Fitness Trackers: Which One Should I Choose?

AllyAlly Setliff coordinates and leads the group exercise and health promotion programs for Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh. Ally graduated from East Carolina University with a B.S. Health Fitness Specialist degree. She is also an registered clinical exercise physiologist through American College of Sports Medicine and has experience with cardiac and pulmonary rehab. She holds her primary group exercise certification through AFAA, and personal training certification through National Strength and Conditioning Association. She loves to share her passion for exercise and creativity in every class that she teaches. Her main goal is to make others enjoy exercise as much as she does. Ally enjoys every type of dance, sprint triathlons, running, road cycling, and barre is her newest passion.


Technology is a great way to keep us on track with exercise and healthy eating. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular activity trackers, mobile apps and websites that monitor your workouts and can help boost your motivation.

  • Fitbit: This is the most popular fitness tracker on the market. Fitbit offers different types of trackers that can be worn as either a pedometer, activity wristband, or even embedded into a high-fashioned bracelet. Depending on which device you purchase, you may be able to track steps, distance, calories burned, or sleep patterns. You can set daily goals, earn badges, and challenge friends. Newer Fitbit devices have GPS capabilities that track elevation, pace and heart rate. Some also have music capabilities. Be wary! A few trackers that attach to clothing may be easily forgotten and accidentally laundered. I’ve done it at least 5 times already. I recommend purchasing a wristband style instead. Other options in this style include the Jawbone© or Nike + FuelBand. These devices are very comparable to Fitbit, with similar aesthetics and capabilities.

Don’t want to spend the money on a device? There are several free apps or websites that also measure progress and keep you motivated.

  • MyFitnessPal: This is one of my favorite mobile apps. If you do not own a smart phone, you can track your information through their website at The app makes it super easy to track daily calories, water consumption, exercise and weight. There is also a social component that allows you to challenge and encourage friends. Progress is shown in easy to read charts. The app and use of this website are free. You need to take time to enter your food intake each day. Research shows that those taking the time to track their food intake are more successful in their weight loss/healthy eating journey than those who do not track their food. Be as accurate as you can about portion size when tracking your calories for each meal. You’ll be surprised how quickly calories add up! Other free apps that have similar capabilities as MyFitnessPal are Fitocracy, Challenges, Fleety, and Lose it!
  • RunKeeper: Training for a race? The best tracker I have found for racing is RunKeeper. Whether you are training for a 5k, sprint triathlon, or marathon, this app does a great job with goal setting and providing training plans. It has GPS capabilities to track distance traveled, pace, and speed for running outdoors. It also has capabilities to track indoor workouts on the treadmill. You can track other non-running activities that you do during the week such as Zumba, Barre, or strength training. The app also helps you motivate your friends. It alerts you when you have reached a personal record and it sends push notifications if you have gotten off track that week. Another personal recommendation: Be smart about free training plans provided for long distance races. If you are inexperienced in long-distance running, don’t forget your rest days! You don’t want to suffer an injury by pushing too hard, too fast. It is also important to include core and strength training in your weekly running plan. Other popular apps for race training are Mapmyrun, Nike + running, and PUMATRAC.
  • Heart rate monitors: Your heart rate can provide a more detailed measurement of exercise and can be monitored in several ways during your workout. How do you know if you are working hard enough during exercise? Exertion and heart rate are the main ways to measure how intense a workout it. Some may be familiar with the “talk test” and RPE scale as common ways to assess how hard you are working. You can always track heart rate by manually taking your carotid pulse, but there are several devices that will track heart rate for you. Polar Heart Rate Monitors come with a sports watch that shows current heart rate, max heart rate, and also summarizes your workout. Some devices go as far as telling you how many calories were burned during your workout. There is a free app that can measure your heart rate on smart phones now called Instant Heart Rate. With this, you just touch your finger to the camera lens on the smart phone to gauge pulse with real-time charts. How cool is that?

Bottom line? There are several different ways to track important info from your workout, and you don’t need to get top of the line equipment to do so. Finding something that gives you a way to measure progress is the biggest factor in staying motivated and seeing results.

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Winter Weather Closings and Delays


Bookmark this page for the latest winter weather closings and delays from Rex Healthcare.

If you have an appointment at one of our facilities, please call the office to verify the status of your appointment.

 Last Update: 3/2/15  9:53 am

There are no closings or delays at this time.

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Recipes from the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series

Chef Ryan Conklin and his teammates chefs Steve Pexton and Collin Jennings have advanced to the Semi-Final round of the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series.

They’ve made it to the final round on  March 9th! Get your tickets now!

Try out some of the wining recipes for yourself! Here are two recipes from the winning battle against Chef Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill. The secret ingredient was Shiitake Mushrooms.

ColcannonPotatoesColcannon Potatoes
By Chef Ryan Conklin

“These potatoes are what I like to call “Irish Soul Food.” A style of cooking that I learned while working and living in Limerick Ireland as a young chef.” Chef Ryan Conklin


  • 1 pound Shaved Brussels Sprouts or shredded green cabbage
  • 1 pound potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 Cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • ½ Pound of diced bacon
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted butter
  • Salt and White pepper to taste


  • Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • In a sauce pan, render down diced bacon until it is crisp. Remove bacon, and add Brussels sprouts or shredded cabbage and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked Brussels sprouts, scallions and milk.
  • Mix well, adding butter, salt and white pepper.

Serves 4-6

Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Mushroom Brulee
By Chef Steve Pexton


  • 7.6 oz Graham Crackers
  • 3 oz Corn Meal
  • 1 oz Powdered Sugar
  • 2 T Dried Mushroom Powder
  • 2.6 oz Butter (melted)
  • 1 Egg White
  • 10″ Parchment Paper Circle

Mix the graham crumbs, corn meal, 10X and mushroom powder together. Add the melted butter and the egg white and mix together.

Lay the parchment circle in the spring form pan. Press crust mixture into the parchment lined spring form pan and bake in a 350* for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set on the counter to cool while preparing the batter.


  • 20 oz Cream Cheese
  • 7 oz Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 8 oz Sugar
  • 1 oz Cornstartch
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 oz Heavy Cream

Combine the sugar and cornstarch together and beat with the cheeses in a mixer until smooth and creamy. Combine the extracts, egg and yolks and add 1 at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides of the bowl and beater after each addition of egg. Repeat until all eggs are used. Add the cream last and beat until smooth.

Pour batter in the spring form pan and bake in a 250* oven until set. About an hour and a half.   To check, open the oven, pull the rack with the cheesecake on it out until it stops and tap the side of the pan. If the cheesecake giggles once, it’s ready.

Mushroom Brulee

  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 T Dried Mushroom Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked Pepper

Combine. Sprinkle over the cheesecake prior to serving. Caramelize with a blowtorch, as you would a crème brulee.

Makes 1 10″ Cheesecake


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Navigating Nutrition Noise

Ashley HoneycuttAshley Honeycutt, RD, LDN is the Manager of Corporate and Community Services for Rex Wellness Centers. She blogs about nutrition, wellness & healthy living.

Health_800Diet advice can be confusing, conflicting and overwhelming. Almost daily, you hear about a new study that contradicts the one you heard the week before. New studies gain traction in the media and spread like wildfire. You search the internet to read more about what you just heard on the news and you become even more confused. You may worry that you’re making the wrong decision for you and your family, sometimes becoming fearful or feeling guilty about your food choices. There is SO MUCH information and “advice” out there. Some of it intentionally causes fear and confusion in order to sell a product or message.

Know that real science takes time. Our opinions should not change overnight based on what we hear on the news. Numerous studies need to occur and results need to be replicated in order to make educated conclusions. Many “studies” you hear about in the media fail to replicate. Slow-moving science isn’t fancy and doesn’t garner media attention. Controversy always sells.

Healthy eating shouldn’t be controversial, fancy or cause fear. Turn off the TV and stop searching unreliable web resources. Instead, seek the expert, science-based advice of a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians have done the research for you. We can show you what to believe and what to ignore. We can help you incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle without fear or confusion.

Rex Wellness Centers offer private nutrition counseling for weight loss, food allergies, chronic disease management and much more. Contact us today to get started.

Not sure about seeing a Registered Dietitian? Check out these 10 reasons for why you should visit a RD.

Are you diabetic? Our Certified Diabetes Educators at the Rex Diabetes Education center can help you manage your blood glucose levels through proper diet and exercise. Contact us today to learn more.

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The Rex Comprehensive Breast Care Program is expanding!


The Rex Comprehensive Breast Care Program is expanding! We are proud to announce the opening of our new breast surgery clinic, Rex Breast Care Specialists. The clinic, an extension of Rex Surgical Specialists, will be located in the same building as the Rex Breast Care Center at 3100 Duraleigh Road, Suite 205.

Rex Breast Care Specialists will feature board-certified surgeons, Dr. David Eddleman, Dr. Rachel Goble and Dr. Nancy Crowley. The clinic will be adding another fellowship-trained breast surgeon this summer as well. Combining their expertise with compassion, our surgeons will focus on patients and their breast care needs in a calming, supportive atmosphere.

Our surgeons will offer consultations, follow-up appointments, minimally invasive breast biopsies and coordination of comprehensive care for breast cancer and other complex breast problems. In addition to providing state-of-the-art breast cancer treatment, they will treat many benign breast problems including breast cysts, nipple discharge, breast pain, breast lumps, mammographic abnormalities and patients with an elevated risk of developing breast cancer based on personal and family history.

Rex Breast Care Specialists will be a seamless part of Rex’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program. Our breast surgeons will work closely with breast radiologists in the Rex Breast Imaging & Diagnostics Center and with physicians in the Rex Cancer Center as well. Patients at the clinic will receive a personalized treatment plan that may include some of the following services offered at Rex:

  • 3-D mammography
  • Screening and diagnostic digital mammography
  • Stereotactic breast biopsy
  • Bone-density testing
  • Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy
  • Breast ultrasound and MRI
  • Cyst aspiration
  • Lumpectomy, mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Coordination with plastic surgeons for immediate breast reconstruction
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy and lymphedema management
  • Participation in clinical trials
  • Guidance from nurse navigators
  • Counseling and nutrition services
  • Wellness and rehab support programs

All of these services will be linked with the surgical care offered at Rex Breast Care Specialists. “I’m excited about the addition of our new breast surgery clinic to the Rex Comprehensive Breast Care Program,” said Dr. David Eddleman, Breast Surgery Medical Director. “Our patients can now experience the convenience of having their breast imaging, surgical evaluation and support all in one central location.”

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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Genevieve Spiliopoulos of Rex Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at Wakefield is board-certified in audiology. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is also a licensed Fast ForWord® provider.

Are the crickets chirping when the sun is shining? Is the tea kettle whistling when there’s no water on? These sounds you’re hearing may be due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

I have been practicing audiology for over 15 years. I have always known about the dangers of excessive exposure to loud sounds. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I truly understood how loud the world is.

I think this realization came to me when I moved to North Carolina from New York City. Now you may say to yourself, how could this be? The City is much noisier than peaceful North Carolina, and you would be correct. The lifestyle in North Carolina, however, leads to more recreational sports, chores that expose us to loud sounds, extracurricular activities such as playing in the band, and let’s not forget about just listening to our MP3 devices at maximum volume levels.

Exposure to loud sounds over a period of time or exposure to a sudden, intensely loud sound for a short period of time can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. According to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 36 million Americans have hearing loss. It is estimated that one in three of these individuals developed their hearing loss as a result of noise exposure. Noise-induced hearing loss is not just an adult issue, but a pediatric concern as well. There are approximately 5 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 with reported noise-induced hearing loss. Once sound levels reach 85dB, our ears are at risk if exposed to those sounds levels for longer periods of time.

Below is a chart of common sounds and their decibel equivalents:


How loud is too loud? There are many sound-level meter apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone. If you decide to use a downloadable app, be sure to place the phone near your ear to get an accurate reading.

If you don’t feel like using an app, there are some other common sense ways of knowing how loud is too loud. If you have to raise your voice to be understood by someone you are talking to, if the noise physically hurts your ears or if you develop a ringing or hissing sound in your ears, then your environment is too loud. You should either walk away or use hearing protection.

There are various types of hearing protection, and their appropriateness is dependent on each person’s needs. At the very least, if you find yourself in a noisy environment, use disposable earplugs, which are sold at most drugstores.

However, if you are routinely exposed to loud sounds, you should seek advice from your audiologist on the most appropriate hearing protection to suit your needs. Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable as long as consistent and proper hearing protection is used in dangerously loud environments.

Whether you are hunting, mowing the lawn, riding on an ATV, playing the saxophone in your school band or just listening to your tunes – protect your hearing. Your ears will thank you for it!

Genevieve Spiliopoulos recently joined Rex Healthcare’s newly opened Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at Wakefield.  In addition to Genevieve Spiliopoulos, audiologist, the practice also consists of two board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Brett Dorfman and his colleague, Dr. Esa Bloedon.

The new practice provides a full range of medical and surgical ear, nose and throat treatment for adult and pediatric patients. In partnership with Rex, a member of UNC Health Care, patients have access to all of the resources and specialty care that Rex and UNC have to offer.

Call 919-570-5900 to schedule an appointment.

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Wellness Wednesday: Yoga for the Heart


Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

By now you’ve probably heard about the benefits of yoga, traditionally involving slow stretching of the body while focusing on meditation and breathing. But did you know it can also be an integral part of heart disease prevention and management?

For one thing, yoga postures work the muscles, which is good for the heart and blood vessels. And, like any physical activity, it can make your muscles more sensitive to insulin, which is good for controlling blood sugar. The deep breathing associated with yoga may also lower your blood pressure temporarily and calm stress hormones.

In addition to these possible benefits, preliminary research suggests yoga may:

  • Improve heart failure symptoms
  • Ease palpitations (rapid or pounding heartbeat)
  • Complement cardiac rehabilitation
  • Lower cholesterol levels

If you have heart problems or another chronic health condition, discuss any new exercise regimens with your doctor first.

Are you a member of the Rex Wellness Centers? Check out our Group Fitness Schedule and attend a yoga class today!  Not a member? Learn more and join today.

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10 Inspirational Quotes from Coach Kay Yow

Coach Kay Yow inspired many through her coaching and her battle with breast cancer.

Throughout the month of February, we’ll be celebrating the inspirational Coach Kay Yow and the 10th anniversary of Hoops 4 Hope.

Don’t miss this year’s Hoops 4 Hope game on February 22nd. The NCSU and Duke Women’s Basketball teams will take to the court for an exciting game while raising awareness and funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Be sure to visit to get your tickets today!

10 Inspirational Quotes from Coach Kay Yow:

KayYow 1551780_10152106317279909_1010351920_n 1932273_10152206232624909_1147196811_n 1978606_10152823086134909_5349832190052336193_n 10003915_10152271998094909_252145507_n 10298903_10152330485814909_5444497760207964433_n 10440261_10152890204909909_2671997755358728134_n 10550816_10152856241874909_5332375635451687196_n 10615435_10152678995064909_5723170143076526778_n
Images courtesy Kay Yow Cancer Fund on Facebook

Want to win courtside tickets to the game?

We’re giving away courtside tickets to Hoops 4 Hope on Facebook!

Between January 26 and February 16 watch the Rex Healthcare Facebook page  for the Hoops 4 Hope posts. Just comment on the posts and you’ll be entered into the drawing. We’ll pick a winner on February 17.

Be sure to ‘like’ Rex Healthcare now so you don’t miss a post!

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Wellness Wednesday: Eating Right When You’re Short On Time

Grocery stoSandwichre convenience foods and drive-through fast foods are rarely the best nutritional choices for you and your family. Unfortunately, they’re often the go-to staples for families short on time.

But sacrificing good nutrition quickly takes its toll, making you and your loved ones feel tired and sluggish. On the other hand, people who eat well-rounded diets and are physically active tend to be healthier, feel happier and have more energy.

A little preparation can go a long way toward nutritional success:

Build a better breakfast: Give your body the fuel it needs to power through busy days. Whole-grain low-fat breakfast bars, yogurt or low-fat string cheese are nutritious, portable breakfast options.

Have some time the night before? Consider preparing hard-boiled eggs, cutting up fruit or making a veggie-packed crustless quiche that you can eat over several days (hint: frozen veggies in microwave steam packages save chopping and cooking time).

Pack lunch with a healthy punch: If you frequently brown bag your family’s lunch, try packing leftovers or half a turkey and avocado sandwich with an apple.

Eating out? Veggie wraps or soup with half a sandwich are good restaurant options. At fast food restaurants, order low-calorie, healthy selections, such as a grilled chicken sandwich (without the mayo or sauce). Many restaurants provide calorie counts on their menus to make choosing healthy options easier.

Slow down your supper: You can slow cook a healthy meal with very little effort or prep work. Some slow cooker models will even keep foods warm if the meal is done before you’re ready to eat.

If you find the time to cook, make a double recipe—freeze the rest for next week’s dinner or use the main protein in an entirely new way (think: extra grilled chicken tonight becomes the base for fajitas or tacos tomorrow).

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Got Heart?

CanesHeartWe’re teaming up with the Carolina Hurricanes  throughout February for Heart Health Awareness Month.

All month long we’ll have your chance to win prizes from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Just follow Rex Healthcare on Twitter or Instagram and share a picture that shows you’ve got heart.

Your picture should include a heart and the hashtag #GotHeart.


Each game night a winner will take home an autographed stick and be entered to win the Ultimate VIP Experience with the Canes, including tickets to an upcoming game and a special meet & greet with the players.

Be creative! Have fun! And show us your heart, Caniac Nation!

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