Fitness

First Week With a Fitbit, 5 Things I Learned

Fitbit tracker and app things to know and tips for use

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but here are five things I learned my first week with a Fitbit Charge HR.

Wearing a bracelet helps. The correct placement for the Fitbit is about a finger width from your wrist bone, unless you’re working out. Some people can wear theirs snug enough to stay in that spot and not have it too tight. I struggled with this, so I wear a bracelet, too.

The extra accessory accomplishes two things. First, it allows me to still rock my fun jewelry. Secondly, it helps my Fitbit stay in place without it irritating my wrist. In the photo above I’m wearing my 100 Good Deeds bracelet, but any type of adjustable bracelet that doesn’t need more than an inch can work. In future posts I’ll be sharing some of my other bracelets, :-).

The Fitbit app is your friend, and it’s necessary to get the most from your tracker. With the app you can track your aerobic activity, sleep, food, weight goals and more. There are some stats available on the tracker, but only the basics.

All steps don’t count. I have a habit of walking slowly around my office while I read magazines, ebooks, etc. It’s one way I try to get in a little office fitness during the day. While these steps feel much better than sitting all day, my Fitbit does not register these steps. I guess it can tell when I’m really walking, :-). This is also the case when I’m presenting and walking slowly from one side of the room to the other.

I need to charge it about every 2 1/2 days. Some people may be able to go longer, but that’s my average. This is good to know because getting the “low battery” message when you’re on your way to work out may cause a slight panic. Trust me, once you start counting steps and aerobic activity you will want to capture EVERYTHING. Which is why…

If you happen to forget your Fitbit on the charger and realize it once you’re at the gym, you may be tempted to go home for it. I didn’t… but I thought about it throughout my Zumba class.

When you reach your goal for steps, Fitbit buzzes and it’s addictive! This buzz may encourage you to do things you would never think to do otherwise. I will neither confirm or deny that I ran up and down my stairs one night several times to get my steps and aerobic activity in before midnight. And I MAY have mapped out a walking plan in my house.

 

BONUS TIP:

Gold stars work for adults, too. Well, for Fitbit they’re white stars handed out by the sleep tracker (in the Fitbit app!), but the concept is the same. Do what you’re supposed to do, in this case get enough sleep, and you’re awarded a star on your sleep chart.

I don’t always get enough sleep, but seeing it in a chart encourages me to try harder. I was definitely conditioned in elementary school because I need to see a few of those stars every week, :-). Plus, I’ve set a goal to have a full week of stars before the end of Summer. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Good Luck with your Fitbit and if you have tips or advice, please share!

This Workout Powered By Honeysuckle

honeysuckle motivation for spring workout

One of the best ways I get me time is through exercise. This is especially delightful in the Spring when I take my workout routine outside.

That’s because my jogging/walking route has the beautiful scent of honeysuckle! The smell is rejuvenating and relaxing at the same time (plus it reminds me of growing up in rural NC…). Without fail it puts me in a good mood.

This past week it inspired an extra ½ mile, :-).

It also inspires me to hunt for the scent in other places. This Sweet Honeysuckle candle from Yankee is one of my absolute favorites.

So, what do you love about exercising outdoors?

Chocolate Doesn’t Look So Good When It’s In a Journal

Almost everything I read about losing weight, getting fit or just making healthy choices encourages the use of a food journal. And after years of fighting it, I’m going to try it.

Not because I want to, but because I am willing to do almost anything to lose this baby weight. Plus, my nutritionist is adamant that I write down everything. She also insists I exercise 5-6 times a week, preferably for an hour, but that is another post…

Well, today is the first day I’m keeping this journal and it’s not easy. I was doing very well this morning. But the three o’clock snack time won and I had to get chocolate. I tried to fight it, but chocolate yells. Now I feel like I have this glaring sign of weakness flashing at me in bright red letters on an otherwise perfect palette.

So, I guess there is something to this. I’ll be having a salad for dinner now, because I need something to cancel out the chocolate and to make me feel better.

If you’re trying to monitor what you eat, I’d strongly encourage you to keep a food diary. It can be anything from a notebook to an app for your smart phone. I’m using this one for BlackBerry by Fat Secret. If nothing else you’ll have a record of the days that you do really well. Maybe tomorrow will be my day.

Wear Green and Get Moving!

To celebrate National Start! Walking Day the American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to wear green and walk at least thirty minutes. You can find more information on their site, including the positive impact of physical activity.

If you’re beginning a walking or running plan, here are some links to help you get started:

 

Top 100 Workout Songs from Fitness Magazine (we all need motivation!): http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/music/popular-playlists/the-fitness-top-100-workout-songs

 

How to choose the right shoe from The Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/walking/HQ00885_D. Personally I love newbalance.com and nike.com, because I have a high arch and these seem to work best.

 

If you are looking for workout gear, I suggest Target, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.  Target has a nice selection of workout gear and you can normally find something on the clearance rack. I recommend TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, especially for starters, because you will want to try different fabrics and cuts to see what works for you. There is little need to buy expensive pieces, only to find out it doesn’t work for your body type.

Enjoy your walk! Spring is the perfect time to get moving!

Weighed In Public

Our office has a New Year’s Resolution Fitness Challenge. Teams of four band together to drink 64 oz. of water, eat fruits and veggies and hopefully lose a few pounds in the process. Seems harmless enough, right?

Well, that’s what I thought too. At least that was the case until I got a call from my team captain this morning saying our team was to be weighed in at 9:05. Ummm, what?!!! Does this mean that THREE other people (four including the nurse) will know my weight? Okay, I realize I shouldn’t ask this question out loud, because who wants a team member starting the challenge withholding information? So I say “ok” in my bubbly voice, yet inside I am a panicky mess.

I look at the clock and it is 8:56. How in the world am I going to lose at least 15 pounds in the next 10 minutes, because there is NO WAY I’m letting these people know my real weight. And yes, now these lovely team members have been reduced to “these people.”

I look at my outfit and decide the Spanx have to go, because they must easily weigh a pound. Next are my boots, which I trade for pumps. Added bonus, no socks with pumps. I have on a cardigan and I decide I will take that off when I get in the nurse’s office. Sure, I don’t really want to show my arms right now, but it’s better than the scale embarrassing me.

Then I get even more ridiculous. I close my office door and start doing sets of jumping jacks, squats and lunges. You know, using the larger muscles to hopefully make the scale my friend. I only have time for two sets of each and then I sprint over to the nurse’s building.

When I get there, NO ONE is there but her. It seems the TEAM has a weigh-in time, but we are each weighed in private! I still took off my cardigan.