Fitbit Charge HR Review

Fitbit Charge HR Review

After being thoroughly disappointed with the Microsoft Band 2, I feared the Fitbit Charge HR may also be a disappointment. I thought I had set my standards too high.

But I was not disappointed.

Just putting the on Charge HR was easier, and it is much more comfortable to wear than the Microsoft Band.

I am also pleased to see that the Fitbit Charge HR is much more accurate in tracking my steps, and it has a few more perks that make it a great little device to help you take control of your health and keep you motivated. (more…)

Microsoft Band 2 Review

Microsoft Band 2 Review

One of my goals for 2016 was to purchase either a Microsoft Band 2 or the Fitbit Charge HR. I went with the Microsoft Band, and I was really excited because I have a Windows Phone, which means I could use the full functionality of the band including Cortana. But I ended up sending it back within two days.

The Microsoft Band 2 was a huge disappointment for me, for a few different reasons.

  1. Not easy to set up out of the box.
  2. It didn’t count my steps worth crap.
  3. It only tracks your heart rate every 10 minutes, not continuously (unless it’s in exercise mode).
  4. The information the app provides is pretty useless and not very in depth.
  5. For $250, there are a lot of “features” that are useless.
  6. It’s extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re on a computer all day like I am.
  7. It has a lot of frivolous sensory information that you can’t even access.

Let’s look at each of these individually because I’ve got a few things to say… (more…)

Fitness Goals for 2016!

Fitnes Goals 2016

It’s that time of year again! Time to re-evaluate your life’s direction and set new goals and dream new dreams. I love this time of year. Who doesn’t love a fresh start?

This year, I’m being much more specific with my goals. I’m setting specific and detailed goals and including steps to reach those goals. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2016!

Fitness Goals

Work on getting more workouts in per week (be more consistent).

Instead of three to four times a week, try for five or six times. I also need to get back on schedule. so the plan is:

  • Go to bed at 9pm, which means starting my bedtime routine at 8pm so that I’m in bed with my eyes closed by 9pm.
  • Get up everyday at 04:45 am so that I have plenty of time for long workouts. If I’m doing a shorter workout that day (because of fatigue from a previous workout or bad night’s sleep) I’ll use the extra time to read.
  • No rest days on days I go into work. This will give me at least four workouts a week and then I can rest on Friday, workout on Saturday and rest on Sunday.

Although I do admit that I did better in December than I have all year. I actually burned over 7,000 calories. (more…)

My 2015 Fitness Plan – Getting Back on Track

During the last part of 2014, I got a wee bit off track. I wasn’t sticking to my diet like I should’ve; I was eating all kinds of junk like birthday cake and tons of other sweets. I even stopped logging my food in My Fitness Pal.

But I didn’t stop wearing my Fitbit!

Fitbit

I’ve lost a total of 51lbs, and I really don’t want to put all that weight back on, so I’ve decided I need to get back on track.

One of my goals this year is to lose the last 30lbs for a total weight loss of 81lbs. To do that, I need to stop screwing around.

So this is what I’m planning to do to reach my goal weight. (more…)

The Benefit of Fitness Trackers

The Benefit of Fitness TrackersI’m a huge fan of anything that motivates someone (especially me) to be more active and get fit. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge HR, or Jawbone Up are excellent at motivating the wearer to get up off the couch and get moving.

I started with a Fitbit Force, which is no longer made by Fitbit. In fact, they recalled it in February of 2014. I have yet to send mine back. (more…)

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Fitness Trackers of 2014

Ultimate Guide to Fitness Trackers 2014

I love my Fitbit Force.

I really do. In fact, I think it’s one of the best fitness trackers out there. But I’m a little biased.

I have found it to be extremely motivating, especially on days when I work out. I always strive to reach a minimum of 5,000 steps during a workout so that I can easily hit 10,000 steps by the end of the day. So on the days I feel like I just don’t want to keep going, or don’t want to do the classes that get me the most steps (and incidently raise my heart rate the most), my Fitbit is there to taunt me by letting me know I’m nowhere near my minimum of 5,000 steps or that I’m only 200 steps away.

(more…)

Fitbit Sleep Tracking and Biphasic Sleep

I’ve been really watching my Fitbit sleep tracking data lately. I’ve been so tired recently, and I’m trying to figure out why. In fact, I’ve been so tired that I’ve had to use every last ounce of my willpower to get myself up and workout and one day last week it wasn’t enough. So I have to figure out why I’m so tired.

Well, I figured it out, I’m not sleeping well at all. According to my Fitbit sleep data, I toss and turn…. a LOT! Greg thought it might be the dog itching herself throughout the night and hitting the bed when she does, making my Fitbit record movement when I’m not the one moving. But I’ve left the dog in the living room to test that theory and sure enough, I still got lots of pink bars on my sleep pattern chart.

During this third week of my fitness program, I’ve been a bit worried about my fatigue, so I watched my sleep pattern even more closely. I took a few naps in hopes that it might help alleviate some of the fatigue I was feeling and that’s when I found something very interesting.

On Thursday last week, I came home with a pounding headache, and consequently I went straight to bed to sleep off the migraine. As always, I set my Fitbit to record my sleep. I woke up about 3.5 hours later, headache much improved, and synced my Fitbit. This is what I saw. (more…)

Fitness Progress Report: Weeks 2 and 3

I was really excited to get started on my fitness plan for week two. I was going to try the Xbox One Kinect Fitness app again, but I don’t think I’m in shape enough ready to get through any of the classes. So I’m going to wait until about six weeks before I try again.

During week two, I planned on adding in some weight training on top of my cardio routine. This is one of the many reasons I love the original Your Shape Fitness Evolved, the weight training routines are more challenging than the ones on the 2012 version. One of my favorite weight workouts is the Nivea Tone Up with Sarah Maxwell. It’s 15 minutes long, and if you haven’t been working out, or you are at all out of shape, it will kick your ass.

I alternated weight training days with cardio days. So Monday I did the Nivea Tone Up along with some cardio boxing classes. Tuesday was all cardio boxing, and Wednesday I did Nivea Tone Up and a couple cardio boxing classes.

Monday, I burned 341 calories, 113 doing the Nivea Tone Up class and 228 with cardio boxing.

Tuesday I burned 478 calories with just cardio boxing. Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 didn’t upload my stats. Convenient I know. But My Fitbit did track everything! Here’s the proof! (more…)

Sleep Tracking With The Fitbit Force

I have found that my Fitbit Force is actually quite indispensable. The adjustments it makes to my caloric intake based on my activity for the day makes it easy to stay on target. If I’m not really active, the Fitbit subtracts calories from my allotment for the day. If I’m really active, it adds calories. Because of this, I’ve lost 3 lbs in the 3 weeks I’ve had the Force.

The sleep tracking information, however, is my favorite part of the Fitbit, and it’s extremely useful. For example, I conducted an experiment recently. The Fitbit has shown me that I really only get about 3, maybe 4 hours of real sleep every night, as shown in the image below.

Sleep Tracking 2/12/2014

In the sleep pattern above, the pink spikes are the times I was restless, and the blue area is the time I was actually asleep. As you can see, my sleep efficiency was only 60 percent. On Thursday, my sleep pattern was even more erratic.

Sleep Tracking 2/13/2014

On Friday, I felt extremely worn down even though I actually got more sleep on Thursday night. So Friday night, I decided to try an experiment.

I’ve been trying to get off many of my medications recently, even though I don’t take that many. One of those is the Buspar I take for anxiety. I already know that when I take the Buspar, I wake up much earlier than when I don’t, which is what made me decide to experiment. I took one Buspar and one Robaxin (a muscle relaxant). This is my sleep pattern Friday night.

Sleep Tracking 2/14/2014

As you can clearly see in the sleep pattern above, it’s less erratic, it looks more like there is actually a consistent pattern and my sleep efficiency increased by about 20 percent! I did the same thing on Friday night, and although I slept longer and the pattern looks a bit more erratic, my sleep efficiency went up another 1 percent.

Sleep Tracking 2/15/2014

I’m planning on doing another experiment on my sleep patterns. Since we finally got our new TV, I’m going to start using the Kinect Fitness app on the Xbox One to work out. I’m going to stop taking the Buspar again, and see how working out affects my sleeping pattern. I’m actually quite interested to see how exercise affects my sleep since all the research says that it provides more restful sleep.

So to anyone who is thinking about purchasing a Fitbit Force, or any Fitbit product, I would highly recommend them if not for just the sleep tracking information!

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2014 New Years Resolutions

This post comes a bit late, but better late than never right?

2013 was not a great year when it comes to my health and fitness. There were a few weeks where I managed to get a bit of motivation and will power together and workout regularly. But I wasn’t able to stay motivated for long, so I couldn’t get into a routine.

In fact, since I started my part time job, I really haven’t had any time to figure out a schedule that will allow me time to homeschool, blog and write for clients, let alone find time to exercise.

But that’s not an excuse.

I have to find the time.

But 2014 isn’t starting out the way I’d planned. Our TV is broken thanks to the cat who needs his nuts snipped, and I got a defective FitBit Force. Thankfully, Fitbit kindly replaced the defective Force, sending me a new one right away.

So, what are my goals for 2014? Actually, they are pretty simple. (more…)