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THE FITBIT BLOG

Top Five Healthy Gifts, by Joy Bauer

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This is a guest post from Joy Bauer, one of the nation’s leading health authorities. As the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, Joy shares reliable, practical, and straightforward advice that helps millions of Americans eat better and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. She also hosts the program’s popular “Joy Fit Club” series, which celebrates determined people who have lost more than 100 pounds through diet and exercise alone.

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Need to buy a last minute gift? Want to help someone kick off 2015 on the right foot? Consider giving the gift of health. Below, I’ve shared five of my favorite good-for-you goodies. read more

Fitbit Success Stories: Bryce P.

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bryce success story

Growing up, I was a multi-sport athlete in excellent shape. Over the last 10 years, I really let my fitness get away from me. Life happened. I allowed myself to slip using my busy life at work and home as an excuse for my poor to non-existent fitness. On December 26th, 2013 I stepped on the scale. I didn’t really weigh myself regularly so in my mind, I was still athletic and in shape. The number astounded me: 277 pounds.

At that moment, I drew a line in the sand and began my mission to get back into shape and reclaim my health. read more

Bouldering: Your Favorite New Workout

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Rocking climbing without ropes—sound intriguing? Bouldering is like climbing’s close cousin, less high-flying but equally demanding. And a heck of a lot of fun.

Your target is a short series of individual moves, laid out in a specific route. It’s physically challenging but also mentally tough; you’re always thinking a few moves ahead. Plus, you can boulder solo—no belayer needed.

Indoor bouldering gyms are a great place to start, but outdoor facilities are also popular. Still not convinced? Here are 5 great reasons to give bouldering a try.

  1. It’s a freakin’ workout. If you think 5-10 climbing moves will be a breeze, think again. Bouldering is a full-body workout…arms, shoulders, back, core and legs. Everything’s working. First-time climbers often over rely on arm strength, but properly utilizing core and legs is essential so you’re not taxing individual muscles.
  2. It’s as much mental as physical. Yes, after a few routes you’ll likely be physically taxed. But properly thinking out each route is essentially to success and stamina. Head to a bouldering gym and observe. You’ll find groups of boulderers conversing, pointing, and staring intently at the wall. This is pre-planning. Knowing where you’re next move will be is the key to completing a route without burning yourself out.
  3. Body positioning is key. Attacking the wall straight up and down is a bad strategy. Instead, keeping your body in a sideways position will help you with fluid motions and use less precious energy.
  4. Stay hydrated. Water is key. Keep your fluids near as you’ll need them. Believe it or not, two minutes on the wall will often max out your heart rate.
  5. Step up your resistance training. When you’re starting out, you may feel like you don’t have the stamina to tackle more than a few routes. And that’s OK. What can help is stepping up your strength and resistance training. Think pull-ups, push-ups, squats and planks—easy to do outside a gym and crazy effective in building a foundation for the wall.
  6. Don’t skimp on gear. Climbing is relatively low-tech. But grabbing a nice pair of climbing shoes is a solid investment. These will immensely help your wall positioning and movement, and keep your feet comfy enough so that you’re not worrying about foot pain or slipping. And you’ll want clothes allow for a full range of motion, and here cotton reigns supreme, holding up best against the abrasive surface of the wall.

What Type of Yoga is Right For You?

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As a yoga newbie or even a seasoned yoga veteran, deciphering the studio schedule can be baffling. And that’s often an understatement.

Luckily, there’s a yoga class out there for everyone and every body. Here’s a quick guide (in order from active to mellow) to help you navigate the yoga maze. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different classes to figure out what type of class is best for you. You just might be surprised by what hooks you in.

Ashtanga:  Expect a similar sequence each class with vigorous and gymnastic transitions between poses. The origin of vinyasa/power/flow classes.

Vinyasa/Power/Flow: These terms are used interchangeably for sweaty and faster moving classes. Best for folks already familiar with the basic poses and who are seeking a workout.

Hatha: A garden variety term for yoga. Expect moderate to low intensity. A good class for beginners or folks returning to yoga. Hatha can be a great branching off point to more advanced classes.

Iyengar: Detailed, slow instructions, lots of props (blocks, straps, bolsters, etc.) and plenty of teacher demos. Great for students wanting to master or return to the basics.

Gentle/Therapeutic: Expect a mild and slow class with lots of time on the floor. Great for older, injured, or just plain burnt out students. A solid yoga reset…

Restorative: Wiped out and need a nap? In this class you’ll cuddle up on bolsters and get a serious recharge. And if you think you’re above a restorative class, think again—you’ll be surprised at just how much you need a reset every once in a while.

Prenatal: Great for anyone who is pregnant, prenatal yoga is a great way to prepare for childbirth and may even promote good health for a newborn baby.

Each teacher shares his/her own take on the yoga tradition, so these class descriptions are a general guide. Research teachers by talking to other students, asking the front desk staff, and reading the bios on the studio website. Remember each teacher writes his/her own bio so if a teacher’s language resonates with you, it could be a good fit. Your alchemy with a teacher will matter more than the type of class listed on the schedule. If you find a teacher, a time, and a location that works for you, you’ll soon get hooked!

Sadie Chanlett-Avery is a certified yoga and kettlebell instructor, as well as the in-house yogi at Clif Bar & Company here in the Bay area.

8 Ways to Avoid Common Gym Mistakes with Harley Pasternak

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gym mistake

With the weather cooling down, getting into the gym might be the best way to keep your fitness routine going. But the ins and outs of gym etiquette can be daunting if you’re new. Rather than let any gym anxiety get the best of you, we asked celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak for his tips to avoid typical gym mistakes. Here are 8 easy ways to keep your routine going. read more

Stay Active While Keeping Up With Your Favorite Fall Shows

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Indoor workout

Fall sometimes means a change to routine; with kids back in school, the weather quickly changing, and the holiday season just around the corner there’s plenty of new things to disrupt our workout schedules. But even with a busier schedule and cooler weather, there are still plenty of ways to keep up with your daily goals.

One way to work fitness into an otherwise-sedentary routine? Work out during your favorite Fall shows! There’s no reason you can’t keep up with your favorite series and get off the couch at the same time. So to help you move more, here are just a few ways work in a little extra exercise in your day.

  • Walk laps during commercials. If you aren’t able to fast-forward through the ads, why stick around to watch? Unless it’s Super Bowl time, you won’t be missing much. So get up and walk laps for the two minutes or so they’re running, and you’ll probably boost your step count by a few hundred at a time! We bet you can reach 1000 before the end of an episode if you do this for every commercial.
  • Finish a 15-minute workout between episodes. Not into commercials, and binge-watching something on Netflix instead? Promise yourself to get up and do a quick workout between episodes. It could be as simple as completing a circuit workout you like, or try something new each time. If you need some suggestions of where to start, there are plenty of workouts we’ve shared that can be easily modified.
  • Create a workout game. Create a game that lets you work out when certain things happen in the show. So every time Prince Charming and Snow kiss you do 10 crunches, or get up for 20 squats whenever they start a new workout on Biggest Loser. Figure something out that will see you sweating by the end of an episode!
  • Switch up sitting/standing between commercials. Sitting for most of the day is bad for your health. Even though it’s tempting to collapse on the couch after a long day, try to minimize how much you’re sitting by standing up every other commercial, and staying standing until the next commercial.
  • Use TV time as a reward for exercise. Sometimes you just need some downtime, and we get that too. But if you want that half hour of uninterrupted couch time, AND want to motivate yourself to exercise more, try using your time with the TV as a reward for working out. So tell yourself you aren’t allowed to watch the latest episode until you complete a workout, and you’ll have a regular workout routine in no time!

If you’re already finding ways to get extra steps at home, let us know in the comments!

How To Nail the Run-Commute

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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

Beat the Heat for #FitbitSummer: Expert Tips on Staying Cool During Outdoor Workouts

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Hydrate blog

In many places across the world, summer is a great excuse to take your exercise routine outdoors and change up that stale gym or treadmill routine. And as we’ve recently explored, working out in the fresh air has a host of healthy benefits.

But peak summer temperatures can get the best of us. So how can you reap the rewards of the great outdoors while keeping yourself safe in the summer sun?

Lauren headshot smallWe asked a one of our favorite experts, Lauren Slayton, Author, RD, and Foodtrainers founder for her personal tips.

 

  1. I don’t know about you, but water fountains suddenly look like Shangri-La during my warm workouts. So while I encourage you to drink up while you exercise, it’s also crucial to pre-drink or imbibe before exercise. Try coconut water (high in potassium) or turmeric elixir (bonus points for salt) before heading out in the heat.
  2. And don’t be shy with salt. I love Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt—both contain essential minerals—but salty foods like olives, pickles and fermented veggies are great this time of year.
  3. Pick the perfect produce like cantaloupe, strawberries, radishes, and celery, as all these have super high water content and will help keep you hydrated.
  4. And remember that alcohol is dehydrating, so limiting consumption will help with hydration.

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All 30 Days to Summer Fit

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30 Days to Summer Fit

Did you get the most out of our 30-day challenge? Hopefully you’re enjoying the early days of summer on the beach, on vacation, or simply basking in the warm sun.

But our summer fit campaign doesn’t simply stop here! We want you to keep the momentum going with by using our 30 days of tips and advice to inspire your summer fitness. So here are all 30 days—simply click on the image to access the interactive calendar. Use these when you’re needing some #Fitspiration!

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30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 18: Try out a new exercise

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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

Falling into the habit of working out consistently can be a tough nut to crack. What’s the hardest part of working out? Finding the time in the day? Getting out the door? Getting to the gym? Making it a part of your routine? For many of us, the answer is, unfortunately, all of the above.

So, how do we go about tackling these endless hurdles? We can’t make more time in the day (unless you find a time turner – in which case, call us!) and we can’t bring the gym any closer to your house. What we can do is help you find something you actually enjoy doing. The more you dig it, the less it will feel like a chore you have to make time for. It’s pretty amazing how much your calendar opens up for activities you love. So for today, the challenge is simple: Try out a new (hopefully fun!) exercise.

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 19

Over the last two weeks we’ve given you samples of all kinds of workouts: simple yoga moves, running, an intense one-hour cardio workout, and more. Today, we’ll delve a bit deeper into the benefits and quirks of various types of workouts. Take a gander at the below, and take your pick. Remember, the goal isn’t to ‘get through’ the workout; it’s to enjoy it. If you start one and it’s not jiving, put it aside and try another. Time to try your darndest, get out there and dabble!

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