This winter, my husband, Don, put something weird on his Christmas list; a FitBit. What is this ‘FitBit’ you ask? I wondered too. It turns out, a few of his friends (the CrossFit, Paleo, bathing suit model Fitness Freaks) had FitBits and there was a little friendly competition going on that Don wanted to get in on. Don, it should be said, is not a full-fledged Fitness Freak, but he is pretty close. Santa did bring him a FitBit for Christmas, and it turned out to be a neat little device.
What a FitBit basically is, is a pimped-out pedometer. It tracks your daily steps, flights of stairs climbed, minutes of activity, distance travelled and calories burned. The device will sync wirelessly to your computer and/or smartphone, and you can go online and log the food you eat and any activities the FitBit can’t register (like swimming) so that the device will also keep track of the calories you eat versus the calories you burn. You can also find friends (via Facebook etc.) who have FitBits and you can see how many steps they are doing each day which is a pretty good motivator. There is an online FitBit community and you can join different themed groups; I am in a dog walking group. It is a pretty cool little gadget! I received one for my birthday; a sign that Don was maybe tired of me asking him to check how far we’d walked anytime we happened to be walking together. I have been happily using my FitBit One (the company has several varieties) since March, and I can laud it for surviving an accidental trip through the washing machine. Even if you don’t want to shell out the dough for a FitBit (they are a little pricey), any pedometer is super helpful for gauging exactly how much moving you do each day. I had a big epiphany when I started logging my food and realized exactly how many calories were in the foods I eat regularly. It was actually kind of a slap in the face, but I think I needed that. You can check out the FitBits online, but a simple pedometer and a food diary would accomplish the same basic goals of finding out how much we are moving versus how much we are eating.
Quite recently, I have started an exercise program. That’s right, an exercise program. Throughout the winter, I started to train myself to exercise more. I can now run for 15 minutes on the treadmill (albeit veeeerrrrry slooooooowwwly) without gasping for air. I am quite aware that 15 minutes of running is not very much running at all, but compared to the zero minutes I could (or would) run last Fall, it seems like a significant milestone. I am proud that I have gone from being a person who would rather negotiate with an angry bear than try to outrun it to one who could at least attempt to run away (if the bear had just eaten its hibernation meal and was on its way to bed when we crossed paths), but lets face it, running is boring.*
A friend of mine was raving about a program she was doing, so I decided to check it out in hopes that it could alleviate my boredom. It is on a website called BodyBuilding.com and the program is Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer. I know what you’re thinking, “this is a body building program! You have deceived me, you are, in fact, a Fitness Freak!”, but hold up. This program is for 12 weeks, and in the first month, we don’t do any cardio. That’s right, no running, stationary biking, ellipticizing, none of that. I am currently one week into the program, and each day has taken me about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. What I like most about this program, is that each exercise is demonstrated in a pretty detailed video so you have some idea what you are supposed to be doing. I also enlisted the help of a Fitness Freak friend (we all have at least one, scroll through your contacts list right now and find that person!) so that I could locate the correct equipment for the exercises. I mean, what normal person knows what a Flat Bench Cable Flye is? One week in, I’m really enjoying my workouts. I should also mention that this program is FREE.
If, unlike myself, you are feeling extra inspired, Jamie also offers a diet and a supplement regime to follow. I am doing neither the diet nor the supplement regime because I don’t think they are sustainable long-term for myself. What I am doing instead is trying to drastically reduce the amount of junk food I eat (currently my daily junk food intake rivals that of a 10 year old on Halloween night) and remember to take my daily multivitamin.
Tune in next time for the goals, and the story behind the blog…….
*To all the Dwight K. Schrutes out there, I realize that when encountering a bear, a person is not supposed to run away even if they can now run for 15 minutes on a treadmill.