6 Reasons I Love my Fitbit

Today I’m sharing why I’m so glad that I made the decision to get the Fitbit Charge back in November. In short, my Fitbit keeps me motivated to be active throughout the day and tracking my heart rate is helpful during workouts. Below you’ll find 6 reasons I love my Fitbit.

6 Reasons I Love My Fitbit

 

It keeps me accountable // Knowing how many steps I’ve walked so far in the day is great for keeping me accountable. It’s really motivating to get up and get some steps in when I look down and see that I don’t have as many steps as I thought I had. Having a goal of 10,000 steps per day is also a great goal for me because I have to put some effort into getting to that number, but 10,000 steps is definitely doable in a day.

I can track my workouts // In addition to tracking steps, I can also track my workouts. I can pick from several different categories (run, elliptical, bike, weights, etc.). It’s helpful for showing me the stats for the period of time that I was working out, such as calories, steps, and heart rate.

It’s also kind of nice to look back at my workouts in the app to make sure that I’m getting in at least 4 workouts each week. Knowing that 4 workouts is my goal, it’s surprisingly motivating when it’s Friday or Saturday and I still need a workout. Most of the time that’s enough to make sure I do it. It’s those little reminders of my goals that help me make sure that I achieve them.

Fitbit Workout

 

The heart rate feature helps me workout more effectively // When I first bought my Fitbit, I was most excited about the heart rate feature. My previous Fitbit Zip only counted steps. Calculating a target heart rate range is pretty easy (you can find instructions on how to do it on Google). Once I know where I want to me, I can make sure that my workouts are keeping my heart rate right where I want it.

Heart rate is such a great way to measure effort. If you use the Karvonen method it’s more personalized to you because it takes into account resting heart rate in addition to your age. Two people might have different times that it takes for them to run a mile, but the same heart rate. In addition, my Fitbit can calculate more accurately the calories that I burn. With the combination of heart rate, age, gender, and rate, it can actually be pretty accurate (although it’ll never be 100% perfect). Needless to say it’s a lot better than the estimate on the cardio equipment at the gym.

It reminds me to move // If I haven’t gotten in a minimum of 250 steps in the last hour, my Fitbit vibrates with 10 minutes left in the hour to remind me to move. It’s a great way to ensure that I don’t sit too long, which is easy to do if I’m studying or working on an assignment at my desk. 10 minutes is more than enough time to get in all 250 steps if need be. It’s also kind of nice to have a mental break too if I’m working on something.

Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit syncs with My Fitness Pal // I think My Fitness Pal is one of the most popular food tracking apps out there. I’ve been using it on and off for years now. It saves foods and serving sizes that I frequently use so I don’t have to search for staples every time I log something. It also gives me a breakdown of my macros as well so that I can stay within certain ranges for those. It’s great to be able to have my food and activity all in one place. Those two things are so linked, it’s kind of nice to be able to see both sides of the equation.

Tracking my sleep helps me sleep better // The thing that I was most surprised about liking was the sleep tracking feature. I’m one of those people who needs 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night. I’ve found being able to see what my sleep looked like the night before will help motivate me to get a better night’s sleep the next night if it wasn’t very good. I can also set bed time and wake up targets, and my Fitbit will remind me 30 minute before my target bed time to start getting ready for bed.

Do you use a Fitbit or other activity tracker? What’s your favorite reason to use it? 

 

Date Night and Weekend Fun

How is it already Monday morning? It felt like this weekend flew by. It was a good mix of work and play though, so I can’t complain. Read on to find out about my weekend adventures.

Frozen Yogurt

After work on Friday I had an optometrist appointment followed by running some errands. I ended up stopping for frozen yogurt before heading home. I think people are either all about the frozen yogurt or love the toppings. I’m definitely a toppings person. I went with two kinds of frozen yogurt (chocolate and cookie dough) followed by pineapple, cookie dough, butterscotch chips, brownie, and Oreo toppings. Yum!

Peanut Butter Bar

One of my errands earlier in the day involved getting groceries. I had some ingredients for these no bake peanut butter bars from Julie at PB Fingers on my list, so I decided to make them once I got home. I switched up the recipe a bit by adding pieces of almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, and it turned out pretty good. I’m planning on making them again and adding rice krispie cereal. If you’re looking for a recipe for an easy to make snack, I’d definitely recommend these.

NASM Certified Personal Trainer Textbook

Saturday started off with some studying. I take my NASM exam in just under 2 weeks so I’ve been trying to get in as much studying as I can. Realistically I already knew most of the content of the textbook from school, but it’s those little details that I’m working on memorizing. I’ve heard that the exam is very applied, so I’m working through as many questions and study guides as I can find online to prepare.

The Beltliner Waffle

My boyfriend and I decided to get together for a late lunch. We weren’t sure what we wanted, so we went for a walk and found ourselves at The Beltliner. Neither of us had eaten there before, so we thought we’d give it a try. I ordered the buttermilk waffle with fruit and he got the Beltliner’s Poutine Week offering that involved brisket and a fried egg on top of the poutine. Both of our meals were really good, so I’m looking forward to going back again. The rest of Saturday was spent on the couch watching movies together.

How Yoga Works Book

A friend of mine who’s a yoga teacher lent me this book to read. While it took a few chapters to get into, I’m really enjoying it. I spent some time on Sunday reading it. Some of the yoga philosophy can be kind of confusing, but this book manages to make it easy to understand. If you’re interested in learning more about the philosophy of yoga, I’d recommend it. I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on it once I’m done reading it.

I also spent a good chunk of Sunday working on my very last assignment of the semester. You’d think that I’d want to get it done as soon as possible, but I’m procrastinating. It’s not all that tough to do, it just requires a lot of work.

Sausage and Peppers

Sunday night I decided to make sausage, peppers, and onion for dinner and lunches this week. I found some mild Italian sausage on sale at the grocery store on Friday, so that’s what I based the meal around. I love making this because it’s so easy to do. After chopping the veggies and sausage up, I just put it in a parchment lined pan and season. Then I pop it in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring it halfway through the cooking time.

Now that you know about the highlights of my weekend, share something fun that you did in the comments. 

Friday Favorites

Another week is just about over – woohoo! Does anyone have any exciting plans this weekend? I’m thinking about going to YYC Food Truck’s spring frenzy tomorrow. 15 food trucks will all be in one spot. The hardest part is always trying to decide what food truck to try. I’ve been to a few of the frenzies before and they’ve always been a lot of fun. Calgary Poutine Week also starts today. For those of you who don’t know what poutine is, it’s a French Canadian dish that’s essentially french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Restaurants all across the city participate, creating a poutine exclusive to this event. Calgary Poutine Week has partnered with Mealshare again this year, to provide a meal to someone in need for each poutine ordered.

And now onto my Friday Favorites for the week!

Maybelline Volum'Express Mascara

Maybelline Volum’Express Mascara // I needed some new mascara this week. Instead of getting the kind I always go for, I decided to try something new. This Maybelline mascara (affiliate link) one is pretty awesome. It goes on without getting clumpy while still giving me the volume that I want.

Breaks between semesters // I’m currently between semesters. I took my finals the first week of April. My (last) semester starts the first week of May. Even though I’m working for the three weeks I’m off of school, it’s still been pretty nice to have a break from school. My winter semester was super busy thanks to scheduling internship hours outside of classes. I’m looking forward to just having classes during spring semester.

White Hot Chocolate

Getting together with friends // Because I’m not in classes and doing homework, I’ve had some extra time to get together with friends. Both Monday and Tuesday after work I got together for coffee with friends that I hadn’t seen in months. Needless to day, it was great to get together and chat. I ended up getting a white hot chocolate (pictured above) that I haven’t had in forever. It tasted just as good as I remembered.

Chickpea and Artichoke Salad

Loblaws City Market // Yesterday I checked out Calgary’s first Loblaws City Market. It reminds me of a budget Sunterra, with a huge section of the grocery store devoted to fresh and prepared foods, like sushi (yum!), salads, sandwiches, and juices. I tried out some sushi and a chickpea and artichoke salad. Both were delicious. Since it’s only a 15 minute drive away, I can see myself checking it out more often.

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What’s a favorite of yours from the last week?

Lower Body Workout

Good morning! We’re halfway through the workweek already. The days have been flying by which is kind of nice.

Today I’m sharing a lower body workout. For each exercise, complete 15 reps before moving onto the next one. For moves that are done on one side (fire hydrants, step ups, donkey kicks, and clam shells) do 15 reps per side before moving into the next exercise. Once you’ve done all 12 moves, rest as needed and go through them again 3 or 4 more times for a complete workout.

Lower Body Workout

In case you’re not familiar with any of the exercises, here are descriptions for them:

Lunges // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 60 seconds.

Air squats // With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Fire hydrant // On your hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and youe knees directly below your hips, move your knee away from the floor and your body so that your thigh is close to parallel to the floor and at a 90 degree angle to your torso. Lower your knee back down to the ground in the starting position. Repeat.

Wall sit // Stand with your back to a wall and slowly slide your back down while stepping out your feet until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be about hip width apart. This is an isometric hold, so you’re staying in this position for the entire time.

Step ups // Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Glute bridge // Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet close to your butt. Raise your hips up off the floor by contracting your glutes, leaving only your feet, shoulders, and head on the floor. Relax your glutes and return your hips to the floor. To do a single leg glute bridge, raise one foot up so the knee is straight. Use your remaining foot on the ground to push off the floor and raise your hips while contracting your glute.

Dumbbell deadlift // With a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position.

Curtsy lunges // Similar to a backward lunge, if you’re stepping back with your left leg, instead of keeping it to the left of your right leg, you bring it to the right side, so that it crosses the right leg behind you.

Donkey kicks // Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat wit the right leg.

Clam shells // Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree andle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg.

Skaters // With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

Sumo squats // Similar to body weight squats, the movement is the same but your feet are wider apart. Make sure your knees follow your feet, and move outwards and forwards instead of just forwards.

Make sure you check with your doctor before beginning to workout. As with any workout, honor your body and modify as needed. For more workouts check out my workouts page.

What’s your favorite lower body exercise?

Easter Weekend and a 45 Minute Workout Playlist

Happy Easter! I hope everyone that celebrated had a great weekend celebrating with friends and family. I got Friday off so I spent the day doing some errands and relaxing. I ended up on the couch Friday night watching Dateline and working on some goals I have for Get Fit Fiona (spoiler: I’m super excited about what I’ll be doing over the next few months).

On Saturday I did some more running around including a trip to the Symon’s Valley farmer’s market. If you’re in Calgary I would definitely recommend it. Even though there’s fewer vendors because of the fire, it’s still a great spot to check out on Saturdays. I ended up heading over to my boyfriend’s place for date night. We made chicken wings and watched some playoff hockey. I’m cheering for the Flames, and last nights game was pretty exciting. Unfortunately the Flames lost with a questionable goalie interference call and a crazy unlucky bounce. I kind of feel like the game proved the Anaheim curse! They’ll be playing the next two games here though, so I’m hoping that the Flames will pull out a couple wins.

Easter Candy

On Sunday I did some studying for my upcoming NASM exam and spent some time playing a video game my boyfriend got my hooked on. I also had an Easter dinner with the family. The ham that my dad made was extra good this year. As usual I got a pretty good stash of chocolates and I had a few after dinner.

I have today off too (yay for 4 day weekends!), so my plan is to do some more studying, some cleaning around the house, and go for a walk in my favorite park. Now that you’re caught up on my weekend, on to the workout playlist!

45 Minute Workout Playlist

Like most of my playlists, this one includes a variety of songs, some older and some newer. I couldn’t resist putting a couple songs from the 80’s and a Green Day one from the 90’s in there as well. I’m hearing Shape of You all over the radio and I have to admit that it’s one of my favorite songs at the moment. I know Radioactive is from a few years ago, but I still really like it. What’s on your current workout playlist? I love hearing what other people are listening to. I’ve included the playlist below on Spotify.

What’s your favorite food for Easter? Favorite Easter candy?