personally hopped up from my chair after reading these statistics and did a lap around the room.  As a recently-hired office employee who is new to sitting in a cubicle all day long, I find it particularly hard to find time to get up and walk around during the day.  I get plenty of exercise- I’m currently training for a marathon- but these studies are telling me that it may not be enough to make up for the 8 hours a day that I spend on my butt.

So what can I and all of my fellow office workers who have desk jobs do to get more movement during the day?  Experts suggest standing up as much as possible, like when you’re talking on the phone.  Also, try not to be quite as lazy.  Get up and walk to the printer instead of having someone who is already up bring the papers to you.  Don’t call a co-worker that you can see from across the room.  Getting up and talking to them in person will not only make you more active, but it can also improve communication too.

Companies can help out by allowing time for short walks- five to ten minutes each hour is ideal.  Some have even gone as far as bringing in tools like standup desks or the treadmill desk.  Yes, you read correctly.  There is a such thing as a treadmill desk.  Made by LifeSpan, it retails for about $1,999 (it’s on sale for $1,299 on the company’s official website right now). Check it out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally love the idea of being able to stay active while being productive.  If my boss decided to allow these in the office, I would definitely try using it throughout the day.  But in the meantime, I will just make it a point to take a few laps around the office every hour.

Would you use a treadmill desk in your office?  Tell me in the comments!

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