How are Fitbit Users Finding New Ways to Achieve Their Fitness Goals?

Shelter-in-place orders have changed much of Fitbit users’ everyday lives. We’ve been staying home, getting more quality rest (a happy surprise), cooking more, and finding new ways to stay active, given that our step counts are down. But, our resting heart rates have improved across the board, which is great news for heart health.  

When it comes to staying active, we’ve had to get creative—and Fitbit users have risen to the challenge. In fact, data from mid-April shows that more users exercised one to two times a week in April 2020 than in April 2019. (Exercises were either auto-detected or manually logged on users’ Fitbit devices, and lasted for a duration of at least 15 minutes.) This rings true across major American cities including San Francisco, Denver, and New York, as well as global cities including Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo—with Madrid being one notable exception.  

Note that week 15 is the week ending April 14 and April 12 in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Additionally, we’re seeing more users exercising more than five times a week, with some cities posting as much as an impressive 10 percent increase. 

We love that so many of you are getting creative with your workouts outside of the gym, and wanted to dig into specific exercises logged to see exactly what’s changed. One big takeaway from our findings? While not having access to a treadmill, weights, or elliptical machine means that exercises that would be typically performed in a gym are down, the frequency of most exercises went up. For example, among those who still have access to a treadmill, we’ve seen the frequency of use increase by more than 30 percent.

That said, other exercises that can be performed at home or outside are on the rise! Walk exercises, or brisk walks that last for at least 15 minutes, are up, and walks still constitute a large portion of user exercises. We’ve also seen substantial increases in the popularity of biking, yoga, and aerobic workouts. Among users who exercised at least once per week, yoga and biking have seen an increase of over 40 percent, while aerobic workouts have increased by more than 20 percent—meaning that users are taking this time to switch up their fitness routines. 

The one category of exercise that saw a decrease in frequency is sport, which typically engages a group of people. As this isn’t possible at the moment, we’ve observed a nearly 18 percent decrease in frequency. 

Another fun fact: the timing of exercise has also shifted. Now that users are less bound to a typical workday schedule, we’ve seen fewer lunchtime walks or early morning runs that used to be squeezed in before a commute. And now that the weekend is less packed with social activities, we’ve seen an increase in Friday evening runs. 

While the timing of exercise has shifted around the world, changes have not been consistent from region to region. In San Francisco, California, we’re seeing a concentration of runs in the late afternoon

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4 Ways to Improve Physical Fitness

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Improving your physical fitness can seem challenging, but by taking small steps to improve your exercise and eating habits, you can do it! You should aim to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week. Try jogging, kickboxing, stair-climbing, or any exercise you enjoy that gets your heart-rate up! It can help to download a fitness app to keep track of your progress and encourage you to meet your goals. If you don’t have time to exercise on certain days, try finding small ways to get yourself moving. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or do sit-ups during commercial breaks. Besides exercising, you’ll want to eat a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Try to stay away from unhealthy foods like fries, candy, and baked goods, since these aren’t a good source of nutrients. To learn how to make other lifestyle changes to improve your fitness, read on!

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3 Ways to Cancel a Planet Fitness Membership

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To fulfill Planet Fitness’ cancellation requirements, write a 1-page document asking the gym to end your membership. So they know the letter is real, include your driver’s license number and the last 4 digits of your SSN. If you want to cancel in person, visit your gym and give the paper to a membership representative. Alternatively, you can end your membership by mailing the document to your gym as a certified letter. After cancelling, keep track of your bank account to make sure the charges stop. For tips on how to get your gym fees waived, read on!

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15 Easy Ways to Be Healthier


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15 Easy Ways to Be Healthier

Author: Guest Contributor 

More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.

We asked three experts — a naturopathic physician, a dietitian, and a personal trainer — to tell us the top five simple-but-significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.

Besides giving you three different takes on how to pick your health battles, this list gives you choices you can make without being whisked off to a reality-show fat farm — or buying a second freezer for those calorie-controlled, pre-portioned frozen meals.

James Rouse, N.D.

Naturopathic physician, triathlete, chef, author and host of TV’s “Optimum Wellness,” health-tip segments featured on NBC affiliates in several major cities.

1. Think positive and focus on gratitude

Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.

2. Eat your vegetables

Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovaries. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colors — such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and leafy greens.

3. Set a “5-meal ideal”

What, when, and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A “5 meal ideal” will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus, and avoid cravings.

4. Exercise daily

Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even ten minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.

5. Get a good night’s sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit

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