Give your loved ones less cause for concern

“Hey, hey, Corona, go away!” it says on a kindergarten gate poster. Of course, I fully support these rules. I guess you do too: Keep your distance, wash your hands often, cough and sneeze into the corner of your elbow. But did you know that you can protect yourself even further?

When Norway went in lock-down

March 12, 2020, I sat with a large lump in my stomach. This invisible enemy had put an end to most plans for an unknown length of time. We were going to get on the plane to Gran Canaria the next day. With closed kindergartens and home office, the suitcase was quickly unpacked. At the top were sneakers, a t-shirt, and my favorite running shorts. Oh, I was looking forward to running with shorts again!

The days in lock-down went by. One evening, I was sitting in a corner on the bathroom heating cables, smelling a sunscreen tube. (Yes, it’s a thing I do, when the winter feels a little too long). It dawned on me how incredibly lucky I am to have grown up with a family who likes to stay active. Death rates were rising throughout Europe, and many victims’ underlying diseases became more clearly a factor in the fact that many couldn’t survive COVID-19. 

Underlying Disease

Underlying disease in this context is mostly the same as what we know as lifestyle diseases. It is the body’s response to the fact that the lifestyle you choose to live may not be entirely in line with what your body needs. It can manifest itself in high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or lung disease. Everything is filth you would rather be without, but at the same time useful to find out if it is there πŸ€“. It’s just terrible if it’s Covid-19 that makes you aware that it is in your body.

Of the underlying diseases in those who die of Covid-19, high blood pressure is the most important. Figures from Italy show that of 355 deaths associated with Covid-19, 270 had high blood pressure (76%). Figures from Sweden say that 80% of those who died of/with Covid-19 had underlying high blood pressure. (Figures from May 12, 2020)

“Fragility”

In Norwegian medicine, there is talk of frailty. (Not a very pleasant expression, but quite descriptive in principle πŸ€”). In short, it is a term that explains reduced VO2max and maximum muscle strength (1RM). How old, frail, and how badly cared for your heart, vessels and lungs are, is decisive for how sick you can get from Covid-19. The good news is that biological age (as an expression of maximum oxygen uptake and muscle strength) is more important than chronological age in assessing disease risk. Your birthday will come on the same date every year anyway, but you can directly affect your biological age!  πŸŽ‰ 

Work out to get more resilient.

It is well documented that physical activity is very effective in treating several diseases and conditions. Exercise can, in many cases, replace or reduce the need for medication πŸ‘. Research shows that even the sickest heart failure patients tolerate strength and endurance training. Not only that, but it also turns out to have a positive effect on their health! So if you can read this, you are capable of work-out to get more resilient.

Exercise in itself will not prevent you from becoming infected with corona. But exercise will have a preventative effect to the extent that your body becomes less exposed to underlying diseases. You will have a lower biological age, and if you do get sick, you will not be so frail. Let’s be honest; neither of us will be referred to as that? The tip is simple: tie your shoes, get out, and do an activity that will make you breathe heavily. 

Myworkout makes an effort.

At this moment, it is not just me who is doing some writing. Myworkout is now applying for funding to help rehabilitate all those who will need it after being ill with corona. Not only in Norway but worldwide 🀩! We hope this goes through because we are reasonably confident that we can help those who need it. So while we make an effort to put in place the rehabilitation, I hope you do what you can to prevent and get more resilient ❀️

How to start exercising

Do you want to start exercising after a period of little or no activity? The Myworkout GO app gives you both follow-up and measurement of progress, on your terms πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

Get started

To start a life with exercise, you do not need to go to the gym or buy expensive exercise equipment. As long as you have good shoes, the next step is to find a gentle downhill to walk or run in.

The Myworkout GO app provides you with the practical information you need to work out.

A standard workout with Myworkout consists of 4×4 intervals alternating between relatively fast walking/running and slower walking/running. An in-app voice tells you when to start intervals and when to slow down and take an active break.

The first time you walk/run intervals, it is crucial that you do not start too hard. When you feel ready to exercise at a higher intensity, it is essential to remember that you will manage all four intervals at approximately the same speed. If you have to slow down on the last interval, you have been training too hard. Eventually, you become better acquainted with your body and better at adjusting the intensity during exercise.

Short and effective training

A workout based on Myworkout GO will take you exactly 37 minutes, including both warm-up and cool-down afterward. Much more efficiently, it is not possible to conduct a training session with a proven effect.

How to test your maximal heart rate? πŸ’œ

Want to know what your maximal heart rate is? With Myworkout GO, you can easily calculate the maximum heart rate using your mobile phone and transmitter.

How to calculate your maximal heart rate

By connecting a transmitter to the Myworkout App when exercising, you can calculate your maximum heart rate when performing an interval session. After multiple sessions, the heart-rate will be precisely calculated. It provides a much more accurate calculation of maximum heart rate than a statistical estimate.

At Myworkout’s Training Clinic, healthcare professionals use the Myworkout GO app to calculate the maximal heart rate. They guide according to the observation and feeling of the individual – the test is submaximal. The test does not build up to a maximal effort like other tests. You should exercise without feeling uncomfortable, and still, you can know the maximum heart rate with the App Myworkout GO. The guideline is: heavily breathing, but no other discomfort or stiffness in legs. It is in the intervals the testing takes place. Towards the end of the interval, you should not feel like or be able to answer with whole sentences, only single words.

In other words, you should feel capable of doing one more minute for each interval. In the end, one should be able to do another 4-minute interval. For those who cannot work out in this intensity due to health conditions, it helps to exercise even more gently.  

Large margin of error 

It is common to use statistical values ​​when calculating maximum heart rate – this gives an error margin of 20%. With such a large margin of error, this calculation will be useless. The goal of using the maximum heart rate is to find the right exercise intensity for the individual. Therefore it would in no means be helpful using an install. 

It is also possible to test the maximum heart rate by testing to total fatigue. Using this kind of testing on inactive people can be an error-trap. The individual would not know how to feel during a workout with this intensity. It can be frightening, and the individual can also quit before reaching its maximum potential. Therefore the calculations would not give a realistic result. 

Why be aware of your maximal heart rate?

Knowing your maximal heart rate is not necessary, but it can be helpful. It gives you a concrete number for the right intensity while working out. If you chose to use Myworkout Go during your workout, the app would guide you, keeping you in the right sone during the intervals. You get the best effect of your exercise in 85-95% of max sone. It is essential to be aware that our own body lets us know when we have achieved the right sone of intensity: 

  • Heavily breathing but no discomfort
  • Be able to keep the same pace and intensity throughout all of the intervals 
  • After the last interval, you should be able to do another. 

We wish you a good workout.

Finally, Apple Watch + 4×4 with Myworkout GO = True πŸ’›

If you have a Apple Watch you can tie your shoes, close the door and get out to catch your breath doing a 4×4. The phone? Leave it at home!

  • If you do not have Myworkout GO installed on your iPhone, then you need to do so and create a user πŸ€— 
  • The app will appear in your Apple Watch ⌚️ 
  • At the first training, you may be asked to log in to your iPhone before starting πŸ“² 
  • Press start, and of you go πŸƒ 
  • When you get home, you will find the session on your iPhone 🏠

It is important to us that you get as much information about your health as possible with an app’s help.Therefore, you will be asked some questions about these topicsπŸ‘‡. Of course, you choose whether you want to accept all of these. But we depend on having your location to be able to measure your training. For your own experience, we would recommend that you accept all of them.  πŸ€—

                        πŸ©  Health             ❀️  Heart rate                πŸ™‹  Location

But what if things do not go as straight forward as this? We have gathered some smart tips for you right here:

1. The app does not appear on my watch 🀯

Check if your phone is updated to the latest version of iOS. This should do the trick! If not, you can check the watch’s own AppStore and find the app there.

2. Six minutes warm-up? But I have already warmed upπŸ₯΅  

Don’t you worry! We will not spend more of your time than necessary. Therefore, swipe to the right. Here you can choose to skip (Skip) the warm-up.

3. What!! Mother-in-law arrives in 3 minutes, and no one is home 😳

Sometimes life happens, and we do not always get to finish what we have started. No worries. You just swipe right and end (STOP) your workout. Note, you will not be able to evaluate a session when it is not completed.

4. I do not want to hear anything but my own footsteps and birdsong πŸŒ²πŸ¦‰

Totally understandable! Swipe right and turn off the guiding voice (Mute). Note, the clock will vibrate when it is time for a new interval and a new active pause. We would recommend that you go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Select “Sounds and tactile response” and set these alerts to the highest level, to not miss your guidance.

5. I prefer to do my intervals on the treadmill πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 

So far, the app for Apple Watch is designed for outdoor use. But feel free to take it with you on the mill. Just remember to edit the workout on your phone afterward. Change from Outdoor to Treadmill, enter speed and incline in the same way as you are used to πŸ€—

Find your VO2max with a mobile 🀳

Wondering what your maximum oxygen uptake is? You don’t need to seek out a specialist or pay lots of money to find out. Here we show you how to test your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) with a mobile.

What is VO2max? 

Maximum oxygen uptake is the most important measure we have on physical health today. It is a measure of how much oxygen the body can absorb and utilize in one minute. The pumping capacity of the heart mainly determines VO2max. The number you get when testing VO2max is a measure of how good endurance and work capacity you have. If you often feel tired, increased work capacity will give you more energy to cope with everyday life. The number is also crucial to your health because a higher maximum oxygen uptake involves a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and lifestyle diseases. 

A simple test with your phone 

To find your VO2max, you need to be active. The first thing to do is to download the Myworkout GO app and create a user. Then do one of the training activities the app suggests. After pressing β€œstart,” the rest goes automatically by a voice telling you how long to exercise and how intense. The training lasts 37 minutes, and you can read more about how the training session is conducted here (link).

Using the app when exercising outdoors in the form of walking or running, the app will track your activity using GPS. If you use other types of exercise, such as a treadmill, ergometer bike, or rowing machine, you must manually enter the load into the app after the session is complete.

A low margin of error

By tracking activity, we manage to measure both your maximum oxygen uptake and biological age in an objective manner with very high precision. The app has a margin of error of only 7 percent. Such a low margin of error for VO2max and biological age qualifies for the app used for medical purposes and research. In comparison, alternative calculations of the maximum oxygen uptake available today will have an error margin of 15-20%. 

Measure your VO2max for free 

Try the app for free for two weeks. After the trial period, it costs NOK 44 a month.

How the app works πŸ“²

By using Myworkout GO the next time you exercise, the app will calculate your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and biological age. These are the most important goals of physical health that exists today. The app builds on research on exercise and focuses on activity that provides the best effect for your health. The training can be done by anyone, regardless of form and age.

Practical training that works

The heart is our most important muscle, and we should train it throughout our lives. We get the best training for our health when we fill the heart with blood. Our blood weighs a total of around 4-5 kilos; therefore, it takes 1 minute to 2 minutes at a specific training intensity to achieve full heart filling. You should strive to have exercise intensity long enough for your heart to get properly trained. Therefore, we recommend 4×4 interval training. It’s a session that takes 34 minutes, and you will see measurable effects after doing the course twice a week. We have evidence for this through many years of research.

How to train with the app

On the front of the app, you choose whether you want to complete the activity outdoors, on a treadmill, or using a wattmeter training device. As you start the session, a voice will guide you throughout the workout and tell you when to increase and decrease the workout’s intensity. Exercise time is a total of 37 minutes, including warming up and cool-down.

Warm-up: Lasts for 6 minutes. Moderate intensity with calm breathing so you can talk along the way.

Intervals: There are four intervals of 4 minutes each. The intensity should be between 85 and 95 percent of the maximum heart rate. At such power, you should get heavy breathing, without any discomfort. You should not be able to speak whole sentences. When you finish an interval, do not feel more tired than you could have continued for another 1 minute at the same pace. And when you finish the last interval, you should not feel more tired than you could have completed the fifth interval at the same speed.

Active break: There are breaks between the intervals to remove lactic acid. The breaks last for a standard 3 minutes on the treadmill and apparatus, and 4 minutes outdoors. You can extend the breaks for up to 6 minutes. The breaks should be at the same intensity as the warm-up – in talking speed, at around 70 percent of the maximum heart rate. If you stand still during the breaks, you almost do not remove lactic acid.

Cool-down: After the last interval, there is a 3-minute cool-down. You can do this at the same intensity as the warm-up.

High intensity intervals for 4×4 minutes

After completing the workout, you will know your biological age and maximum oxygen uptake. As you complete multiple sessions, you can see the evolution of biological age and VO2max over time. It usually takes 8-10 weeks with two workouts a week to reduce biological age by seven years.

In-app features

Features of the app include outdoor exercise, treadmill, exercise training, exercise statistics, visualization of exercise progress, ability to connect to a heart rate monitor (read how to connect to a heart rate monitor here). You can also connect the app to your Garmin, Pilar, or Fitbit account. 

Stay motivated

In need of some tips on how to stay motivated during a lifestyle change? Keep reading! Frank Eirik Abrahamsen is an associate professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. He works at the Department of coaching and psychology and is responsible for the bachelor’s degree with a specialization in training, coaching, and sports psychology. Get his best advice on how to get motivated for an active lifestyle and stay motivated during the change.Β 

The Self-Determination Theory

The Self-Determination Theory focuses on three psychological needs: self-determination, knowledge, and belonging. The theory states that: when those needs meet, we are more easily motivated, productive, and happy.

What can we learn from this theory? It shows that knowledge is motivating. Therefore we should strive to know more about the challenges we are about to meet. No one can force you to change. It would help if you were self-determined. Also, a feeling of belonging helps in the process. Share your goals with those who will support you. They might even join you on the journey.  

Set your goal

Knowing where you want to go to is a good idea when you are booking a vacation. The same thing is smart when you are about to change your way of life. What do you want to be different, and why? How will you benefit, and why is this important to YOU? How will your everyday life look like when you have reached your goal, and even more important, how do you look living your new daily life? Visualize yourself achieving your goal! If it helps, write it down or find a symbol to remind you of the journey you’ve booked. 

Keep eating chocolate

The goal you have chosen should be realistic. A great way to kill your motivation is to “pack more than you can carry.” Keep eating chocolate; eat less. Don’t plan on six workouts every week from now on. What is realistic for you? It would help if you made it easy for yourself to stick to your plan. But remember, if you have to overcome some obstacle along the way, the wine tastes better, and the motivation grows! In other words, changing your lifestyle can’t just be comfortable. Find activities and food you enjoy. It will help you make the trip as pleasant as it can be.  

“It is easier to start with something you love than to stop something you like.” 

Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

Extrinsic motivation is a more brief motivation. In contrast, intrinsic motivation stays longer and can take you further. So if you do something you love, the activity itself is so motivating that you don’t need rewards or someone cheering for you. However, rewarding yourself for doing something you never thought you would manage might make you take new chances in the future.   

When you ask experts about rewards, the answer is: Reward is a vulnerable form of motivation. It is not strong, but when you are missing any other motivation, it can work. However, it would be best if you look at the benefits you get from the changes first. That is a better form of motivation.

Remember the note or the symbol to remind you of your goal? Keep it close. It might motivate you when the going gets tough. 

It’s okay with a delay

The plan you made to reach your goal is a great way to start! But let’s be honest. Life doesn’t always go as planned. So what should you do when you start drifting away from it? 

Let’s make a comparison. Most of us have driven to work and got delayed because of the queue, but that does not make us turn back home again. This behavior can compare to lifestyle changes. Something may happen along the way, which forces you to postpone your plan, but it is just a small delay. If you don’t stop reaching for your goal no matter what, you will get there. There might just be some detours.