The 12 Days of Fitness Christmas

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.

Like Fitdigits on Facebook for a Chance to Win a Bike Case!

December 13
12th Day- 12 Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

December 14
11th Day- 11 K Steps a Day

December 15
10th Day- 10 minute workouts, 3 times a day

December 16
9th Day- 9 Ways to Talk About Fitness

December 17
8th Day- 8 Reps, 3 Sets

December 18
7th Day- 7 Wonders of the Fitness World

December 19
6th Day- 6 Times a Day Leave Your Desk

December 20
5th Day- 5 Ways to Get Your Metabolism Moving

December 21
4th Day- 4 Stretches For After a Workout

December 22
3rd Day- 3 Workouts a Week

December 23
2nd Day- 2 Tools to Use With Fitdigits to Lose Weight

December 24
1st Day- 1 You

December 25
Merry Christmas!

Tell us what you have learned in 2013 by taking a brief Survey.

1 You

Twas 1 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.

1st Day- 1 You

The world is big.

Ground breaking news I know. But think about the vastness of Earth. This third rock from the sun has over 7.1 billion people. That is Billion with a capitol B. For those of you who are not math whizzes, in my scientific opinion that is a whole lot of people.

Below you will find a square full of dots. Each smaller square has 100 dots, and in total you have 10,000 dots. Think of each dot as representing a person.

10,000 dots

You would have to line up 700,000 of the images above to represent the world population. 700,000! Just thinking of the vastness of this world we occupy can make anyone feel pretty small.

I would argue the opposite.

In a world of 7 billion people, there is only one you. There is only one person with your thoughts, feelings, actions, lifestyle and mannerisms. Only one person who has inside jokes with your friends and family. Only one person who has gone through the unique set of circumstances that has made you the person you are today. Only one person with the ability to shape the world around you.

This should make you feel pretty powerful. Like there is nothing you can’t do. You are the lone representative of you, in a world of billions, and are capable of doing anything and everything you set your mind to.

Change starts with you. There is no trick. No fad diets. No 7 minute workouts. We have spent the last 11 days detailing ways to help you on your journey, but it is just that, your journey. Be the change you want to be.

And, oh yeah- MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tell us what you have learned in 2013 by taking a brief Survey.

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.

5 Ways to Get Your Metabolism Moving

Twas 5 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.

5th Day- 5 Ways to Get Your Metabolism Moving

Most people know the basic principles of how to lose weight. If you eat right and exercise, you will eventually lose weight. While it is true there are no shortcuts to losing weight, there are ways to accelerate the process. One of these ways is to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders. Here are 5 tips to keep your metabolism moving:

1. Make Sure to Eat!
One mistake people make when trying to lose weight fast is that they look at nutrition as black and white. If calories consumed are less than calories burned, than the weight will just melt off, some believe you are better off just skipping a few meals. This is a very unhealthy approach and often short lived. What you eat and when you eat are very important. The key to losing weight is to keep your metabolism moving as fast as possible and eating 5 (or more) small meals daily to put your metabolism into hyper-drive. Breakfast is the most important, as it will wake your body from its 8-10 hour fast (break the fast=breakfast) and get your blood and metabolism pumping. For a five meals a day plan, Livestrong outlines both healthy and delicious choices.

2. Overdose on Green tea

Drink Green Tea to Increase Your Metabolism and Burn Fat

Green tea is a gift handed down from the heavens to save us all from the perils of poor health…it is the golden elixir that can cure illness with one sip..it is the liquid embodiment of all that is good…

Hyperbole aside, green tea is one of the best substances you can put into your body. According to WebMD, Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and recent studies show that green tea can help battle cancer, reduce your risk of coronary disease, and battles obesity. Not only will the caffeine help speed up your metabolism, but properties found in green tea will lower blood pressure and cholesterol. WebMD goes on to say,

“Taken altogether, the evidence certainly suggests that incorporating at least a few cups of green tea every day will positively affect your health,” says Diane McKay, PhD, a Tufts University scientist who studies antioxidants. “It’s not going to cure anything and it shouldn’t be consumed as a drug, but it can complement the rest of the diet.”

Dr. McKay, that is good enough for me!

3. Gulp Down Ice Water
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to control your appetite. The next time you are hungry, try drinking 20 ounces of water and then see how hungry you are! According to Livestrong, drinking cold or ice water will actually help you burn calories and speed your metabolism.

As most people know, the human bodies’ temperature is 98.6, and everything we put into our bodies have to be converted to this temperature. Therefore, when you drink very cold water, your body must expend energy to heat it up. Drinking ice water will have your body burning calories and losing weight without expending additional physical effort.

4. Spice Things Up

Add Hot Sauce to Any Meal To Burn More Calories and Suppress Your Appetite

Adding some hot sauce to your meals is a great way to get your metabolism into overdrive. According to Fitday.com,

“Studies have shown that a spicy meal, such as a bowl of chili, can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate.”

Along with increasing your metabolism, spicy food has also been shown be an appetite suppressant. So sprinkle some Cholula on your eggs, Tapatio on your sandwich, Tabasco on some popcorn or Sriracha on a chicken breast.

5. Pump Some Iron
Lifting weights is effective for weight loss because not only will your metabolism be working hard during activity, but will continue to burn calories long after your workout is over. According to AskMen.com,

“Cardiovascular exercises will raise muscle metabolism during the activity and for a short time after the exercise session. Weight training, on the other hand, will raise your muscle metabolism during the exercise session — and for a long time after the exercise session. Some high intensity trainers have even seen their metabolism rise for several days following their training session.”

With that being said, do not ditch cardio entirely, as it is an important aspect to staying fit. Merely mix in some weight training to optimize your metabolism.

7 Wonders of the Fitness World

Twas 7 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.

7th Day- 7 Wonders of the Fitness World

This list is a bit different then the classic 7 Wonders of the World, which are more reserved for awe inspiring spectacles. Instead, this will be using the literal meaning of the word “wonder”. Allow me to use an antiquated literary technique, and provide the Merriam-Webster definition of the word wonder:

  • something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.
  • a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.
  • something that is surprising or hard to believe

With these definitions in mind, the 7 Wonders of the Fitness World are going to be often overlooked and surprising aspects that are helpful in making sure you are in tip-top shape.

  1. Sleep– Sleep is an essential component of working out. You could be doing everything else perfectly, but without enough Zzz’s you can find that you will not make the gains you should be. For more information, check out an article on Health.com on the 11 Health Benefits of Sleep.
  2. Interval Training– Interval training should be a key component in the toolbox of anyone who is focused on Fitness. By having your heart rate alternate from high to low, you see benefits you wouldn’t otherwise, as outlined in this Mayo Clinic Article on Interval Training. Create your own custom Interval Workouts in the Fitdigits app with Custom Routines.
  3. Breakfast– I’m guessing you have heard the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Do you know why you have heard this ad nauseum for years now? Probably because it is true! Break the 7-9 hour fast of sleep with a balanced and nutritious breakfast, which will leave you full longer and get your metabolism going. Try oatmeal with blueberries to get lasting energy, antioxidants and more to fuel your day.
  4. Hydration– Water is one of the most overlooked fitness supplements out there. Everyone is rushing to grab the newest fad or craze from the nutrition world, but good old water still is needed and necessary for workouts and recovery. Men’s Health does a great job outlining 5 Reasons to Never Neglect Water.
  5. Recovery/Rest– Sometimes the want and need to workout can be overwhelming. You have goals that seem so far away on the horizon, and you just want to keep pushing until you reach them. However, not paying attention to your bodies recovery and overextending yourself can be a detriment to your goals. Learn more about The Importance of Recovery.
  6. Pre-Workout Meals– What you eat before a workout can go a long way towards determining how effective that workout will be. Make sure to have a meal heavy in complex carbohydrates, low in simple sugars and laden with vitamins and nutrients. A great example is an Almond Butter, Blueberry Preserves, and Banana Sandwich.
  7. Core Workouts– Core workouts are the forgotten pillar of working out. While core workouts have numerous health benefits, too often they are shrugged off as a waste of time. False! Core workouts are a, ahem, core part of any workout routine. Learn more about How Core Fitness Exercise Benefits the Entire Body.

8 Reps, 3 Sets

Twas 8 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.

8th- 8 Reps, 3 Sets

If you are not lifting weights on a regular basis, you should be.

No this is not the diary of a muscle head Jersey Shore reject. This is dropping straight science on you information seekers.

Weight Lifting raises your metabolism level long after you have left the squat rack, meaning you burn more calories sitting on the couch after a lift then after a run. On top of that, muscles require maintenance. If you have built up your muscle mass, it requires more energy for your body to function throughout the day, increasing your BMR. This is just one of a myriad of health benefits from lifting weights.

So how do you get started? The best set and rep combination for beginners is doing 3 sets of 8 reps. This is just long enough at 8 reps that you will be able to build muscular endurance, but just short enough that you can experiment with some heavier weights.

In the beginning, start light and work on perfecting your form. Without good form, you are cheating yourself! Over time add as much weight as you are comfortable with. Consult a trainer at your gym to help you get started.

9 Ways to Talk About Fitness

Twas 9 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.

9th Day- 9 Ways to Talk About Fitness

I loved watching Breaking Bad. While it was an obviously compelling show in of itself, a big part of the fun was discussing what happened on Sunday night and Monday morning . I would call friends, chat at the water cooler, and scour online for thoughts on what occurred, what it means and what might come next.

The same goes for Health and Fitness.

Find outlets to discuss your workouts and diet with. Collaborating with others is a great way to “stir the pot” and uncover new ideas and plans, find motivation, or even further shape your own thoughts. It can be deeply rewarding to find other people who are enthusiastic on the subject.

Unless those people are secretly dangerous, meth cooking drug dealers…

I wonder if he has tried interval training?

Without further ado, 9 Ways to Talk About Fitness:

  1. Talk to Friends, Family and Co-Workers– Many of your friends and family are active and have nutrition tips and tricks. All you have to do is ask! Mine the golden information all around you to increase your knowledge, or help those hiding in the desolate blackness of ignorance find the light.
  2. Join a Running Group– What better way to find people who are excited to talk about health and fitness then to join a running group. One of our personal favorites is Moms In Motion, a group for Moms to get out, exercise, and give back to the community. Find a Moms In Motion group today!
  3. Find Your Favorite Fitness Site– The internet is a virtual cornucopia of knowledge, especially when it comes to fitness. Find a few sites or authors you really like, and check back a few times a week to find new articles and tips. Write in to the site if you have questions.
  4. Share Your Workouts– If you track workouts with a Fitdigits app, share your workouts. Fitdigits allows you to share workouts by Email, Facebook, Twitter, various health and fitness sites and more! Tag a friend in a Facebook post, and see if they can beat your best run.
  5. Create a Fitdigits Group– If you upgrade to Fitdigits MVP you have the ability to create groups with fellow fitness fanatics. These groups allow you to view each others workouts, have a group leaderboard, share blog posts and link to a Facebook group. Keep in touch with workout wizards around the world.
  6. Be Social at the Gym– Working out on the gym can sometimes feel like you are exercising on an island. Everyone has headphones in, is sweating, and generally look like they do not want to be bothered. I have found that nothing can be farther from the truth. Everyone is proud of the knowledge they have built through years of experimentation with exercise and nutrition, and you will find that if you ask those around you questions they will be more than happy to respond. Next thing you know, the gym feels like Cheers and everyone knows your name!
  7. Online Forums– Many health and fitness websites have interactive forums to discuss anything and everything health and fitness related. MyFitnessPal has a great forum.
  8. Take a Spinning Class– Great music, great instructors, a great workout. Join a Spinning class at your local gym and find people who live in your neighborhood who share a similar passion for smashing calories.
  9. Talk to Fitdigits– We love to hear from our users! Whether you want to share a success story, talk training routines or have nutrition questions, contact us! We are not necessarily “experts”, but we are passionate about getting fit and staying healthy, and we workout regularly.

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.