Some of you might be wondering what is Fitbit? I know I did when I first saw it. It looked like those rubber awareness bands with LED lights. But after a bit of research I found that it is quite the cool contraption. Fitbit is an activity tracker that measures your sleep, exercise and diet. The nifty band will be your constant companion so you can be informed about your activity levels, be motivated to keep moving. Fitbit is simple, comfortable and useful, and you’ll be excited to check your daily progress.
Here’s some details on how Fitbit works looks and performs. Fitbit is light and flexible you’ll hardly notice it’s there, maybe in the beginning but after about a week it will become a part of you. Read the instructions on how to snap the band in place when you use it for the first time. Fitbit syncs with your phone so there isn’t a need to plug anything in when you want to see your progress and statistics, you can see your progress on the band also. The band is fashion forward yet simple in its classic design and comes in a variety of colors.
If you only input your age, height, and weight the Fitbit will tell you your daily number of steps taken, distance traveled on foot, minutes spent being very active and calories burned. If you take the time to log your water intake, your meals and weight the Fitbit can capture a great amount of data for you which you can share with your personal trainer and physician if you choose to. If you tip it off when you are going to sleep and when you wake up, it will track motion to let you know how restless you were at night and how much you actually slept.
Fitbit has some really great built in features. Check them out!
See distance, pace and elevation climbed & review routes and split times.
Long Battery Life
Lasts longer than competing trackers with a battery life up to 7 days.
Auto Sleep + Alarms
Monitor your sleep automatically & set a silent alarm.
Record running, cycling, cross training and other workouts & view exercise summaries.
Sync stats wirelessly & automatically to leading smartphones and computers.
With Fitbit you can also see your progress and analyze your workout trends with easy to read graphs. Fitbit allows you to record your workouts, track your runs or bicycle stats, map your routes and see all your data in your monthly calendar. You can share and compete with your friends. Log your food simply and easily with a barcode scanner, calorie estimator, meal shortcuts and a food database. Active users on Fitbit earn badges. Badges let you know when you have reached your goals and milestones in your fitness journey.
Fitbit is also very useful for improving your overall sleep quality. You can set sleeping goals. Track and review your overall sleep quality and see your weekly sleeping trends.
Do you work out hard day in and day out, eat right and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Yet, you still struggle with getting rid of un wanted stomach fat? Don’t worry your not alone. Stomach fat can be the most stubborn of all fat areas to get rid of. This article will cover some great tips on how to lose stomach fat!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Does running on a treadmill for hours on end sound boring? I bet it does. Turns out it’s not even all the effective when trying to lose stomach fat. A great way to boost the process and have fun is by incorporating short bursts of high-intensity intervals into your workout routines. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will keep you burning calories up to 16 hours post-workout.
Stretch Those Muscles
Believe or not stretching helps when trying to lose stomach fat. Spend some time before your next workout with either a foam roller or just stretch the old fashion way. It turns out that your core muscles are usually super tense when you hit the floor to do your ab work. By spending the time to limber up you won’t overcompensate with your hips and back. Thus allowing you to target those abs and focus on getting shredded!
Curb The Cravings, Stay Hydrated and Enjoy Healthy Fats
Try to avoid those late night, pre-bed snacks. Even if they are healthy. While your resting you want your body to use up the stored fats for energy and not that apple or yogurt you just munched on before calling it a day. Try to fill up at dinner and let your body attack that unwanted fat.
Staying hydrated is critical in maintaining a healthy metabolism. A good start is to focus on getting the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. Anything more than that is great! And if you don’t need it well . . . we all know what happens.
Olive oil has been getting a bad rap these days. But, lets not forget the great health benefits of this Mediterranean treat. Researchers have shown that olive oil actually tricks your brain into thinking its full. Try tossing some olive oil on a salad or dipping a bit bread in it.
Chill Out And Catch Some Z’s
Stress can be a killer. When trying to lose stomach fat keep your stress levels at a minimum. When your stressed your body produces cortisol. Which is a hormone that will totally mess up your goals when trying to drop those unwanted pounds. And make sure you get plenty of rest. By not getting enough sleep your bodies hormone are all thrown out of whack. Getting the right amount of sleep will help you to keep your metabolism regulated and on your way to losing that unwanted stomach fat.
Hard Work Pays Off
Losing those last couple pounds can really be a pain in the behind. Try following these simple tips on losing stomach fat. It may not happen over night but don’t give up. Eventually you will start to see some amazing results.
If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear them in the comments box below. Also if you found this article useful please feel free to share with your friends and family!
Long hours in the gym are most often times coupled with a few sessions of cardio. Your body and mind are all ready conditioned and strong. Workouts are fun and exciting. But every week you dread doing cardio. Sometimes you skip it all together.
Week after week the alarm rings. Getting up seems to be a chore. But why? Isn’t cardio supposed to be good for us? Then why neglect it? Quite frankly I can say that cardio is one of the most boring tasks I have ever encountered. Whether I’m running, swimming, walking, biking, using the elliptical, doing sprints, or even some H.I.I.T.. It’s just plain boring.
Knowing I have to do it. I grudgingly lace up my shoes and head to the gym or sometimes run outside. Not always consistent but occasionally I would go.
Until, one day my mind changed and I thought about looking at cardio from a different perspective.
How Biking Became My Number One Choice For Cardio
Out and about with my girlfriend, I decided to stop at a bicycle shop. She had a mountain bike at the time and I thought it would be cool to entertain the option of owning one. Stopping at a few stores allowed me to get an idea of what they cost. In speaking with the manager of one of the shops he told me about a style of bike called a hybrid or fitness bike. It has all the aspects of a road bike. Light, nimble, and fast. But has the rigidity and riding position of a mountain bike. They were affordable and a great starter bike.
Needless to say I didn’t go home that day with a one but the seed had been planted. Over the next few months I himmed and hawed about buying a bicycle.
Christmas time came about and present talk was in the air. After exhausting her brain countless numbers of time my girlfriend finally blurted out “I don’t know what to get you! I’m thinking about buying a bike.” Shocked and amazed I resisted at first. But after some speculation I caved in and we went shopping.
Quick bits of internet research lead me to believe I was going to be going home with the Trek 7.2 FX Disc, which is an awesome bike for the price point of $599 msrp.
However that was not the case. My gut told me to head out west to one of the biggest bike shops in town. I was sure to find a deal there.
Walking in to the store I stood there amazed at the amount of bikes available. But slightly sadden but the limited selection that was available for a rider like myself. Being 6’5″ I need a XL frame. Not finding anything I liked the clerk said he was going to check in the back if anything was there. It just so happened that when he returned, he returned with box in hand. Placing it down on the floor he began to open it up. Exclaiming “Check it out”. Inside the box was my new bike. A nice shiny black frame accented with my favorite color, green. Lime green at that. Putting it together and presenting it to me. I knew that right before my eyes was the bike I was taking home
Behold the Giant Escape 2. Great adventures awaited!
Turning Cardio Into Adventures
The new year was around the corner and resolutions were to be had. I was determined to get consistent with cardio. New bike in hand I went strong for a few weeks. Trying to ride at least twenty minutes a day. But like most new years resolutions that began to fade.
Time went by and my bike sat there. Looking sad. I kept saying I was going to go for a ride and I didn’t. Until one morning I had decided to try something new. Sitting down for my morning coffee. Looking out over my veranda admiring nature I decided I was going to try medicating with cannabis before I went for a bike ride. I had heard stories from friends and other riders I met. They said they would smoke a little and go riding.
The following week with my coffee at bay, I grabbed the lighter took a puff, or two and set out on my way. “Let’s see what this cannabis is all about,” I thought. For the first time I had decided to really ride. The beginning of my trip started off with a fast paced push so I could warm up my legs and get ready for the long leg of the trip.
The cannabis began to take effect. Not too much. Not too little. Just right. Having smoked a sativa, Golden Goat to be exact, I felt a rush of uplifting energy. It was just me and the road. My ride that day lasted about an hour and a half. I spent most of it cruising through neighborhoods by the beach. Discovering new areas of my town. Really appreciating what the city had to offer.
Why I Feel Cannabis Improved My Cardio
My overall experience with marijuana and cardiovascular training was far greater than I ever could have imagined. Contrary to what most would think the cannabis actually enhanced the experience. The uplifting energy allowed me to push forward and want to ride. The child-like curiosity made me want to explore and learn about the area. I was focused and in tune with the moment, really enjoying what was happening. At that moment my mind wasn’t full of chatter. The relaxing effects marijuana has allowed my bronchial tubes to dilate and increase my breathing abilities.
At the end of the day I can say that cardio was fun. I don’t honestly feel that marijuana was the deciding factor as to whether or not I enjoyed the session. But I do feel smoking a little bit of cannabis had an effect. I and I alone are responsible for the mental shift to enjoy something that was once mundane and boring. Adding to the experience was well worth it. Cardio can become fun for anyone. First we have to learn to enjoy the experience. And if your someone that already does then it will be second nature. But cardio and cannabis are like no other.
The positive effects the cannabis had on my experience with cardiovascular training lead me to believe that marijuana can be a great addition to other physical activities like weightlifting or even sports. In the past there has been much controversy over the subject. With new and exciting laws being passed we can now really see the benefits of this plant and what it can have for society outside of recreation. For those of you that live in an area where medical or recreational marijuana is accepted, then smoking cannabis and doing cardio may be an awesome way for you to really make something that can be boring and repetitive. Fun and exciting. Please remember that marijuana is still illegal or not tolerated in some areas of the world. Be responsible and make smart decisions.
If you have or are thinking of trying cannabis before you partake in your cardio training I would love the hear about your own experiences in the comment box below. By sharing our knowledge we can all benefit and grow together.
Nutrition cannot be overlooked. It is a deciding factor in what your body will look like. Without the proper nutrition you cannot build muscle, gain any strength, nor burn fat. Your body needs the fuel for the fire. In order to have energy you have to feed the furnace with good sound nutrition. Building and repairing the muscle requires proper protein and carb intake.
Without sufficient nutrition your body will not burn fat. You will go into starvation mode and you will retain more fat in your cells. Definitely not what we are intending. So what the heck do you do? Well its actually rather simple. Let me explain.
Getting the proper nutrition takes work just like your training and cardio. However this is the path you have chosen and these are your dreams you’re making a reality. Therefore you have to do what it takes to be a champion in any regard.
Making nutrition fun is the key
First things first, you want to always make sure you have a very healthy diet that consists of whole foods. Not Whole Foods the grocery store. Which I do like by the way, if you have one near you and budget allows, by all means shop away. But what I mean by whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and in their most natural state.
If you’re still unclear your best bet is to always avoid any type of a processed food. Instead of frozen chicken strips buy a package of whole chicken breasts, cut them and cook them yourself. Keep it natural. Keep it lean. Keep it healthy. Other examples of whole foods are fresh meat, fish, poultry, eggs, veggies, legumes, fruits, rice, oats, and quinoa.
Meal frequency is king. Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day actually revs up your metabolism. This is good, you want to get the nutrients into your body so they can feed the muscles and allow for the naturals functions to exist without any interruptions.
Along with food staying hydrated is critical. Get down some water and plenty of it. Drinking water throughout the day is a sure fire way to make sure you get enough. For myself on training days I usually consume about 1.5 to 2 gallons depending on my intensity and how much water I loose working out. I am a big guy weighing in at 255 lbs so that has to be considered.
By eating whole food based diets and getting enough water you prime the engine for hefty horsepower (shameless car analogy). One thing, to consider is you can overfeed yourself and any excess will turn to fat. Keep an eye on your macronutrients and get the right amount of food.
Nutrition is a game of numbers
Basically what you need to do is determine what your daily caloric intake is in order to maintain your weight. What? By figuring out how much fuel your body needs to maintain its current weight will tell you how to gauge how many calories you need to either loose or build.
Building muscle and losing fat are quite simple. Once you know how much energy or your body needs you can then judge how much you either need to cut by creating a deficit or how much you need to add by creating a surplus.
How exactly do you calculate your caloric intake. By using math, our least favorite subject in school. All that stuff we never thought was practical comes in handy now. But incase your not a math wizard thats totally cool. Using a simple formula called the Harris-Benedict principle you can can assess your basal metabolic rate aka BMR.
BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to function. We use about 60% of the calories we consume each day for basic bodily functions such as breathing. Other factors that influence your BMR are height, weight, age and sex.
Step 1: Calculate your BMR with the following formula:
65 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
Please note that this formula applies only to adults.
Step 2: Incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, with the following calculation:
Sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
Lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
Moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
Very active (exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
Extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent
Add this number to your BMR.
The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight.
Protein and carb intake are important also. They will make up a good portion of your daily calories. A rule of thumb for calculating your protein intake is to take your bodyweight and divide it by 2.2 to get weight in kilograms.
Take your weight and multiply it by anywhere between 1.8 to 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram. The same will apply for carbohydrates except multiply anywhere from 3 to 5 grams per body weight which will be determined by your activity level as well as fitness goals.
Supplementation is secondary to sound nutrition
I’m not going to cover a lot about supplements in this section. Just a basic rundown and a few things I suggest looking into for yourself.
Supplementation is just that, an addition to your diet. Not always necessary but a good way to get a little extra pep in your step. Supplementing with sports supplements or vitamins can also fill in some holes that you have in your diet.
If you’re not getting enough fish in your weekly meals you may be short on necessary omega 3’s which is essential to torching fat. The idea is to get the most you can from foods and then add on any extras.
One of the most common supplements is protein. Protein powders are a great way to make sure you hit your mark each day. They come in a variety of types and flavors. Try some out for yourself and see what you like. Protein powders are best for a quick meal replacement shake a couple times a day. Don’t get crazy and think you can just drink your meals.
Creatine is by far one of the most researched sports supplements. And with good reason. Studies have found that creatine does work and helps build muscle and increase strength. Creatine allows you to push your intensity a little bit further and get the most out of your workout. There are a ton of creatine supplements and one better than the other (so the labels claim). I have found that any brand of creatine made with Creapure creatine is great.
Pre-workout supplements are great if you’re not a morning person and you have to get up and workout in the morning. They give you a little extra drive and motivation to get out of the sheets and onto the streets heading towards the gym. I find that a lot of pre-workout drinks get me jittery and shaky, usually due to cheap manufacturing products. Best bet is to go to your supplement store and see what kind of samples they have and find one that works for you.
Many bodybuilders and fitness experts recommend getting in your BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) as well as glutamine. They both are excellent in helping with recovery. Most BCAA powders have glutamine in it but you can get it separately.
Like I stated before food is your best source of energy and supplements are not always necessary. You can get everything you need and more by keeping a close eye on what your eating and how your eating. A natural boost in the morning before the gym could be a cup of coffee or an apple. Both excellent sources of caffeine.
Analyze your diet and focus on that first. Then look into further supplement research.
Some of us lead super busy lives. Wether we are managing a family or traveling a lot for work we shouldn’t neglect our physical fitness. Here is a great routine for the busy-bodys out there. It’s simple and easy to follow. And can be done in any gym.
Simple and Easy Training
This routine is developed for those that need to get into the gym, hit it hard and get out. The simple and easy training routine that is outlined below will focus on training the body much more frequently than other routines. Typical bodybuilding training routines call for the muscles to be hit once a week. Where as we will be training our body up to three times a week.
The breakdown of this simple and easy training routine can be in 1 or 2 day segments. For those that have a little more time you can do a 4 day a week routine. For those that are pressed to get things done a 3 day a week routine should suffice. Either way you will be hitting your full body.
Simple and Easy 3 Day Split
Barbell Shoulder Press
Barbell Bench Press
Parallel Barbell Row
Standing Calf Raises
Simple and Easy 2 Day Split – Day A Upper Body
Barbell Shoulder Press
Rear Delt Fly
Barbell Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Press
Simple and Easy 2 Day Split – Day B Arms and Lower Body
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Stiff Legged Deadlift
Standing Calf Raises
Exercises can be varied. However it is in your best interest to stick with compound movements due to the limited amount of training times allotted. These routines are simple and easy. And your training can be done in any gym. So now you have no more time for excuses and plenty of time to stay fit.
Bike Sharing Programs have been rolling out across cities over the past year, now a brand new bike sharing station kicks off the Spring Season in Boston, with a new station outside the Boston Design Center…Making lunch time exercise no possible in the Innovation & Design District along Boston’s Industrial Seaport.
New York this week became the latest major city to launch a bike-share program..
The sharing programs are all check-in, check-out systems, with automated stations spread throughout a city, designed for point-to-point trips. “We try to encourage people to use it … almost like a taxi,” says Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Klein helped start Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. — the largest bike-share system in the U.S. until New York took over the title. He is also overseeing Chicago’s Divvy bike share program. He spoke with weekends on All Things Considered host Wade Goodwyn about the future of biking in American cities.
On encouraging more people to ride
“When it doesn’t feel as safe, the people that are riding are what we call the strong and the fearless, and they make up about 7 percent. What we have found is that 60 percent of the population would like to ride. The problem is they don’t feel safe. And those are the people that we’re appealing to with the infrastructure that we’re putting in here in Chicago or that you’ve seen in Washington, D.C., protected bike facilities that separate people from cars, and with the bike-sharing program.”
On reducing traffic
“You know 40 percent of trips in urban areas are 2 miles or less, but 90 percent of those trips are taken in a car. So, you can do the math, you know. If we can move 20, 30 percent of those people to walking or biking that frees up a lot of capacity for people to drive that need to.”
On the future of bike sharing
“The more density the better, but, having said that, you also have universities embracing bike sharing, you have less dense cities like Portland launching bike sharing and Houston, right there in Texas. So, it’s across the board, and I think as cycling becomes more mainstream, you’re going to see it roll out in very different environments.”