fitbit

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Our Favorite Smartphone Fitness Apps

Written by Shannon, aka Cassandra. 

Sometimes you simply can’t avoid getting sick. This week I caught a cold which resulted in a husky alter-ego that Nick named “Cassandra.” So don’t mind the raspy co-host for today’s episode.

Ironically, we’re talking about health & fitness apps today! Specifically, Nick and I share our favorite apps that we use every day, then we go through apps from listeners and friends who submitted their picks.

Following up on our previous episode where I reviewed the Fitbit Charge 2, I dive into the user-friendly mobile app that serves as the real power behind any Fitbit. This free app is where you setup your actual Fitbit device, establish your goals, and even where you can track a few other handy health and fitness items.

The Fitbit app includes a very easy user interface, with a main screen that highlights some of your main daily metrics like: steps, floors climbed, miles covered, calories burned, activity and water consumed. You can also get info on your resting heart rate, calories consumed, sleep, etc.

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Picture courtesy of fitbit.com

The best part is the integration with other apps, including Nick’s food log app that he breaks down further, and the peloton app, which sends workout info from the bike to your Fitbit app.

Nick provides a review of the Lose it! app, which is a food journal. While neither of us are big on counting calories, we do like holding ourselves accountable and it’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating. This app is a great way to ensure you’re truly seeing how much macronutrients you’re taking in each day, your calories consumed and your calories burned.

The food catalog for Lose It! is truly impressive with millions of food items, ingredients and meals alike, already logged into the database. You can even scan barcodes with a built-in barcode scanner to make it easy to identify specific food items.

Snap it!, which is an extension of the Lose It app, even gives the option of identifying food by snapping a picture, which it then tries to match up to corresponding nutrition information. It’s just not incredibly accurate, so it’s more effective for simple items (e.g. piece of fruit, protein bar, etc.).

There is a premium version of the app, but the free version offers great options and even integrates with other fitness apps to provide information like steps and exercise.

Getting into the listener’s favorite fitness apps, we list them off for ya:

At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter if you use fitness apps or not. Use whatever tools you need to hold yourself more accountable and help you to reach your fitness goals.

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We wrap up this episode getting amped up for the new Facebook Live workout that is now available on the ETT Facebook page. Perfect little 25-min workout video that includes a warmup, 15 min HIIT workout and an ab-centric cooldown.We’ve got exciting episodes coming up; please reach out at elementaltampa@gmail.com and let us know what topics you’d like us to discuss on a future episode. Thanks for listening!

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/our-favorite-smartphone-fitness/id1121420986?i=1000380559728&mt=2

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/our-favorite-smartphone-fitness-apps

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Heart Rate Training & Fit Bit Breakdown

The first month of 2017 is nearly complete and some may be welcoming new habits after weeks of hard work setting new routines. On this week’s podcast, Nick and I kick-off by sharing the things we’ve added to our own fitness/health routines so far.

Nick started the year by doing a series of monthly challenges. For January, he’s given up an overindulgence – alcohol. In addition, he’s incorporating daily morning workouts to try and lose the pesky holiday pounds that almost all of us pack on.

I, on the other hand, finally started exploring a quest into a new topic of my health, which is also the topic of our podcast today – Heart Rate Monitoring and Training.

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Nick shares the formula for how to calculate your Zone 2 (fat burning zone):

180 – your age = your zone 2 beats per minute (BPM) OR being able to hold a conversation while exercising (e.g. if you’re 30 years old, you subtract that from 180 and your Zone 2 heart rate is 150 bpm, give or take a few beats)

In order to better understand my own heart rate efficiencies (or otherwise) I invested in the best monitor for the money I was looking to spend and bought the Fitbit Charge 2.

My motivations for wanting to better understand this element of fitness and how it contributes to my health comes after long battles with stress and poor sleep, two things many people are likely grappling with as well. The Peloton classes introduced me to how heart rate training can improve your fitness and I had read countless articles about how it benefits your overall health.

The Mayo Clinic states that a normal resting heart rate (RHR) for adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Fitbit compiled their substantial user data and estimated 50-90 BPM is average for an adult.

So what affects your resting heart rate? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot:

  • Activity level
  • Fitness level
  • Air temperature
  • Body position
  • Emotions
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Medications

You can impact your own heart rate in a number of ways:

  • Physical exercise (15-20 min/day will lower RHR)
  • Reduce body fat/increase muscle mass
  • Mindfulness

In terms of exercise, Zone 2 training is how many athletes build endurance. It’s all about low intensity for long periods of time – staying in that fat burning zone.

I’ve been experimenting with some of the Zone 2 training on the Peloton so far and have already seen some impact on my RHR.

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Much of what I’ve learned in the last few weeks is due to my Fitbit Charge 2. Costing a fairly reasonable $130 (to start) the Fitbit Charge 2 was highly rated by CNET, even more so since Fitbit launched a software upgrade late last year.

In the last part of the podcast I get into the details of my own review of the fitness monitor, including the ups and downs (because nothing is perfect, right?).

Pros:

  • Not bulky
  • Changeable bands
  • Useful mobile app/interface
  • Battery life is good (4-5 days before needing a charge)

Cons:

  • Absolutely can’t get wet
  • Charger is awkward

Some of the features I like most include a cardio fitness rating. It gives a rating based on its estimated VO2 Max and indicates your overall performance in endurance-based activities. Currently, mine is sitting around 38-42, which is “good – very good” for a female of my age (positive sign!).

The app is a whole other side of this product, which we’ll get into in a future episode, but as of now, I would recommend the Fitbit Charge 2. It holds me to new levels of accountability, further helping me stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Now all I need to work on is adding some friends to my Fitbit circle!

We’d love hear what goals you set or accomplished so far this year. Please feel free to share them with us in the comment section, on Facebook or email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Your feedback and support has helped us grow into a 5 star rated podcast and we are extremely grateful. Keep rating, reviewing and sharing the podcast and let’s stay healthy year.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/a-breakdown-of-heart-rate-training-the-fit-bit-charge-20