Small steps. Big impact.

THE FITBIT BLOG

Fall Fitness Tips to Keep You Active

| Leave a comment

fall fitness

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:

1. Try a Morning Workout. For those who live somewhere with daylight savings, you’ll be getting an extra hour to your mornings in just a few weeks. Instead of sleeping in, try moving up your wake-up time and using that extra hour to go for a run or hit the gym. With the sun going down earlier, it’s also great for those who don’t have the gear (or desire) to work out past sundown.

2. Wear Reflective Clothing. If you ARE someone who’s sticking to a later workout schedule, be sure to invest in reflective clothing. A setting sun can make it hard for cars to notice someone crossing the street, so stay safe and do your best to stay visible.

3. Start Using a Scale. Bulky clothes and jackets can make it harder to notice when our bodies are changing. Know where you stand by making a habit of weighing yourself once a week (without the heavy clothes) so that there are no surprises when you go back to spring fashion. The Fitbit Aria will even sync your weight stats to your Fitbit account so you can track your trends over time!

4. Make a Plan. Don’t just set goals – set up a plan to help you accomplish them. If you want to walk 10,000 steps a day but usually only walk 6,000, plan on taking a walk on your lunch break or heading to the gym and not leaving until your goal is met. Make sure any gear you need (workout clothes, running shoes) is packed up and ready to go the night before so that you don’t have to rush in the morning. Or if you want to eat healthier, plan your menus a week ahead so that you aren’t scrambling while hungry later.

5. Try Something New. Whether you’ve always wanted to try yoga or are looking to expand your recipe book, Fall is a great time to learn new things. Commit to trying one new exercise class or looking up healthy recipes to learn (or even serve during the holidays!).

6. Layer Up. It’s getting colder outside, but you’ll soon warm up if you’re exerting yourself. So make sure you dress in layers so you can keep yourself comfortable when working out outside.

7. Wear Sunscreen. It might not be summer, but it’s just as important to protect your skin in the Fall! Make sure you put sunscreen on before any sweatshirts and jackets so that you’re ready if you need to remove your top layer of clothing.

8. Stay Hydrated. Hydration is important in every season. Just because it’s not hot out doesn’t mean you should drink any less water. Try keeping a bottle next to you at all times and tracking how much you drink throughout the day on Fitbit to hold yourself accountable.

9. Try Tea. If you get bored of plain water, you can keep hydrated AND warm with herbal teas! Teas have also been known to have health benefits on their own, so read up on different kinds to give yourself a boost in other areas of your health as well. Plus, just sitting with a hot cup of tea can help you get a little extra R&R as well.

10. Reward Yourself. One way to stay motivated is to give yourself rewards when you meet certain milestones. Whether you’re motivated by treating yourself to a healthy meal out or a trip to the spa, find things to let yourself indulge in along your path to fitness.

And whatever you do, have fun! It’s easier to keep up with something when you enjoy what you’re doing, so find a way to combine fitness with fun.

Stay Active While Keeping Up With Your Favorite Fall Shows

| 4 Comments

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!

Sweet Surrender: 5 Easy Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

| 1 Comment

sugar

“Sugar has a bullseye on its back these days”—that’s what one of the speakers said at a recent nutrition conference I attended.

But rather than rolling our eyes at all the “sugar media,” we should realize there’s truth to this messaging. Sugar stinks and it deserves all the negative press it’s receiving.

However, I don’t believe quitting sugar cold-turkey is always the answer. In reality, you need a plan. We all need guidance and using Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, we quit sugar in the Foodtrainers’ offices for one month.

As someone who has never felt especially drawn to a dessert tray or cookie plate, it was still extremely difficult. Sugar lurks everywhere. So here are a few tips if you’re planning a sugar breakup or just looking to spend less time together with your sweet old pal. read more

Essential Sleep Tips: How to Wake Up Easier in the Morning

| 2 Comments

sleep image 9-30

Fall is the perfect season for sleep. Cool and crisp nights cuddled up in a blanket are the best. That is, until you need to get up the next morning.

In full disclosure: I’m a morning lark so in a lot of ways, the dark mornings help me sleep in to a normal human hour (rather than waking at 5:45am with the sun). But for many people, the dark mornings make it even harder to get up and going, especially on workdays.

Aside from improving your sleep by tracking your progress with a Fitbit Flex or One, here are a few tips for increasing your ability to hop out of bed, even before the sunrise: read more

7 Science-Backed Numbers to Improve Your Life

| 1 Comment

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

sun morning
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.

read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 23: Perfect your push-up

| Leave a comment

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

There’s only one week left until summer after today! And with Father’s Day right around the corner, today’s challenge is all about nailing what is ultimately the manliest exercise out there: perfect your push-up.

To help you out, we asked celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to break down the perfect push-up in 4 easy-to-follow steps. It’s all about form!

Day 23: Perfect your push-up

read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 20: Stretch your hamstrings with these three simple yoga poses.

| 1 Comment

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

read more

Maria Menounos’ Everyday Weight Loss Tips

| 1 Comment

We have a special guest blog today from actress and TV personality, Maria Menounos! In her new book The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet & Fitness, out today, she highlights Fitbit as one of her faves! Below is an excerpt from the book.

Maria

MY EVERYGIRL WEIGHT-LOSS JOURNEY

Steps that helped me drop 40 pounds—and keep them off for good.

 

Set a Deadline
You can’t just say, “I want to lose weight . . . someday.” It’s that kind of loose talk, without a guideline, that discourages you from getting started and undermines success. My goal was to stop overeating, make healthier choices and lose weight slowly over the course of one year. Trying to rush or do crazy crash diets does not give you sustainable results. And I never focused on losing a specific number of pounds. I just knew by the end of a year I wanted to look and feel great, whatever my weight was.

 

Keep It to Yourself
When you tell others you’re trying to lose weight, you’re just putting pressure on yourself. Weight loss is tough enough—why make it any harder?

 

Tie It to an Event
If you have a specific event in mind, it gives you extra motivation. Maybe you want to get in shape for an upcoming class or family reunion. Maybe you’re going on vacation or just want to look good on the beach in the summer. My event was the Miss Massachusetts USA Beauty Pageant. I knew there was a swimsuit portion of the show and if I was going to be in a bathing suit in front of thousands of people, I wanted to be in the best possible shape.

 

Cut Back Slowly
Now that you know what you’re eating, it’s time to deal with some of those problem areas. I used to be able to eat seven slices of pizza in one sitting. I decided to make this one of the first things I cut back on. So instead of seven slices I would eat six. A week later I cut back to five slices. When I was finally down to three slices, I incorporated a healthy salad. By cutting back slowly, it was easier!

 

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 13: Work out at the office

| 9 Comments

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

It’s great when we find time to head to the gym or lace up our running shoes. But for a lot of us, we still spend most of the day hunched over at a desk, answering email. So today’s challenge is to target all the desk-jockeys out there: Work out at the office.

Some of you may have no problem doing jumping jacks in your cubicle, but for the rest of you, here’s some easy ways to get in some movement throughout your work day. We also recommend going back to Jenny Blake’s yoga moves you can do at a desk to add some zen to your day!

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 13: Work out at the office

read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 12: Make a healthy substitution to a meal

| 4 Comments

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

Summer is looming and Father’s Day weekend is right around the corner. That means the season for picnics, BBQs, and other traditionally-unhealthy outings.

With that in mind, here’s today’s challenge: Make a healthy substitution to a meal. Whether you take more steps while cooking or go for salad instead of fries, do something today to make your diet a little healthier.

If taking your meal outdoors for a barbecue is on your radar, here are some easy ways to step up your grilling technique and get ready for some healthy summer cooking.

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 12: Make a healthy substitution to a meal

read more