The Best of the Rest (Other Workout Types)

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In the National Hockey League (NHL), the Original Six is a popular moniker given to the first six teams to populate the league. For 25 years, only six squads (Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs) faced off until expansion inevitably diversified the playing field. While the newer teams have their own rich tradition and an ample amount of amazing memories, the Original Six is revered in NHL lore.

Here at Fitdigits, we have our own Original Six.

Walk, Run, Hike, Bike, Cardio and Indoor Cycling will always have a special place in our hearts. For years, the Original Six were the only workout options for our dedicated Fitdigits disciples. However, the release of Fitdigits Version 8.0 introduced over 50 new workout types, and with it the ability to truly customize your workout experience. With that in mind, lets take a look at the next six- the best of the rest. Here are the six most popular of our new batch of workout types:

chart_3Weight Lifting

All of you future Mr. and Ms. Olympia out there have made weight lifting by far our most popular new workout type, nearly doubling the next closest option. While popular perception connects lifting weights solely with gaining mass, pumping iron is a great way to raise your metabolism.

Elliptical

Coming in second most frequently used is our good friend the Elliptical. Elliptical workouts are an excellent alternative to running, in that it allows for a great cardio workout without putting all of the additional wear and tear on your knees, feet and ankles. Maybe try mixing it up on the Elliptical by performing heart rate based interval workouts.

Circuit Train

Getting the bronze medal is Circuit Training. A workout that is short on time but long on results, circuit training is a great way to get an efficient and effective workout. For more information on the benefits of Circuit Training, Shape.com has an excellent article on The 7 Benefits of Circuit Training.

Treadmill Run

Sometimes the relentless summer sun can be beating down a little to aggressively and you need to take your run indoors. That line of thinking has led Treadmill Run to be the fourth most popular new workout type. Record your pace and distance on a treadmill by manually entering your distance.

Treadmill Walk

Walking is a fantastic way to stay active when your body is not up for an intense workout, and Treadmill Walk has slowly but surely made its way into fifth place. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of activity, and walking is a great way to meet that goal. Read all about The Benefits of Walking.

HIIT

HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training, is one of the best ways to burn fat while working out, and Fitdigits users have hit HIIT up into sixth place amongst new workout types. HIIT combines intense short intervals of activity with short intervals of rest, allowing the heart to recover slightly before kicking it into overdrive all over again. HIIT is a perfect companion for a compatible Heart Rate Monitor, allowing you to chart your intervals in an easy to understand graph.

Fitdigits Apps Menu & Navigation

Fitdigits now features a revamped user interface for iCardio, iRunner, iWalker and iBiker. The streamlined menu allows you to navigate throughout the app easily and quickly.

To access the menu, tap the three horizontal bars in the top left of the home screen.

Tap the three horizontal bars to access the menu

Tap the three horizontal bars to access the menu

After tapping, the menu will reveal. Let’s briefly go over all of the menu items

Heart rate training app navigation

  1. Profile / Name – Set and edit information like your name, profile picture, height, weight, fitness level, email and more.
  2. My Upgrades – This will show you your current purchases or allow you to upgrade for some great features and functionality.
  3. Activities – View a complete list of all workouts and activities tracked with Fitdigits.
  4. Daily Activity – View your steps and calories over small and large periods of time when paired with Apple Health, Google Fit or one of our other daily activity providers.
  5. Goals – Set goals for activity, steps, weight and more.
  6. Health Vitals – Keep track of weight, blood pressure, resting pulse, sleep and connect, either manually entered or through our health partners.
  7. Groups – List and manage the groups you belong to or start your own group if you are a Star member.
  8. Partners – Link and manage all your partners, daily activity and steps providers, and other health partners and providers.
  9. Sensors – Go here to pair and manage compatible Bluetooth Low Energy Sensors.
  10. Sync – This syncs all of your data to make sure there is a safe backup and so you can view workouts on my.fitdigits.com.
  11. Settings – View your app settings and customize them.
  12. Support – Email support, send a Debug log, read tips and tricks about using and troubleshooting the apps.

Where did Fitness Assessments go? 

Since the activity you do the Fitness Assessment in is so critical to the assessment, access them from the gear / options icon to the left of the quick start button when you are in the home screen with the activity type you want to do the assessment with selected.

Fitbit Changes “Active” Minutes

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Fitbit has recently announced some changes to the way they count user’s active minutes.

Before if at any time you picked up your pace Fitbit would count that increase in effort as “Active” minutes, and simply sum up those minutes each day. However, in compliance with suggestions by the American Heart Association, Fitbit will only count active minutes after 10 minutes of continuous motion. This change will not affect your step count.

As a result, you may find that your Fitbit active minutes will be lower for the foreseeable future.

For more details, read the blog post Fitbit Extends Minimum Time Frame for Active Minutes.

Fitdigits User’s Fitness Habits

In the February Newsletter we sent out a survey to our dedicated Fitdigits users. In it we asked you to help us by telling us about your attitudes and habits around fitness. A month later, the results are in, and we wanted to share what we learned from you all!

Some big picture takeaways:

  • The majority of respondents to the survey are looking to get fit and stay healthy. For more information on training with Fitdigits, we have an entire page dedicated to users who’s goal is to Stay Healthy & Fit.
  • A surprisingly large amount of respondents had no issues finding the motivation to workout. The most difficult part of working out is making it a habit. Once exercise is ingrained into your daily schedule, it becomes as routine as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Only around 25% reported struggles finding the motivation to exercise.
  • Over 50% of respondents reported using a Heart Rate Monitor regularly. However, not all of those respondents were fully aware of all of the benefits of tracking heart rate. Fitdigits outlines the 4 steps to maximize the impact of Fitdigits and your HRM- Assess, Enable, Sweat and Succeed!
  • Over 50% of respondents said that there current workout program contains some Walking. Walking is a great low-impact way to burn some extra calories. We suggest recording walks and steps in general with an activity tracker like Fitbit, and aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Read 10 Tips to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day.
  • The biggest difference between what type of workout would be part of an ideal workout routine and what respondents actually do is in Strength Training and Flexibility/Low Resistance Training. 25% did some Flexibility/Low Resistance work, but 45% thought they should. 55% did some strength training, but 75% thought they should.

 

  • The majority of respondents to the survey are looking to get fit and stay healthy, though a quarter of you are on the oft-elusive path to losing weight, and a fifth are looking to push the personal envelope!
  • Here at Fitdigits, we often go back and forth between categories as well, though the majority of us, the majority of the time, are just looking to stay healthy and be fit, and to do it in the best heart-healthy way we know. We do understand the different goals, and we value you including us in your journey! For more information on training with Fitdigits, we have pages dedicated to your goals.

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  • Around 65% of respondents have a deep ingrained habit when it comes to fitness, with 40% finding exercise “hard not to do” and 25% who “do it without thinking”. Around 25% have difficulty finding the time or motivation to exercise.
  • The best way to stay motivated is to have an attainable goal. A great goal is to work out 2-3 times a week, 30 minutes per sessions. If you need help finding motivation, set a Duration Goal with Fitdigits MVP.

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  • Over 40% of respondents reported not being familiar with training with heart rate monitor. 35% reported being “very familiar” and don’t leave home without it.
  • We don’t workout without a heart rate monitor, period! In order to fully unleash the power of Fitdigits, it is essential to have a heart rate monitor. With a heart rate monitor, you can get a more accurate calorie count, custom heart rate zones and complete a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment.

Goal-2

  • Over 40% of respondents have a goal or event they are working towards, be that goal self-imposed, a goal with their workout community, or a race. However, around 50% have no goal or event they are working towards, with no plans to.
  • While working towards an event like a 5k or 10k is great motivation to give you the push you need to get your workouts in gear, everyone is different and find motivation in different ways. This goes hand-in-hand with most respondents saying they workout to get fit and stay healthy. If you are training for an event, train using duration instead of distance for best results.

Program

  • Over 60% of respondents stated that they do some other form of Cardio for workouts, with 55% doing some strength training and 45% doing some walking.
  • If you are doing an other cardio workout, we suggest using the Other Workout Type in the Fitdigits app.

Ideal

  • Everyone wants to get buff! Almost 3/4 of respondents would incorporate strength training into their ideal workout program. 45% wanted to add Yoga/Light Resistance/Stretching into their workouts.
  • We strongly suggest adding weight lifting to your workout regimen. Forget the old myth about strength training getting you bulky- lifting weights is not only a great way to get fit, it can also increase your metabolism.

Thank you so much for participating!

More Sun = Outdoor Fun

74497___gustavorezende___Kids_6_03On March 8th many around the globe turned their clocks back, ushering in the era of an extra hour of sunlight. Now that the weather is being more reasonable and it is sunny until 7 pm, it is time to leave the drab and dingy gym and get outdoors! The sun beckons, so answer the call and go on a vitamin D spree, burning some calories in the process.

Shape has a great article that features 10 New Outdoor Workout Ideas. The article offers you a grab-bag of fun and exciting ways to break a sweat outside. From Paddleboarding to a Fitness Scavenger hunt, this article is sure to stir up some ideas in the old noggin.

Track it all with Fitdigits! Fitdigits will map your route, and provide other interesting stats and charts.

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Determining Your Heart Rate Training Zones

Personalized Heart Rate Zones are a crucial tool in planning, tracking and implementing workout routines in the Fitdigits app. The most accurate way to get custom heart rate zones is with a metabolic assessment done at a professional assessment center. However, that can be a pricy and time consuming option. A much more affordable option that also provides accurate training zones is a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment.

However, if neither of these options work for you and you are not up to taking an assessment, there are many equations to find custom heart rate zones. If you know your Max and Resting Heart Rate, you can get a wide variety of zones on the Determining Your Heart Rate Training Zones page.

Here you will find HR zones using percent of Max HR, the Karvonen method, Zoladz method, Joe Friel Running or Biking formula, and ABCC/BCF guidelines.

 

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Ditch the Distance – Go for Time

If you are training for a distance event, or just training in general, it is important that you work out properly and are prepared for any set of circumstances that come your way. So many things can affect your performance. The weather can be unpredictable, your body can respond differently; so many variables come into play on any given day, especially set race
days!

Prepare for anything and make your training Mother Nature-proof by training with duration and intensity instead of distance.

A recent blog post by noted endurance training expert Joe Friel argues that one of the more common endurance training mistakes is focusing on distance instead of duration. While most people use distance when training because that is the measurement races use (it’s called a “5k”, not a “30 Minute-er”), the best way to combat variability is training using duration. Friel went on to explain further:

“With rare exceptions, the workouts I suggest athletes do are based on duration, not distance. The reason is that the intensity of a workout is specific to its length in time, but not necessarily to its distance. For example, if there are two runners in a 10-km race and one finishes in 30 minutes while the other, also working as hard as he can, finishes in 60 minutes, their intensities were not the same. The 30-minute finisher was working at a much higher intensity as a percentage of VO2max. If they were to both run as hard as they could for 30 minutes they would likely use almost exactly the same intensity; one would simply cover more ground than the other”

Therefore, if there are adverse conditions on race day, you can use your intensity training to alter how hard you push it in order to make sure you complete the race. Friel continues:

“The bottom line here is that intensity is inversely related to time. This means that as one increases, the other decreases. As the time of a race or workout gets longer, the intensity at which you are working is reduced. It’s obvious. You can’t run a marathon at your 5-km pace. You run slower in the marathon because you have to run for a longer time. A 30-minute 10-km racer and a 60-minute 10-km racer are, essentially, not doing the same race, and they shouldn’t train the same way either. In the same way, if the bike race will take longer due to wind then you must race at a lower power.”

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Fitdigits on iOS has all of the tools you need to both create and track duration based workouts with a focus on intensity. Fitdigits Custom Workout Routines allows you to not only create workouts specialized to you, but also gives you in workout feedback if your intensity (i.e. Heart Rate) is too high or low.

Create a Structured Workout Based on Duration:
  1. On the Home page, choose the icon of the workout you wish to create the workout for (most likely Running)
  2. Tap Workout -> Workout Routines
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap New Time/Distance Routine
  4. Add a Name, Time and Zone. Longer workouts should be in lower zones, while shorter workouts should have a higher heart rate

 

You now are ready to start training! It is up to you whether you wish to add Auto End Routine and Auto Recovery to your workout.

–Read Joe Friel’s blog post Train for Duration or Distance?

Come race day, make sure you are prepared to monitor your race and make it to the end injury free. Use Fitdigits Fitness Assessments to set custom Heart Rate Zones, VO2 Max, and Lactate Threshold.

 

 

In Honor of Jesse Owens

February is Black History Month, and Fitdigits is proud to honor American Olympian Jesse Owens.

Owens is famed for competing in multiple events in the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. Owens, an African American, competed in front of Adolf Hitler and a German crowd that espoused Aryan Superiority, which was the notion that Caucasians from European and West Asian decent were genetical superior.

No matter what his race, in 1936 Owens was the best sprinter on the planet. Owens dominated, winning 4 gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m Relay, and Long Jump.

Fitbit Calories and Fitdigits

Fitdigits and Fitbit have a great partnership that lets you see how many calories you burn daily. Recently, we have had a lot of questions regarding our Fitbit and Fitdigits integration, so I figured I could take some time to answer some FAQ.

For questions regarding MyFitnessPal, Fitdigits and Fitbit Integration, read here

Q: Can I wear my Fitbit during a Fitdigits workout and not get double calories?
A: Yes! Fitdigits and Fitbit are integrated so that whenever you begin a Fitdigits workout all Fitbit calories accumulated during the duration of your Fitdigits workout will be ignored. During workouts, Fitdigits gives you a more accurate caloric burn, so we use this instead of Fitbit. Make sure to keep your Fitbit on so you still get credit for your steps!

Q: I see my Fitbit calories on my.fitdigits.com, but why are the calorie totals several hundred calories lower then what Fitbit shows?
A: On my.fitdigits, we only display the calories burned when you are active, and not when you are sedentary or asleep. If you would like to see these calories included on my.fitdigits, click the “Options” arrow under the chart and make sure “Sedentary/Sleep” has a check next to it.

Click Sedentary/Sleep to see a calorie total equal to what Fitbit displays

Sleep/Sedentary Calories added!

Q: Do my Fitdigits workouts get sent to Fitbit.com?
A: Yes they do! Whenever you sync your Fitdigits app, the workout will be sent to Fitbit.com so you have a record in both places

Related Links: 

Linking Fitdigits & Fitbit

Fitbit Charge HR, Surge and Jawbone UP3 Compatibility

Fitbit & Heart Rate Compatibility

Some new health and fitness trackers have emerged onto the scene that combine both activity tracking and heart rate monitoring. Chief among these are the Fitbit line of heart rate trackers.

Many users have written in asking if we are compatible with Fitbit, and the answer is both yes and no. Yes, Fitdigits will get steps, activity and sleep data from these monitors. However, Fitdigits will not receive heart rate, either during a workout or resting heart rate from Fitbit devices.

These sensors do not transmit their heart rate data like other Bluetooth Smart HRMs like the Scosche RHYTHM+, so the Fitdigits app is not able to connect to them to use the heart rate data during your workouts. This data is instead sent, along with your other recorded activity data, directly to your Fitbit  account where, at the time of this post, we do not have a way to retrieve that data.