Fitbit Fever: Did you get your steps in?

Fitness trackers are all the rage these days.  An outfit just isn’t complete without one on your wrist.  While there are many brands out there, I’m going to focus on the one I have, and the brand that seems to be the most widely used, Fitbit.  logo_with_trademark I’m obsessed.  I love what the trackers are doing for people, and the accountability and challenge they provide.  I’m constantly checking my steps, entering my activities, water, food, etc.  My bootcampers first got me into it, as they would ask to walk or run extra to meet their step goals.  I received my Fitbit Flex for Christmas, joined my friends on the app, and we all started challenging each other daily.  Quickly, I realized the days I don’t run, I have to park a little further away, go for a late night walk, or whatever it takes to get my step goal in that day.  It feels like such an accomplishment when my wrist band vibrates and I know I’ve passed the mark.  There are so many other features I love, such as seeing my sleep patterns, waking to the silent alarm, seeing the calories I’ve burned….But, don’t take my word for it, here are some testimonies from some devoted Fitbitters:
  • “Confessions of a ‘10,000 Steps-A-Day Aholic’:
    I admit it, I have a problem.  I am a “10,000 steps-a-day aholic”!  Wink, wink.  I received my FitBit Charge for Christmas 2014 from my husband.  I was a little hesitant to try it, but once I did, I was hooked!  We also got our daughter (10 years old) the JawBone Up, a fitness tracker that looks more like a hip wrap around bracelet.  I also had an old FitBit Flex that I never liked because I need to know my steps quickly!
    I read about the recommendations that you should get 10,000 steps a day in and read the history on this reasoning.  It seemed like it might be what I needed to help with my “life transformation”, so I decided that I would reach this 10,000 magic number at least 5 days a week.  Since Christmas, I have been successful.  I have also become so obsessed that some nights I realize I might be short, so I will hit the steps at my house or purposely make multiple trips doing errands.  The dog has enjoyed the 10,000 step goal too!  The best part now is watching my children try to hit 10,000 or even more steps a day.  My 10 year old has done over 25,000 steps in a day!  My 7 year old has gotten to the point that when she realizes that she is short in her steps, she does a “lap” in our house and can quickly make up those missing steps!
    I decided to take charge of my life back in October and make some changes that will ultimately improve my health, as well as my family’s.  Part of my change involved quitting CrossFit and going back to a boot camp workout.  I also decided to start running again. I had my running group this past weekend and was happily at 10,000 steps before 10 am!  A good day at boot camp is usually 3,000 – 4,000 steps.  I also will purposely check my Charge throughout the day at my office and go for a walk in the halls. It may be one trip to the bathroom and back to my desk and then immediately a trip to the copy room.  Every step helps meet my goal!  10,000 steps or bust….  I need to quit writing, it is 3:45 and I have 3,000 steps more needed for the day!”
    Shannon Praete
    44 year old, full-time working, married mom of 2 kids
  • “My Fitbit is an essential part of my day. I can’t imagine leaving home without it.  The number one use I have for my Fitbit is for tracking my steps; I want to be sure to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day.  I also use it to be sure I cover a total of 5 miles each day and achieve at least 30 active minutes.  I try to use all three of these in combination to be sure I have a minimum amount of activity.  I’m quite competitive, so the challenges are perfect for me.  I love competing with my friends.  It help keeps me on track on even my most tired days, because I don’t want to fall behind!”

         – Kristy Mitchell – full time working, married mom of 2 boys

  • “I purchased the fitbit back in 2013 on sale on Amazon to give it a try after hearing about it at Planet Fitness.  I have had pedometers before but they were never accurate. The original fitbit I had was the small clip on one that you couldn’t see.  So I gave it a try and was impressed with how accurate it was.  After washing my original fitbit I switched to the flex.  Still loved it and didn’t miss the fact that it didn’t count stairs.  I was surprised at how inactive I had actually become.  I was convinced that I was just as active as ever but I soon found out that wasn’t the case.  I used the fitbit to set goals and pushed myself to exceed the goals.  Eventually more of my friends had fitbits and I friended them on the fitbit site.  We use it to push and taunt each other to see who would be in first place for the week.  Since that time fitbit has added challenges which helps to keep me motivated to move each day.  I use fitbit mainly as a tool to make sure I’m reaching what I consider to be minimum fitness goals for each day.  I look at step, miles and activity levels. I’m also able to log exercise.   It helps keep me in check.  Next step is the charge hr so I can use it for more than just tracking basic goals.  Since getting the fitbit I’m back to my active self and have of group of fitbit friends who help keep me motivated to move.”

         – Clare Kaye –  full time working, married mom of 3 boys

Again, I know there are other great tracking devices out there, but I also know the success and populatrity of the Fitbit.  Siobhan has the new Fitbit Charge HR (with heart rate monitor in the watch).  My mom and sister have the Charge, and I’m happy with my Flex.  Whatever brand or style you choose, I encourage you to join the movement and start tracking your steps!

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The Dreaded New Years Resolutions…

Did you make a New Years Resolution? So many people do make them, have great intentions about keeping them, but within 2 weeks they are all but forgotten. Usually I don’t make resolutions per se, I like to set new goals for the new year. I find that if I call them ‘goals’ I am much more likely to achieve them. Why is that? For me a goal is more attainable through a series of actions/steps that lead to an end result– a goal. Resolutions, on the other hand, are amorphous blobs of ideas with no clear path to an end result. For example “I want to lose weight”—um…how is that going to happen? This might be better stated as a goal: I want to join a Masters swim group and swim 2 days a week, ultimately swimming 500 yards without stopping. Boom— a goal that is easily measured and achieved.

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New Year, New Goals, New Workout?

Over the last month I have hit up several of the major chain fitness classes.  I know I need to change things up if I want to see results, and have been curious about my options. Here’s my take on them:

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