Small steps. Big impact.

THE FITBIT BLOG

5 Beneficial Reasons to Run

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For many people running is the ultimate “zen” activity. People who run often talk about the ways that their minds drift — allowing them to “de-clutter” thoughts while honing in on the things that really matter. Almost every runner will say they “just feel better” after a run compared to how they felt going in, and “sleep like a baby” at night on the days they run. Here are five beneficial reasons why running might help you out.

1. Running boosts thinking skills, reduces stress, and helps you sleep.

When asked in a recent survey about happiness and productivity, only 10% of employees say they do their best thinking while at work — the rest happens when they’re doing something else. Maybe the best way to do “out of the box” thinking is by taking a run outside the office. There could be some science to back this up. Studies show that running helps curb anxiety, enhances “feel good” hormones, and brings oxygen into key areas of the brain for regulating emotions and solving problems.

Comparing the pre-run and post-run scans of runners, neurologists at the University of Bonn, Germany, found increased opiate binding of the happy hormone endorphin in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain, areas known to be involved in processing emotions and stress.

Also, researchers from the University of Illinois found that an improvement of only 5% in cardio-respiratory fitness from running led to an improvement of up to 15% on mental tests (1).  And, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to jog for 20-30 minutes every other day. The time required to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost one hour (2).

So next time your stuck on a problem, instead of getting another cup of coffee, try lacing up the kicks and going for a quick jaunt instead. read more

Fitbit on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

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First Colbert, now Stewart! On last night’s new episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, guest author David Rose talks to Jon about his new book “Enchanted Objects.”

Scroll to about 18:45 where David mentions about how his family uses Fitbit as a “way to keep everybody healthy.” You can check out the video directly on The Daily Show’s site!

Join the 1st Fitbit Bay Area Training Run Led by Dean Karnazes

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Whether you’re starting to train for the Fitbit Tiburon 1/2 Marathon & 5K or trying to prep for marathon season, we’ve got the perfect event to inspire you!

Spread the local Fitbit love and join Fitbit ambassador and ultra-marathonman Dean Karnazes on Monday August 25, for a 4-mile run/walk that starts and culminates at the Bay Club in Marin. Not only will you get beautiful views while you kick it into gear, you’ll  learn exactly how Dean trains, how he gets the most out of his Fitbit, and what tips and tricks you can use to improve your training. Not a San Francisco local? Follow the blog for upcoming training tips, schedules, and future events to support your fall racing season.

Here are all the important details:

 

 

At the end of the workout, be sure to stick around for a chance to win an entry into the Fitbit Tiburon 1/2 Marathon & 5K on Sunday October 5th, 2014. We’ll also be giving away discounted registration into that race, as well as free Fitbit prizes—including some of our award-winning trackers.

 

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

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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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“For the Love” — A Tribute to Trail Running

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Here’s something special to kick off your Wednesday. Shot in our own backyard, this beautiful video is a tribute to trail running and the Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. A film by our close pal Luis Peña that was chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick, you’ll be taken through the beautiful ocean-side trails and gorgeous Bay area sunsets with several trail runners. You’ll even spot our speedy Fitbit employee, Monica Ralston, and our hard-charging Fitbit Ambassador Jenn Pattee along the way.

Get inspired! Get out and run!

 

Register Now for the First-Ever Fitbit Tiburon 1/2 & 5K

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We’re excited to announce the Fitbit Tiburon 1/2 Marathon and 5K on Sunday October 5, 2014!

Located in Tiburon in Marin County, our scenic course will have you pounding the pavement past some of the Bay area’s most iconic views–including Mt. Tam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Angel Island. Whether you’re an avid runner, walker, or just looking for a way to up your step count, we’d love to have you join us in our first-ever race event. Register here!

Worried about training? No problem. Next week, we’re launching two 9-week training plans to help you train smart for your next 5k or half marathon. Created by Fitbit ambassador and ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, these plans will get you race-day ready with weekly training tips on nutrition, hydration, stretching, strength training, and more.

For more motivation every day, add a Fitbit tracker to your training plan. Get your tracker now, start training, then show your tracker on race day to get a free sweatband.

Registration is limited, so sign up today and stay tuned for race training tips on the Fitbit Blog.

#FitbitSummer: HIIT the Beach with this Quick High-Intensity Workout

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This summer, we’ll be featuring tips, exercises and workout routines encouraging you to get outside and get fit in the summer sun!

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Today’s beach workout assumes you have access to a bench on the beach. If you don’t have a bench or a beach, that’s OK. You can do the workout using the ground. Instead of dips, you’ll substitute 10-15 tricep pushups.

Instead of having your hands shoulder-distance apart, bring your hands together so the thumb and index fingers of each hand are touching the other hand. This position targets your triceps, and may be a more difficult pushup variation for beginners and intermediate people. If you start to fatigue, drop to your knees. Just make sure to keep your back flat as you complete each pushup. read more

Fitbit Dashboard Updated with Weekly Activity and More

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The new updated look of the Fitbit.com online dashboard is now live, and we wanted to take this opportunity to show off what’s new.

For starters, everything has been updated with a fresh coat of paint and new colors. Completely new to the dashboard is “This Week’s Activity,” a detailed tile that displays a summary of your week at a glance. Once you manually add the tile to your dashboard, you can switch between steps, floors, and calories on the upper-right corner of the tile, and you’ve got a handy bar that displays your progress toward your weekly goal. You can also hover over a specific day of the week to show your step count (or selected stat) for that day. read more

Fitbit Now Available on Windows Phone Platform

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We’ve got some awesome news to share for Windows phone owners. Today we launched a free, native Fitbit app for Windows Phone 8.1.

Windows fans, we’ve heard you loud and clear and we’re proud that Fitbit is the first to offer mobile fitness syncing to the Windows Phone platform. If you’re a Windows Phone 8.1 user, you now have instant access to up-to-date stats from any Fitbit tracker. The new Fitbit app for Windows Phone 8.1 also features Live Tiles – Microsoft’s Start screen app experience that provides up-to-date content and notifications at a glance – so you can track your steps and to your daily goals, all without opening the Fitbit app.

In addition to real-time stat syncing, you can also quickly log fitness and nutrition data and set or manage personal goals directly from the app. All the Fitbit app staples are included: notifications, achievement badges and leaderboards, letting you cheer, taunt and direct message friends within the app for a little friendly competition.

Here is the full list of features of the new Windows app:

 

  • Real-time stats: Automatic and wireless syncing for all Fitbit activity and sleep trackers through Bluetooth 4.0
  • Fitbit on your Start screen: Pin the Fitbit Live Tile to your Start screen and quickly view your step count
  • Stay on track: Real-time and historical stats in easy-to-understand graphs, to help track progress and set goals
  • Log more than activity: Recently enhanced food database of more than 350,000 foods with accurate nutritional data for faster, better food-logging and calorie coaching
  • Get motivated: Fitbit’s motivational social tools like notifications and badges, to help reach target goals
  • Stay social: Ability to challenge friends and family with leaderboards, direct messages, cheers and taunts

 

We’re very happy to support the top three leading mobile platforms with direct sync, so now you can choose the device you want to use with your Fitbit product.

Windows Phone 8.1 users can find the free Fitbit app in the Windows Phone Store now.

#FitbitSummer: HIIT the Court with This 15-Minute High-Intensity Workout

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This summer, we’ll be featuring tips, exercises and workout routines encouraging you to get outside and get fit in the summer sun!

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Stuck in a workout rut? Repeating the same workout every day is great for launching a fitness habit and keeping it going, but every once a while (three weeks to be exact) it’s good to mix things up so you don’t get bored or plateau.

So we’re working with endurance expert Jenn Pattee of San Francisco to help you see your fitness in a new light and find inspiration outdoors all summer long, no matter where you are.

Jenn will sjenn pattee bio pichow you how to get healthy, strong, and toned in every muscle of your body using what’s around you at the local park, beach, rec center, trailhead, track, or basketball court—no gym or fancy equipment necessary. This tennis-inspired workout below is ideal on its own or as a fast-paced interlude in conjunction with a 20-30 minute jog around the block (Don’t have access to a tennis court? No worries! You can do the same workout on a basketball court or any flat surface with lines. Or make your own with chalk or use cones to designate your lines.).

The structure is simple, just use the lines on the tennis court as targets for short sprints (also known as “suicides”). In between sprints, an easy circuit of planks, squats, and push-ups provides an “active recovery” while targeting most major muscle groups in your body.

Make sure to prep your body for sprinting before starting your workout by following Jenn’s dynamic warmup for quads, hamstrings, psoas, and Achilles muscles. read more