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THE FITBIT BLOG

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.

Fall Fitness Tips to Keep You Active

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Changing weather can also mean a change in routine, which is the perfect time to update your fitness habits. While it may be tempting to let things become more relaxed when schedules fill up and sweaters come out of the closet, keeping up with your fitness goals (or creating new ones!) is the perfect way to stay healthy all year long. To make the most out of your Fall fitness plans, here are some tips to keep things going:

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8 Ways to Avoid Common Gym Mistakes with Harley Pasternak

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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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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!

Christina Applegate Sports Tory Burch for Fitbit

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The cast of Married With Children got together for a special reunion featuring the cast of the original show for Katey Sagal’s Walk of Fame ceremony. Christina Applegate was spotted with her Tory Burch for Fitbit during her time at the podium.

“The fact that your [Katey Sagal’s] body is better now than it was then makes me sick, because I’m wearing a Fitbit trying to get rid of all my baby weight.”

Go Christina! You can watch the full speech below.

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

#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

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 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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