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THE FITBIT BLOG

These Students Used Fitbit to Win MIT’s Biggest Hackathon

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(Image of BeaverDash via Zoe Sheinkopf, Technique)

Over the first weekend in October, MIT held its biggest hackathon yet. Hundreds of undergraduates set up camp for HackMIT with a shot at a potential prize of up to $4,000. Fitbit—along with other services including Uber, Google Places, and DirecTV—provided its API for participants to create cutting-edge tech.

BeaverDash, the winning team, created a Web application that alerts students when free food or items are being offered, where and how long it would take to get to them.

From BostInno: “The team used MIT’s free food and reuse mailing lists as their proof-of-concept, alerting individuals when an email is sent to those lists. BeaverDash then displays the free items on a Google map, with estimated travel times, as well as walking and biking directions. For users who choose to walk or bike, BeaverDash is integrated with the Fitbit API, meaning they can receive customized calculations on how many calories would be burned getting to the free items, as well as store their activity to their Fitbit log with a single click.”

Pretty cool, huh? Congrats to team BeaverDash. You can read more about HackMIT here.

Fitbit Success Stories: Ann D.

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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.

Ann successstory

“It’s time.” That’s what the voice in my head was telling me: that it was time to do something about my weight. It was early 2013 and I was carrying around 286 lbs. on my 5’6” frame—not a healthy place to be as I approached my 50th birthday.

I knew that things had to be different this time around – that whatever changes I made to my life had to be sustainable over the long-term. After all, what would be the point of working really hard to lose weight, only to end up gaining that weight back again?

I started out by keeping a food diary so I could get an accurate handle on the quantities and types of foods I was eating.

About four months into my weight loss journey, I treated myself to a Fitbit Flex with the hope of boosting my physical activity level.

That changed everything for me. read more

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.

Fitbit Stars on The Colbert Report

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In case you didn’t catch it, Fitbit recently played a starring role on The Colbert Report, featuring Stephen’s so-called “marathon training.” Nice work, Stephen. Enjoy!

#FitbitSummer: Benefits of Exercising Outside

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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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It’s no surprise that being outside, basking in natural light and breathing fresh air is good for your health. Study after study have found that natural light and outdoor time can boost both mental and physical health. From strengthening your immune system, elevating mood, decreasing stress and even speeding up recovery time for ill patients, the great outdoors is doing nothing short of handing out free health.

We’ve encouraged this before but as it turns out, earth, air and sun have even more to offer – these beauties can have a positive impact on your workout. Getting active (regardless of the setting or activity) adds to the good and subtracts from the bad when it comes to mental health. And taking your workout “out” enhances all those positive benefits.

…exercising outside has even greater physical benefits than indoor activities.

So if an outdoor workout can help you between the ears, what about the rest of your body? Recent studies have shown that exercising outside has even greater physical benefits than indoor activities. For example, running and cycling outside tend to require more energy than using a treadmill or stationary bike. Changes in terrain and wind resistance add a whole lot of challenge and variety to an otherwise stable workout.

By getting outdoors, many people increase workout intensity, length, frequency, and enjoyment – it’s almost too good to be true.

Even better, regular outdoor exercisers tend to workout longer and more frequently than those doing similar routines indoors.

By getting outdoors, many people increase workout intensity, length, frequency, and enjoyment – it’s almost too good to be true. And while we’re not ones to encourage jumping on the bandwagon, this trend worth getting behind.

So while the days are long and the weather is warm, try taking your workout outside and feel the benefits for yourself. Be sure to share your thoughts and workouts with us in the comments or on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest using #FitbitSummer, or in the comments below. And stay tuned for some great outdoor summer workout ideas to come!

Take Your Fitness to the Next Level with Fitbit & HTC by using #FitbitHTC

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htc blog

Looking to up your smartphone and your Fitness? The new HTC One (M8) comes with Fitbit built in, with a lockscreen widget and #BlinkFeed integration. And for a limited time, you can save $50 when you purchase both the new HTC One (M8) and a Fitbit Flex or Fitbit One.

Tell us how you’d take your fitness to the next level with Fitbit and the HTC One (M8) with the hashtag #FitbitHTC. Share it on the Fitbit Facebook page or on Twitter, and we’ll pick four random winners who will get the new HTC One (M8)!

David Sedaris x Fitbit: “I’m completely obsessed. It’s like a sickness; I’ve been Fitbit-ten…”

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Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 11.47.16 AMImage via metro.us

The talented and hilarious author David Sedaris just released his latest book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,” a collection of narrative essays. And he’s currently on a nationwide tour spreading the humor about his Fitbit obsession.

Apparently, David’s obsessed with his Fitbit. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with metro:

This year, I got a Fitbit. You walk 10,000 steps and it sends you an email saying, “That’s great! A lot of people don’t walk that far. Do you think you can walk 5,000 more steps?” And so I say, “I bet I can!” A week ago, I walked 60,000 steps. That’s 25.5 miles. I’m completely obsessed. It’s like a sickness; I’ve been Fitbit-ten. It will be the summer of the Fitbit because it can’t go on. It just can’t.

Now that’s obsession! We love you, David.

Join Fitbit and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation for “Food Revolution Day”

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FRD1_©Jamie Oliver Enterprise Ltd, taken by David Loftus

Dear Fitbit fans,

We’re really happy to have been given the opportunity to say hello to you guys and tell you a little about our upcoming global day of action, Food Revolution Day, and how Fitbit are supporting.

If you’ve been following Jamie’s work throughout the history of our Food Revolution, you’ll know that teaching kids from an early age how to improve their health – whether that’s through the food they eat, or how active they are – is the first step towards creating healthier habits that stick later in life. We’re big fans of how Fitbit are helping people, and children around the world to become more active and lead healthier lives. It’s a great time to focus energies as we’re heading towards our third global day of action, Food Revolution Day.

Food Revolution Day unifies the work of Jamie’s foundations in the UK, USA and Australia, along with our amazing global communities, to put food education back on everyone’s agendas. It is a global day of change to get kids excited about food, and it’s open to anybody, whether you’re a school, organization or individual. To date, 74 countries have taken part and 1,000 ambassadors are championing our cause worldwide. We’re so happy that Fitbit is spreading the word, getting people involved and delivering such an important message. read more

Fitbit Success Stories: Jennifer L.

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This week we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with our friends over at MyFitnessPal. Whether you’re a mom or you just happen to have one, you’ll find great tips and advice for staying healthy and happy all year long. Today’s post is a success story from Jennifer L., a 38-year-old Canadian stay-at-home-mom to 2 girls, ages 8 and 11. She lost amazing 92lbs. using Fitbit and MyFitnessPal!

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In August 2012, Jennifer decided to get serious about losing weight. “I was tired of having to wear plus-sized clothes. In my town there aren’t a lot of choices for larger women, so I hated what I looked like in the clothes I had to wear,” says Jennifer. “I didn’t want my children to be embarrassed to have an overweight mum, who wasn’t able to do things with them. My self-esteem was low and I felt invisible.”

She knew she needed a change, so she decided to try MyFitnessPal. “It’s so easy to keep track of what food I eat because of the huge food database & the scanner,” she says. “Before I started losing weight, I wasn’t exercising at all, unless we took the family to a zoo or something. I was eating WAY too many calories—a lot of sweets including chocolate, pastries, ice cream—and not enough real food. MFP helped me watch my food and nutrition, because it showed me which macro levels and micronutrients to focus on. The forums were also very helpful whenever I had a question. In the end, the content of my diet hasn’t changed too drastically. I go by IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), so I don’t discount anything from my diet.”

“As of March 30, 2014, I lost 75lbs. It’s so hard to believe…”

read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Hack Your Daylight Saving’s Bonus Hour with Tips from Fitbit Employees

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” and articles to help jumpstart new spring routines.

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Once that lingering winter weather finally dissipates throughout the country, the extra hour of daylight is prime time for activity and exercise. But here at Fitbit HQ in San Francisco, we’ve been lucky enough to have mild weather throughout March. Many Fitbit employees are already making the most of the daylight saving’s bonus hour.

So we asked a few active Fitbit employees to chime on on how they use the daylight after a day at the office. What did we find? Everything from walking home from work, to disc golf and horse-back riding!

shaun IGShaun, Sales

10K steps per day

At Fitbit, we’re all about finding new and fun ways to reach our step goal. Last year I picked up disc golf as a hobby and have been hooked ever since.  If you’re not familiar, disc golf adopts the rules of regular golf, but instead of a hole, uses a basket with hanging chains to catch a thrown disc. Disc golf courses tend to be more rugged than golf courses, so it’s kind of like playing a game while hiking. Now that daylight savings is upon us, I’m able to leave the office and get in a quick round at the amazing course at Golden Gate Park. On the days that I’m able to hit the course, you can bet that I’m hitting my step goal!

katie IGKatie, QA

14K steps per day

Now that we have an extra hour of sunlight in the evenings, I’ve been taking the opportunity to walk home from the subway station instead of taking the bus.  I know my team appreciates my contribution to our progress in our March company step challenge! The extra daylight also makes it easier to do two of my favorite things after work – horseback riding and running.  I don’t have to hurry to ride before sunset and I can take my running into to the hills and trails while it’s still light out. read more