Friday, February 8, 2013
Getting Fit in 2013
I had to go back and re-write that sentence as I put fashion first originally. Am I really that shallow? I don’t think so, it just goes to show how much we take our health for granted. (and how tired I am of the selection of affordable clothes for weight challenged women) Until a crisis strikes. You would think being diagnosed with diabetes two years ago would have a significant reason for getting my butt in gear. Same goes for the high blood pressure I’ve been dealing with since the birth of my youngest. Apparently regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure. I kept it up for three weeks and now almost 6 years later, I’m still dealing with side effects from the medication that I am still taking.
My biggest fear in making this commitment is that I will give up and quit like so many times before. If I don’t write it down then no one will know when I give up or when my enthusiasm peters out. On the other hand there is no real accountability. No sense of pride in sharing positive changes in my lifestyle.
I am now four weeks into the “lifestyle change” and so far I have managed to cut back on my calories, become more aware of what it is that I am consuming and bumping up the activity level.
Oh and I’ve lost 11 pounds. Woo hoo!
Surprisingly enough I’ve turned to some free apps on my Android phone to help me work towards my fitness goal. (Please note this not intended as a product review, it’s just apps I’ve searched through Google Play and have been using)
I am tracking my calories with My Fitness Pal. I had registered on their website, MyFitnessPal.com a few years ago but never really got into using it. However, I have found that with it being conveniently on my phone that I have been consistent in tracking my calories every day. For inputting your food choices you can use a barcode scanner and simply scan the product in. It is a very big database it has everything in it from McDonald’s to that muffin you bought at Quiznos. Being in Canada, I wasn’t sure whether it would pick up many of my items on the barcode but surprisingly it did. I think there was only one thing to day I couldn’t scan. It’s as easy to sign up as logging in with your Facebook account, which enables you to connect with any of your friends that may be using the app as well.
Now, I understand that many dietitians don’t recommend counting calories these days but to me it does make some sense. (I even received a big lecture from my Mother on the subject) Most of us have no idea when we sit down to a fast food meal how many calories we actually are consuming. I thought I was cutting back by not ordering french fries when we were out to eat, but it turned out that burger was a whopping 580 calories. Never mind the amount of sodium and fat contained in it or that I’m tempted to pinch a frie or two from hubs.
I’ve been tracking my activity level with Endomondo. Mainly meant for out of doors as it uses GPS tracking to calculate distance walked and it also calculates your pace. The beauty of it is that is syncs with MyFitnessPal and another neat website (no app yet) I’m using called Earndit.
While I am still having a hard time getting off my butt in the a.m. to hit the treadmill before I head out to work, I like to sit and read and drink my tea after the children are gone, I am loving the after dinner walks we’ve been taking with the kids. Now we haven’t been able to be totally consistent what with the round of flu going through the house last week and some poor weather, we have done it enough that the kids now ask every night if we’re going for a walk that night.
Nothing like having a little help to keep you motivated. Some nights I feel like saying no but their enthusiasm gets me putting on my shoes and getting out the door. Obviously walking with 3 kids aged 9, 7 and 5 doesn’t make for the most cardio invigorating walks, it still has it’s benefits and each night it seems like they themselves are getting more fit and able to keep up with us at faster pace. If only they didn’t stop so much. When all we hit our stride it’s great, it just doesn’t take long for things to slow down again. Still we’ve been averaging 3.0 mph and have been able to complete a mile under 20 minutes and since we started at a mile in 24 minutes, that’s pretty good. The kids love asking me how far have we walked, how fast are we walking and did we beat yesterday’s time etc. One night when we were heading home, they actually wanted to walk further because we hadn’t walked 2 miles yet.
If you haven’t heard of it, Earndit will help add to your motivation to get off the couch and get moving. This is a website that offers rewards in the form of gift certificates for working out. You heard me. Each time you upload your exercise information, you are awarded points and those points can later be redeemed for rewards like Gift Certificates. You can also enter challenges for extra opportunities to win rewards. It works with GPS tracking devices like Endomondo, Fitbit and Foursquare (and a whole bunch of others). It doesn’t work for those that like to workout indoors unless you have the Fitbit. The rewards are not bad, so far there hasn’t been a whole lot that has interested me although I do have my eye on some Hydros water bottles. The gift certificates range from Protein Bars to Body Rock Sports Wear to running shoes. Some of the rewards are available to US only.
Well those are my apps to date and I’m always looking to see what else is out there. How about you? Do you use any of these apps or can suggest some others that work for you? I’d love to hear from you.
Also if any of you would like to connect with me on MyFitnessPal, help motivate each other or just chat, send me an email or message me on facebook with your username and I’ll add you to my list.
(Like I said this is not a sponsored post at all, just my own ramblings)