Fitbit: 16 Awesome Features

 

If you’re anything like me, you can’t go anywhere without a fully charged Fitbit. I’ve had a Fitbit for about 3 years and it has been crucial to me on my fitness journey.

 

  1. Step counter
    • This is the most obvious feature.  It is recommended to take 10,000 steps a day which is the default step goal set in a Fitbit, however, you can change your step goal.

 

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  1. Heart Rate Monitor
    • A normal BPM at rest is between 60-100 for adults. Someone who is more physically active and has better heart health typically has a lower BPM and can go as low at 40 BPM for well-trained athletes.  My resting BPM usually stays around 63.
    • While exercising, your max BPM can vary depending on age, sex, and level of physical activity. To easily calculate what your max BPM should be, subtract your age from 220.  A 30 year old’s max heart rate would be 190.  (FYI – I’m not 30…yet!)

 

  1. Sleep monitor
    • This is not a feature I personally pay attention to too often, but it is very interesting to see my activity throughout the night. This feature shows how long you’ve slept and your most restless hours.  It will tell you the latest time you’ve went to bed in the passed week and also allows you to set a reminder to go to sleep.

 

  1. Challenges
    • This is probably the most fun feature.  This allows you to challenge your friends to hold yourself accountable for your goals.
      • Workweek Hustle: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 5 days, Monday-Friday (duh).
      • Weekend Warrior: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 2 days.
      • Daily Showdown: Allows 2-10 participants and lasts 1 day.
      • Goal Day: Allows 1-10 participants and lasts 1 day.
    • Along with these challenges are races and adventures.  Race your friends through beautiful cities and trails.  You can race your friends or take solo adventures.

 

  1. NEW! Period Tracker
    • Ladies, it’s finally here! Fitbit now has its own period tracker.  Log the first day of your period and Fitbit will remind you when it’s ending, your most fertile time of month, and when your period should be starting again.

 

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  1. Weight Tracker
    • Watch your progress by logging your current and goal weight.  You can even buy this scale that will sync up to your fit bit app!

 

  1. Food Tracker
    • Just like other meal tracking apps, track your macros and calories by logging your food.  You can enter it manually or scan your food’s barcode.

 

  1. Exercise Tracker
    • With this feature, set a number of days you would like to exercise, 1-7 days.  Fitbit will auto recognize exercises such as walking, running, outdoor cycling, sports, elliptical, and aerobic workouts.  It will be recognized if you have been exercising for a certain amount of time and add it to your exercise goal.

 

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  1. Active Minutes
    • Fitbit will count your active minutes throughout the day.  Set your activity goals in settings.

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  1. Alarm
    • Use the alarm feature and wake up to a quiet vibration or for other reminders throughout the day.

 

  1. Stop Watch
    • Access a stop watch right from your wrist.

 

  1. Text/Call Notifications
    • Turn your notifications on to read text messages and to see who is calling you.

 

  1. Reminder to move
    • If you work in an office and sit at a desk all day like I do, this feature is very helpful in making sure you get up and walk.  You can choose how many hours in the day, how many days, and within which hours you want to be reminded.  If you haven’t taken 250 steps by 10 minutes to the next hour, it will alert you to get up and take a walk.

 

  1. Stair/Mile Count
    • Fitbit counts the floors and miles walked.  Elevation will be detected when going up stairs and will be registered when you climb about 10 feet at one time, however, it does not register when going down stairs.

 

  1. Water Intake
    • Set your water goal in ounces and track your water intake each day.  You can enter manually or use Fit Bit’s quick add feature.

 

  1. Calories Burned
    • This feature obviously counts your calories, but don’t be fooled by the number.  The calories counted by Fitbit is your TOTAL calories burned, not just exercise calories.  So, the total includes calories burned simply by existing.

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These features are based on Fitbit Charge 2.  Features are subject to change with different Fitbit models.

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Carrot-Tumeric Hummus: A Recreation of Seamus Mullen’s Recipe

I’m not the biggest fan of hummus so, when one of Seamus Mullen and Fran Drescher’s demonstrations at the Health & Fitness Expo at Metlife Stadium was carrot hummus, I was pleasantly surprised.   I didn’t know you could make hummus out of carrots!

My boyfriend is a saint for letting me drag him to this event but, even more so for helping me recreate this delicious, healthy recipe:

SPICY PESTO PASTA WITH ARUGULA SALAD

Weekends in my household are usually full-on cheat days; counting macros, water intake, and working out Monday-Friday.  But after 5PM on Friday, all bets are off.  There have been no thoughts towards what was going into my body…. until recently.  With mine and my boyfriend’s 30th birthdays quickly approaching, we both agreed that our ful-on cheat weekends are no longer acceptable.  Not only that but, how am I supposed to get the results I work so hard for during the week if I’m just going to undo it all each weekend?  Slowly but surely our weekend diet has been progressing.  This weekend we thought of ordering a pizza but, not only was that the opposite of a healthy option but we were also trying not to spend money.  So, what did we do?  We raided our cabinets! We found all kinds of things to make a healthy cheat.  We ended up with a whole wheat pasta in a spicy pesto with a side arugula salad.

 

Ingredients:

SPICY PESTO PASTA

-Whole Wheat Pasta (we used ½ box of penne & rotini combined)

-1 c. Fresh Basil Leaves

-1/3 c. Olive Oil

-1/3 c. Pine Nuts

-1 tbps.  Grated Parmesan Cheese

-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

-Salt & Pepper to taste

-3 Cloves of Garlic

-1 Red Jalapeno (optional-this is where the “spicy” comes in

 

ARUGULA SALAD

-1/2 Container Organic Baby Arugula

-1/4 c. Cranberries

-1/4 c. sliced almonds (hand crumbled)

-2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

-Homemade Oil & Vinegar (you can use store bought if you’d prefer)

-1/2 c. Vinegar

-1/2 c. Olive Oil

-1 tsp. of Dried Basil

-1 tsp. of Oregano

-Salt & Pepper to Taste

-Garlic Powder to taste

-A squirt of lemon juice

 

Directions:

 

SPICY PESTO PASTA

  1. Fire roast jalapeño on stove over open flame until blackened on all sides
    • Remove stem & seeds
  2. Combine all ingredients (except the pasta) in a food processor, blend to fine texture
  3. Pour over cooked pasta, stir until evenly distributed

 

ARUGALA SALAD

  1. Combine all ingredients, hand toss

 

OIL & VINEGAR

  1. Use a mortar and pestle to combine basil, oregano, salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Grind until find.
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl (I used a salad dressing bottle with mixer – originally purchased at Sur La Table), mix well.

spicy pesto pasta

This meal really hit the spot without feeling guilty, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Please share you’re pictures of your meal along with anything you may have done differently.  Stay tuned for more recipes!

Common Gym Pet Peeves

Going to the gym is stressful enough without other members disturbing your gym experience.  You may have encountered someone like that or you may be that person to disrupt someone else.  After speaking with a few fellow gym goers, I found we all have similar gym pet peeves.

 

1. PEOPLE WHO DON’T RE-RACK

Many times I find myself scared for my safety trying to switch off weights that were left on a machine.  The point of these weights are to lift them, right?  So, why not lift them one more time to put them back?

2. PEOPLE WHO DON’T CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES

The gym is filled with germs as it is so, if you sweat all over the equipment, please wipe the machine down when you’re done.  There are spray bottles for a reason.

Also, there are garbage cans at every turn.  Please use them instead of leaving your trash in machines.

3. USING CELL PHONES ON EQUIPMENT/PEOPLE HANGING OUT ON EQUIPMENT THEY AREN’T USING

We’re all there for a reason, to work out!  Don’t get on a machine just to make a phone call.  If you’re talking on the phone, chances are you’re not working hard enough for your exercise to be effective.  Let someone else have the chance to use the machine.

You may have made friends at the gym.  Great!  But, talk to them on the side where you’re not in the way.

4. GETTING ON A TREADMILL NEXT TO SOMEONE WHEN THERE IS A FULL EMPTY ROW

Two words – PERSONAL SPACE!

5. SIZING SOMEONE UP

No one is there to be judged.  They are there to better themselves.  Everyone is on their own journey at their own pace.  There is no need to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Keep your judgement to yourself!

 

Speaking of sizing someone up and personal space – Guys (and girls), don’t be a creep. The last thing someone wants is to be ogled or approached with some absurd pick up line while they’re trying to work out.

So, be courteous people!  You’re not the only one at the gym!

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey Starts Here

 

Hey Bodscapers!  Welcome to my blog!  Now, before you get the wrong idea, I just want to make it clear that I am not a nutritionist, I am not a fitness professional, and I am definitely not a fitness model.  I am just someone who found her passion a little later than she would have liked to.  I wish I had known years ago that I would be so interested in health and fitness and wanted to make a career out of it. IE: Gym Teacher, Nutritionist, Health Educator.

For a few years now, I’ve known that I was very interested in everything health and fitness since I started learning about my own health and getting fit. I’ve been on a very long journey and it wasn’t up until very recently that I had wished I would have worked toward some kind of career.

I signed up for my very first gym membership at Retro Fitness in 2013.  My boyfriend was in a touring band, so I always wanted to look my best for his return.  After getting a few mani/pedis, I realized joining a gym and getting a sick body was cheaper than spending $50 every couple of weeks.  Not to mention, more rewarding to the both of us.  Although I signed up for the gym a year before, it really all started in 2014 when I got my first medical billing job after getting my billing and coding certification.

I was working for a multi-specialty practice where the employees were able to see any doctor for any reason cost free. Let me tell you, I DEFINITELY took advantage of that.  I hadn’t seen a doctor in I don’t even know how long so, I decided to get a physical. Unsurprisingly, my blood test results came back to show I had hypothyroidism.  I say unsurprisingly because I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old.  Of course, when I was 14 I didn’t really understand or care what hypothyroidism was, and I was not about having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.

After being diagnosed a second time, I told a coworker whose response was “Wow, you might be a totally different person”.  She proceeded to tell me why and my life immediately made sense.  Soon after my new PCP referred me to the endocrinologist in the practice, I made an appointment for a consultation. Long story short, she confirmed my hypothyroidism and that it was due to hashimoto’s disease and diagnosed me with PCOS as well.  I started treatment and since following my endo’s diet and exercise plan, I lost almost 20lbs and was in the best shape of my life by summer 2015.

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I became obsessed and was researching every little thing.  Why are muscles sore? What do they look like after a work out? What are Macros? What is a calorie? How much water should I drink? How much should I be eating? What should I be eating? What does fat look like? What is hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism diets?  What is the best way to burn fat?  You get the point.

Fast forward, to the end of August 2015 – I moved out of the house that my brother and I shared with our significant others and a roommate.  I wanted to enjoy my apartment and it was 5 mins further from the gym (tough right?) so, I took a little break from working out.

Fast forward again to October 2015 – I left the job that I loved after 1.5 years for another job that would pay me more.  I could immediately tell that this was not the job I would be staying at. I lasted 5 months before I finally found a new job and, in that time, I gained about 35lbs!  Before I found a new job, I would go home and cry every day.  I would treat myself by eating junk food and drinking wine and relaxing on the couch.   After 5 months of misery, I finally found a new job, however, I didn’t turn myself around right away.  It was probably 6 months into working at my new job that I one day looked in the mirror and saw fat on myself that I didn’t even know fat could store.   At 167lbs, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and it was time to make a change.  Not to mention, I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in June 2017 which was only 8 months away!

I told my future sister-in-law and the rest of the bridesmaids that I planned to lose 30lbs and, with guidance from my endocrinologist, diet and exercise I lost 31 lbs. By the time it came to get my dress altered, I was 2 dress sizes down!

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By June 2017, my brother was married to his new wife.  Almost a year later, I gained about 10lbs back but am in good shape.  I work with a trainer and am aware of everything that goes into my body.  I continue to research about nutrition and exercise and continue to work hard.

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If you follow my blog, I will continue to share my story along with my knowledge and progress.  I hope to help and motivate those in need.  Like I said in the beginning, I am NOT a professional!  Just someone with a passion….

Until next time!