I Won’t Let My Blindness Limit Me

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Terry G.

I saw February’s newsletter and read Tim W.’s story, the blind athlete who is shooting for the Paralympics using Fitdigits technology. Well, I would love to add to his story, and increase the number of us who are blind and have found Fitdigits to be a lifesaver to track our fitness performance.

I am a totally blind 25-year-old living in Aurora Colorado. I lost all my sight at age ten due to 22 eye surgeries that filled my eyes with scar tissue, leaving me completely blind. However, ask anybody who knows me, and they will tell you that I don’t let my blindness limit me. Back in 2011 I decided to do my first sprint triathlon…I nearly drowned! I had running and biking experience, but hardly any swimming experience. It took me 41 minutes to do the swim. I had a great time and I got a swim coach in 2012 and I was determined to do better. I not only improved my swim time from 41 minutes to 16 minutes in the same race, but I completed 3 triathlons in 2012, including my first Olympic distance.

However, I am still looking to get better. I got a professional coach at the end of 2012 that was giving me very tailored workouts, mostly dependent on heart rate training, distance, power, etc. I had never monitored any of this data before and was seeking a way to figure out how. Then I found Fitdigits, and it has been the best tool I have ever used to tailor my workouts.

When I want to train on my bike I put my phone into the Fitdigits Connect Bike Case that is mounted on my CompuTrainer bike for my cycling work outs. My bike has a speed and cadence sensor installed, I put on my Heart Rate Monitor and am ready to go. Or I slap in an ANT+ Adapter, put on my foot pod and heart rate monitor, and I am ready for tracking my runs either outside with my guide or on the treadmill.

During my CompuTrainer work outs on the bike, the CompuTrainer software doesn’t communicate my data to me, but Fitdigits does with the amazing and very customizable voice output, which is the selling mark for Fitdigits to the blind. I can know my speed, distance, power, and heart rate. Also, it uploads straight to Training Peaks, alongside my CompuTrainer data, and my coach can clearly see what I am doing. I have used Fitdigits for functional threshold power tests, and heart zone/power workouts, and my cycling has greatly improved.

For the running, I regularly perform long distance runs, and for these I have intervals organized around heart rate zones. Fitdigits helps me stay right where I need to, and either outside or inside, I know what I am doing. I have even used Fitdigits Assessments to determine max heart rate with amazing results.

I have completed 1 half marathon so far in 2013, and have 6 triathlons including the Boulder 70.3 half ironman, a full marathon, and a swim meet where I will be swimming long distance. Fitdigits is helping me to become a better triathlete and is playing a vital part in my ultimate goal; I am going to do my first ironman race in 2014 in Cozumel.

Fitdigits Helps Anthony Be Heart Smart

Testimonial by Fitdigits User Anthony D.

When I was a child, I was diagnosed with Bicuspid Aortic Valve, which means that my aortic valve has only two leaflets that open and close. Normal aortic valves have three leaflets, and because of my deformity, blood leaks back into the heart during each pump cycle. As a kid, this was no big deal. My doctors told me that I wouldn’t need heart surgery until I was close to 60 years old, and by the time that happens, robots with lasers will do the surgery and I’ll be out running marathons the next day!

I lived my life without fear of my heart disease. I became very active. I got really into rock climbing. I cycle four times a week. I went backpacking and on other adventures, often very physically demanding on the body. A day without some sort of exercise is rare in my life.

Fast forward to 2011. I’m 28 years old and after a career change, just landed my first teaching job, 8th grade science. With my new health insurance plan, I decided to establish a new primary physician and cardiologist. My cardiologist did the routine checks, most importantly the echocardiogram (a sonogram for the heart). She handed me a piece of paper with a flow chart on it. She circled a spot on the confusing lines and said that someday, soon, I would need heart surgery. “Like ten to twenty years?” I asked. “One to two,” she said, “five at most.” I was shocked. I didn’t believe her.

Fast forward to present day. After two years of bi-annual visits to the echocardiogram technician, on a whim, my cardiologist scheduled a CT scan of my chest. This revealed an Ascending Aortic Aneurysm, a condition common to people with valve problems, where the aorta artery balloons as it exits the heart. The risk: rupture and sudden death. I’m thirty years old and I need open heart surgery.

My surgeon told me that in the meantime, to keep my heart rate under 140/150 BPM. I imagined that with the way I tend to push myself, this would be a difficult task. I immediately purchased a heart rate monitor that connects to my IPhone via Bluetooth. I downloaded over 5 apps, including Fitdigits. I even paid for trial versions on 3 of them. After 2 days, I knew Fitdigits was the right one for me.

Right off the bat, I liked Fitdigits’s look and appearance. Crisp and simple, with bold colors. Most importantly, and the reason I chose Fitdigits over the others, is the ability to customize preferences to you. Because I need to keep my heart rate low, I could create my own heart rate zones, and set the voice feedback to notify me when I enter those zones. The Fitdigits voice tells me when I start to approach 140 BPM, and when I go over my prescribed max, a get a warning. Using these features, I have been able to continue cycling; even going for nice long rides over thirty miles. I have been able to continue rock climbing, though not necessarily as hard as before, I am so thankful that I don’t have to give it up.

Anthony’s Heart Rate Chart

For cycling, I love how Fitdigits displays a line graph that charts heart rate, speed, and elevation. I can see what situations make my heart rate spike, so that I can plan my attack better to avoid those spikes. Another function that I appreciate is a pie graph that displays the time in each zone. I know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to when my results show less than 2% spent in the zones over 150 BPM. Not only has Fitdigits allowing me to continue exercise, but also after my surgery in November, and months of recovery, Fitdigits will teach me how to be a better athlete. Having control over one’s heart rate is important for any athlete, and in my case it is paramount. So far, Fitdigits has taught me how to be more a more efficient athlete. I plan to be a better climber and cyclist this time next year, less than a year after heart surgery.

Fitdigits has supplied me with a service that is invaluable. I would surely recommend Fitdigits to any athlete of any level, in a heartbeat (pun intended). Fitdigits has allowed me to stay strong, which will inevitably be beneficial to the recovery process ahead.

Read more about Anthony’s Heart Valve Replacement Saga on his blog, http://robovalve.wordpress.com/

Confessions of a Daily Weight Taker

Author Christopher Means

Part II of “Should I weigh myself everyday

OK, so maybe you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. That’s the premise many trainers use, and the subject of another blog post here. But I lean the other way… so I wanted to give yet another perspective. It may not work for you, but it does for me.

You see, I’ve been a distance runner / jogger for many years. That used to be enough to keep my weight in check. However, slowly but surely, over the years the pounds kept adding on. This year I finally said enough! I was ready to stop the progression.

I set a goal to lose 10 pounds.

Set a Goal via MVP ProgramWhen I set a goal, which you can now do with the Fitdigits apps, I want to see progress. I want to understand how things change.

I started weighing myself regularly. It started as just a couple times a week, but sometimes got to the every day habit. More than a few times, I weighed myself multiple times a day – sometimes to see how my weight fluctuated due to workouts, food, salt, etc. Let me tell you – it can fluctuate a LOT! I had a full 8-pound fluctuation in one day after starting the day with a nice workout, but ending with a massive sushi splurge (salt and carb/protein bomb anyone?). Overall, however, I take my weight first thing in the morning after a little coffee and the bathroom. Sound familiar?

I didn’t have a date I wanted to lose the weight by, but over time, I did start to see some trends. When I pigged out on ice cream and sweets late at night, that had a detrimental effect on my weight in the morning, sometimes up to 2 pounds or more. Ugh. No more chips and salsa late night? How sad!

I also started to realize that after a short workout (3 miles / 25 minutes or so) I’d lose a pound or two. All water obviously, a good reason why we always talk about the need to hydrate after workouts! It could be as many as 5-6 pounds on a long run (12+ miles).

Fat and lean mass % also fluctuates regularly. A couple percent here and there on a given day or even intra-day isn’t unusual. I’ve never seen really large (5% or more) fluctuations over a limited time period, but certainly a few % here and there in a given day or even week.

In the end, weighing myself every day, even multiple times a day, helped. I recognized that:

  • Fluctuations happen. Over a single day, hours, or even a workout. And they can be significant.
  • Late night snacks were killing the rest of my efforts. I can still remember the first couple nights where I told myself “no – no snacks tonight!” Had I not seen how they were killing my morning weight, I might not have cut them out.
  • More consistent, lower miles/time efforts worked better for me than longer, but less often, workouts.
  • Being active during the day helps a bit too – walks help (Fitbit helps with this, though Fitdigits Walks are another great way to track). In a single day, not so much, but over a week, it helps. Over a month, it helps a lot!

Overall, don’t sweat the small stuff. Big stuff, when you know what big stuff actually is, and what it means – that is reason to sweat. But sweat through effort and self control, not through stress, especially over weight. Oh – and try not to pig out too often on sushi or other favs –and limit the late night snacks. That helps too.  10 pounds, and less of a stomach, are mighty fine rewards.

Weight loss

PS – most weight scales that measure body fat also have a setting for “normal” and “athlete” – if you ever want to see that you have much lower body fat, simply set it to “athlete” – that will knock quite a few % of body fat with the flip of a switch! You got to love that!

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.

Stronger and Smarter Workouts With Fitdigits

Susan has been Spinning® with Fitdigits Ambassador and Spinning Instructor Giovanni Masi for over a year.

Since Gio has started to help her in her running training using Fitdigits to track Heart Rate, Susan has recorded Personal Bests on runs on a near weekly basis! She never thought she could break the 12 min mile mark, but with the help of her trainer, the Fitdigits app and a Heart Rate Monitor, she has left that time in the dust. Also gathering dust is her old Garmin Watch.

Suffice to say, Susan thinks Fitdigits is pretty splendid:

“I have so far logged 88 running and Spinning workouts with Fitdigits. Fitdigits’s visual displays allow me to compare one workout to another, which has facilitated improvement in performance, recovery and endurance. Over the past four months Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate in such a way as to become more efficient in both running and Spinning®. For example, the first run I logged on Fitdigits was October 10, 2012 with a pace average of 12:04, which was pretty much the norm for me. Later on a similar run I logged a pace average of 10:34, which is a time I never thought I would see! This is a remarkable feat and attributable to the skills learned from using Fitdigits and Giovanni’s training advices/plans on a regular basis. Taking more than 1.5 minutes off my pace has inspired me to keep trying to run faster and stronger.

During spinning classes, Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate with resistance and breath. It has truly empowered me with the confidence and strength with which to challenge myself to become a stronger and smarter rider. It appears as though the strength gained from using Fitdigits regularly has spilled over into general fitness classes and personal training at the Y and at L.A. Fitness. Now, using Fitdigits in those classes will help me to improve my performance there as well.

Overall, I would say that the gains from using Fitdigits have been great. Just by monitoring my heart rate and learning how to control it, my level of fitness has improved remarkably. Since I spend an average of nine hours a week engaged in physical activity, this is a big deal. Thank you Fitdigits!”

Now that Susan has made such great gains, the next step is taking a Fitness Assessment so she can truly see her gains in her fitness level.

From Couch Potato to Spartan with Fitdigits

Shawn has been working out with Fitdigits Ambassador and Spinning Instructor Giovanni Masi for 2 years now. Shawn attends Giovanni’s weekly Saturday Boot camp at the South Dade YMCA Family center and lifts weights with a friend. Occasionally, he fits in cardio cardio exercise in here and there to supplement his workouts.

Just over a year ago, Shawn decided to do personal training with Giovanni 2x a week. In this time, Shawn has made some wonderful changes. He is now down 3 pants sizes and had to purchase a new business wardrobe and formal wear!

When Shawn started to run, he was using a Timex Ironman GPR Hear rate Monitor. Two months ago, Shawn ditched the watch and instead began tracking heart rate using Fitdigits on his iPhone.

So far Shawn has been thrilled with Fitdigits:

“I am old, fat and slow. I need to get Fitdigits to tell me when I’ve had too many Capt’n Morgans and diet cocktails!

I like the real time reporting during the workout so I have a double check if I am really pushing myself or not. I have this tool with me during personal training with Giovanni, while taking his HIIT/TABATA class or out for my daily runs.

The results and reporting is a nice feature, whether you are running and want mile by mile split times, heart rate, or just in the gym and want to see how many calories you burned. I don’t workout without Fitdigits! Fitdigits makes it easy to share workouts with Giovanni for analysis or tease my friends on Facebook.”

Shawn competed this past weekend in the Florida Spartan Race, placing 47 out of 290 racers in his age division! It’s the furthest Shawn has run/raced at just over 9 miles and 22 obstacles during the challenge.

Shawn just finished his first Spartan race with the help of Fitdigits!

Fitdigits Helped Me Transform My Life

Last year I made the decision to finally do something about the weight that I’d slowly gained over the last ten years. I’d gone from finishing triathlons to finishing donuts in record time and knew it was time to change.

I started my journey by teaming up with a co-worker to follow a popular diet program our employer sponsored. This took me down about twenty pounds where I determined it was time to really get serious. Another good friend challenged me to compete with him in a small sprint distance triathlon in four months. This was the catalyst that brought me to Fitdigits.

I had purchased a Wahoo Blue HR heart rate monitor to get more from my workouts but was unimpressed with their app and after much research found Fitdigits. Using the customization available with Fitdigits I’ve been able to tailor my workouts and reach a new level of fitness.

Since the beginning of my journey I’ve lost 50 pounds and completed not only the sprint triathlon but also my first half and full marathon! I fit in clothes I haven’t seen in over a decade and feel fantastic. I can now go out on a ride, run or even snowshoe straight up a mountain and not get winded or be holding the group back. I’ve reached a level I thought was years behind me, never to be attained again. The Fitdigits app also has allowed me to not only record and track my progress but to share it as well and challenge others through partner tracking sites like Strava® and RunKeeper®.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone that helps bring this awesome product to users like me and the transformative power it can have on our lives.

53 and In The Best Shape of My Life

Hi I’m Greg and I’m 53 yrs old. I have 3 adult children and 5 Grand Kids with #6 due in September 2012! I am a Materials Manager, which lends itself to a very sedentary work environment, not only that but there have been many lunch and dinner opportunities as well. I bit too many…

In my early 30’s I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on medications to control it. In my early 40’s I was told I was Insulin Intolerant and would need to start on medications for that condition as well! I tried modifying my diet somewhat and added cardio in the form of treadmill work, but still my numbers were not that good. I was headed down the wrong path and something needed to change. My Dad was Type I diabetic and suffered the consequences due to his poor management. I could see what lie in my future if I did not take steps to correct my behaviors.

In November of 2009 at 49 I started weightlifting again after 30 years. I was weak, out of shape and my body could not live up to my ego! During this time I started tracking my workouts, I was doing both weigh training and cardio to will my body back to health. But frankly, writing everything down in a journal was cumbersome to me. I wanted to see my progress, but it was very difficult to be consistent in notating everything I did.

I had switched phones to an iPhone and looked for an app that would help me. I had apps on my Droid based phone to track the exercises, but I wanted more! I found what I was looking for in Fitdigits iCardio and immediately upgraded to the “Pro” version. Using this app with the Garmin heart rate belt proved to me that my weight training sessions were indeed awesome cardio sessions! I was dropping fat and adding lean muscle! I knew I was indeed on the right path with the right tools!

10 weeks after I started my intense weight training, my dosages for my type-2 diabetic were cut in half! It seems by putting in the work, eating right, and using an awesome tool like Fitdigits, anyone can turn it around! The Fitdigits screens allow me to monitor my heart rate so I know I am getting the most out of my time.

I can say at 53 years old, I am in better shape than I have ever been! I competed in two Bodybuilding competitions, the Masters 40+ and Masters 50+, placed in the top 5 and brought home some hardware!

There is no activity I do that I don’t strap on the HR belt and record a workout! No matter if it’s simply out for a walk, a bike ride, cardio session or a full on heavy duty weight lifting session, I am always prepared with Fitdigits!

Fitdigits has helped me transform my body!

Blind Ambition


Testimonial by Fitdigits User Tim W.

I have known that my eyes were going to fail since I was very young. I was born with an eye disease called “Retinitis Pigmentosas”. This disease slowly destroys the retina and causes blindness. There is no known cure yet. The disease went into dormancy when I was young, but kicked into high gear when I turned thirty years of age. As I lost my eye sight, I lost the ability to do some of my favorite things. I loved riding motorcycles, bicycles, running, lifting weights and so much more.

I learned to find my way around the gym, so weight lifting was still an option. I couldn’t drive, so motor sports were out. I rode my bicycle as long as I could still see something. I finally had to give it up. I really thought I’d never ride a bicycle again. Then one day about five years ago I was sitting at my desk and a thought came to me: “What about Tandem bikes”? I began to do research and found out that many blind people use tandems for recreation and racing. My wife and I went out and bought a cheap tandem to try it out. It didn’t take long before we were hooked on riding! We began riding daily. At this point we decided to invest in a good tandem bike. In the winter time I wanted to keep riding, so I bought an indoor trainer and trained every day. I increased my training to three hours a day. One of our friends heard about this and challenged me to try out for the Olympics. I thought that was a crazy idea and laughed at her.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to dream of winning a gold medal for the USA. I did some more research and found out that Tandem racing is only available in the Paralympics. Since I’m blind I qualify as a Para-athlete. I began training on a indoor trainer to get in top shape. I then got accepted to a race development camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Before I attended the camp I was using the iBiker application and the Fitdigits Connect Bike Case> on my iPhone. I purchased a cadence sensor for the indoor trainer. I used the iBiker application, because it was able to talk to me and tell me my speed and RPMs every five minutes. As a blind athlete this was like having a coach. The iBiker application tracked my workouts, created charts and summarized all my stats. My training was going great! While I was at the camp I was able to make the “Merging Standard Time” for the National Team. This meant that they would watch and monitor my races in 2013.

After attending the race camp, I realized I needed to step up my workouts. I needed to track my heart rate along with my calories, speed and cadence. I found the Scosche Rhythm Heart Rate Monitor that works with the iBiker application. This heart monitor is worn on my forearm. This is a lot more comfortable than the ones that you wear around your chest. The monitor sends information to my iBiker application, so that iBiker will tell me what is happening. iBiker allows me to set up my heart rate zones and my fitness level. This gives me a customized workout. The application has charts that show me how long I was in each zone during my workout. This is like having a doctor at each workout.

iBiker has made my workouts more focused and more accurate. My hard work along with iBiker’s stats has got me to the level that it takes to get that gold medal. I plan on going to Nationals in July 2013 and qualifying for the National Cycling Team. Then I plan to be on Team USA in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. I will continue to use the iBiker applications and devices to accomplish these goals.

***Update: I had my first Tandem race of 2013 on Saturday, 2/24 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I won the Gold Medal and I’m currently ranked #1 with USA Cycling! I owe my success to hard work and the technology available to me from companies like Fitdigits!

Type 2 Diabetes Won’t Stop Me From Running!

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Ron G.

I am 64, around 148 pounds, and a 20 year US Air Force retired Vietnam veteran. My journey to fitness really started many years ago, early adulthood to be exact. At that time I decided to live an active and healthy life and I began to run as a way to stay healthy. I ran anything from short 3 and 5 km runs to running 10 Ks in organized competitions. Because of my Air Force background, I had the opportunity to run in many states throughout the US, as well as throughout Germany where I was lucky to be stationed over two different assignments. While there I continued to run many organized events up to and including a marathon which was over the original route taken during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Damn near killed me, but I survived! Everything changed when I turned 50 and was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic.

That diagnosis blew me away. As I stated earlier I always tried to maintain my health, was never overweight, and generally maintained a good diet. At that point, in order to help control my blood sugar at a near normal level, I continued to run. However, I started to lose even more weight and my doctor told me I should stop running, as it was becoming unhealthy for me to continue. So then I started walking to help control my blood sugar pretty much after every meal.

To make a long story short, two years ago I was put on Insulin and from that point on my weight stabilized. I have even been able to put on some weight! Diabetes is a disease that predisposes you to a host of other problems, namely high cholesterol and blood pressure, to name a few. With my weight under control, I decided to take my health into my own hands and started running again. I went on my first run in May of 2012, and I was excited to regain some control of my health, which had been in downward spiral since not being able to exercise because of my low weight.

Owning an iPad and iPod I could see all the apps that were available to help people take control of their health. I tried many running apps but they just seemed unable to do what I wanted. I did not see any that combined everything I needed all wrapped up into one app. With the purchase of an iPhone I gave Fitdigits iRunner a try and found that it did everything I wanted and more! The addition of a Wahoo Blue HR monitor completed the package. Now I was ready to go out and get serious about my training. I got voice and visual updates throughout my run that keep an eye on how my heart was responding to the stress level I was working out at.

Initially I just plugged in standard figures for heart rate based on age and it seemed like I was continually exceeding the top heart rate zone. That is when I contacted customer support and they had an answer for exactly what I was looking for. It was suggested I try some of the fitness assessments built into the app to see how my heart was responding to stress. I did the Beginner Cardio and Cooper running fitness assessments. Based on those results I was able to input different figures to my max heart rate and heart rate zones, and I have not looked back.

My doctor is happy I am exercising again and my blood pressure, which was starting to enter the mid to high hypertension range, has dropped back to near normal levels over the past two months. No other app includes fitness assessments, and I think that is what distinguishes this app from the competition. Initially I did not give them a go as I thought I had built up a base over the years with another tracking option, and even though I had not worked out for several years I could not switch now. Big mistake. Running and how to properly work out has changed over the years, and I found out that I did not keep pace with the advancements in the science that go into exercise. With this app I have complete peace of mind, completely aware of exactly how much intensity I can add to my workout and remain safe by not overdoing it.

I have Fitdigits to thank for the peace of mind I enjoy while exercising. The excellent customer service is second to none and I do not hesitate in recommending this app for use by anyone serious about their health. I do not go out for a run without first strapping up and activating Fitdigits iRunner. There is no other app that can do what this app does and provide the customer support to back it up. No hesitation whatsoever in giving this app my strongest recommendation!