3 Workouts a Week

Twas 3 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

3rd Day- 3 Workouts a Week

We get it, your busy. Like super busy. Like so busy that you don’t have time to read us describe how busy you are. Like so busy that you just stopped reading this article because your Spouse/Child/Friend/Family/Job/Fill in the blank needs you, now.

However, you are not too busy to workout.

No matter how hectic life can get, always make time to get your blood pumping. It is a great way to clear your mind, relieve stress, and of course get fit and stay healthy. That is why you should try to make yourself work out at least three time a week.

This may not sound too difficult, but it is the crazy weeks that will test your dedication. The weeks where the only break you get from the overwhelming pressure of life is when you stare at the back of your eyelids amidst the bliss of sleep. These are THE most important weeks to find time to workout.

Set a goal for yourself to never go a week (Monday-Sunday) without getting at least three workouts in. Workouts don’t solely mean going for a run.

It could be hitting the dance floor and getting your groove on. It could be going to a museum and walking for hours. It could be having a company softball game. It could be biking to work once a week.

Whatever your workout may be, upgrade to Fitdigits MVP Premium to unlock the ability to set goals. Set a weekly duration goal, and find time to help you help yourself.

4 Stretches For After a Workout

Twas 4 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

4th Day- 4 Stretches For After a Workout

Getting motivated to workout is hard. The weather could be too cold or too hot. You could be too hungry or too full. Your last workout could have been too long ago or too recent.

That is why a lot of times when I finish a workout, I’m done. I want a bottle of water and a hot shower, followed immediately by a headfirst dive into a sofa, where I will remain entombed for the remainder of the evening.

This series of events is missing a crucial step.

But when my workout is done, who has time to complete a series of floor exercises that contain all of the excitement of a high school textbook? I did my big workout, made a bonfire out of the calories I burnt, and excreted enough sweat to fill a well, isn’t that enough?

In short, no. Get your stretch on.

Working out without stretching is like giving your car a paint job and new tires without changing the oil. Sure, that hot rod red looks fly and you are powering around corners with the grace of an enraged Puma, but you are perilously close to breaking down. Stretching helps prevent injuries and helps your body function at an optimal level.

With that in mind, check out four stretches for after working out to keep your body healthy and your spirit happy.

I went from a size 16 to a size 4!

I was ready for serious change

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Heather K.

I am a 43-year-old, married mother of two. I had my children in my early 30s and was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty easily. My weight had stayed pretty level through my 30s, hovering around 135 despite my bad eating habits, until around 38 when the female metabolism typically starts to slow down. It snuck up on me at first. Then it was obvious I’d been gaining weight, but I still did nothing to help myself, so the weight gain continued. In November 2012 (the date of the picture on the right), I was just about to grow out of yet another size, and I’d had enough. I was 5′ 3″ and around 179 pounds. I started making small changes, but I wasn’t really serious yet.

January 2013 rolled around, and I made my annual “I’m going to lose weight” resolution, only this time I was ready to make some serious changes. My weight at that point was 174 pounds. I found MyFitnessPal via a news article about highly-rated weight loss apps. My intent was to do this the “right way” — I didn’t want to do a special diet that I couldn’t maintain long term, and I didn’t want to use any pills or gimmicks. I needed to do this in a way that would be healthy and sustainable, and I really believed that meant a combination of diet and exercise. The first step was a reset of my perception of food portions and how many calories were really in the food and drink I was consuming. MyFitnessPal made it easy to record intake and see at a glance how good or bad I was eating. And I could eat what I wanted, keeping my calorie goals in mind. That didn’t mean I could hit fast food every day, like I used to, but it did mean I could have it occasionally.

Not too far into this plan, my husband purchased a heart rate monitor that interfaced with an app on his phone. I thought it was a pretty cool gadget, and I borrowed his HRM a couple of times before deciding to purchase my own. I purchased the Polar H7 in early February, and I discovered it would interface with Fitdigits, which would then feed the information back to MyFitnessPal. Easy peasy! While it was a little depressing at first that the HRM showed fewer calories burned than my elliptical did, I felt it was better to have real data based on real effort than a result based on assumptions. Seeing clearly how many calories I was burning in Fitdigits allowed me to better determine how long I needed to work out. Or whether I need to step it up or dial it back a bit, depending on my heart rate and calories burned. I used it also to track my weight training.

In July, I started running. At first, I hated it! But I was very sore the next day, so it obviously worked different parts of my body than the elliptical did. That was probably a good thing, so I continued running. With Fitdigits, I could track my routes and know exactly how far I’d gone and how fast. Seeing my progress real-time motivates me to go just a little bit farther each time. Last weekend, I ran 6.25 miles straight! Considering I was “dying” less than 1/2 mile into my first run, that’s real progress.

Eventually, I added the Fitbit to the mix. It also interfaces seamlessly with MyFitnessPal, so it seemed like a no-brainer. My job has me sitting all day long, and knowing the Fitbit is tracking my steps motivates me to get up a little bit more during the day or move more at home at night.

50 pounds lighter and feeling great!

So we come to today. I’m around 124 pounds and feel like I have so much more energy than I used to. My BMI is firmly in the “normal” zone, which is such a great feeling. I also feel so much stronger. It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come from the couch potato of last December. I’ve lost 50 pounds since I got serious at the beginning of January and went from a size 16 (almost 18!) to a size 4/6. I’m not sure when I last wore size 4/6! My original goal was to lose 40 pounds, but once I got there, I knew I could continue. I’m currently in “maintenance mode” in MyFitnessPal, and I still exercise 4-6 times a week: elliptical/weight training during the week, and running on the weekends, using Fitdigits to track it all. My friends tell me I’m an inspiration to them, which makes me feel good.

I’m honestly not sure I could have made it this far without the help of technology. If I hadn’t been using the HRM and Fitdigits, I likely would have been overstating my calories from exercise, based either on what the elliptical told me or some generic formula found on the internet that can’t possibly know how hard I worked (or didn’t). Since the exercise allows me more calories in a day, that might have really slowed my progress (assuming I ate all the extra calories). I feel like I have a better handle on what I’m doing and what I need to do with the real-time feedback from Fitdigits.

The only downside to all of this has been the many shopping trips required for smaller clothes! New clothes are fun, sure, but somebody has to pay for them! Small price to pay for a healthier life, I suppose.

I need a new wardrobe!

6 Times a Day Leave Your Desk

Twas 6 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

6th Day- 6 Times a Day Leave Your Desk

Computers are awesome. We have an all on one calculator, typewriter, art studio and more in a 7-pound shell. We have compiled centuries of thoughts, feelings, epiphanies, darkness, love, hate, innovation and introspection, all within the neat confines of a 17-inch screen. We have the information of the world at our fingertips, allowing for more and more jobs to be tied to a computer screen then ever before.

This is a great thing for the mind. Not so much for the body.

The ubiquity of computer-driven professions has led to a boost in those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. We are chained to our desks, unable to pull ourselves away. Well you need to break the chain.

Break the Chain

Numerous studies have championed the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, with the implication that daily activity is just as important as exercise.

Something as simple as walking around the block a few times a day can do wonders for your short and long term health. With that in mind, make a point to get up from your desk at least 6 times a day, everyday. If you tend to get lost in your workday, set alarms or reminders for yourself.

It may seem like a minor annoyance to break the rhythm of the workday for a set of jumping jacks or a walk around the block, but all of those little actions add up to a larger result. A great way to track daily activity is with a Fitbit Activity Monitor.

10 Minute Workouts, 3 Times a Day

Twas 10 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

10th Day- 10 minute workouts, 3 times a day

Every once in awhile, you hear something in regards to health and fitness that really blows your mind. It may not make sense intuitively, but after reading mounting piles of irrefutable evidence, you just have to face the facts, throw up your hands and accept the once unimaginable.

That is how I felt when I found out The Flex Belt may not be THE ultimate workout for abs.

Did not give me a six pack…

I know, it is still shocking to this day. A slightly more relevant revelation is that 3 ten minute workouts a day is as good for you or maybe even better than one 30 minute workout a day.

Pause for ten seconds, then read that again.

All my life I upturned my nose to short workouts as recreational folly and completely disregarded their validity, but after reading the New York Times article “The 10-Minute Workout, Times Three” I am a changed man. The article details a study completed at Arizona State University that found that three 10 minute workouts are significantly better for combatting high blood pressure then one 30 minute workout.

Each day try to at least get in three ten minute walks or jogs, and you may find yourself that much happier, healthier, and fitter.

And oh yeah- stay away from The Flex Belt.

11K Steps a Day

Twas 11 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

11th Day- 11K Steps a Day

Fitdigits, Fitbit and a variety of other health and fitness outlets have long stressed the importance of getting 10,000 steps in each and everyday. We have posted 10 Tips to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day in the past and in general stressed the importance of reaching that nice, round benchmark. Well, it might be time to rev things up a bit.

If you have been using an activity monitor for awhile and hit 10,000 steps regularly, really challenge yourself this holiday season and in 2014 to hit 11K each and every day. If you added an extra 1,000 steps everyday, that adds up to burning an additional 5 pounds a year!

Fitdigits is not only compatible with Fitbit. We now boast compatibility with a plethora of fitness sensors, such as the Withings Pulse, BodyMedia and Jawbone UP. To connect these trackers with your Fitdigits account, check out our partners page.

12 Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

Twas 12 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

12th Day- 12 Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving becomes a distance memory and we plunge headfirst into the holiday season, it becomes more and more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Just because Mr. Claus has thrown up the white flag in the battle of the bulge does not mean you have to follow suit. Yes, tis season for parties that offer plenty of festive food and some heavy-duty Holiday *ahem* spirits, but if you follow the Fitdigits Holiday Survival guide you can make it through the sleigh bell season without adding a “winter coat”.

  1. Plan ahead. If you know that you will be going to a party or having an extravagant meal, skip the booze and eat extra healthy in the week leading up to the event. This is called having a “cheat” day, and is recommended by many health experts for those trying to lose weight.
  2. Exercise. It is easy to look at dreary weather and want to curl up by the fire, but nobody said staying healthy would be easy! Try out some interesting indoor workouts if mother nature keeps you indoors.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Making sure you drink enough water is more than a holiday tip, it is a way of life. The benefits of staying hydrated are too extensive to list, but on the most basic level water is the essence of life. A good way to make sure you are guzzling down enough H2O is to have a 32 oz water jug and carry it with you at all times. Whenever it is empty, immediately refill it. A good test to see if you are hydrated properly: your urine should be clear or only have a slight yellow tint.
  4. Swap Sugar for Stevia. When you are baking Christmas cookies for Kris Kringle and Co., ditch artificial sweetener and sugar for Stevia. Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute with no calories, carbs, or glycemic index. Indulge yourself without the guilt with a great recipe for not Sugar Cookies, but Stevia Cookies .
  5. Drink Green Tea. When the weather outside is frightful, a cup of hot cocoa may sound delightful, but save those calories for your Christmas Ham! Instead, try drinking a hot cup of green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and recent studies show that green tea can help battle cancer, reduce your risk of coronary disease, and battle obesity. Not only can caffeine help speed up your metabolism, but properties found in green tea can also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  6. Try A Winter Sport. Nothing is more apropos for the Holiday season than participating in a winter sport, and it is a perfect way to burn calories and have a great time. Even if you do not live near a mountain or have the necessary funds to go skiing or snowboarding, you can probably find a local Ice Skating Rink and channel your inner Apolo Ohno!
  7. Focus on Family and Friends, not Food. Often people make holiday plans around eating, be it going out to dinner or making a big meal. Instead, emphasize activities that take advantage of the time you get to spend with the people you love. Try out some fun games such as Loaded Questions or Apples to Apples, or stretch out the vocal cords with some Christmas Caroling! Remember, food is merely a way to fuel your body, not an activity.
  8. Take Your Vitamins. If it is cold outside, it sometimes is hard to muster up the energy necessary to work out. A great supplement is a B-Complex. If vitamins are not your style, try FRS.
  9. Give Healthy Stocking Stuffers. Usually stocking stuffers consist of chocolate and candy canes. Try to encourage a healthy lifestyle with your stocking stuffers. Instead of sweets, try giving a jump rope, Fitbit Zip, or a Heart Rate Monitor.
  10. Try Not to Stress Out. The Holidays can be a stressful time. Family and friends coming from out of town, big meals to cook, presents to buy, and the pressure to live up to the idealized version of Christmas we see in the media can make even the most laid back person tighten up. Stress can lead to heart disease, binge eating, and weight gain, so take a deep breath. The holidays should be a fun and happy time. Try some tips on how to manage stress during the holidays
  11. Check Out Some Christmas Lights. The Holidays offer plenty of opportunities to get moving. A great way to be active and feel the Holiday cheer is to go on a walking tour of an area that specializes in extravagant Christmas decorations. Make it a Christmas Eve tradition!
  12. Have a Merry Christmas! If you have been following all of our health and fitness tips, you deserve a day off. That does not mean you should waste all of the hard work you have done and eat until you feel sick, but don’t count calories. Enjoy your family, friends, and the feeling that comes with being fit and staying healthy!

Vibrams, Hoka One One’s and the Path to Running Shoe Bliss

Author Christopher MeansI have fallen in love (a few times along the way). Meet my new love.

I fell in like with running many years ago now. That like turned to love, something I was forced to admit, like it does for so many, somewhere after my third marathon, which was 20+ years ago and almost as many marathons since.

But I’m older now. I can’t say wiser, but certainly older. I’ve seen the ups and downs of running. I’ve felt the pain – stinging, shooting pain, dull, sore pain, the pains that come emotionally as well as physically… But I digress – just wanted to give a little background I guess, before I share and introduce my new love! You see, now in my mid-forties, I have accepted the fact that I want to be a runner all my life. I’ve grown to just love the simplicity, the challenge, the peace and simplicity of running. But it is getting harder, as the knees, calfs, quads, and back all start to remind me more regularly that indeed, I am no longer a newbie to the sport.

Hoka One One

Hoka One One - 5 Stars!

hoka-one-one

With the goal of designing shoes for optimal performance, comfort, efficiency and fun, Hoka One One has pioneered a new philosophy in running by merging aspects of minimalism and maximalism.

Knowing this, I have been on a journey to learn as much as possible about how I might be able to keep running all my life. In all the conversations and reading, it really comes down to a few basics – equipment, form, and smart training.

This isn’t about smart training. That’s too big a subject, and really that isn’t my goal – for training seems to pre-suppose a goal, and really my goal is just to run bit, always.

This is more about equipment, the shoes that I LOVE! Which ties a bit to form too… You see, in all I’ve read and heard, if you want to run forever, and without continuous injuries, form is the key. That damned mid-foot strike. I had never realized I was running “wrong” for over 20 years, but come to find out, it takes its toll over time.

So a little less than two years ago I began to learn how to run again – the “natural” way. I read Chi Running (and Chi Walking, too) by Chi Riveria, I practiced for quite some time. I bought my first pair of Vibrams in November, and early Christmas present from my wife; the promise being, if you can feel your foot strike, and get back to the more basic feet on the ground feel, you’ll be better able to adjust your running form to the natural, less jarring foot strike of the mid-foot strike. Your body will just naturally want to do it, or so they say.

It was a bit of a painful start, with my calfs telling me in the beginning this was a VERY new way to be. But I was in love – I loved having my toes separated, I loved the feel of the ground, even when hiking on the trails. It just felt wonderful to be touching the ground again – it had been so long! And yes, I could absolutely feel my foot strike on the heal, or, conversely, on the mid-foot when I was doing it right. Instant feedback, even if it was very strange to change my stride and strike.

I loved my Vibram Five Fingers; even bought my wife a pair for Christmas too. I told friends, I told running partners, I told random people on the trails. Be free I told them! Be free, feel the love!

Then one day, as I was working for Fitdigits, the health and wellness company, a co-worker offered up an opportunity to try a new type of running shoe – the Hoka One One. I looked online, and everyone in the office agreed, these were some of the ugliest sneakers we’d ever seen… they looked downright orthopedic. (note: they have now updated their designs thank god, but they still are pretty, shall we say, “hefty looking”).

They were the exact opposite of the Vibrams I loved… But they said they were designed with the mid-foot strike at the top of mind, but with extra cushioning especially for older runners who loved to run distances. And they were American made in Hawaii. I’m an experimental guy, and the chance to get to try something new was worth the initial buy-in (full disclosure, they were subsidized so they only cost $60 to try this first pair through my work).

Wow. I couldn’t believe it. They were amazing! The cushioning – superb! Even when I wasn’t doing the best form, which happens often when I run with my two dogs, I could feel the extra support and cushioning they provided on the heavier heal strike. When I could practice better form, they were downright blissful. My back thanked me. My calfs thanked me (no adjustment necessary). My feet thanked me. My occasionally stubbed toes (running with dogs in Vibrams can be dicey at times) thanked me. I got a pair for the wife – she even thanked me. Hasn’t touched her Vibrams since.

Are there any negatives? Sure… they wear out a little quicker than a normal running shoe I’ve found – my heal on the inner side of my right shoe is the first to run out of the rubber sole, and begin wearing on the cushioning. It’s apparent I haven’t got my “style” quite right yet, they seem to tell me. They are also a bit more expensive, going for somewhere in the $170 range. The first ones I got were “sponsored”, but I’m on my third pair now, paying full price plus shipping, and my pockets that much lighter. But I just finished my first marathon in a couple years injury free, and with the best time in over a decade, and did it with comfort and style. A good chunk of credit for that goes to the Hoka One Ones. My retirement savings may not being growing as fast now, but the chance of having a happy, active retirement does.

They are a dream, and once again, I’m in love.

My dream, my goal, of running all my life, may just be helped by this wonderful shoe.

Aloha and Mahalo Hoka, Aloha and Mahalo.

Exercise, Nutrition and Activity: The Weight Loss Triad

Losing weight is hard. I do not need to throw on a stethoscope and a white lab coat to break that news to you. It takes discipline, motivation, dedication and a game plan.

In order to execute without guessing all over the place, you need to gather information. Armed with the proper weapons in the battle vs. the bulge, you will be able to appropriately plan both how often you workout and what you eat. You might as well call Fitdigits the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden because we are straight dropping knowledge on all you information seekers.

We call it the Weight Loss Triad, formed via the perfect partnership between exercise, nutrition and activity. When properly utilized, you will be able to see the exact deficit between how many calories you eat and burn. For example, one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, meaning in order to lose an entire pound of fat you will need to burn 3500 more calories than you eat. If you want to burn a lb of fat every two weeks, that means on average you will need a caloric deficit of 250 calories a day. That is where the Triad comes in.

Exercise

Use Fitdigits to track all of your workouts. If you want the most accurate calorie count, it is essential to use a Heart Rate Monitor along with a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment. Now you will have custom heart rate zones and a Fitness level that will help get incredibly accurate caloric burn during workouts. Fitdigits also will act as the central data collecting hub for Nutrition and Activity Trackers.

Activity

Choose from one of the many Fitdigits compatible activity monitors to track your daily activity, so when you walk around the grocery store or do chores around the house, you will get credit for the steps you took and calories burned. Fitdigits is compatible with Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, Withings and Garmin Vivofit devices, as well as the apps that come with most iOS devices (Apple Health) or Android (Google Fit). You have quite a few options to work with, including those that are free with the phone you bought.

These trackers works great in conjunction with the workout data collected by Fitdigits. Begin by linking your Fitdigits account with your activity monitor. Now all of your Fitdigits and activity monitor calories will be collected in one spot. Don’t worry, you can wear your monitor while also recording with Fitdigits and the calories will not count twice.

Nutrition

The final piece of the equation is tracking nutrition with MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal takes inventory of everything you eat. Enter in your meals using MyFitnessPal’s enormous library of foods, and it will tell you how many calories you ingested. You can also set weight loss goals so that MyFitnessPal will instruct you on how many calories you can eat based on how much you are working out. If you already have linked Fitdigits to your activity tracker, then all you need to do is link your activity tracker account with MyFitnessPal.

We have found that linking Fitdigits with activity tracker, then the activity tracker with MyFitnessPal is the best way to link the three partners. If you try to link them a different way, problems will occur. For more details, read our blog post on Linking MyFitnessPal and Fitdigits.

With these three tools you are in the drivers seat when it comes to weight loss. All you need to do is turn the key, shift into drive and get started!

Click to download MyFitnessPal from the App Store

Click to download MyFitnessPal from the Google Play Store

5 Heart Rate Training Myths

The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. The Chupacabra. All of these myths have been circulating since the beginning of time. Since we do not have concrete evidence either way, there is no possibility of reaching a verdict as to whether the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, or the Chupacabra actually exists. However, when it comes to myths about heart rate training, we have answers as solid as steel. Read below for some common heart rate training myths, and the truth behind them.

1. If you want to burn fat, it is best to get your heart rate as high as possible. You better be working out until you are sweatier than John Goodman’s third chin after a set of crunches in a sauna.

WRONG: This statement has about as much validity as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend. The best method for burning fat at a higher percentage is a steady, consistent workout in Zone 2 (60-69% max heart rate), the fat burning zone. This zone uniquely targets fat because fat is a slow burning fuel, so if you do a long and less-intense workout, your body will target a higher amount of fat cells then carbohydrates. While you may burn more net calories in higher heart rate zones, you will burn the highest percent of fat calories in Zone 2.

2. The best way to check your heart health is to see how far you can push yourself during a workout and how fast you can go. After the workout is over, check out how far you traveled and what time you got to truly determine if you are in good health.

WRONG: If you are physically active on a regular basis, a great way to check your heart health is by checking your heart rate recovery after an intense 10-15 minute workout. You can figure out your heart rate be either using Fitdigits iCardio’s recovery feature, or by manually figuring out your recovery. Either way, if your recovery is between 22-52 beats per minute (BPM) after a 10 minute ramped up workout, it is average. If your recovery is higher than 52 BPM your heart is very healthy, and below 22 BPM your heart is slightly older then your calendar age.

3. When it comes to Heart Rate Zones, you are fine just going with the default formula of 220-your age for max heart rate. The corresponding zones are very accurate, and you don’t need more specialized zones unless you are a serious athlete.

WRONG: I would not wish this amount of uneducated bliss on my worst frienemy. Custom heart rate zones are the key to informed workouts, which will lead to better results. Not only will custom heart rate zones make zone based training as easy as a Kindergarten spelling test, but it will also result in drastically more accurate calories burned in your workouts if you are using a fitness application. Custom zones also allow for a caloric breakdown of how many fat and carbohydrate calories burned during a workout. Complete a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment to get custom HR zones.

4. In order to become better at endurance workouts, get your Forrest Gump on and go as far as humanly possible. Try to drive your heart rate higher than James Franco was in Pineapple Express. If you are going less than ten miles a day on your workouts, might as well throw in the towel and try your hand at knitting.

WRONG: The best way to train for endurance is to workout with steady pace workouts in the Aerobic Zone, which is zone 3 (70-79%). Do not run a race distance every day because that is just asking for an injury! However, once a week try to work in an LSD workout. No, I’m not saying you should be scoping out Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and “feeling colors” while you run, but rather a Long but Slow Distance workout, in which you run for a long distance at a slow and steady pace.

5. When it comes to working out, monotony is your friend. If you find a routine that works for you at an intensity level that feels right, make like a Carnival ship and keep cruising. If you mix things up too much you are danger of becoming dangerously spontaneous, which often results in a putrid body odor, sore hamstrings and the inability to pronounce “hospitable”.

WRONG: Interval training based on heart rate zones might as well be called the blender, because they are a great way to mix up your workouts. If you find you are constantly doing the same routine or route during workouts, try an interval workout to add a dash of spice to your exercise life. One great type of interval workouts is High Intensity Intercal Training (HIIT), or more specifically Tabata intervals. Tabata interval training is basically when you elevate your heart rate to Zone 5 (or 90-92 % of your max heart rate) for 20-60 seconds, followed by periods of shorter or equal rest. HIIT and Tabata is a great way to burn fat, or just to switch up your routine to keep you engaged!