Fitbit Success Stories is a recurring feature on the Fitbit Blog. You’ll read inspirational and personal stories about Fitbit users who have achieved amazing things as a result of their Fitbit tracker, diet, exercise, and sheer ambition.
Today’s post is from Fitbit user Mark Sands.
I never really considered myself an athletic person. As a child, I regularly overindulged in sugary soft drinks and fatty foods. Portion control was nonexistent in my house. I tried to get into several different types of sports, but my weight held me back from truly enjoying them. I was teased by my peers. To make things worse, I saw little value in trying to do anything about it. I used food to comfort my overwhelming anxiety. As a freshman in high school, my weight was at its highest: 220 lbs. with a 42” waistline. I was 16 and officially obese.
Then a series of events occurred that changed my life forever. One of them was the loss of my father due to brain cancer. He wasn’t terribly out of shape, and he never did anything to get healthier. This motivated me to start improving my health.
Fast-forward to college graduation: I’d lost 40 pounds and 8” off my waist. I was stronger, faster and had more endurance than ever. I began to pursue a career in law enforcement and became even more focused on becoming fitter and healthier. I needed to be at the top of my game to combat the high stress of the profession, as well as the life threatening situations I might face on a daily basis. read more…
Step count, active minutes, calories burned. These are all important pieces of data that help us live healthier, more active lives. But we often don’t stress the important of rest and why your body needs days off.
With Fitbit, you can track and improve your quality of sleep. But that’s just part of the equation. Your tracker can also be extremely helpful in keeping tabs on your down days and limiting your activity so your body can fully recover in between your more active days of the week.
Still not convinced? Fitbit ambassador and ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes knows just how important rest is for active people of all levels. Here are Dean’s six simple reasons why getting your rest is so important.
1. Rest Prevents Injury – It’s common sense that resting is beneficial for injury reduction, but why? Well for starters, rest days prevent overuse. That extends from running to lifting and even walking. If you’re a regular runner, you know how much your legs and feet can take until you just need a day off. If you push it too hard without a break, your muscles and joints suffer from overuse and that’s where injuries can happen. read more…
Introducing Fitbit Success Stories, a recurring feature on the Fitbit Blog. You’ll read inspirational and personal stories about Fitbit users who have achieved amazing things as a result of their Fitbit tracker, diet, exercise, and sheer ambition. To continue with the momentum of American Heart Month, today’s post is from Adam Webber of the SF Bay area is especially timely. Read on for one amazing story.
My name is Adam Webber. I’m 33 years old and I live in Fairfield, CA in the San Francisco Bay area. In April of 2013, I set a goal to lose 100 pounds. This is my story of how I did it.
I had reached 255lbs. Like most people, life happened. I was eating cheap, easy-to-get food and never had the time or desire to exercise. I put on a lot of weight shortly after the birth of my son. He was born six weeks early and with two congenital heart defects. He spent 10 long weeks in the hospital before coming home.
My wife and I commuted daily to the children’s hospital in San Francisco and often stayed overnight. There was a lot of comfort eating and even more sitting around. Several months later, we (my wife and I) made the decision that if he needed to eat a heart healthy diet and exercise regularly [when he's older], we’d better be doing the same. In April, we purchased our Fitbit Ones and an Aria scale.
As a starting point, I saw my doctor for a physical. My cholesterol was 240. My blood pressure was 150/120. My body fat percentage was 50%. I started getting active. I started improving my diet. I began walking one mile per day. It was all I could do. I began doing something I had never done before: counting calories. I quickly learned that I needed to burn more calories than I take in. I set a daily calorie goal of 1,500 and was burning about 2,500. read more…
UPDATE: The #Fitbit2014 Challenge has officially come to a close. This week’s winners are Brian Griffin, @AmySader and James Carter.
But even though the official challenge is over, we’ll continue to host expert tips and advice throughout 2014, so stay tuned for good stuff all year long. The group challenge will keep on going every month, so join in!
Every Monday for six weeks starting January 6, we’ll launch a new weekly challenge for #Fitbit2014 to get your thinking more simple habits and less big resolutions. This week’s challenge arrives from renowned personal trainer Harley Pasternak.
There’s a seemingly endless amount of ways to work out, yet we all fall victim to routines. It happens. We hit the gym and do our regular weight, cardio, and/or movement circuits. And while routines can be a good thing, our bodies and muscles—just like everything else in our lives—crave change.
Let’s break the mold and try something new this week. We brought celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak on-board to share a few of his favorite moves. We’re calling them, “Harley Pasternak’s Moves of the Week!”
So start small. Add one new move to your next workout. Even adding one new exercise will activate new muscle groups and spice up a stale routine. Plus, change can help trigger excitement and motivation, which leads to even better effects from your workout.
So get inspired by Harley’s first move: The Sumo Squat.
What new move are you adding to your workout this week? We’ll be back with more Harley moves this week.
Remember, small steps can equal big change and while it’s our final week of the #Fitbit2014 challenge, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep the momentum going! We’ll continue to offer training and health advice throughout the year, featuring expert tips from Fitbit athletes, trainers and ambassadors along the way. Stay up to date with the Fitbit Blog for the latest.
UPDATE: This week’s Share the Love winners are Nicky Everette, @
doyle_mitch and Michele Chavez Goodman. Congrats, guys!
Every Monday for six weeks starting January 6, we’ll launch a new weekly challenge for #Fitbit2014 to get your thinking more simple habits and less big resolutions.
It’s the second week of February. And you know what that means. Love is in the air all week, so for this week’s challenge, we’re keeping it dead simple:
Share the love this week with a friend or loved one, and get fitter together.
Exercise is so much more fun when you can share it with someone you know or love, and we all know that working out in groups can be a huge motivator. How many times have you gone to the gym solo, wishing you had someone there with you to push you to the next level? Or how often are you too busy to make your regular yoga or spin class, only to fall victim to an evening treadmill run? It’s frustrating. We know.
But it’s actually been researched: group exercise is a motivator. A study proved that people tend to exercise more when it feels social, being more inclined to join an exercise class if it’s a group one. And furthermore, a group environment helps encourages increased physical effort and spurs positive competition.
With a friend or significant other, that fun, competitive aspect can be eye-opening.
We’re happy to announce yet another new band color for the Fitbit Flex: violet! Violet Flex is available to order today from Fitbit.com and Target.com, and will be available in Target stores beginning on 2/16.
Violet is just the latest in colored accessory bands that can be used with the Flex, joining other recent additions such as pink and lime. With 8 different accessory colors and Tory Burch accessories on the way, there’s a Flex accessory for every occasion!
February is American Heart Month. If you’re a regular reader of the Fitbit Blog and are a Fitbit user, you already know how important activity is for your overall health. We recently focused on some insightful and helpful statistics about walking and improving your health. This month we’re seeing red, honing in on heart health.
To kick off Hearth Month, we dug up some great stats from the American Heart Association and other sources to help keep you motivated to move. While many of us just love to get/stay activate out of sheer enjoyment, many people do find it helpful to connect the dots from activity to actual health-improving results. Keep it in the back of your mind during those inevitable “down days,” when you really have to push yourself to move. Hey, it happens to the best of us!
But let’s not put the cart before the horse. You don’t get the positive results without actively taking steps (no pun intended) to get there. So here are a few tips from our friends at HeartMath to get you on the right track toward managing heart health, and a huge contributor to heart problems: stress.
- Practice kindness and patience. Positive feelings of kindness and patience can really help when you’re irritable. It can takes less than a minute to calm yourself and increase overall positivity, which can help reduce stress and lead to long-term heart benefits. And remember last week when we provided plenty of evidence that the act of giving makes us feel happy? That logically extends to the heart.
- Pets are a great way to manage stress. Now, we’re not pushing you to go out and impulse-adopt a pet. But research has shown that even petting an animal can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Dog-sitting over the weekend is a great way to start.
- Adjust your eating habits. We are what we eat, right? It’s no surprise that the foods we choose to eat directly affect our short- and l0ng-term health. Certain foods can fight disease, others help lower blood pressure or regulate blood sugar. Foods naturally rich in vitamins and minerals can help fight increased levels of cortisol – a stress hormone. Next time you get the urge to binge on greasy fast food or ice cream, try a handful of vitamin C-packed berries instead!
- Be social and exercise. Enjoying the company of others can relieve feelings of tension and improve overall psychological well-being. Taking a walk or exercising with others has an amazingly positive effect – and adds many more steps! Being with others that we care for can increase our positive emotional experiences. Some positive emotions have been shown to increase DHEA, known as the anti-aging hormone, and trigger oxytocin, known as the love hormone. These good-for-you hormones can help combat stress and may even boost the immune system.
Furthermore, activity increases mental wellness. That rush of adrenaline and the calm feeling that follows a great workout session? It’s not just confined to a single workout! It’s been proven that over time, those feelings can extend to your general everyday well-being. And that’s good for your heart. Follow the above tips, become more active, and you’re fast on your way to enjoying the benefits of these 14 heart-healthy statistics:
- Activity actually enhances your immune system, protecting your heart and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
- Increasing your activity can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg.
- Physical activity improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Becoming more active keeps weight under control, and as you might guess, that puts less stress on the heart.
- Blood cholesterol levels improve under increased activity.
- Blood pressure goes down or becomes manageable when regularly active.
- An active lifestyle can improve your quality of sleep, while poor sleep can contribute to heart disease.
- Activity reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 %
- Children can see life-long heart-healthy habits by becoming active at a young age.
- Walking can lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running.
- Walking can significantly reduce the risk for first-time hypertension by 7.2 percent.
- Walking can reduce first-time high cholesterol by 4.3 percent
- Walking can reduce coronary heart disease by 4.5 percent
- Any activity that makes your heart work harder will help you meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Every Monday for six weeks starting January 6, we’ll launch a new weekly challenge for #Fitbit2014 to get your thinking more simple habits and less big resolutions. This is the second post courtesy of Thad Beaty and Annie Clements of the Grammy-winning group Sugarland. See their first post here.
OK, the kooky musician couple is back with another tip for healthful living; drinking! And no, we’re not talking about beer. The next step we took in our journey towards optimal health was to start drinking half our body weight in ounces in water, everyday. For me, this adds up to about two 32-ounce bottles full of H2O.
By sipping water throughout the day, you tend to eat less, feel satisfied, and will see tremendous improvements in your skin, and even your energy levels! Plus, with all the activity you’re getting during the Fitbit Challenge, you’ve got to keep up with your body’s hydration needs to see the full benefits of your hard work! read more…
Fashion Meets Fitness
We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Tory Burch to develop a collection of stylish accessories for the Fitbit Flex! This Spring, you’ll be able to purchase pendants, bracelets, and wristbands designed by Tory Burch that will hold the Fitbit Flex tracker, transforming your Flex into a super-chic accessory.
We’ve always said that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to fitness tech, and by fusing fashion with fitness we hope to give you yet another way to get active and stay in style at the same time.
UPDATE: Nice recipes, y’all! This week’s winners of a Fitbit Flex are @hollyblanco on Twitter, Sheree Thornton on Facebook, and industriousj on Instagram. Congrats, guys!
Every Monday for six weeks starting January 6, we’ll launch a new weekly challenge for #Fitbit2014 to get your thinking more simple habits and less big resolutions. This week’s challenge comes courtesy of Thad Beaty and Annie Clements of the Grammy-winning group Sugarland. Thad advocates a healthy lifestyle, having lost more than 70 pounds and recently became an IRONMAN and a mentor for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, while his wife and bass-playing band-member Annie is an impressive cook with a passion for staying healthy while traveling 9 months out the year. Their non-profit Music That Moves encourages the music community to make better lifestyle choices through diet, exercise and volunteer opportunities.
My husband and I were unhealthy. As professional musicians, we spend most of our year traveling the world, backing up artists in packed clubs, theaters and arenas, and come off stage to beer, pizza, and other typical late-night fare. Before we knew it we were both overweight and out of shape. We would try trends like Atkins and other fad diets but with no long-term success. We were fed up.
But thankfully our lives were changed when we discovered a simple solution. We finally realized we had to take small steps — that slowly became permanent lifestyle changes — to see results. By doing so, we have collectively lost nearly 100 pounds, and my husband is now an IRONMAN twice over! We are pleased to share some of what we learned with you as part of the #Fitbit2014 challenge.
With this week’s challenge being “Try a New Recipe,” we’re starting small. Below are a few recipes that we tried early on to show in our weight-loss plan just to show you how easy it is to fill your plate/day with the raw fruits and veggies you need for optimal health.
Today’s Tip: Eat 50% raw fruits and vegetables at each meal.
The key to long-term success is to not break off more than you can (literally) chew and to make small permanent changes that, over time, add up big! For us, it began by simply having 50% raw fruits and veggies per meal. We can’t tell you enough what incredible changes this first step brought about for us. By following this simple guideline, weight fell off as we “crowded out” room on our plates for unhealthful foods.
Eventually we found we both came to crave things like kale, fresh berries and other power foods that transformed us from the inside out. It was a long, slow process, but one that is now a permanent way of life for us. As a couple, we’ve never had more energy and looked or felt better.
Here are three recipes — breakfast, lunch and dinner — that have worked so well for our family, sticking to the 50% raw rule!
Breakfast Fruit Smoothie
(aka Thad Beaty’s Frog-Swamp Breakfast : A name acquired on the road by people who saw Thad make this drink as it often has a green-ish hue. Don’t be scared, it’s delicious!) read more…