Your Stories: When Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

Often, I feel incredibly lucky working for Fitdigits. It’s very rewarding to be able to inspire and help people get healthy through fitness. I’m regularly moved by users who made difficult life-changing choices to exercise and improve diet to overcome health-related issues or to simply improve their quality of life. When ordinary people achieve extraordinary things.

It’s true that these changes help Fitdigits users live longer, more healthier lives but that’s not really why I enjoy it. For me, it’s seeing the excitement, confidence and pride that comes from the weeks/months/years of sweat and hard work. During that time, users push themselves to exercise harder, longer and keep it going despite the daily events of life. And the positive affects almost always carry over into other aspects of life.

One user, who lost 55 pounds, was so excited to tell me that she had completed the “Beachbody Insanity” program twice. I didn’t understand this accomplishment until I tried it for myself. Another user reported that she convinced her doctor to allow her to lower her blood pressure through exercise and diet instead of medicine. These stories and many more illustrate the extraordinary changes that Fitdigits users are accomplishing each day.

If you have been working hard to lose weight or trying to improve your overall health and fitness, send us an email. If you have tried out a new exercise program and love it, share it. If you just finished your first 5K or half marathon, share it. We want to use your story to inspire the 68% of overweight Americans and the 1/3 of overweight worldwide population to get healthy through fitness.

Email me at kelly.lazarus@fitdigits.com.

Sources: Worldwatch Institute, Voice of America, Center for Disease Control.

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

We love this video and the message behind it. Thank you, Dr. Mike Evans, for creating a wonderfully informational and entertaining video that communicates the message that exercise and walking is not only necessary, it’s good for you!

Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity.

In other words: The quality of your sleep has a direct impact on your ability to lose weight. Getting a good night sleep helps you lose fat! ( I admit had to look up ‘adiposity’ … big word for FAT )

In Insufficient Sleep Thwarts Weight Loss Efforts Medscape Medical News reports on new research published in the October 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Many people today are overweight or obese, and diet-induced weight loss is a widely used strategy to reduce the health risks associated with excess adiposity,” write Arlet V.Nedeltcheva, MD, from the University of Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues. “The neuroendocrine changes associated with sleep curtailment in the presence of caloric restriction, however, suggest that lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of commonly used dietary interventions in such persons.”

In this study, the authors examined whether “recurrent bedtime restriction” affected the amount of weight people lost when dieting, increased their hunger, and affected their leptin and ghrelin serum concentrations. They also examined changes in circulating cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, thyroid, and growth hormone concentrations due to sleep loss.

They randomized 10 overweight, nonsmoking adults (3 women, 7 men) whose mean age was 41 years and whose body mass index ranged from 25 to 32 kg/m2 to 14 days of dieting and 8.5 hours of nighttime sleep and then to a similar period of dieting and 5.5 hours of nighttime sleep.

The study took place in a sleep laboratory, and subjects were sedentary and spent their waking hours doing home office–type work or leisure activities.

The study found that the reduced sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.4 kg, and those who slept 5.5 hours per night lost a mean of 0.6 kg (P= .043).

Also, sleep curtailment increased the loss of fat-free body mass by 60%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.5 kg, whereas those who slept 5.5 hours lost a mean of 2.4 kg (P = .002).