4 Creative Ways to Use the Charge 2 Interval Timer

Man doing bird dogs in front of the tv using Fitbit interval timer.

By now you’re aware that the Charge 2 interval timer exists, but have you used it? If you’ve been too intimidated to try the timer, disabuse yourself of the notion that it’s not for you.

While it’s true interval timers are a valuable high-intensity-interval-training tool, that’s far from its only use. Below are four expert-recommended ways anyone—whether ultra fit or just starting out—can use the interval timer to build more health-boosting activities into their day.

AT HOME

Single-Leg Balance Challenge
You (hopefully) brush your teeth twice a day. So why not use that time to squeeze in some extra movement? Try this single-leg balance challenge from Chad Woodard, DPT, assistant professor, Touro College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in New York City. “This type of exercise can be great for people at risk of falling or recovering from ankle sprains, surgery, or knee and hip injuries,” says Woodard.

Instructions
While brushing your teeth, stand on your right foot for 30 seconds. When your tracker vibrates at the end of the interval, switch to your left foot. Repeat twice. After two minutes you’ll have improved your balance, strengthened your stabilizing muscles and cleaned your teeth.  

Interval timer settings
Work: 30 seconds
Rest: 30 seconds (note: you’ll be standing on your left foot during this “rest” period)
Repeat: 2 times

*This is a great strategy to apply to a variety of exercises that are easy to work into your day. Try it with any exercise that isolates one part of your body at a time, like bird dogs (as shown in the picture above), lunges, or side planks.

AT WORK

Deep Stretch
If you have a desk job, should do something that counteracts what you do all day—ie: sit hunched over a keyboard—but won’t make you feel sweaty or out of breath, says Woodard. This activity does that.

Instructions
Stand up and go into as deep a squat as possible. After 10 seconds, stand back up and stretch your arms overhead, spreading your fingers wide. You should feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this squat-to-stretch cycle three times.

Interval timer settings
Work: 10 seconds
Rest: 10 seconds (note: you’ll be stretching during this “rest” period)
Repeat: 3 times

AT THE GYM

Total-Body Circuit
“I love 20-10 intervals,” says Denver- and Toronto-based personal trainer Craig Ballantyne, founder of Turbulence Training and the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your LifeGive this circuit a shot.

Instructions
For this workout, do as many repetitions as you can of each the exercises below (in the order below) for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds before moving onto the next one. Not hard enough? Repeat this entire two-minute circuit once or twice more, says Ballantyne—just be sure to rest one minute between sets.

  1. Squats
  2. Pushups
  3. Glute Bridge
  4. Mountain Climbers

Interval timer settings
Work: 20 seconds
Rest: 10 seconds
Repeat: 4 times

ANYWHERE

Deep breathing
When you want to relax or just take a minute to center yourself, you can always use the Relax function on your tracker.  But if you want to switch things up, try this abdominal breathing exercise. It encourages you to breath with your diaphragm instead of your chest, so more oxygen goes deep into your lungs.

Instructions
Place one hand on your belly, and the other hand on your chest. Make sure you are sitting upright with good posture. Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold for one count, and then slowly release the air through pursed lips for four counts and pause. This inhalation and exhalation counts as your “work” period. Your belly should be moving more than your chest when you’re doing it correctly.

Interval timer settings
Work: 10 seconds
Rest: 1 seconds
Repeat: 10 times

9 Comments   Join the Conversation

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I just got my fitbit, so hear the problem I work at night so how do I set sleep tracker and I’m not sure how this works

  • I am asthmatic , can’t walk outside , in Gym and at home try to get 9000-11000 steps depending on the day , my sleep is poor and I am 30 lb over weight . One thing is right I drink 90-100 is oz of water per day , very busy practice. First 3 goals weight loss , proper 8 hrs sleep , increase strength and endurance, than others…..please help.

  • The interval timer appears to have a minimum time of 10 seconds, so a couple of the suggestions mentioned in the article are not working for me. Am I missing something?

  • How do set up interval training mode on Fitbit 2…got times sorted just not sure how it knows when I’m starting to start my session.

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