Fitdigits User’s Fitness Habits

In the February Newsletter we sent out a survey to our dedicated Fitdigits users. In it we asked you to help us by telling us about your attitudes and habits around fitness. A month later, the results are in, and we wanted to share what we learned from you all!

Some big picture takeaways:

  • The majority of respondents to the survey are looking to get fit and stay healthy. For more information on training with Fitdigits, we have an entire page dedicated to users who’s goal is to Stay Healthy & Fit.
  • A surprisingly large amount of respondents had no issues finding the motivation to workout. The most difficult part of working out is making it a habit. Once exercise is ingrained into your daily schedule, it becomes as routine as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Only around 25% reported struggles finding the motivation to exercise.
  • Over 50% of respondents reported using a Heart Rate Monitor regularly. However, not all of those respondents were fully aware of all of the benefits of tracking heart rate. Fitdigits outlines the 4 steps to maximize the impact of Fitdigits and your HRM- Assess, Enable, Sweat and Succeed!
  • Over 50% of respondents said that there current workout program contains some Walking. Walking is a great low-impact way to burn some extra calories. We suggest recording walks and steps in general with an activity tracker like Fitbit, and aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Read 10 Tips to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day.
  • The biggest difference between what type of workout would be part of an ideal workout routine and what respondents actually do is in Strength Training and Flexibility/Low Resistance Training. 25% did some Flexibility/Low Resistance work, but 45% thought they should. 55% did some strength training, but 75% thought they should.

 

  • The majority of respondents to the survey are looking to get fit and stay healthy, though a quarter of you are on the oft-elusive path to losing weight, and a fifth are looking to push the personal envelope!
  • Here at Fitdigits, we often go back and forth between categories as well, though the majority of us, the majority of the time, are just looking to stay healthy and be fit, and to do it in the best heart-healthy way we know. We do understand the different goals, and we value you including us in your journey! For more information on training with Fitdigits, we have pages dedicated to your goals.

Exercising-2

  • Around 65% of respondents have a deep ingrained habit when it comes to fitness, with 40% finding exercise “hard not to do” and 25% who “do it without thinking”. Around 25% have difficulty finding the time or motivation to exercise.
  • The best way to stay motivated is to have an attainable goal. A great goal is to work out 2-3 times a week, 30 minutes per sessions. If you need help finding motivation, set a Duration Goal with Fitdigits MVP.

HRM-2

  • Over 40% of respondents reported not being familiar with training with heart rate monitor. 35% reported being “very familiar” and don’t leave home without it.
  • We don’t workout without a heart rate monitor, period! In order to fully unleash the power of Fitdigits, it is essential to have a heart rate monitor. With a heart rate monitor, you can get a more accurate calorie count, custom heart rate zones and complete a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment.

Goal-2

  • Over 40% of respondents have a goal or event they are working towards, be that goal self-imposed, a goal with their workout community, or a race. However, around 50% have no goal or event they are working towards, with no plans to.
  • While working towards an event like a 5k or 10k is great motivation to give you the push you need to get your workouts in gear, everyone is different and find motivation in different ways. This goes hand-in-hand with most respondents saying they workout to get fit and stay healthy. If you are training for an event, train using duration instead of distance for best results.

Program

  • Over 60% of respondents stated that they do some other form of Cardio for workouts, with 55% doing some strength training and 45% doing some walking.
  • If you are doing an other cardio workout, we suggest using the Other Workout Type in the Fitdigits app.

Ideal

  • Everyone wants to get buff! Almost 3/4 of respondents would incorporate strength training into their ideal workout program. 45% wanted to add Yoga/Light Resistance/Stretching into their workouts.
  • We strongly suggest adding weight lifting to your workout regimen. Forget the old myth about strength training getting you bulky- lifting weights is not only a great way to get fit, it can also increase your metabolism.

Thank you so much for participating!

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

What is FitRank?

Countless Fitdigits Crusaders constantly consider FitRank, a metric proudly presented in perpetuity on the Profile page. Your quest for truth ends here. You can easily change your FitRank or VO2 Max by tapping on the respective areas – they are tied though, so change one you change the other!

My Fitness in Profile

 

Fitdigits’s FitRank is a metric that is designed to take a persons’ VO2 Max, estimated by an Assessment or manual input if you know it from a Metabolic Assessment, and rank it on a scale of 1 to 100 based on your Age. We don’t give out more than a 100 – sorry! 100 is excellent, a 1 certainly could use improvement.

We used Polar’s VO2 Max tables – they have pulled them down since but standard tables are fairly common around the internet like:

http://www.topendsports.com/testing/norms/vo2max.htm
http://www.machars.net/v02max.htm
http://www.whyiexercise.com/VO2-Max.html

We went a bit further than these, however, and actually did a 1 to 100 allocation and again a year-by-year age allocation, so, for example, instead of Ages 18-25 having a “good” VO2 Max value of 52-60, we allocated the range of 52-60 over the years 18, 19, 20, etc.

We hope you enjoy the FitRank metric, and watch it go, as you get healthier, all the way to a perfect 100!

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.

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.

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.