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THE FITBIT BLOG

Essential Sleep Tips: How to Wake Up Easier in the Morning

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sleep image 9-30

Fall is the perfect season for sleep. Cool and crisp nights cuddled up in a blanket are the best. That is, until you need to get up the next morning.

In full disclosure: I’m a morning lark so in a lot of ways, the dark mornings help me sleep in to a normal human hour (rather than waking at 5:45am with the sun). But for many people, the dark mornings make it even harder to get up and going, especially on workdays.

Aside from improving your sleep by tracking your progress with a Fitbit Flex or One, here are a few tips for increasing your ability to hop out of bed, even before the sunrise: read more

#FitFall: 10 New Ways to Find Your Fitness Inspiration

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Fall photo

OK it’s here. Fall that is. And poor fall—it’s met with so much dread and disappointment of summer’s end. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fall brings new challenges and inspiration. And when it comes to making progress with your fall fitness, routine is best. If you’re still not convinced and need a little extra motivation, here are 10 great “fallspiration” tips to keep you going right up to winter.

  1. Hoola hoops aren’t just for kid. Believe it or not, there’s a big movement of integrating play into your activities. After all, working out should be fun. So we keep our Canyon Hoop in the office, and we even got our doorman to give it a whirl (or a twirl). Bonus: they’re weighted and great for your core.
  1. Exercise whenever you can fit in it. We love goal setting at Foodtrainers. That’s probably why we love our Fitbits so much. You’ve surely heard of 30 day fitness challenges. We’re doing the pushup challenge for September; and it’s a hard one. Last week we were on our way back from the Natural Products Expo East (over 8,000 Fitbit steps walked during the conference) and we realized we hadn’t done our 28 pushups for the day. So yes, that was us doing pushups on the Amtrak train. These types of fun daily challenges take very little time each day and are incredibly rewarding.
  1. Try destination races. In our office, there’s training going on for the Philly Marathon and the Big Sur half. If you tend to hibernate when the weather is cooler, put a race on the calendar. Or if that sounds worse than winter, try a yoga or meditation retreat.

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How To Nail the Run-Commute

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run commute pic

Commuting. It’s a word very few people get excited about. It conjures up long lines at the bus stop, long traffic jams at toll booths, and long, often sweaty stretches of standing on crowded metro lines or trains.

Yet add the word “bike” or “run” in front of your commute, and notice how possibilities open up. Here’s how to un-tether yourself from traditional means of getting to work and explore self-propelled transit instead, racking up Fitbit steps in the progress.

I’ve been biking and running to work ever since I graduated from college, and along the way I’ve experienced everything these alternate means of transport have to offer.

In my home town of San Francisco I’ve never seen so many people run-commuting as I have in the past few years. Maybe it’s part of a overall spike in running, or maybe it’s a sign of increasing numbers of busy professionals trying to squeeze in their half-marathon and marathon training any way they can into their compressed schedules. Or maybe it’s simply more people seeing more people doing it.

Whatever the reason, run commuting is a great and simple way to log an extra 3, 5, or 10 miles into your day — all the while avoiding waiting, boredom, frustration, and general discomfort of cars, trains and busses. Not to mention helping the environment, and providing yourself with a little headspace to figure out your day en route to the office, or decompress as you head home. read more

7 Science-Backed Numbers to Improve Your Life

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Useful Science is a nonprofit run by 48 grad students and professionals. The authors of this article are Jay Olson from McGill, Kyle Saikaley from the University of Toronto, and Jaan Altosaar from Princeton. Email them at hello@usefulscience.org.

useful science

You shouldn’t need a PhD to reap the rewards of science. Here are seven of our favorite studies relevant to everyday life that show how small changes can have big effects.

We hope this recipe format helps you remember the science!

 

• 70 decibels—the optimal noise level for creativity

Creativity flows best at 70 decibels — the average noise level in a coffee shop. To figure this out, researchers at the University of British Columbia played a jumble of cafeteria, construction, and traffic sounds while participants performed a creative task. People were most creative with a moderate amount of background noise.

When it was too quiet (like a library) or too loud (like a New York City subway), performance suffered. But, you don’t need a coffee shop for peak creativity: apps like Coffitivity and soundrown can mimic the coffee shop audible ambiance.

 

30 minutes of sun every morning

sun morning
This half hour of sunlight makes it easier to wake up the next morning. And for best health, sleep 7 to 8 hours per night — no more, no less. Sleeping much shorter or longer is associated with increased mortality and abdominal fat.

People can improve their sleep by controlling their exposure to light. Before bed, limiting light exposure (especially from screens on devices) can improve sleep quality. Controlling light exposure before traveling can also help reduce jet lag.There are awesome apps for waking earlier, limiting light exposure from laptops, and reducing jet lag.

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#FitbitSummer: 5 Sane Ways to Recover from Vacation

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Lauren Slayton is the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared in Allure, In Style, Cooking Light and more. She previously wrote about Tips to Prevent Weight-Gain Weekends.

vacation recovery

I had one of those “What day is today?” moments when I woke up. But then it sunk in. My extended weekend vacation is over, which makes me a little sad. As long as I’m complaining, I’m also tired.

We were in Montreal for the 4th of July. But it’s not always about going away; sometimes relaxing can leave you wanting to relax more. And then there’s that feeling — you know it. “Uh oh, I need to undo what was done this weekend.”

And you don’t need to “do” that much to feel off. We had lots of seafood, green juice and salads. My Fitbit was happy with upwards of 20K steps a day (love that about vacation), but there were plenty of meals out, cocktails and well, here we are. Before you cleanse or “boot camp” yourself, here are five ways to feel better today.

 

1. Stay Home Tonight (and tomorrow too)
Before we get all technical with the idea of de-bloating, you simply need to spend less time with salt. Takeout and restaurant meals make this impossible. Cooking can mean scrambled eggs or a simple smoothie. read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 28: Reset your bedtime

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

We’ve written before about the importance of rest days. But just because you’re taking a rest day doesn’t mean you need to take the entire day off.

So today’s challenge is: Reset your bedtime routine. Like everything in our #SummerStrong challenge, the goal is to set healthy, sustainable habits for yourself moving forward. So once you find what works for you, keep it up!

It’s also important to remember that sleep, stress, and weight are correlated. Managing stress helps you sleep better, and sleeping better gives you more energy so you’re not too tired to hit the gym.

30 Days to Summer Fit Day 28: reset your bedtime

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30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 27: Try meditating for 5 minutes

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

We’ve written before about working out being a good way to de-stress. But for times when you can’t fit in a full workout, then what? We turned to author Jenny Blake with this question, and her answer is today’s challenge: Try meditating for 5 minutes!

Meditation, schmeditation. Many of us have read the rapidly-growing number of articles touting its benefits (Improved sleep! Health! Gratitude! Focus! Productivity!) but for the longest time, even as an avid yogi and lover of Buddhist books, I JUST. COULDN’T. GET. INTO. IT. I got bored, restless, and I never “had the time.” (Pfft! What a load of hooey—even 5 minutes goes a long way.)

30 Days to summer Fit, Day 27: Make room for meditation

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30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 24: Drink a glass of water before each meal & snack

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

There’s only one week left of our 30-day summer countdown! We know you all can keep it up through the end. For today’s challenge, we’re even keeping it pretty simple: Drink a glass of water before each meal & snack.

There are a lot of different opinions about how much water is the “right” amount to drink each day. But there have been studies that show that drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before each deal can help reduce calorie intake.

We also turned to Barry’s Bootcamp instructor Erica Steinz for her tips about hydration:

Another common fear is holding onto water weight so people intake less water than is suggested before an event, photo shoot, etc. It’s actually smarter to drink a lot more water to flush out the sodium in your body so that your body does NOT retain water a week prior to the event. Then reduce the amount of water a day or two before you want to look slim in those pictures!

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 24 read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 22: Switch up your appetizers with something healthy

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

It’s day 22, and those healthy habits are starting to stick. Let’s take it further by tackling one of the toughest health hurdles: appetizers. Step aside, onion rings. We’ve got insider tips from Chef Jessica Albertson to tease that appetite with fresh and flavorful foods sure to satisfy to help with today’s challenge: Switch up your appetizers with something healthy!

Recipes for easy weeknight meals don’t have to be one pot wonders or 3 ingredients or less, though this is a bonus. A little commitment goes a long way. Make that weekend trip to the farmers market worth it and buy the best and brightest from the season. The colors and smells will keep your cooking and eating inspired through the whole week.

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 22: Switch up your appetizers

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30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 20: Stretch your hamstrings with these three simple yoga poses.

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

Today, we’ve turned once again to guest-author Jenny Blake for another quick yoga challenge: Stretch your hamstrings with these three simple yoga poses.

Hamstrings. Those big ol’ muscles on the backs of your thighs that practically scream the second you enter your first forward fold in a yoga class. Okay, well at least for me if any of the following are true: I’ve done a vigorous workout the day before involving running or squats, I’ve been sitting for too long, or I’ve abandoned my yoga practice for more than a few days in a row.

Many of us sit all day — from car (or subway) to desk to couch. It’s rare that our hamstrings get much love from our daily routine. So what’s a modern-day man or woman to do?

Answer: YOGA! But you knew that was coming :)

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 20: Stretch your hamstrings

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