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THE FITBIT BLOG

12 Healthy Hacks from Fitbit’s Spring Clean

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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing our own “healthy hacks” from our experts and Fitbit employees to help you jumpstart new spring routines. How much progress have you made in your own spring cleaning? Have you used the change of season as inspiration to make positive changes in your health, activity or general well-being? If so, we want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below or use #FitbitSpringClean on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram.

And just in case you missed any of our 12 hacks, here they are in one handy place.

 

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: 9 Tips to Adjust to a Time Change with Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron

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It’s already April, but the spring time change and drastic weather shifts can throw off even the best of us. And if you’re a frequent jetsetter, adjusting to a new time zone can feel like a boxing match that goes the distance. If you’re already tracking your sleep with a Fitbit device, that’s a great start. To take it a step further, our bodies crave routine via circadian rhythms, and there are specific things you can do to help get your body and mind back on track. So we asked clinical psychologist and sleep researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron how to set things right.

  1. Start living on the new time zone as soon as you can — It’s the first thing you should do when adjusting to daylight savings time or a time change. The natural tendency is to sleep in and hit the snooze button as a result of the late sunrise in the morning. But that’s only going to keep your clock shifted forward making it more difficult to get to bed and wake up at your desired time.
  2. Ease the transition by a gradual adjustment — If you wake up 15 min earlier for 4 days, you give yourself an achievable shift each day. At the same time, make sure to adjust your bedtime as well so you don’t short change your sleep. Start getting to bed a little bit earlier each night until you’re back on track. But be careful with this one. The last thing you want to do is lie in bed tossing and turning because your body isn’t ready to fall asleep.
  3. Set a defined routine – Our bodies crave regularity and keeping our circadian clock dialed in is extremely important in upholding quality sleep. So start setting a routine. In addition to defining your wake-up and bed times, eat meals at the same time every day, dial in your exercise calendar, and start to manage your light exposure. 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

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Hack the Farmer’s Market for the Best Spring Produce

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A trip to your weekly farmer’s market – it sounds so easy breezy.  Fresh produce at direct-to-shopper prices? There’s nothing wrong with that.

But in reality, navigating a farmer’s market isn’t always a piece of cake…er…ripe fruit.  Unlike a supermarket where everything is well thought out and categorized, a farmer’s market can be rather unorganized. Vendors compete for visibility and sell similar products. There’s both organic and conventional produce. Much is in season, while other fruits and veggies may be coming in or out of season.

Why shop in season? When buying local produce, there’s usually an abundance of crop when produce is in-season. And more crop means lower cost. Produce usually has a better taste during it’s season/peak season, and when harvested at its peak, has the maximum amount of available nutrients.

Going in prepared can be the difference between getting tasty, in-season produce and going home underwhelmed. So here’s our handy guide to shopping in-season this spring, as well as helpful tips on when it’s OK to go conventional and when to splurge on organic. Lastly, shopping in season gives you and nice variety of fruits and vegetables year-long. Because let’s be honest — in most places, you simply can’t get berries in winter!

Spring Produce: What’s in Season?

  • Artichokes – In season from March to December. Peak season from March to May. Artichokes are best when the leaves are tightly clung together, as open leaves will have a more bland taste. Avoid brown spots as much as possible and definitely choose the heavier, meatier artichokes for the best quality.
  • Apricots – May to August, peaking from May through July. Choose fruits that are darker yellow and orange in color and avoid bruises. You want plump yet slightly firm, especially if you’re eating them whole and not using them for pies or jams. read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Toss Out 3 Weight Loss Myths and Get Fit the Right Way

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is from certified trainer Samantha Schramm.

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Have ysamantha aria post bio picou ever set a goal to get healthy by losing a specific amount of weight? If so, you know how easy it is to get fixated on the numbers on the scale. But the key to healthy, successful weight loss is much more than just dropping pounds.

That’s why we’ve brought on certified trainer Samantha Schramm to debunk three common weight loss myths and help you lose weight the healthy way.

Myth #1: “Getting fit” means “Losing weight.”

Truth: Getting fit means lowering your body fat percentage.

99% of the people who walk into my office tell me they want to lose weight – but what they really mean is they want to lose fat.  When trying to get fit, dropping numbers on the scale is only part of the picture. Your body weight is made up of things like muscle tissue and water in addition to fat. When you lose muscle or water it can show up as “weight loss” on your scale, but can actually be bad for your body.

ace-body-fat-chart-bmiTip: To make sustainable changes in your body health and appearance, it’s important to make sure to burn fat and build muscle. So in addition to tracking weight, be sure to track both body fat percentage and lean mass percentage with a tool like the Aria Smart Scale. Body fat percentage is the portion of your body made up of fat cells. Lean mass percentage is everything else: muscle, organs, bones, water, etc. Together, they add up to 100% of your body composition.

The ideal body fat percentage is different for everyone, but I recommend that my clients target the “Athlete” or “Fitness” ranges developed by the American Council on Exercise. For women this is 14 – 24% body fat and for men it is 6 – 17%.

 

Myth #2: All weight loss is good. read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: The 7-Day Clutter Cleanse Part 2

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! To kick off spring, we’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is part two of Jenny Blake‘s 7-Day Clutter Cleanse. Here’s part one in case you missed it!

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Friday: Fridge Purge

Before your weekend grocery trip, set a timer for 20 minutes and go to town. Expired? Toss! Didn’t like it? Toss! About to go bad? Cook!

  • Bonus points: grab a sponge and do a quick clean once you’ve cleared up some refrigerator real estate. Super bonus: do the same with a pantry or other food cabinet.

  • Tool: Check out time-saver services like Blue Apron, which deliver food ingredients and recipe cards each week for easy preparation and added variety.

  • Reward: Find a new recipe online and make a new dish. Want to make a recipe from the food that’s about to go bad? Try Super Cook which allows you to search recipes based on ingredients you already have at home.

Saturday: Closet Clean-up read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Hack Your Gym Routine with This 30-Minute Workout

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is all about efficiency at the gym, from Barry’s Bootcamp SF instructor Erica Stenz. 

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Erica Stenz is a Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco fitness instructor.

If you’re trying to maximize your workout time at the gym – you need a plan. It’s about making every minute count. In order to burn maximum calories in just 30 minutes, you need to create a high-intensity interval cardio- and strength-training workout.

Intense cardio sessions will burn through stored carbohydrates and fat, but it’s important to supplement that workout with strength training in order to create the “EPOC” effect (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, informally called “afterburn”). That means that your body keeps burning calories post-workout due to excess oxygen consumption.

5 steps for an effective 30-minute workout

  1. Create a plan with “3-2-1” circuits – this includes 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of high intensity cardio, and 1-minute of core/active recovery exercises (planks and side planks are my favorite to blast your abs). Each exercise in the circuits should be performed for 30 – 60 seconds. Your 30 seconds or so in between exercises will clock this workout in at almost exactly 30 minutes.

    Here’s a starter plan: read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Tips to Master Your Fridge

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin.

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Lauren headshot smallLauren 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 on Allure, In Style, Cooking Light, Self, WebMD, The New York Post, Good Morning America and The Today Show.

We’ve all been there. You come home at the end of the day, pull open the fridge door and wonder what you should eat. If you’re like many people, your fridge may look full. But if wilted lettuce, old pickles, and four different types of mustard sound familiar, I’m here to help. There’s no better place to start that spring cleaning than with your refrigerator. Feeling good isn’t about willpower, it’s about planning. Here are some easy steps to plan-it-fit.

First up, purge. I know, it’s a strange word coming from a nutritionist, but you need to be able to see what’s actually in the fridge. The rule is that if you haven’t used a food this winter, it can go. Or as I tell my clients, “One season, no reason.”

Next, have a smaller middle shelf. Put items you want to eat at eye level. You’re more likely to eat the first things you see. So place pre-cut veggies and fruit front-and-center at eye level.

Once you’re purged and organized, fill your fridge with these 10 staples:

  1. Omega 3 Eggs – Calorie for calorie, no food provides more staying powder than a couple of eggs. You can hard boil 4-6 in advance or make an omelet using leftover cooked vegetables or greens. read more

Fitbit’s Spring Clean Kick-Off: The 7-Day Clutter Cleanse Part 1

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! Starting today, we’ll be sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Our first post is from bestselling author Jenny Blake, who has a host of in-depth tips for cleansing your clutter.

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Jenny_Blake_Headshot-1316_squareJenny Blake is a bestselling author, career and business strategist and international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. You can find her at JennyBlake.me where she explores systems at the intersection of mind, body and business. For fun, Jenny teaches a Geek Yoga class in New York City for entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @jenny_blake.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” —Leonardo DaVinci

Vortex begone, spring has sprung! But the remnants of winter’s hoarding and hibernation may have accumulated beyond your waistline—in sneaky crevices around your house, closet, computer, and email inbox. As many will surely be jumping on the juicing bandwagon to get beach-ready (kale on kale, anyone?), now is a great time to clear any winter clutter that accumulated over the last few months.

By definition, clutter is, “A collection of things lying about in an untidy mass,” or, “Things lying in heaps or confusion,” originally derived from the word “litter.” And who wants litter clogging up their life?

(Mood) Death by 1,000 Cuts

Just as your Fitbit helps track your physical activity, this week’s challenge is to improve your mental fitness at the same time.

Reducing unnecessary stress from your mind, body, physical environment and schedule will free you up for more fun activities that benefit your overall mood, health and wellness. It will be a heck-of-a-lot easier to hit your daily 10,000 steps milestone if you don’t have to dig out from relentless clutter piles every day!

If you’re anything like me, by no means is your clutter so bad that you can’t see the floor — it’s more like little nagging piles that grow so subtly you hardly notice they’re there. That stack of papers on your desk, the unattended to pile of clothes to be properly put away, and that back corner of your refrigerator with food you’ll probably never touch.

Not everyone is ready for a full-on Spring Clean — instead, warm-up with this 7-day Clutter Cleanse. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: remove or streamline one clutter source each day.

Follow this daily regimen as your guide, or for the bravest among you: rip the band-aid off and dedicate an entire day to overhauling your physical, digital and mental environments.

Monday: Digital Desktop & Documents read more