7 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Your mom watched you grow from a bald headed baby to the mature adult you are today, so the least you can do is give her a magically magnificent Mother’s Day. However health is the most important gift to deliver, allowing you to spend future holidays together.

On May 11 stay away from a blubbery brunch. Instead punch up your yearly ovation to Mother with a healthy celebration like no other! Here are 7 fit ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.

  1. Take a Spa Day
    Stress is the hidden monster in all of us, wrecking havoc on our body and mind. In fact, studies have linked stress to obesity, headaches, heart disease and several other health maladies, not to mention skin issues! Share a day with your ma at the spa and look in awe that if you take the time to relax your mind and you may find that health problems decline.
  2. Go for a Healthy Hike or Wonderful Walk
    Get some quality time to catch up and chat with mom, all the while throwing a pack of matches on a cluster of calories and watching them burn! Track your walk with a fitness app such as Fitdigits’s iCardio app, mounting your iPhone with The Saddle, a comfortable and convenient way to bring your iPhone with you on every walk, jog, run or hike. The Saddle is available for $29.99 from Fitdigits.com.
  3. Picnic at the Park
    One of the best parts about Mother’s Day being in May is the sun should be shining and you can go out and play. Ditch the traditional Mother’s Day brunch, and instead head to a local park and pack a healthy picnic. Bring a Frisbee, soak up some sun, and enjoy what should be a beautiful day.
  4. Replicate an Amazing Race
    Set up a scavenger hunt around town and challenge family teams to complete the search, including fun clues and inside jokes. This guarentess a Mother’s Day you will never forget! Read here for tips on How to Plan a Family Scavenger Hunt.
  5. Play Ball
    Recruit a couple of families from your neighborhood together for a mini softball tournament. Don’t forget to get the t-ball out for the little ones and pack light and healthy snacks to munch on throughout the game. If softball isn’t your thing, consider flag football, backyard volleyball or soccer. Even badminton would be a fun game that will get the family active while having fun!
  6. Focus on Family, Not Food
    Often people make Mother’s Day plans around eating, be it going out to brunch, eating cake 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 Karaoke!
  7. Go Window Shopping
    Mother’s day is all about mom and you should consider asking your favorite woman what she prefers to do most. If she isn’t an outdoor enthusiast, she may enjoy walking around downtown and browsing shop sales or find a local flea market where you can scope out cheap treasures.

Josh Lost 200+ lbs With the Help of Fitdigits!

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Josh L.

I am an unabashed Who Dat (New Orleans Saints fan, to clarify for those who don’t know what that is) with a very French last name that has South Louisiana written all over it. I love being from the bayous of Louisiana, and I’m proud to be part of such a rich culture. The history, the people, and the football are all things we are extremely proud of down here. But if you polled the rest of the world, the one thing that would stand out as our claim to fame would have to be the food. We learn at a very early age how to make gumbo and jambalaya, boil crawfish, pot-fry rabbit, fry seafood and just generally excite your salivary glands. Whether it’s tailgating at a Saints game, or feeding a camp full of folks, we do food.

All this attention to food served me well in my younger days while I was still a participant in the sport I grew up loving, football. I weighed about 320 lbs at the time and, as a lineman, it was welcomed heft. But as my days on gridiron ended, and I kept my heft-centric diet, I got bigger, and bigger. I topped out at over 400 lbs. about 2 years ago. I got to a point where I felt concerned about my health (duh! I know, but down here I was just another big guy…which has a lot to do with why coronary artery disease is so common here). So I made a commitment to myself: we are going to drop some damn poundage!

As I followed through on this commitment to myself, and weight began to come off, I began to feel better, lighter, even athletic. And, I wanted to use this rediscovered athleticism. But how?

My wife and I spend our weekends in New Orleans. We love being in the city, and there is a race there called the Crescent City Classic (a.k.a. The CCC) that appealed to me. But it’s a 10k! That’s 6.1 miles! After some initial trepidation, I sold myself on the idea that I could get it done. This is when I began searching for an app to help me get started. I went through several, but couldn’t find one that really satisfied me once I was past the initial phase of starting. I didn’t know what I wanted, I just knew what I had wasn’t it. Then, one day I downloaded Fitdigits.

Everything about this app I liked! The dashboard was brightly colored, and easy to read mid-run. I loved the voice that would talk to me to let me know how far I had been, how many calories I had burned, how long I had been running, and my current and average pace. And the fact that I could customize how and when she (my Fitdigits voice is female, also a choice) spoke was just another thing I didn’t realize I wanted, but once I had it I loved it. This was awesome! Having these tangible results helped me to really hone in on the specifics of how my new body was performing. In tracking and reviewing my results, I was able gauge my gains in running. I barley finished that first 10k, but I did, with a time of 1:50:00.

As the pounds came off, I wanted more. And having these results enticed me to research, and compare myself to runners who do it for a living, just to see. In doing that, I had a food epiphany: if I want my Fitdigits results to get better, I should adopt the plant based lifestyle that every single runner I read about has. And being part of a heavy-drinking, heft-inducing culture, this was difficult to say the least. But Fitdigits was quantifying my efforts, my results. And as I saw the results get better and better, I wanted to be a runner even more! It dawned on me that I could, at the age of 34 be an athlete again. Football is not the only sport on the planet. Blaspheme!, right? I know, but I was changing my whole everything. I could still enjoy my football as a spectator in the New Orleans Superdome on Sundays, and be a actual participant in my new sport, running, the rest of the time.

My new nutrition and lifestyle, along with the tangible results I have recorded with my Fitdigits app., have made me into a runner. I no longer resemble that 320lbs 10k finisher hopeful, or that 320lbs lineman of my youth. I am now a lean, mean 204lbs athlete (I feel more like an athlete now than I did in college playing football) whose new participation sport is running. I completed my first half-marathon on October 12th this year with a time of 2:13:10. In my training for that half-marathon (the Jazz Half, btw. The results are on their website- and my Fitdigits app, of course.), I have inspired others by sharing my Fitdigits results on social media to begin running as well. The first thing I usually say is “get the Fitdigits app, and just start running” when someone asks how to get started.

Being able to quantify my efforts, share, and exhibit marked improvement along the way has been priceless for me in this journey. I am training for my first marathon now, and I post my results of my runs almost daily. One can just flick through my Facebook page or Instagram profile and see from where I’ve come. Fitdigits has empowered me in ways I never thought an app could.

Thank you!

5 Ways to Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick

Another year has passed us by, and with the beginning of 2013 comes an opportunity to start anew. Sure, you gained 7 pounds last year and saw a spike in blood pressure, but this year is different. Just like last year was different. And the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that…

So every year is going to be THE year to make a change. What can you do to make sure that this year is actually the year? Here are 5 tips to make your New Years Resolutions stick.

1. Start Slow
Often resolution makers start out the New Years by going to the gym 6 days a week or going on an extreme diet. However, that is not a good way to create long lasting change that will last all 365 days of the year and beyond. Start slow. In January, make it a goal to go to the gym twice a week, and slowly add more days as you go along. Try to make your new behavior a deep engrained habit, not just a fad.

2. Give Yourself Some Days Off
Give yourself a break every once in a while. For example, you are at a party and there are a lot of the four C’s: Cookies, Cake Ice Cream, and Candy. However, you swore to yourself you were going to cut down on sweets in 2013. Well, you said you would cut down on sweets, not eliminate them. So instead of abstaining in the early going, just have a cookie or two and use moderation. It is not realistic to operate at full throttle for the entire year.

3. Look For Easy Ways To Help Reach Your Goal
For a lot of people, losing weight is a constant struggle. So why not look for some shortcuts? There are some great ways to speed up your metabolism that do not require much extra effort, such as drinking green tea or putting hot sauce on your food. For more details, read here

4. Make Your Resolutions Public
Use the power of social media to embarrass yourself into reaching your goal. Post on Facebook or other social media your goals, and make it known to your friends and family what you have planned for 2013. Post constant updates, share your workouts, and reiterate to your friends that if you fall off the wagon to quickly point the finger of judgement in your direction. Nothing like being bullied into getting healthy!

5. Set Checkpoints
Make sure to have 2-12 checkpoints throughout the year as a means to stay on target. For example, if your goal is to lose ten pounds in 2013, check in at the end of February, and if you have lost at least 1.7 pounds you are right on track! This is a great way to make goals seem less daunting by segmenting them into nice, easily digestable chunks.

Holiday Survival Guide: The 12 (Healthy) Days of Christmas

As Thanksgiving passes and we plunge deeper 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”. Without further ado, the 12 (healthy) Days of Christmas:

Day 1: December 14.
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

Day 2: December 15.
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

Day 3: December 16.
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 it will make hangovers after a night of too much eggnog that much easier. 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

Day 4: December 17.
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

Day 5: December 18.
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

Day 6: December 19. 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!

Day 7: December 20. 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 Catch Phrase 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.

Day 8: December 21:
Take Your Vitamins. If you are planning on having a long night of drinking, plan ahead and take some vitamins. Alcohol depletes your body of essential nutrients you need to function (hence hangovers). Make sure to at least take a B-Complex both before and after drinking, and if vitamins are not your style, try FRS

Day 9: December 22. 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, some workout gear, or better yet a Fitdigits Cardio Bundle!

Day 10: December 23:
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

Day 11: December 24: 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!

Day 12: December 25: 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!