The Scosche Rhythm Plus

compass_in_hand_0Take a journey with me, to a time before cell phones made for an able guide in even the harshest wilderness. For an explorer braving uncharted territory, one of their most prized possessions was a compass. A compass that rang true acted as a guiding light in even the darkest of times, a good reading leading them to their destination unscathed. Therefore, before they embarked on an expedition, it was of the utmost importance to travel with a credible and consistent compass.

Fast forward to the present, and to your own personal health and fitness journey. No matter where this long and winding road leads, it is undeniable you will need a reliable compass. When it comes to working out, your compass is a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor (combined with the Fitdigits app) will inform and instruct your workouts, allowing you to learn how your body responds and rejects certain workout types. You need a heart rate monitor that is comfortable, reliable, durable and distinctive. You need the Scosche Rhythm Plus.

At this point, we here at Fitdigits consider ourselves heart rate monitor experts. Fitdigits was the first app to track Heart Rate, and we were using watches and monitors before that. We have tried more heart rate monitors then we can count, and after countless hours and workouts with a monitor grooving to our own personal beat, we came to the conclusion that the Scosche Rhythm Plus is one of the best in the business. What makes the Scosche Rhythm Plus stand out? Glad you asked.

  • Where You Wear It– The Scosche Rhythm Plus is worn around your forearm instead of on your chest. We can’t tell you how many times we gave the gym a free peep show when you had to adjust, take off or put on a traditional chest strap
  • The Rhythm Plus goes right on your forearm.

    The Rhythm Plus goes right on your forearm.

  • No Replacing Batteries– The Scosche Rhythm Plus is re-chargeable, meaning you never have to worry about going to the store and figuring out which tiny battery belongs in your monitor. Just charge it after each workout and you never have to worry about it dying right in the middle of a killer sweat session.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy– The Scosche Rhythm Plus uses state-of-the-art technology in Bluetooth Low Energy. This allows you to be over 100 feet away from your phone, allowing you to have a worry-free workout without a bulky cell phone on your person.
  • Sleek, Modern Design– While not necessarily quantifiable, the Rhythm Plus just looks cool! It brings to mind a fancy gadget from Sci-Fi or James Bond. No, Q did not cook this bad boy up in his lab at MI6, but it certainly feels that way, using integrated dual LED/optical sensors to produce real time pulse monitoring.
  • Lightweight and Travel Friendly– The Rhythm Plus can fold up to about the size of a Ping Pong ball, allowing you to just plop it into your pocket.

Let the Scosche Rhythm Plus be your guide to a better you! At only $79.95, it is the ideal companion to the advanced heart rate functionality that the Fitdigits app offers.

Robert Gets Fit For Family

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Robert L.

I was 57 years old and about 70 lbs overweight. I had developed high blood pressure and my blood sugar was in the “pre-diabetic” range. Worst of all, my daughter’s kidneys had failed requiring constant dialysis, and I wanted to donate a kidney to her. Sadly, because I had let myself go so badly, I wasn’t considered an acceptable donor. I realized I needed to do something, So I immediately started a diet and gradually eased into an exercise program. With renewed self-discipline (and the grace of God), I lost 10 lbs per month and attained my goal weight within just a few months. I increased my exercise levels and have been able to get my blood pressure down to the normal range, and my fasting blood sugar is normal also! But my continual problem was the inability to find a heart rate strap that would accurately measure my level of fitness.

Chubby

About a month ago I got the Scosche Rhythm armband from eBay. I had been looking for a heart rate monitor for a long time that was accurate AND was compatible with my Android phone. I had used several of the chest strap/watch sets without satisfaction. After receiving the armband and getting them configured on my phone, I have been amazed at how well it works and provides me with all the information I need to fine-tune my workouts.

My search finally ended with Fitdigits. It does so much more than just show me my rate through my workouts; it gives me tons of data AND tracks my performance over time – so I can stay on track!

At my age now, 64, I am now being evaluated to be a donor for my daughter. And I have the wonderful added benefit of excellent health – and looking forward to a long and very active life.

Robert with his son and daughter

Robert with his son and daughter

An Indoor Winter Workout

With Winter comes cold weather, making it difficult to get outside for a run, walk or ride. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, we still have a great solution to burn some calories and stay fit.

Active.com has a great 30 Minute Indoor Workout that is sure to get your blood pumping! We have tried this ourselves in the Fitdigits office and can attest it will leave you sore and ready for more!

Make 2015 the Year of Success

Fitness Resolutions: Make 2015 the Year of Success

If you’ve ever vowed to lose weight or get in shape, you know it’s easier said than done. While 40 percent of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution, only eight percent actually stick with it, according to a recent story on Forbes.com. These statistics aren’t entirely shocking. After all, we are creatures of habit, and changing a learned behavior is hard work. Not all hope is lost though. Fitdigits’s iCardio app allows you to review your fitness progress over time and gives you the boost of confidence needed to stay motivated. Along with this helpful tool, learn how to stick to your New Year’s resolution by avoiding these common mistakes:

A Vague and Unrealistic Resolution
The most common resolutions are to lose weight and get in shape. Such goals are vague and undefined and leave you with little direction. When defining your resolutions, be as specific as possible so you know exactly where you want to end up. For instance, instead of planning to “exercise more,” set a precise target like training for an upcoming 5K. While goals should be clear cut, you also need to be realistic. Unreasonable resolutions will lead to frustration and failure.

No Plan
Just like driving without a road map, attempting to reach a fitness goal without a plan will lead you in the wrong direction. That’s why it’s important to devise a plan with a series of concrete steps needed to change your behavior and reach your goal. Such steps may include joining a gym, signing up for personal training sessions, skipping Friday night happy hour, or waking up an hour earlier to run before work. Then write out the individual steps so you can cross each one off as you complete it and feel accomplished.

No Progress Tracking
If your goal is not measurable, you can’t track your degree of success, and visualizing your progress is essential for staying motivated. When devising your resolution plan, include specific numbers like a target running pace or fat loss percentage. Then review your progress and note achievements along the way. Tools like Fitdigits’s iCardio app monitor important health metrics like heart rate, pace, distance, calories and more to help you realize the improvements in your health and fitness, while boosting the confidence needed to stick to your resolution.

Burnout
Creating new habits takes time and dedication, and many people expect it to happen overnight. Though enthusiasm for reaching your goal is essential, changing your entire routine overnight will inevitably make you feel burned out. While limiting the number of drinks you consume on a night out with friends is important, completely disconnecting from your social circle and hitting the gym for three hours every day will make you feel alienated. Since it’s a lot easier to commit to a small-level change than a complete life overhaul, commit to a small change until it becomes a new habit, and move on from there so you don’t burn out.

Tracking Resting Heart Rate with Fitdigits Apps

Your resting heart rate tells you a lot about your heart health and training levels. See The Importance of Resting Heart Rate to check out all the fun ways your resting heart rate can help you on your journey to a healthy and fit life! And we make it easy to track.

Taking your resting pulse is simple and only requires your fingertips and a stopwatch. We also take your lowest heart rate reading every day automatically with the Apple Watch, if you have one. Ideally, take your resting pulse in the morning right after you wake up.

To manually enter your resting heart rate:
1. Launch your Fitdigits app, tap Menu > Health Vitals
2. Tap Resting Pulse.
3. Tap “+” sign located at the top right of the screen.
4. Enter your Resting Pulse, tap Save.

You can also change the date and time if you are entering a resting pulse from a previous date.

Resting heart rate

To manually delete a resting pulse entry:
1. From the resting pulse screen, swipe from right to left to delete any of the manually entered entries. (A red delete icon will appear.)
2. Tap delete and the entry will be erased from your dashboard.

Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

It isn’t that difficult to make a New Year’s Resolution. Just close your eyes and think about what you want to change about yourself and your habits in the coming year, and BOOM resolution made. But, as most people know all too well, setting a resolution is not the hard part.

Starting a resolution is not the hard part either. That is why come January 1st the gyms are packed to the brim with the optimistic masses, everyone eager to make this year different from the last.

The real difficulty comes with keeping a resolution throughout the entirety of the year. This kind of steadfast devotion to a resolution is basically unheard of. However, with the help of some Fitdigits features and functionality, make 2017 the year you stick to your guns and make real change. With that in mind, here are 4 Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Keep Your Resolution Realistic
    The first step to any successful resolution is to keep it realistic. If you pick a goal that you are unlikely to even come close to achieving, it will make it that much easier to quit. This is where your Fitdigits app and my.fitdigits.com come in handy. Look through your health and fitness history to see what you could feasibly accomplish in 1 year. If your previous longest run is 3 miles, taking on a marathon maybe isn’t the best choice. Better to make it a 5k. If you averaged 1 workout a week in 2016, it probably isn’t wise to plan to workout 5 times a week. It is all about baby steps to make real change!
  2. Create a Fitdigits Goal
    If you have a Fitdigits Star Membership or Pro Plus, you unlock the ability to set yearly goals in one of five categories: duration, distance, steps, caloric burn, and weight. Set yourself a goal for 2017, and Fitdigits will keep track of your progress throughout the entirety of the year. That way you can see in real time positive progress towards achieving your resolution.
  3. Get a Resolution Support System
    The human mind can always find an excuse not to do something. Is it raining outside? I’ll wait until the weather clears up. Sunny out? I don’t want to get a sunburn. Cloudy out? This feels like a movie day. Perfect out? Uhh… my workout clothes are dirty. Don’t allow this to happen by developing a resolution support system. Find a person or group of people who has a resolution that is similar to yours, and have them be your taskmaster. Check in with each other regularly, share your workouts to their Facebook page, create a Fitdigits group, and basically make sure your partner stays on top of their resolution (and vice versa).
  4. Track More Then Just Workouts
    Most Resolutions are more complex then they may appear on the surface. Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase productivity, get fit, or any other health and fitness related goal, it is important to record more than just workouts. Think of your body as an ecosystem, with each and every individual part working together in constant harmony. Tracking sleep, nutrition, blood pressure, steps and weight can offer hints into what you need to change in order to make your resolution a reality. All of these options can be found under the Health tab in the app, either as a metric you can manually enter in or under “Health Partners”.

Tracking Sleep with Fitdigits Apps

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is critical for boosting brainpower, peace of mind, improving your exercise and performance and even necessary if you want to lose weight. Sufficient sleep has been linked to lowering risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Get enough sleep to perform, look and feel your best.

Why Should I Track My Sleep?

Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or frequently waking up? Track your sleep to help identify your sleep challenges and trends. Often, making a few changes to your habits and routine can positively affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

How to Track My Sleep

Fitdigits offers two options to track your sleep. You can either use a Fitdigits compatible sleep tracker and have your information automatically sync to Fitdigits, or manually enter in the sleep information.

Sleep Tracker
Here is a list of sleep trackers Fitdigits is compatible with:

Just link your account on the my.fitdigits partners page or from the Partners section in your app, and your sleep data will fill in automatically!

Manual Entry
In Fitdigits you can manually enter in your sleep data as well.

1. In Fitdigits Apps, tap Menu > Health Vitals
2. Tap Sleep
3. Tap the “+” sign in the upper right

4. You will now be taken to the Sleep Input page. Enter in your Bed Time, Wake Time, Awakenings, Times Up, the Quality of your Sleep and any comments you may have. All of these factors will determine your sleep score.

Input your sleep data

5. Tap Save when you are finished. You will now see your sleep score.

It is important to track your sleep, and now you can with Fitdigits!

Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

How to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Holiday Schedule

While the holidays are often thought of as a magical time of year, this season can also be stressful for those who gripe about money, family issues and putting on extra pounds. In fact, a survey by Consumer Reports found that 34% of Americans say gaining weight is what they dread most about the holidays.

Luckily, this worry can be easily avoided by simply working off the extra calories. However, carving out time to go to the gym or on a run is an entirely different issue. While most peoples’ schedules are jam-packed with corporate gatherings, holiday parties and family obligations this time of year, it’s important to find ways to fit fitness into your daily routine.

Follow these six workout tips to stay fit and beat the holiday bulge.

    1. Turn your commute into a workout.
      Whether you’re going to work or taking the kids to school, your morning commute is the perfect time to be physically active. You can walk or ride a bike to work or school and burn extra calories. Just make sure to plan extra time in the morning to get to your final destination.

 

    1. Plan active activities with your family.
      Instead of sitting around and indulging in chips and sweets while watching reruns of the Christmas Story, get the family out on a walk around town to look at store window decorations and holiday lights, or perhaps go for a fun ice skating outing.

 

    1. Track your weight and activity.
      The holiday bulge can creep up when you aren’t watching, and that’s why it’s important to monitor your calories, weight and activity to ensure you don’t slip up. Fitdigits’s iCardio App keeps your cardio in check by tracking calories burned during any cardio activity like walking, running or riding a bike. As a Fitdigits MVP member for less than $5 per month, you can set specific fitness goals, receive advanced heart-rate charts and training graphs, and much more. The data syncs with MyFitnessPal’s food journal and Fitbit’s step activity tracker for a complete overview of your all-day activity and nutrition, which will motivate you to make better food and fitness decisions.

 

    1. 10 minutes is all you need.
      A study published by the New York Times found that three 10-minute cardio intervals were just as effective as one 30-minute sweat session. Go for a 10-minute jog before work, complete 10 minutes of lunges and squats at lunch, and end the night with 10 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups. Splitting up your fitness sessions during the day ensures you keep burning calories throughout the day and works with any busy schedule.

 

    1. Challenge your buddies.
      Find a fitness buddy to help you stay on track. Working out with a friend or family member holds you accountable, whether it’s meeting up at the gym or at the outdoor track. During the holidays it’s easy to lose your fitness focus. Stay connected with your buddy through a friendly fitness competition. For instance, commit to a Calorie-Burn Challenge to see who can burn more calories through the end of the year. Track and share results using Fitdigits’s heart-rate monitor and keep each other motivated!

 

    1. Bring fitness with you.
      One of the biggest deterrents to working out when traveling during the holidays is not having access to a gym. Anticipate this obstacle and bring your fitness gear with you. Lightweight resistance bands, a jump rope and a laptop are all you need to get your sweat on whether you’re staying in a hotel room or your grandmother’s basement. You can access free fitness videos online at sites like fitness.com or BodyRock.TV and set your phone timer to ensure you get in a full 30 or 60-minute cardio session.

 

Written by Andrea Woroch

From “Out of Shape” to Triathlon 5th Place

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Len W.

I was introduced to triathlon by a good friend of mine after learning about my new found love for running. I had been challenged by my brother-in-law to compete in the Super Spartan race in Temecula, CA. At that time I was pretty out of shape after getting married and settling into a new career. With only two month to prepare for a race through an obstacle course with no running experience, I needed help in learning how to run and get into shape fast! That’s when I started searching for apps on my iPhone. I found Fitdigits and after reading about the functions, etc. I decided to download it onto my phone and give it a shot.

After my first few races and a half marathon I realized that I had hit a wall and was no longer progressing. I had just transitioned to Triathlons and wanted to be able to track my running, cycling and swimming. Although the app doesn’t specifically address swimming, I can enter the data and the GPS still tracks me in the water when I place my phone in a waterproof case. What I really liked about Fitdigits was the GPS component and the audible stats letting me know my current pace, average pace and distance traveled. That really helped me improve my overall performance in each discipline significantly and in a very short period of time.

My goal was to improve my overall race performance within a years’ time. I had been consistently finishing in the top 20% of my age group and wanted to finish in the top 10% or better. With the help of Fitdigits, I was able to place 5th in my age group at an Olympic distance triathlon placing me in the top 5%! Needless to say I was very happy with my results.

I started by establishing a baseline for each discipline and then from there, I would track my performance in each discipline against a set training schedule using the baseline stats as my starting point. After each week I was able to see my progress with specific detail provided through app in the history field. I was quickly able to compare my previous results, on a day to day basis or I could compare on weekly bases and make adjustments to my workout routine as necessary.

One thing I especially appreciate is being able to see the duration of my workout, distance traveled, calories burned (huge for me), pace average, CPM avg., and I like to see the Elevation ascent and descent. It really helps me see clearly how I’m actually performing from day to day based on terrain as well. It’s not static. Because the history is easy to see, I can compare how I’m doing really easily. Another huge feature me is how it syncs with my Lose it App. I also track my caloric intake as I’m also adjusting my diet for race day. Another cool feature is the map showing me my route.

I’m having so much fun tracking my progress both on the app but more importantly in real life in my events, that I’ve been recommending the app to several friends at work and in my Tri club. As a result of my training schedule, coupled with the Fitdigits App, I’ve been able to hit my targets and achieve my goals. I’m in better shape today at 49 than I’ve been in in the last 20yrs. I tell my friends that if they want to lose weight, hit a specific fitness goal or improve in their game to get this App!

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Richard M.

I was a mess. My cholesterol and triglycerides were off the charts. My doctor told me that if I did not make a change to my lifestyle I was about become a diabetic. He upped my meds and told me come back in three months for a follow-up.

Richard working out with Kettlebells

Knowing I had to make a change I began to look for ways to change my diet and to begin some sort of physical fitness activity. I had at one time walked off a weight gain and considered it this time too, but it was December and I live in blizzard country. Ironically while thinking my options through when coming back from taking my dogs on a hike I drove past a new gym in my town that uses kettlebells. I stopped in, the trainer there told me that working with resistance was a great way to get fit. That working out with kettlebells, you get two workouts for the price of one, both resistance training and cardio. He also said the first one was free to I decided to try it out. I also cut all wheat out of my diet in order to get my carb intake and high triglyceride count under control. My goal was to have things on their way to “normal” for the three month follow-up.

I’m a business process guy in my professional life, and I decided that I would take a business process approach to my health and fitness. I believe that in business that “You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure.” So I started a food diary, bought a heart rate monitor, and downloaded Fitdigits and began tracking my heart rate and calorie burns during workouts. I quickly realized that a heart rate monitor without Fitdigits is just a strap across your chest. With the assistance of Fitdigits’s Advanced Cardio Assessment, I am confident that my heart rate and calorie burn are as accurate as possible. The ability to “see” my workouts and progress is amazing.

Here’s an example: This was a workout I did recently doing a kettlebell ladder, increasing a bell size each set after working for 8 minutes each with a 30 second rest between sets. Fitdigits captured this workout perfectly. As you can see at the load increased, so did my HRR. The last 10 minutes or so are of me rowing and then doing some cool down stretching.

As I said, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and at the end of my initial three months of working out I had taken my triglyceride numbers from the upper stratosphere down to normal and off medication. My cholesterol numbers had dropped significantly too and my medication was halved and in another three months I would come off all meds. So within six months I went from a candidate for diabetes to having normal blood-work. Oh ya, and I lost 40 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage by 25%.

So take my advice and measure what you want to manage fitness-wise. They say that weight loss happens 70% in the kitchen and 30% in the gym. I can tell you that I am making the most out of my gym time thanks to Fitdigits.