gut probiotics

Top 10 Gut Probiotics

Gut probiotics are live microorganisms that thrive in the digestive tract. They carry health benefits that the body either consumes or applies to its function. Most of them are present in fermented foods, yogurt, dietary supplements as well as beauty products. 

There’s a wrong notion that bacteria are only harmful germs. But when they exist at the minimum level, they are unlikely to cause harm in your body. It is only when they flourish that they overpower the good bacteria resulting in serious diseases. 

There are different forms of gut probiotics. Regardless of how you prefer to take yours, their importance in your diet cannot be underestimated. Hence, good bacteria in probiotics can keep your immune system strong and inflammation at bay. 

What are gut probiotics

Gut probiotics is a crucial nutritional requirement. 

Researchers continue to show positive responses on the clinical treatments of different diseases with gut probiotics. As a result, plus the advancement of technology, they contribute to the progressive study of medicine. Some of these gut-related diseases are obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Evaluation on fresher strains also arises including its applicability in biomedical research. 

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute aims to shed light on the various strains of gut probiotics and how good they are for your system. Here are some of the common ones:

Common strains of probiotics

1.) Lactobacillus
Image Source: Threewells.nl

Lactobacillus is probably one of the most popular types of bacteria. As its name suggests, it produces lactic acid with the enzyme lactase. They are also the friendly kind that typically flourish in your genital, urinary and digestive systems. 

L. acidophilus, or simply lactobacillus, has undergone several studies, for instance. Additionally, most pieces of evidence highlight their health benefits. Since this features many various strains, they have diverse effects on your body. These are some of them:

  • Reduces cholesterol when included in the diet for six weeks
  • Prevents diarrhea by avoiding bacterial infections
  • Improves irritable bowel syndrome such as abdominal pain and abnormal bowel movements
  • Treats vaginal infections with the increase of lactobacilli

Food rich in Lactobacillus

Yogurt

Kimchi

Sauerkraut

Sourdough bread

Kefir

yogurt lactobacillus
kimchi lactobacillus
sauerkraut lactobacillus
sourdough bread lactobacillus
kefir lactobacillus
2.) Bifidobacterium
Bifidobacterium probiotics
Image Source: Sciencephoto

Bifidobacterium are another probiotic species that are also in the intestines. This group of bacteria has earned attention for the possible health effects they can contribute to the body. While research shows its limitations, most high-quality studies imply that it can treat the following conditions:

  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Lung infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal bowel syndrome 
  • Constipation, diarrhea and intestinal disorders

This bacteria generally takes part in creating a healthy environment for your gut microbe. As a host of trillions of microorganisms in your body, this kind of probiotic will optimize your body to build a diverse ecosystem in order to fight off chronic diseases and complications. 

Food that increases levels of Bifidobacterium in your gut

Yogurt

Tempeh Indonesian tofu

Salami

Milk Kefir

Sauerkraut

Cheese

Olives

salami probiotics
milk kefir probiotics
sauerkraut probiotics
cheese probiotics
olives probiotics
3.) Saccharomyces
Image Source: Sciencekeys

Saccharomyces, on the other hand, is a genus of yeasts that easily converts sugar to carbon dioxide. Also referred to as a probiotic, this friendly organism is also strong enough to fight against harmful organisms. These harmful organisms may then take over your system. In fact, this has been a part of medicine systems for gastrointestinal disorders.

The name of this gut-friendly yeast may be intimidating, but it does its job in neutralizing bad bacteria-pathogens that can be problematic in the gastrointestinal tract when untreated. Saccharomyces then protects your intestinal lining against harmful bacteria. It also boosts your immune system for efficient nutrient absorption and digestion.

Food that promotes Saccharomyces strain in your body

Fermented vegetables
(e.g. kimchi)

Softened cucumbers
in brine

Cheddar cheese

kimchi probiotics
cucumbers in brine probiotics
Image Source: Southern Eats & Goodies
cheddar cheese
4.) Lactococcus
lactococcus probiotics
Image source: Textbookofbacteriology.net

Lactococcus has gone a long way since the first time it was used in dairy product fermentation such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. It doesn’t only impart flavor, since it is a lactic acid bacteria. It also preserves food to have a longer shelf life.

L. lactis has properties that relieve:

  • constipation
  • colic
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • hives, acne, fever blisters
  • eczema, dermatitis, allergies
  • ear infection

In addition, a research in 2003 reveals that drinks with L. lactis have been an effective treatment for people experiencing chronic constipation. Another study points out this probiotic bacteria as an efficient tool in preventing inflammatory bowel disease.   

Food where Lactococcus strain can be isolated from

Fermented
buffalo
milk

Blue
cheese

Cream
cheese

Miso
soup

Yogurt

buffalo milk
blue cheese probiotics
cream cheese
miso soup probiotics
yogurt probiotics
5.) Enterococcus
enterococcus probiotics

Enterococcus, with their different species, have attracted research interest. More specifically, researchers study this strain as a natural antimicrobacterial agent in food. Another point of interest is its antibiotic replacement in drug resistance pathogens. 

As lactic acid bacteria, Enterococcus adapted to diverse food systems such as involving the traditional fermentation of dry sausages and cheese. Additionally, studies report their production of bacteriocin that preserves different types of food products, which is now a strong probiotic trait. 

Food rich in Enterococcus

Salami

Minced
meat

Cheese

Landjager

German
raw
sausage

salami probiotics
minced meat probiotics
cheese probiotics
landjager probiotics
raw german sausage
6.) Streptococcus
streptococcus probiotics

Streptococcus may be a lesser known gut probiotic, but their health benefits are not to be underestimated. They don’t travel throughout the body but they usually survive in the small intestine. What this means then is that it can live in higher temperatures. Thus, this becomes a useful component in the fermentation of dairy products. 

Also referred to as lactic acid microorganism, the said bacteria stimulate carbohydrate decomposition. How? This bacteria is beneficial to milk-based products, for example, in yielding a greater number of lactic acid. Since they pair well with Lactobacillus bulgaricus, they smoothly create a symbiotic relationship that enhances dairy product fermentation of yogurt and cheese. 

Some people might raise their eyebrows on whether streptococcus is a pathogenic bacteria or not. But they’ve been clinically proven to support pro-life organisms. With their ability to survive harsh conditions, it can stay in your gut despite gastric acid and bile. Thus, resulting the the growth of a healthy bacteria environment in the intestines. 

Food that promotes Streptococcus strain in your gut

Butter

Cultured
buttermilk

Yogurt

Mozzarella
cheese

cultured buttermilk
Image source: Foodiewithfamily.com
yogurt
mozzarella cheese
7. Pediococcus
Image source: Sciencephoto.com

Pediococcus is another strain of lactic acid bacteria that has been a regular in experimental research. For example, there are promising results in seeing its function for the food and biological industry. 

When used as an additive, Pediococcus can enhance the taste and even nutrition of your food. Its probiotic use has also been emphasized as they have anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, lipid-lowering and antioxidant properties. 

Food rich in Pediococcus

Milk

Soy
sauce

Fermented
Fish

Washed
curd
cheese

Star
apple

Cheddar
cheese
(rare)

milk probiotics
soy sauce
fermented fish
washed curd cheese
star apple
cheddar cheese
8. Leuconostoc
Image source: Microbewiki

Leuconostoc, commonly present in kimchi, has been a familiar probiotic. Oral biofilm formation prevention and silage, for instance, are some of the kinds of applications you can find associated with this strain. When isolated, it can produce mannitol and lactic acid which can be an effective antioxidant.

This natural antimicrobial is also used as a natural preservative in most cosmetic and skincare products. Though you seldom hear about these beneficial bacteria, they stimulate and influence body-wide immune reactions as a prebiotic. 

Food with Leuconostoc as principal acid producers

Buttermilk

Lychee

Mandarins

Sugarcane

buttermilk
lychee probiotics
mandarins
sugarcane probiotics
9. Bacillus
Escherichia probiotics

Bacillus, or bacillus coagulans is another kind of good bacteria. This probiotic, though different from Lactobacillus, also produces lactic acid that generates spores in the middle of its reproductive life cycle. This then makes the said microorganism dormant even in harsh conditions, which could kill other gut probiotics in your system.

This probiotic strain is resistant to gastric acid and heat. Moreover, it plays a big role in the improvement of the immune system and the treatment of constipation and diarrhea. There are also people who use it to fight off respiratory infections and pump up their immune system. It’s also studied in the prevention of cancer. Lastly, this probiotic strain is sometimes added on vaccines to enhance their efficacy. 

Since Bacillus is robust as it can stand up against extreme environments including high amounts of acid in the digestive tract, this good bacteria alleviates ailments and stomach distress. Hence, the best source of this probiotic is natural food. 

Food with Bacillus as principal acid producers

Soybeans

Yogurt

Locust
beans

Kimchi

Mushroom

Sauerkraut

soybeans
yogurt
locust beans
i
kimchi probiotics
mushroom probiotics
sauerkraut
10. Escherichia
Image source: the-scientist.com

Escherichia coli, also referred to as E. coli, are bacteria common in foods, environment, and people and animal intestines. They are a large group of microorganisms, some of which are beneficial while others are threatening. 

The interaction of the cells to the lining of the intestines is common in the microbiome. This is how your system absorbs energy and nutrients, thus, strengthening your immune system. Escherichia coli has a role to play in this function such as in producing vitamin K2. This vitamin production is then responsible for encouraging food absorption and blood clotting. 

Food that promotes Escherichia strain in your gut 

Beef

Raw flour

Sprouts

Spinach

Lettuce

beef probiotics
raw flour
sprouts
spinach probiotics
lettuce

The good bacteria: Best probiotic strains for you

Sometimes, merely thinking about bacteria brings to mind germs, right? In other words, you somehow associate bacteria to unhygienic microorganisms, and the like, for some reason. However, that’s not necessarily and entirely true. There are trillions of bacteria in your body, whereas many of them are beneficial to balance your immune health. 

In fact, there are specific probiotic strains that protect you from harmful microorganisms, especially those invading your digestive system and other essential bodily functions. You are actually reinforcing your gut defenses whenever you improve your probiotic food intake.

Here are some of the best probiotic strains, among many others, that are great for your health and wellness:

Lactobacillus acidophilus
(helps with lactose digestion)
Bifidobacterium breve
(helps people who are on antibiotics, good for colon health)
Pediococcus acidilactici
(helps stop undigested food to rut in your gut and serves as damage control from harmful organisms)
Bifidobacterium bifidum
(helps ease digestion and allergic responses plus boost immune system and skin development)
Lactobacillus salivarius
(helps protect your mouth from unwelcome microbes)
Streptococcus thermopiles
(helps nurture healthy intestine tissues, prevents nitrates turning into harmful nitrites, and protects from allergies)

Probiotics and immunity system

Probiotic bacteria is beneficial to your gut to promote immunity and overall health effects in your body. They help regulate the bacterial ecosystem and improve the bioavailability of nutrients that different body systems need in order to function.

Because of the potent antimicrobial activity of gut probiotics against many known pathogens, scientists observed that they even help against viruses and infections. Boosting your immunity through healthy and balanced diets do make a huge difference in directly and positively impacting your health.

Probiotic strains and species may have specific protective and curative effects in your gastrointestinal tract to avoid dysbiosis. They can also aid in preventing and treating different conditions, including chronic inflammation and other disorders.

These live microorganisms should be in adequate amounts so you can enhance your immune response to gut-related diseases. Here in Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, we continue to promote quality living. Therefore, you should be constantly arming yourself with knowledge and understanding of your own body.

Remember that it’s doable and sustainable to live healthy. Thus, it’s wiser to advance your gut health in order to achieve this. You can enjoy length of life through natural and preventive measures such as promoting a healthy ecosystem in your gut. Hence, “listen to your gut” when it comes to your food choices and developing a healthier lifestyle. Start early and start now! 

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053917/
https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-probiotics#common-probiotics
https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know
​​https://www.nature.com/articles/s41538-020-00078-9 


health podcasts

Top 10 Health Podcasts

Busy? Health podcasts are a great way to catch up on new fitness trends, workout routines, meals, and everything in between.

Are you just getting started in your health and wellness journey? Or reviving your meal plans after a hiatus? Or maybe still religiously at it? Health podcasts can be your perfect partner to fitness and good nutrition. 

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down the top health podcasts (and maybe more?) from your favorite streaming platforms. This could be a long one so let’s get started!

Best Spotify and Apple Podcasts on Health 

When the covid-19 pandemic hit, self-care became one of the most talked about trends. But, it’s not just a fad that goes away. One of the best things you can never go wrong investing in is your health. As they say, health is wealth. 

Hence, even if you’re stuck at home or preoccupied with a lot of things on your plate, keep moving and stay fit. You can tune in to a podcast episode or two whether you are cooking breakfast, answering emails, walking the dog, or running errands. 

Although merely listening to podcasts doesn’t necessarily wean off those calories, you can get inspiration and guidance from experts so you can live a full, satisfied, and healthy life.

Here are the first top health podcasts you can stream right now:

1. Optimal Health Daily


It’s difficult to scour the internet for fitness and health podcasts, right? The episodes are curated and posted with author permission in this podcast on the latest health topics. This is supplementary to the Optimal Living Daily podcast more focused on personal development and mindfulness.

This is your audioblog and blogcast for everything health and fitness. If you want to know more about intermittent fasting, vaccinations, weight loss, and health care, this one’s for you.

2. TED Health


Who doesn’t know about TEDTalks? TED is a global community from every culture and discipline providing a platform for big ideas in short time frames. TEDTalks Health, on the other hand, specifically focuses on health-related topics from TED events and conferences.

In these health podcasts, TED speakers answer questions you never knew you had. You can hear phenomenal ideas you won’t hear elsewhere centered on how you can live a healthy, balanced, and quality life. Some of the recent episodes talk about how humanity doubled life expectancy in a century, and the future of psychedelic medicines and healthcare.

3. Food Psych Podcast


Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN hosts this podcast to talk about people’s relationships with food, body size and image, eating disorder, exercise, etc. It’s a good listen because it challenges diet culture in various forms, which includes restrictive behaviors. 

Food Psych offers a safe space and support to its audience to avoid triggers and stigma on weight acceptance, for example. You can learn self-compassion and self-care from this registered dietitian and nutritionist along with her guests and their stories. 

There’s one episode on intuitive eating and how it manages chronic illnesses so you can break free from the wellness diet. If you have friends and family who are always conscious about their bodies, invite them to tune in, too. Together, you can binge-listen to appreciate body liberation as you slowly transition to a healthier lifestyle.

4. Party In My Plants


If you’re looking for more upbeat and hilarious health podcasts with episodes on moving and eating thoughtfully, Talia Pollock is your friend. She’s a writer and storyteller known for her wit and warmth in the show packed with topics on science, psychology, pop culture, health, and more.

Talia believes that you can both drink green juice and enjoy drinking cocktails! She adds that being healthy should also equate being happy so you don’t have to feel bad or sad on your journey to being fit.

Stress is the ultimate destroyer of health. So, if you aren’t happy and only forcing yourself to be and eat healthy, then that doesn’t cut it. In the episodes, you can find inspiration on how to feel, look, and live your best self with actionable advice. She even shares recipes that you can do at home to try tasty, plant-based dishes. 

5. Ultimate Health Podcast


Dr. Jesse Chappus and Marni Wasserman team up in this health podcast to teach and inspire listeners to reach your full potential. There’s some psychology and exploration of the mind and human existence in relation to health and wellness, too.

You can find in-depth conversations on lifestyle, nutrition, anxiety, chronic health conditions, and how to live a full and meaningful life. The topics are so diverse that even actor Matthew McConaughey guested and talked about affirmations, appreciating the moment, fatigue, and chasing your better self.

6. The Food Heaven Podcast


Best buds Wendy and Jess guest different experts from the health and nutrition industry to deep-dive on topics such as food culture and body acceptance. If you need guidance from registered dietitians themselves, this duo can make your podcast hang-out fun. Not to mention the insightful tips for sustainable, healthy living you can take home with you.

Here are a few episode titles, if you aren’t convinced yet:

  • How to navigate people who constantly use triggering diet talk
  • The science of why diets don’t work
  • How to find the best workout for your body
  • Why self-care is not the answer for burnout
  • The racial origins of fat phobia
  • The ups and downs of intuitive eating 

7. That’s So Maven


Here’s one of the health podcasts you can rely on a weekly basis, especially if you’re feeling alone with your fitness struggles. Because, see, you don’t have to do this alone. You can be intentional with your new lifestyle even as you face challenges along the way.

Davida Kugelmass’s interviews movers and shakers, a.k.a “mavens,” in health and wellness to do three (3) things: inspire, entertain, and comfort you. Some of the episodes you can start with are the following: 1) facing your fears and turning obstacles into growth, 2) learning to love your body as it changes, and 3) letting go of food rules and recovering from binge-eating. 

Health and Wellness Podcasts 2021

See, the list goes on because if you want to be more specific, there are health podcasts focused on nutrition and fitness, too. Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute adds extra podcast choices you can save and download on your device.

Nutrition Podcasts

8. Dr. Ruscio Radio


For updated information on health, functional medicine, and nutrition, Dr. Ruscio is that  geek doctor at your service. He can make very scientific details and concepts easy to understand for his listeners. If you want evidence on nutritional facts and a legit medical professional to bust myths on fitness fads, check this out.

Listen in for practice advice on how to get into a diet, taking the right medication when needed, understanding the science of sleep, etc. He also answers questions about training your body to exercise, fasting for your brain health, and managing moods and stress.

9. The Doctor’s Kitchen


If you want a show totally about food, lifestyle, and nutritional medicine, Dr. Rupy Aujla invites guests exploring these topics. Do you want to know what diet and lifestyle best fits you so you can achieve your healthiest self? Dr. Rupy’s got you!

This podcast also invites its audience to join the online community at its website. Here are some of its notable episodes:

  • Why South Asians are at worse risk
  • Wellness for entrepreneurs (3-part series)
  • Why we make bad food choices
  • The nutrition science series (3-part series)
  • Why community kitchens are essential
Bonus:
The Nutrition Diva


For quick and dirty tips for eating well and feeling fabulous, here’s a bonus podcast to help you upgrade your eating habits. Monica Reinagel is the author of a book with the same title (Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet).

If you find yourself stress-eating, overeating, or not enjoying your meals at all, this might be for you. You can learn cool stuff such as the cholesterol-fiber paradox, rules for snacking, glucose monitoring, and whether or not fitness trackers work. It’s totally up to you if you follow the recommendations or not but Monica does give sound advice and simple tips on how to live a healthy life. 

Best Fitness Podcasts for Men and Women

10. Ben Greenfield Fitness


Ben Greenfield, ultimate bio-hacker, is a New York Times bestselling author and fitness guru. He loves experimenting and learning about new things and talks about them in this podcast. Whatever health and wellness topics you can think of, he’s probably thought about and has done it. You can get free exercise, weight loss, and even triathlon advice from the man himself.

His impressive guest list includes other bloggers, podcasters, health experts, and filmmakers such as Donnie Yance, Sal Di Stefano, Darren Doane, Jay Shetty, etc. One of his most popular episodes was when he talked to Dr. Matthew Cook in BioReset Medical in California and discussed vaccinations at length.


Bonus:
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations


As another bonus, here’s another show that men and women alike enjoy. Oprah’s format is one of the few health podcasts that not only covers spirituality but also packed with health and wellness expert advice. The episodes are Oprah’s personally curated list of interviews with best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, and thought leaders to guide you through awakening.

If you want to get connected with your “super soul,” dig deeper within you as you listen to Oprah’s podcast. Expect to light up and discover your true self from hearing the interviews that are good for your health – mental, physical, and spiritual.

Other podcasts worth checking out

There are way too many podcasts out there and it’s really difficult to choose just the top 10. So, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute adds these other podcasts you can listen to for whenever you need that extra push, knowledge boost, and motivation about health. 

Surely, you can find more online! It feels good to get this connection with other humans who face hardships and the same challenges as you do when it comes to fitness and health, right? Even if it’s through a phone or your laptop, health podcasts can give you that sense of community that you need to feel human. 

Use technology to your advantage. You wouldn’t want to stay glued to your couch all the time and not at least consume health-related content to motivate you to keep moving. Get in shape! Listen to these health podcasts and then start removing those headphones and actually stay active while you can.

References:
https://blog.thatcleanlife.com/top-health-wellness-podcasts/
https://www.prevention.com/life/g25458803/best-health-podcasts/
https://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-podcast
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/arts/podcasts-exercise-diet.html
https://www.podcast.co/inspire/best-health-fitness-podcasts-of-2021


fitness bikes

Top 10 Fitness Bikes

Are you considering indoor biking but don’t know where to start? Do you want to squeeze in some workouts but have limited time? Fitness bikes might help you with that. 

One of the best recommended aerobic exercises is biking. It’s good for the heart and lungs and promotes cardiovascular health. However, if you can’t afford to go out a lot, the next best thing is indoor biking. Give this a spin and get ready to sweat, and feel your blood pumping. 

Indoor cycling improves heart health, sheds unwanted fats, and boosts muscle strength. This activity will surely work your legs, and tone them to be stronger. It’s also an opportunity to engage in a full-body exercise. You’ll also benefit from the endorphins your body will produce so buckle up and find the right fitness bike for you!

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute aims to guide you in your search for the best fitness bike. So, check this list of the highly-commended fitness bikes and start incorporating them into your fitness routine!

What to look for in fitness bikes

When is a fitness bike good?

Before we start listing down the best fitness bikes available in the market, it is important to look at the different aspects you should assess when choosing the best one for you. Answer this question – how advanced do you want your fitness bike to be? 

Once you have set realistic expectations, you are ready to shop for a fitness bike. These are some of the important details to check:

Qualifications:

Features

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going all the way, or modest in buying a fitness bike – there are basic features this equipment should have. These are resistance levels, speed, distance, comfort, adjustment, optional accessories, weight limit, noise, and safety.

Budget / Price

Fitness bikes are almost an investment for they can be a big purchase. How much are you willing to spend on this? The price range may go from about $300 to $3000. If you only want to spin your legs and break a sweat without having to analyze your burnt calories, heart rate, and power, then you wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Use

How do you want your fitness bike? Would you want it seated or standing? 

When you are standing while cycling, you set your bike to high resistance, which means you have to exert more effort in working out. You have to incorporate more of your muscles and increase your energy output to pedal more.

You can turn the resistance down when you sit down while cycling to give your legs and core some rest. 


Reflect on your objective. Why do you want to cycle? Is it for extensive training or the other? It would be easier for you to pick which stationary bike is appropriate for you when you know your why.

Speed

Bike pedaling speed, also known as cadence, is a crucial part of indoor cycling. You can monitor it with a speedometer. Your resistance level dictates how fast you’d go, but the most ideal is from 50 to 110 rpm. Ensure that the equipment you’re eyeing can handle the setting you require to perform optimally.

Distance

Learning distance per minute is another way to maximize a fitness bike. Your fitness equipment should have a precise odometer that displays the distance you’ve covered. Manufacturers program this feature based on their formula. Compare distance and speed and maximize your biking.

User-friendliness

The last thing you’d need in your fitness journey is equipment that you can’t operate smoothly. The same is also true for a bike. Thus, in choosing what to buy, make sure to check if the brand provides a simple interface that allows users to manipulate settings easily.

The best fitness bikes

The interest in fitness bikes continues. It becomes even more popular in the cold weather. Thus, it is not surprising that different fitness bikes grace the market each time. Among the positively reviewed ones are the following:

Best Recumbent Bike: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Image source: https://www.schwinnfitness.com/

Rating: 5 stars

Price: $649

Users love to call the Schwinn 270 the best Recumbent Bike that you can get from the market. It is adaptable for both novice and fitness gurus and includes functional features to elevate your workout. If you are up for challenging programs and levels, this equipment has 29 different workout modes with precise heart rate control.

Schwinn 270 also features 25 levels of workout intensity and resistance, high speed and inertia system with a  17-pound flywheel for a smooth and consistent workout, in-sole speakers, useful Bluetooth and USB data transfer, media shelf, cooling fan, water bottle, and transport wheels. 

Its DualTrack LCD window system allows you to see relevant data in your ride like speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories, level, resistance, and revolutions per minute. Schwinn has a comfortable seat that you can ride for an hour while watching Netflix without noticing the time. Overall, this fitness bike is more affordable with positive customer reviews.


Best Value Smart Bike: Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

Image source: https://www.nautilus.com/

Rating: 4.6 of 5

Price: $599.9

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike is a piece of generous equipment considering its price. 

This model is the entry-level bike of the said brand. Its highlight is its diverse workout programs, resistance levels, and Bluetooth connectivity.

There isn’t any remarkable difference between this and the high-end R618. The upgrades are subtle, such as the gel seat cushion and the adjustable backrest. Other than those, the R616 still competes with its solid pros like the durable step-thru frame, comfortable seat, 29 workout programs, 25 resistance levels, easy set-up, dual LCDs, and the 30-lb weight capacity.

Most reviews praise this unit for its wide and cozy seat. Its modern and sleek design is also notable. You can train without programming! You can make your cycles even more challenging by setting your resistance level. The RideSocial App is also a feature that walks you through various scenic routes around the world. 

Most Flexible Bike: NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle

Image source: https://www.nordictrack.com/

Rating: 5 out of 5

Price: $1,499

The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle boasts a massive rotating touch screen, a responsive resistance control system, and an automatic incline which are friendly to both first-timers and pros. Its 22-inch HD touch screen will take you for a ride, and its 360-degree adjustable viewing angle won’t make you feel alone in your workouts. 

Riding in stationary bikes often feels like you’re going nowhere, but that’s what sets this fitness bike apart from the rest. With NordicTrack, you can cycle in the Colorado mountains, wander in the waterfalls of Hawaii, and stroll in the century ruins of Turkey. This is an opportunity for you to enjoy trainer-led outdoor activities that would advance your rides. 

If you need motivation, the on-demand cycling classes with iFit will help you with that. It will allow you to mix your routines once in a while. This fitness bike is also not only for spinning as it also includes upper-body exercises with a pair of three-pound dumbbells upon purchase. 

Best Smart Bike: Bowflex VeloCore Bike

Image source: https://www.trendhunter.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1,699 – $2,199

Bowflex VeloCore Bike doesn’t only focus on your legs, but your full body as well. This fitness bike provides features beyond indoor exercise.s For instance, you can sway your ride side-to-side through the Lean Mode as if you’re riding a traditional bike. This allows you to engage your arms and core. 

While you’d have to pay an extra for the membership, Bowflex has a platform for an evolving library of trainer-led videos, with Adaptive Workouts so that you can exercise based on your fitness situation. It also includes rich entertainment options that are the best for people who easily get bored exercising constantly.


Most Sophisticated Experience: Peloton Bike

Image source: https://www.insider.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1,895

If you are looking for a premium experience throughout, the Peloton Bike is an extraordinary piece of equipment for you. This comes with a top-notch display with a 24-inch screen. Besides its engaging instructors and immersive classes, the unit also has a saddle that swivels as you exercise. This opens an outdoor virtual world to get you even motivated.

Peloton has effortlessly become a household name since the pandemic. The company advanced its features and backs it up with a high-quality streaming service to support its users. You just need to be willing to spend more on the membership to access this.


The Best Peloton Alternative: MYX II Fitness Bike

Image source: https://www.myxfitness.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1, 399.00

MYX II is a high-tech exercise bike that will not only work out your legs but your whole body too. This brand is the closest rival of Peltron, however, the difference is that it costs less. The magnificent quality of the touch screen is what will provide you the personal trainer feel that would help you maximize your ride. 

Almost half of the price of its competitor, MYX II lives up to the expectations of fitness buffs. It has revolutionized monitoring as it makes it more personalized. Thus, the unit comes with heart-rate-based workouts that best fit individuals who want to stay in shape with the help of an instructor who will lead the activity. 

Train your body and mind with MYX II Fitness Bike. Enjoy its sleek and interactive 21.5” touchscreen tablet to enhance your workout experience. Maximize its additional accessories, exercise gear, and monthly subscriptions that will get you the most of the equipment.


Best Bike System: Assault AirBike Elite

Image source: https://www.assaultfitness.com/

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Price: $1299

One of the highlights of the Assault AirBike Elite is that it increases resistance as you turn up its speed which further engages your upper and lower body during the ride. This brand has a forward and backward pedal function to give your cycling more variation. 

If you love to monitor where you have been in your fitness journey, the Assault AirBike Elite is the right bike for you. The two front wheels are interactive enough to replicate the feeling that you are moving around a house or a gym. The multiple position grips is also an engaging inclusion as it provides more comfort when you pedal. 

With the Assault AirBike Elite, expect a bike with a solid steel frame, a spacious and supportive seat, a durable unit that holds at least 350 pounds, and an integrated LCD that accurately projects your performance data. You can stretch your workouts with its hiiit programs too!


Best home exercise bike for streaming workouts: ProForm Studio Bike Pro

Image source: Best home exercise bike for streaming workouts: ProForm Studio Bike Pro

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: 1,299.00

ProForm Studio Bike Pro has a detailed 10” touchscreen that projects sharp graphics. iFit Health and Fitness powers this durable and well-engineered machine that balances price and quality. This high-end model with a 22” Smart HD Touchscreen Display is useful in your rides, and it swivels so that you can adjust it when you want to warm up, meditate, or work out. 

The iFit Coach comes with LiveCast spine class videos that are effective in getting the right guidance from a trainer. ProForm has a 30-day Family Membership that comes with your purchase. Its HD Touchscreen Display is also one of the biggest in the market. This results in an interactive display that smoothly integrates Google Maps Street Views in your rides. 

The advanced cycle trainer of this bike serves as its selling point. Your instructor will not only be there to show you what to do, but they’ll also have control over your resistance level and location. You just have to download the app on your iOS or Android device. The coaching also includes early wake-up notifications and estimated calorie burn while you are asleep.

Most Innovative Smart Bike: Rogue Echo Bike

Image source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Price: $795

The Rogue Echo Bike features a pair of movable handlebars and pedals that are also effective in full-body workouts. This durable and strong model is made of a steel frame that has a smooth, coating finish to match the experience. Since a belt-drive system powers Rogue Echo, it runs quietly.  

If you love stationary workouts but want the idea of moving, this brand is simply maneuverable. Its wheels will give you the experience that you are not just stuck in the same place. Moreover, its LCD console effortlessly projects heart rate, distance, and calories out. You can customize its interval setting to plan your workouts according to your needs.

This air bike is far from the usual stationary indoor bikes. While it is effective for low-impact cardio, its movable handlebars will change the experience for you. Its rower will push you to give your best. If you want it faster, pedal harder! You can do this with its resistance adjustment!


Best Air Bike: Concept2 BikeErg

Image source: https://www.concept2.com/

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Price: $1,163.97

This model is the perfect fitness bike for traditional cyclists who want to replicate the ride they have outdoors in the comforts of their homes. 

BikeErg is durable and efficient equipment that applies the principles of a traditional bike to powerful equipment. This sport-based ergometer uses the Performance Monitor and flywheel that result in a smooth and quiet ride. 

Its sophisticated and stylish Performance Monitor provides instant feedback to your performance, and it effectively displays the workouts you can pick from. This screen has undergone calibration so that you can compare your rides from your previous exercises and evaluate if you are making progress. This unit is suitable both for professional and commercial use! 

How do you choose the best fitness bike for you?

In the end, your choice of fitness bike is still greatly affected by your personal goals in mind. All of these brands would help improve your cardiovascular health, tone your muscles, and burn your unwanted fats. What are your objectives from these? One model may be an expert of a certain aspect over the other. Choose well! Keep calm and pedal on!

exercise equipment

How to use household items for exercise

Not in the mood to go to the gym? No problem. There are plenty of items at home you can use as your workout equipment. How, you might ask? Read on.

Health should always be everyone’s top priority. But, sometimes, it’s not easy to squeeze in going to the gym in your schedule, right? Despite your busy schedule and other limitations, you must keep in shape. Committing to a fitness routine helps you achieve that.  

Unfortunately, gym memberships can be quite expensive. If you consider buying your workout equipment at home, however, they aren’t cheap either. Now, what’s the next alternative? A little do-it-yourself might do the trick. 

With some creativity, you’ll find that (almost) everything you use in the gym can be replicated at home. You’re probably already working out, in effect, from using some of the items in your household.

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute explores how to use stuff you already have at home for your next exercise.

Best home exercise equipment for beginners

A home workout usually involves a yoga mat, some weights, and a resistance band. If you’re just starting, you don’t need to spend too much on this exercise equipment. You can still work out from the comforts of your home with a towel, books or bottled water, and some ropes.

Chairs are your versatile companion when working out at home. Most homes have them. Any solid material that you can lean on, like a countertop, can also be used to support your weight. Walls are typically used the same way. 

Stairs are your next best friend. They are good for cardio as you go up and down a flight of stairs. You can also use them for extended, elevated lunges and step exercises, for example.

What would be the best home exercise equipment for beginners? With so many options, it’s hard to say. Whatever is available and closest to you would be the best answer. If your house has a lot of chairs, that’s your best workout buddy. If you have towels, that’s your next best ally. Just look around your place and you’ll be surprised to find just what you need.

What to remember when finding exercise equipment at home

Before you begin any workout, there are a few elements of fitness you should consider. These could give you an idea of what household items you might need.

Elements of Fitness:

  • Warming up
  • Cardiovascular (aerobic) workout
  • Resistance (strength-building) exercises
  • Flexibility moves
  • Cooling down

Now, start thinking about what gym equipment you usually associate with these elements. Then, you can be creative about their alternatives.

Common objects used at home for exercise

Here are some of the easiest items you can grab at home that can serve as DIY exercise equipment as its dual purpose.

  • Beach towel as a yoga mat
  • Towel, sweatshirt, or rope as resistance band
  • Bed for balance practice
  • Wooden crate as plyo box

They are so readily available in any house, in general, and can be replaced by its closest alternative. There are no more excuses when you’re stuck indoors, especially these days when forced to lock down due to covid-19 restrictions. Other reasons that keep you from going out to the gym like traffic and bad weather should no longer stop you from being active!

Household items that can be used for strength exercises
exercise equipment
Image Source: Bicycling.com

Get moving at home by incorporating strength exercises. These should help lessen joint pain while improving your balance, muscle strength and bone density. Sometimes, strength exercises may involve pushing or working against gravity or any kind of resistance. Hence, these household items should help with your endurance and aid in making your muscles work more than you would otherwise normally do. 

  • Hand towel, socks, or paper plates as sliders, mountain climbers
  • Basketball to make push-ups harder
  • Rope as a suspension trainer
  • Toilet for box squats
  • Folding chair as a weight bench
  • Gallons of water and bag of flour as heavier weights; and weighted backpacks as a weighted vest (bottles for squats)
  • Duffel bag as a sandbag
  • Vacuum cleaner for lunges
  • Broom for mobility work
  • Shovel for unilateral training

Household items that can be used for cardio and core
exercise equipment
Image Source: Self.com

Cardio exercises are the answer to pumping your heart up, and core workouts are the best for your abdominal muscles.  If your goal is to lose weight, especially in your belly area, a combination of this exercise will do the trick, and they don’t have to be complicated. You can be creative even with these things at home:

  • Stairs for cardio
  • Door frame for burpees
  • Steel water bottle or toilet paper rolls for planks (to add difficulty)
  • Couch for glute bridges or cushion for balance, split squats, etc.
  • Pan for upper body strength
  • Wall for walks
  • Mop as abs burner

Household items for compound exercises
exercise equipment
Image Source: Fox2now.com

Compound exercises typically involve more than one specific muscle group targeted simultaneously. For example, arm exercises can help you get more defined and stronger arms. But, you can also do lunges while working your arms. You can find stuff at home that can work both arms and leg muscles if you know where to look. 

Here are other objects you probably have at home that you can use for exercise:

  • Laundry detergent or milk jug as kettlebell Arnold press
  • Folding chair as a bench for triceps and push-ups
  • Laundry basket for deadlift
  • Soup cans, rubber-banded spoons, and coffee table books as small, pulse weights
  • Bike pump for triceps strength

Found other items at home as exercise equipment?

If you think about it, you can work out even without any sort of equipment. For instance, you can do jumping jacks, leg raises, shoulder taps, lunges, and Russian twists sitting or standing on the floor. Stretching exercises, planks, arm exercises, and inchworms are the same.

Weight lifting has always been the key to muscle building. So, if this is your goal and you’re wondering if you’ll still be able to achieve the same results even without the equipment, the answer is still yes, most especially for beginners. You’ll only have an issue with alternatives like home replacements if you are used to heavy barbells and equipment from the gym. 

The use of DIY exercise equipment from home can still be effective if you turn up your number of reps, sets and timing each time you train. You should also stick to functional and compound movements so that you can involve as many joints and muscles as possible. Target your upper, lower, and core! Always challenge yourself to train better!

Here at Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, we believe that there’s no excuse to be healthier. We hope that this blog helps you to find a reason to exercise more even when you are only at home. Happy workout!

References:
https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tips/g23451830/how-to-use-household-items-to-exercise-at-home/
https://thesmartlocal.com/read/home-workouts-household-items/
https://www.wellandgood.com/household-items-to-use-as-exercise-equipment/
https://www.verywellfit.com/everyday-items-workout-use-85820
https://blog.gophersport.com/10-common-household-items-your-students-can-use-for-exercise/
https://azbigmedia.com/lifestyle/household-items-that-can-be-used-for-home-workouts/

fitness trackers

Top 10 Fitness Trackers

Staying fit isn’t only good for your physique, but for your overall health as well. However, it can be challenging most especially when you are busy with adulting. Regardless, your diet and physical activity should be at the top of your priority list, and if you need reinforcement – fitness trackers can be your companion. 

You might have seen your family or friends wearing fitness trackers. But, what do they do? Would they be an advantage if you plan to embark on a workout journey?

What are fitness trackers?

fitness trackers
Image Source: Choice.com.au

Fitness trackers are devices that people wear on their wrist. Most of the latest models look the same with the traditional, digital watch. The only difference is that they have a digital display. Many of them monitor steps, heart rate, stress level, workout intensity, and sleep patterns. 

This technology continues its popularity and every year, manufacturers release a new brand that would leave you with a pool of choices to pick from. If you are scoring a fitness tracker for the first time, what are the features that you should eye for?

Must-have Features

  • Heart rate monitor
    The importance of monitoring your heart rate should not be set aside. This will give you a picture of how well you’re doing burning calories daily. This can also serve as a guide in the intensity of your workout routines.
  • Exercise log ins
    One of the best functions you should get from a fitness watch is a workout tracker. Even non-athletes can use this to measure how active their lifestyle is, or if they are moving enough, so that they could set realistic goals for their progress.
  • Smartphone connectivity
    The compatibility of the smartwatch to your phone is an integral function that you should check before checking out a fitness tracker. There are models that are easy to integrate, while some may be restricted to Android. 
  • GPS function
    GPS adds dimension to your tracking as it maps your routes and provides details on your distance and pace. If you are a walker, swimmer, runner or a cyclist, you’ll accurately measure the distance you’ve covered in your exercise. 
  • Battery life
    The last thing you’d want is a device that has a short battery life that it can’t keep up with the demands of your activities. So, before choosing a smartwatch, make sure that you read the reviews pertaining to this feature. Otherwise, you might end up with an underperforming smartwatch that can’t handle your routine. 

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down the top picks for fitness trackers available in the market. Who knows? This might be just what you need to help monitor your progress in your journey to optimal health. Read on!

The best fitness trackers of 2021

The best fitness trackers are your friend in getting more sleep, active, and productive. They will track your progress and guide you in achieving your goals. 

In this blog, we created a shortlist of the most competitive fitness trackers that you can get from the market. Here are some of them:

1. Apple Watch Series 7

(rating: 4.7 out of 5)

Apple Watch Series 7 fitness trackers
Image Source: Apple.com

Apple dubs this fitness tracker and smartwatch as the ultimate device for a healthy life. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 performs above the limitations of having a device on your wrist. It instantly becomes your fitness partner the moment you wear it, as it precisely measures your movement, and provides you with relevant health insights that could guide you on your fitness journey.

This fitness tracker remains to be one of the superior choices in the market all thanks to its enhanced durability, faster charging, and larger screen. It also comes with a top-tier sensor for blood oxygen, heart rate, and GPS, and the basic exercise data that are important for people who have an active lifestyle.

2. Garmin Forerunner 245

(rating: 4.5 out of 5)

Garmin Forerunner 5 fitness trackers
Image Source: Garmin.com

Garmin Forerunner 245 has managed to balance functionality and price. This watch is well-built, yet light enough that you won’t feel it in your wrist at all. It has updated its Elevate optical heart rate sensor and GPS chip which are now more accurate in delivering data you’ll find useful in your fitness routine. 

Millions of runners will definitely agree that this is the most reliable running watch too. Casual users will also not be intimidated by this fitness tracker for it is easy to use, and it has the Body Battery feature that shows body energy levels. It also comes with Pulse OX and menstrual tracking that are supported with a long battery life. 

3. FitBit Charge 5

(rating: 4.5 out of 5)

FitBit Charge 5 fitness trackers
Image Source: Fitbit.com

Most reviews commend FitBit Charge 5 for putting together all the best features of FitBit and incorporating them in a more affordable and updated smartwatch.

This is one of the best fitness trackers that the Google-owned brand offers. The FitBit Charge 5 is a more affordable option that still gives you the same fitness and health features from the more expensive FitBit models. This is the tracker for those who don’t need a voice assistant, music storage or massive screen.

More than just gathering your data, this tracker has a Daily Readiness Score so you can interpret your activity. The app will tell you if you have met your goals, or if you are ready to workout. Once you subscribe to premium, you’ll have access to a more personalized recommendation.

4. Xiaomi Mi Band 6

(rating: 4.5 out of 5)

Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Image Source: Mi.com

If you are looking for a best value fitness tracker that covers everything you’d need in a smart band, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 got you covered. This is a competitive watch that includes modern features all packed in a larger AMOLED display, which isn’t a bad deal for less than $50. 

This band is an interesting choice with its reasonable tag price, long battery life, functional smart features, accurate data readings, and different sports tracking modes that are ideal for workout beginners and pros.

Xiaomi is known for updating its Mi Band line everytime it releases an update, and it’s interesting that the company does this without hiking the price of the watch up. There’s not much change in the design as well, as it is the same from the previous Xiaomi bands. 

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

(rating: 4.4 out of 5)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Image Source: Samsung.com

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 captures the ultimate Android smartwatch experience! This pioneers the Google Wear OS – a collaboration between Google and Samsung. This is compatible with Google Play apps that make it a smooth entry to the Google ecosystem. 

This smartwatch is compatible with the Google Fit, and as well as other fitness apps but if you want to monitor your health, the Samsung Health is available for features including ECG or electrocardiogram, and there is a bioelectric impedance sensor that is effective in the analysis of body measurement.

6. Coros Apex

(rating: 4.4 out of 5)

Coros Apex
Image Source: Singletracks.com

Coros Apex is another competitive option from the market of fitness trackers as it goes with an excellent and accurate display, simple yet integrative design, sophisticated and easy to use interface and a generous feature set all for $300. 

Endurance athletes will find this brand a breath of fresh air for its unpretentious make up. You are unlikely to discover any groundbreaking updates on the maps and navigation, but you probably won’t need them with the reliable battery life, trail map, sensor, and temperature, heart rate, barometric pressure tracker. 

This is a stand out because it comes with the right features that are focused on tracking fitness and activities for athletes. The navigational capabilities are exceptional for active people who are determined on their interval training. 

7. YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness Tracker SW022

(rating: 4.3 out of 5)

Yamay Smart Watch Fitness Tracker
Image Source: Manuals.plus

Go to Amazon and it’s not hard to see reviews praising the YAMAY SW022. This is one of the trending budget smartwatches that you can buy online. Is this stylish-looking band worth it? 

If you are only after the basic daily goals, and notification displays, the YAMAY fitness tracker is a value for money that is supported by a long battery life that will enable you to maximize its features. For people who don’t mind a solid music player, message display, and the lack of GPS or voice assistant, this should work.

Needless to say, this waterproof offering from YAMAY focuses on its wearable design, comfortable build, basic tracking functions, and a long battery life. You can put this on your wrist and workout all day long without discomfort. 

8. Huawei Watch Fit

(rating: 4 out of 5)

Huawei Watch Fit
Image Source: Huawei.com

The Huawei Watch Fit is a solid entry from Huawei that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It is lightweight, comfortable, and affordable without compromising its features. This is a simplified fitness tracker for anybody who has just started to embark on a more active lifestyle.

This watch is a budget-friendly option, and is a serious running smartwatch. When it comes to function, it’s not that far from Huawei’s solid offering – the Watch GT 2 and Watch GT 2e. The only difference is the limitations this watch has on its software. 

The large AMOLED screen gives an Apple Watch feel to it, with its brighter and easy-to-use display. You also won’t have to worry about leaving your phone in the midst of short workouts because this device is GPS compatible. 

9. Whoop 4.0

(rating: 4 out of 5)

Whoop 4.0
Image Source: Whoop.com

Whoop is a high-tech fitness smartwatch that can also go neck-to-neck with Apple Watch. This is a comfortable device that you can wear 24/7. It can accurately track your strain, sleep and heart rate. 

Most reviews attest that Whoop is not your usual tracker. You don’t have to wear it if you are not in the mood to. It comes with an advanced sensor that becomes a technical garment you can attach to leggings, bralette, or shirts. If you don’t mind constantly interacting with your device, this may be an innovative gadget you can incorporate in your active lifestyle.

This fitness tracker benefits elite athletes who don’t mind much about their steps displayed on a screen for their constant monitoring. This watch focuses more on strain, performance, and recovery metrics that you can check to improve your training and overall performance. 

10. Polar Ignite 2

(rating: 4 out of 5)

Polar Ignite 2
Image Source: Polar.com

Wrapping up this list is Polar Ignite 2 which is another serious workout tracker that gives high importance to recovery in a routine. This device is uncomplicated, yet it is filled with features that have become a benchmark for fitness watches in the market. Polar Ignite emphasizes the essence of sleep and recovery in your routine, and it provides insights that are beneficial to your program. 

This is a running watch with a twist. While it also monitors cycling, swimming, and other physical activities, what makes this brand a stand out is that it isn’t pretentious. It sticks to a simple yet attainable goal – to get you into shape. It sports a decent display, battery life, and smart notification.

Its advancement lies on its sophisticated training recommendation that goes beyond mere data presentation. Polar Ignite also thrives in its recovery tracking feature that would let you value the role of resting in your workout sessions. 

Should you invest in these trackers?

invest in fitness trackers

Jumping on a fitness journey needs commitment and discipline. If you are busy, but determined to make a change, owning a smartwatch may help you achieve your wellness goals. 

Whether you want to move more to lose weight, or strengthen your immune system, you’ll need to set the results you want and monitor your progress. 

Would you find activity-tracking helpful? Is buying only an impulsive decision and are you still not sure if it’s going to make a difference or not? At the end of the day, the answer to the question of whether you should invest in a fitness tracker or not is within you. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute wants you to stay motivated in your journey to optimal health. Hence, fitness trackers may be a good companion for you to visually monitor your accomplishments and progress along the way. This may help you stay more committed to exercising every single day, not missing a step, and tracking your food and calorie intake.

Though the stats don’t necessarily give 100% accuracy, fitness trackers are still a good way to support your fitness routine. It’s all about enjoying the process while staying accountable to yourself. So, stay active and keep going!

References:
https://www.techadvisor.com/test-centre/wearable-tech/best-fitness-tracker-3498368/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-fitness-tracker#our-picks
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2021/10/15/best-fitness-trackers/?sh=2bea52382d32