It takes just 7 minutes to achieve better health with the Seven App

About 18 months ago, I decided it was time for me to get back into shape. Like many, keeping my weight in check has always been a challenge. While there have been times in my life I have been in better shape than others, most recently, the loss of my husband five years ago resulted in the understandable shrinking of my universe to a laser point of pain and grief. Then came a couple of years of icy numb, after which I awoke to find myself uncaring about my appearance or physical health. I had neglected myself for so long, I hadn’t even realized I had packed on pounds, and when I did, I simply didn’t care. Thinking of myself as patently unattractive seemed like a convenient means by which to keep people away from me. I wanted to be invisible to the world. Then, inevitably, I began to thaw.

There can be many things that motivate us to want to improve upon our overall health or to get into, or in my case, back into, shape. A desire to be around longer for our children, feelings of unworthiness or self-loathing, a wish to wear the latest styles and look great in them, or a medical wake-up call. for me, it was none of those. For me, the motivating factor was that I got hit on by a really hot 26-year-old. Very inspiring.

I began by taking a closer look at my diet, and making some changes. I am a vegetarian, and I do not eat fried foods, and the number of times I eat at a fast-food place can be counted on two fingers in a year, if that. For me, it must have been something else. So, I broke the starchy carb habit and switched to whole grains, I counted calories and generally consumed less. It worked for a while, I lost perhaps five pounds over several months, but that wasn’t going to be enough to enable me to reach my goal. So, almost a year ago, I took my shiny new iPhone5 in hand, and started slogging through the myriad fitness apps in the Apple app store. I had heard of a health study about fitness that claimed one could achieve the equivalent of many hours of moderate workouts by switching to what was called “interval training.” The study claimed that short bursts of vigorous exercise, followed by short rest intervals, could be as beneficial as hours in a gym. As a result of this study, a fitness trend was born, called “The 7 Minute Workout.”

Now, I must pause for a moment here, and explain that I am a person who detests exercise. I hate everything about exercise. I hate sweating. I hate flopping around like a fish on the deck of a boat. I hate the clothes. Seriously. Polyester never touches my body. Athletic shoes? Don’t even talk to me about strapping on a pair of rubber slabs that look like something a tire threw off. You know that feeling of euphoria you are supposed to experience after exercise? Give me a break. I’m miserable afterwards. Okay, and during. And, thinking about working out beforehand. Getting the picture? you won’t catch me pumping my fist and hooting some ridiculous rah-rah cheer while flopping around like a fish in my hideous polyester workout clothes. ugh.

Needless to say, devoting seven minutes to exercise sounded like a cause I could commit to. So, when I saw the Seven App in the app store, based upon the “7 minute workout” concept, I grabbed it.

There are many apps in the app store based upon the 7 minute workout idea, but the one that was best for me was the very first one I downloaded. The app is called the Seven App, and it is by perigee. here is the link to it in the app store:

Of all the similar apps I downloaded subsequent to the Seven App, this first was the most accessible. It wasn’t perfect, there were a few unlabelled buttons, but only inconsequential ones, and an email exchange with the developer proved to be very satisfying in that he was very responsive to my requests for accessibility improvements. There are still 2 unlabelled buttons, but they are the Twitter and Facebook share buttons, and I think you can easily self-label those, since they have not changed in any app update.

The Seven App offers a full-body workout as a starter, and a new workout is unlocked for every two months you stay in the program. Rewards are only one of the motivational tools offered. Achievements, tracking, and the aforementioned sharing of your progress with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers are all part of the training toolbox. The catch? You must use the app every day. Yes, you read that right. you must execute your 7 minute workout every single day. No days off…but remember, it takes only 7 minutes, literally.

The way the app works is based on the study, mentioned earlier, suggesting interval training is as effective as longer, less frequent workouts. You perform 12 exercises in 7 minutes, each lasting 30 seconds, with a rest interval of 10 seconds. Believe me, 10 seconds hardly feels like a rest period, since you must position yourself for the next exercise, which keeps your body in motion nearly continuously. The exercises require no more than a chair, the floor, and your own body weight. No gear needed. There is a learn mode that walks you through the exercises and describes the movements. Some of the descriptions are a bit vague, though, and when I asked of the developer why some of the wording was a bit sparse for some of the descriptions, he explained that he wanted the instructions to be easily understood in any language into which the app was translated. So, if you need better descriptions of an exercise, you can search the web, or check out YouTube for more complete explanations.

The results? Because I was able to devote 7 minutes to my daily exercise routine, I have achieved my weight and fitness goals. My goal was not to become a swimsuit model, my goal was to increase strength, endurance, balance, and muscle tone. Losing the extra pounds seemed easy, once I settled into what was, for me, a really brutal first few months with the app. Many of my Twitter followers read about my progress, replete with bitter complaints and vehement objection to the entire necessity of exercise. Not to mention a blistering indictment of workout wear in general. But the first time I slipped into a pair of jeans a full size smaller, I was hooked. Now, I have purchased a recumbent bicycle, and have sought ways to add more fitness minutes to my day. Hey…swimsuit season is just a month or two away. if that doesn’t do anything for you, I’ll have the 26-year-old give you a call.


Abilities Expo to showcase products, services, entertainment for all abilities

Elegant Insights Braille Creations will be at the San Jose Abilities Expo on November 16-18, 2012 at the San Jose Convention Center where we would like to introduce you to all the great things we have to offer! In addition to Elegant Insights, there will be approximately 150 suppliers of products and services that will increase your quality of life through new technology, great seminars on important issues and networking that will meet your specific needs. There is NO CHARGE for the Expo and it’s the leading event for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals.


If you have not pre-registered, you can do so now and receive priority entrance to the show onsite.  In addition to the distinctive Elegant Insights Braille-embossed jewelry and accessories collection, here are just a few of the remarkable things that you will experience:

The latest products and services for people with ALL disabilities
Cutting-edge assistive technology at the AT Pavilion
No charge loaner scooters, wheelchair repair and sign language interpreters
Low-cost daily living aids at the Retail Pavilion
Special dance performance from AXIS Dance Company, as seen on So You Think You Can Dance
Face art for kids
Compelling workshops on the issues that make a difference to you
Canine assistance demos to learn how dogs can help their human partners
See real live horses in action and learn how they help people with disabilities
Meet the stars and get a sneak peek of season 2 of Push Girls, a new Sundance channel docu-series that traces the lives of four dynamic women in Hollywood who happen to be in wheelchairs
Hip-hop wheelchair dancing for the latest moves and great exercise
Adaptive sports
Essentials for seniors
And more!

The website is continually updated with new features so log on to as often as possible. You don’t even have to wait for the show to connect with your peers. “Like” the Abilities Expo Facebook Page today and weigh in on timely discussions, post comments on disability issues or get the latest show news. You can also follow them on Twitter and sign up for their monthly e-newsletter.

Abilities Expo San Jose will be here before you know it so mark your calendar now, Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18 at the San Jose Convention Center.
Find Elegant Insights on FB:
Chirp at us on Twitter:  @ElegantInsights



Take me out to the ball game: The 2012 Beep Baseball Championships

The below press release has prompted me to create a new category on the Accessible Insights Blog, and I don’t know why I haven’t done it before.  Going forward, you’ll find the Accessible Sports" category on the page, and there you can read some posts on everything from wheelchair basketball to goalball, the Paralympic games to beep baseball.  That is the subject of the press release below.  If you know of, or are participating in, any sports events that fit the category, drop me a note and let me know.  also, if there are any facilities or destination locations for accessible sports, whether that’s accessible hiking trails, specialized gear or news of athletes and their achievements, I’d love it if you could give me a heads-up.  Just use the accessible contact form at the top of the page. 


The National Beep Baseball Association
For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Kevin Barrett
NBBA Media Group
The NBBA Media Group


Live from Ames Iowa, the 2012 Beep Baseball World series Championship Game.
The National Beep Baseball Association — Friday, July 20, 2012
The National Beep Baseball Association in partnership with KASI, A Clear Channel Radio Station, will be bringing live coverage of the 2012 Beep Baseball World Series from the Campus of Iowa State University. As part of the week long beep baseball tournament being held in Ames Iowa, the championship game is set to air live on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM Central Time.

The Ames Convention and visitors Bureau, host for the 2012 Beep Baseball World Series, is hosting 17 teams from all over the Continental United States and Taiwan during the week long competition. A combination of 375 athletes and volunteers from different teams make up the teams competing for the top honor.

Kevin Barrett, Director of Public Relations for the NBBA states, "Beep baseball has been played competitively since 1976, but never has it been aired globally for all to listen to it in the NBBA’s entire history."

Dan Greene, President of the NBBA stated, "Beep Baseball is a sport for everyone and anyone throughout the world, and with the live coverage of our championship game, we will reach out to the world and show how wonderful our sport really can be."


Thank you to our sponsors
The NBBA would like to thank the advertisers for the live broadcast. These corporations who serve the blind and partially sighted community who are partnering with the NBBA to bring this broadcast live, are:

AI Squared
Braille Works
Elegant Insights Jewelry
Independent Living Aids
The National Beep Baseball Association
Listening to the live coverage:
If you are going to be on hand to be part of the Championship game, you can tune in locally on your handheld radio to 1430 KASI on the AM dial. If you are anywhere else, you can listen live by clicking on the below link on your Windows or Apple computer. Be sure to have the most recent update of the flash player and you can listen live.Click here to listen live.
Click here to listen live

If you want to listen on your iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 phone or Kindle device click here.  Coverage begins at:

11:45 AM Eastern
10:45 AM Central
9:45 AM Mountain
8:45 AM Pacific

on Saturday, July 28, 2012 from the heartland of America, Ames Iowa. Tune in and experience the amazing athleticism of Beep Baseball.

About the National Beep Baseball Association:
The NBBA first began in 1976, and has facilitated and provided the opportunity for the sport of beep baseball to be played by those who are blind or partially sighted throughout the United States and Taiwan. For more information on how you can start your own team and enjoy all that Beep baseball offers, visit:
The National Beep Baseball Association