Exercise and Fitbits

Index General Discussion Fitness/Health Exercise and Fitbits

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    Participant @enginerd

    For those of you who manage to muster up the energy to exercise on any regular basis: what type of exercise do you do, how often, and for how long?

    Along those lines…do any of you own a Fitbit? Now that I’m dragging myself to the gym regularly, I’m considering picking one up to monitor my heart rate and activity. I was intrigued when I read that a Fitbit can also track your sleep–does anyone have experience or thoughts on this?

    Keymaster @jasonm

    You can get a device that does everything Fitbit does for like $20-30 on Amazon. Fitbits are really cheaply made but are insanely marked up. Fitness trackers are a good way to monitor how many steps you’re actually getting, which if it’s below 5k per day, you definitely need to move more.

    For exercise I traditionally have just done 3-4 days a week of resistance training for 20-30 minutes. I will generally superset everything. So like 1 set of 8-12 pullups, then immediately do some other exercise that works different muscles for 1 set of 8-12 reps, then get a drink of water and 3 then back to do the second set pullups, and so on until I’ve reached 3 sets of each exercise. Usually it ends up just being 4-5 exercises. I was fitter than most of the people spending hours in the gym just doing that. Being consistent is the key and eating an appropriate diet.


    Participant @tinyelephants

    I know this is a little bit older, but I have a fitbit and I use it all the time. I stopped tracking my sleep though because I don’t like the way it felt on my arms at night. Sometimes my arms would swell I guess, I don’t really know, but it would feel tighter at certain points of the day than others and leave markings so I started taking it off at night to let it charge. It was tracking my sleep. It didn’t tell me anything new really. My sleep was very broken, would tell me I was only getting so much (or little) and would wake up something like 15 times a night. The graph on the fitbit app was crazy to look at.

    As far as exercising, I agree with @Jason’s statement. Being consistent and eating an appropriate diet is so important.

    For me, I can’t do the gym. I tried, but I found it takes me all day to drag myself out and then I’ve wasted more time getting ready and dreading going than I’ve spent in the actual gym. I walk a lot, it’s honestly the thing I can do the best because I have the most energy for it. I also notice that as long as I’m moving them, my feet don’t go numb (I know other people may or may not have this problem, it was kind of random when I researched it in conjunction with N). It’s when I sit or am not moving, my feet get the numbness and I just have to sit down or I will no longer be able to stand. But I do something at home called Callanetics in the morning. They have modern Callanetics on You Tube, but I do the 1980s original version from Callan Pinkey, if you can find her book or videos. I am only 5’3″ and ~135 so I don’t need to lose any weight, but I like to do my stretches because my back kills me and I like to keep tone. I also do small, 5 lb, weights (sitting down) for my chest and my arms four days a week. You can track ALL of these kinds of things on your fitbit or fitbit like device, as Jason mentioned you can purchase on Amazon. They’re really cool for keeping all of your personal health tracking records in one place.

    I try to get 10,000 steps everyday when I am home (even if you don’t have the energy, just moving around, cleaning this can be done). I am kind of a busy person (I think), I work from home so I am sitting down a lot typing. I also nap when my son naps (twice a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon; both for ~1 hour). Then I have my morning coffee, my shower, I read for a half an hour in the morning…not trying to give you a breakdown of my day, just trying to let you know I start out not walking around a lot. But then I clean up, I play with my son which by playing usually consists of me chasing him telling him not to do things haha, I get the vacuuming, laundry, cooking, sweeping, dog walking, etc. It all adds up and at the end of the day…voila! 10,000 steps. Minimum. On a day that I am not inside and I go to the park or something, I strive for 20,000 steps. It is hard at first, but energy or not. After getting into the habit, it’s like second nature. And you will totally feel like you deserve that nap afterwards! Sometimes I honestly don’t even need one.

    Sorry if that was WAY more information than you asked for. I get pretty excited about my fitbit if you didn’t notice haha! I hope you found one you love and if you didn’t yet, I hope this helped you decide to start searching again. 🙂


    Participant @dg

    I had a Basis Peak and used it for exercise and for sleep tracking and loved it but unfortunately it was recalled for overheating though I had no issues with it other than the wrist band would start to bother me after wearing it all the time after a while which was also unfortunate because I don’t know what it is made of but it was an awesome wrist band. On the bright side they bought back everybody’s watches as well as accessories at full price as part of the recall so if they make another one I will totally buy it. It also seemed to outperform other sleep tracking watches in reviews which was good. I will probably get an Apple Watch and use it for the same purposes.


    Participant @sherryvan

    I’m using Fitbit Flex 2 Waterproof Fitness Tracker. It seems completely waterproof for tracking the number of steps, distance, calories burned and time of activity. However, it doesn’t have built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring.


    Participant @dg

    So update I now have an Apple Watch (series 4) and first thing I will say is they are ridiculously expensive and while it does have plenty of fancy and unique features it does not have built in sleep tracking which I find to be completely unacceptable but I was aware of this beforehand and I am using both the Pillow and Autosleep apps for sleep tracking through the watch. They work but I miss the sleep tracking on my Basis Peak for sure as well as the 4 day battery life compared to 16 hours with the Apple Watch. Fitness tracking works well so far. I used it to track a 45min bike ride I did the other day and my only complaint is that even when you tell it you are cycling it will still count what it perceives as steps so I went from probably 4000 or so to 11000 steps without taking a single step so that is pretty dumb. I had to go into the steps data and delete the steps during the time I was riding the bike.

    If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something like an Apple Watch or Fitbit (and I dont blame you my old watch was less than half the cost of this watch) then I would recommend checking out the Amazfit Bip . It does fitness, sleep tracking, heart rate, gps, notifications, etc. and has a glorious battery life of 30+ DAYS!!!…. that is not a typo, thirty days otherwise known as a month….. and if that wasn’t enough in its favor the price of this watch is only $80. Here is a review of it. Personally I would wait and buy the upcoming Amazfit Bip 2

    In regard to the original questions about fitness routines as of right now I have just been doing the 10k steps a day goal with an occasional bike ride or some other relatively minor workout in conjunction with using the MyFitnessPal app to track meals in order to lose some weight and eat healthier. However once I get back into a bit better shape I plan on doing P90X to really get into shape and I am looking forward to using my watch to track that. I am going to sound like a salesman again but if anyone is looking to lose weight and wants to know what to do as far as exercise and perhaps doesn’t want to go to a gym then get a Bowflex TreadClimber or a Bowflex Max Trainer. We used to have the former (unfortunately my mom sold it) and I had a binder where I would log my workouts which included time and calories burned (according to the machine)… So the other day after I had done that 45min bike ride (which according to my watch was worth 190 calories) I decided to cross reference that with the logs I had from the TreadClimber and for the same amount of time as my bike ride I burned 500 calories compared to 190 and all you do on the TreadClimber is walk. I believe the max speed is literally like 4mph. The Max Trainer is more effective than that though I believe it is also harder. For instance a 15 minute workout on the Max Trainer M3 is worth 280 calories whereas the TreadClimber is worth 200. Note that both of those numbers are more than the 190 I burned for a bike ride that was 3 times longer. Coincidentally according to one study the calories burned on a Max Trainer (and possibly a TreadClimber) are at the same rate or higher than the calories you would burn in the most intense P90X workouts (Plyometrics was number 1 at an average of 14.7 calories per minute). The only downside to the Bowflex options is that they can be pricey but otherwise a no brainer to me plus I don’t think most gyms tend to have something like that as they usually stick with conventional ellipticals and treadmills which do not result in the same calorie burn particularly not at the low speed and impact of the Bowflex.

    Lastly something to note for anyone taking Xyrem (as well as some others such as Alka Seltzer) in regard to diet and that is to adjust you daily sodium intake in accordance with the sodium intake from your medicine for example in my case and at my dosage I am getting around 1000mg of sodium from my medicine (Alka Seltzer came in around the same at 1134mg per 2 tablet dose) everyday out of the AHA’s recommended limit of 2300mg per day with a goal of moving closer to 1500mg per day. Due to this I adjusted my sodium goal down on my fitness app to 1300mg and I will say it is not easy staying under that number. For example I am a big sandwich guy be it a reuben or an italian sub and so focusing on the latter a particular italian sub I have had in the past is the Italian Night Club at Jimmy Johns and if you look at the nutrition facts for that particular sub you will find that this one sub alone has a whopping 2590mg of sodium. More than an entire days worth in one sub granted I tend to try to split subs up into 2 meals but regardless its wayyyyy above my revised 1300mg limit. So yeah keep an eye on your sodium people and drink plenty of water. (coincidentally those two things will also help you lose water weight)

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