I had high hopes for the Fitbit Versa. I’m already a fan a Fitbit and have been using the Altra HR for almost a year. I was quick to jump on board with other Fitbit fanatics when it came to tracking my steps, heart rate and sleep patterns. Who knew I would care so much about my sleep? Apparently, me! Checking how many hours I slept the night before is one of the first things I do each morning. It's very insightful and I highly recommend tracking yours!
The Fitbit Altra is the first everyday tracker I’ve used before. For years, I’ve been wearing a Garmin to track my runs. In the running community, Garmin has always been one of the most popular wearable devices for tracking mileage, pace and of course, what it’s know for-GPS. The Garmin has proven to be an incredibly dependable device to wear while running. I only purchased a Fitbit because I wanted something I could wear to track everything else.
Of course, I wanted my runs to be included in my daily/weekly Fitbit evaluations, so I continued wearing my Fitbit with my Garmin. Naturally, this became a nuisance, so when Fitbit released it’s new GPS tracker, the Ionic, I thought, “problem solved”. Then, I saw the price and decided I would wait.
Fast-forward to the release of the Versa. Now, I could make a case for buying a more affordable device, that could do, essentially everything I needed it to do. Of course, I’d be giving up the built-in GPS, but who needs a map of your run, when you know where you’re going anyway!
After comparing runs with my Versa and my Garmin, I realized very quickly, that the Versa, just doesn’t have the same awesome pacing capability of Garmin. I’m very certain, after doing a little research, that this is because of the missing GPS component in my Versa watch. I did have my phone with me both times that I ran, which gives a GPS connection, if you choose. Even so, this did not work well and could make things very dicey during a race scenario, when a runner like me, is depending on the accuracy of your pace.
I’m disappointed in Fitbit’s Versa. I really wanted to like it, and there are some features that were very nice. For instance, I loved the meditation app that prompts you to breath for 2 minutes. I also liked being able to check the weather on my watch. The screen is really beautiful, but it is not very user friendly either. Sometimes, I felt like I might tap it to death, before the time appeared. I liked that I could flip my wrist to make the time appear on my Altra. Aside from the pacing issue, the other major disappointment was the battery life of my Versa. When I ran, and used the continuous backlight feature, it drained the battery quite a bit. I had to charge the Versa within 24 hours of using it. Fitbit promotes the Versa as having a 4+ day battery life. I'm sure it does if you're not doing anything but tracking steps and looking at the time. But come on, Fitbit! This is a fitness tracker, so expect your users to really use the device! There are some other cool features like a Starbucks app. But meh...when have you been to Starbucks lately without your phone? If you're like me, it already has a Starbucks app on it anyway. The Pandora or Deezer app will allow you to listen to music IF you purchase the blue-tooth headphones for an extra $129. I listen to Spotify and podcasts, and I don't have an extra $129.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided to return my Versa. Look’s like I’ll be running double- wristed once again, until I fight that magical combination of a tracker that does it all and doesn’t cost me a fortune!
I don't travel often. Not that I wouldn't like to, given the opportunity, but at this stage of my life it only happens a couple times a year. Recently, we travelled during Spring Break. I love to stay in a hotel overnight, but anything longer makes me a bit anxious because my routines get out of whack. For a homebody like myself, here are a few things I did to make the experience a little more comfortable and healthier.
It’s that time of year again! The time when we start to feel both regretful about our seasonal nutritional lapse in judgement and hopeful about a fresh new start. As your Personal Trainer, I am here to help you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals for the New Year. Remember, I am not just here to punish you with high-intensity treadmill intervals and an obscene amount of burpees. I am also here to help you establish your goals, identify your barriers and find a healthy lifestyle plan that works for you. There is so much information and misinformation on our TV and social media, that navigating which diet and exercise routine works best for you can seem daunting. One size does not fit all. Keep in mind that while your friend Sallie raves about Pilates, it may not be your jam. Maybe John lost 20lbs doing the Whole 30 Diet, but it may not have a big of impact on your weight loss. I cannot recommend supplements or give you diet plans, but I am trained in fitness nutrition and can help you find what works for you through calorie consumption/restriction and good, sound nutritional advice. I can also help you determine the best strategy to accomplish your fitness goals, be it running your first marathon or just finding a good gym routine, getting lean, building muscle and learning how to incorporate weights and cardio into your workout. Think of me as your health and wellness concierge. I have the tools available to help you achieve your goals in 2018!
Come see me at the YMCA - we have specials on training packages that run through the end of December. Also, I am available to train at Goar Park, Germany Park or at your residence in the Park Cities. Also, if you have a friend that needs help, please pass along my information.
We’ve all been ambushed with this information a thousand times over, so I’ll spare you the preamble and skip to the advice:
The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried is a book that I highly recommend to any woman over the age of 40. I bought and read this book a couple of years ago, and it has been a wonderful resource that I continue to refer to frequently. In fact, I did not stage this photo; this book makes a regular appearance on my night stand. If I hadn’t read this book, I might not have discovered some of my own health challenges: Hypothyroidism and extremely low Testosterone. I encourage any woman who is struggling with hormonal ups and downs (i.e. fatigue, irritability, stubborn weight gain, loss of concentration, brain fog, mood swings, just to name a few) to grab a copy. One of the most important take-aways I learned from this book is to always ask for a full thyroid panel when requesting lab work: TSH, Free T4, T3, Reverse T3 and antibodies. Ladies, insist on the FULL PANEL. If your doctor refuses, get it done yourself. Remember, you are your own health advocate!
My brother has never listened to a Podcast. Here we are at the twilight of 2017, and yet, some of you haven’t ever listened to a Podcast. I’m not judging, just to be clear. I for one, still don’t know how to use my Instagram account, and I’m not entirely sure of a hashtag’s purpose-#clueless. I just want you all to be included in the realm of audio magic that lies beneath the tap of the little purple podcast icon (it's on your iPhone, sugar). The advice I gave him was to start with Serial-the true-crime gateway gem that started it all for me, and listen while driving to work. I told him he will actually look for forward to his 30 minute commute. By the way, if you loathe getting on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym, you’re going to thank me for this suggestion. I listen to podcasts while running, cleaning the house, driving and putting on make-up. There are hundreds to choose from and they’re all free! You can find a podcast on practically any and all subjects of interest. Just google "instructions for downloading a podcast" or something similar and you will get tons of hits. Here's a link to an apple support page with very simple directions and pictures. Have fun!
Spring is here, and cute sandals are everywhere! It's enough to totally distract you from those quick Target errands as you wheel your cart over to the shoe aisle. But before you buy those cute Gladiator flats or colorful thongs, try to imagine your 80-year old self in the waiting room of the Orthopedic Clinic. Flimsy flats with no arch support or structure are known for causing issues such as Plantar Fascitis or Metatarsalgia-inflammation of the ball of the foot. Worse yet, a poorly constructed shoe can lead to further knee, hip and back issues. If you're worried about sacrificing good style, fear not! You don't have to totally forgo fashion trends, just be smart about your choices. For instance, flats aren't made for walking long distances, i.e. just don't wear them while you run errands all day long. Also, flip-flops are great, as long as you just wear them poolside or to the beach. Finally, don't write off comfort shoes without taking a new look. They're not just for the serious fanny-packing, European traveler anymore. Brands such as Ecco, Aerosole, Strive and even Birkenstock have upgraded their brands to appeal to the comfort-loving and stylish consumer. Check out http://vionicshoes.com. I plan to order a pair soon!
The APMA.org (American Pediatric Medical Association) offers the following preventive tips to remind you how to wear cute summer sandals wisely and avoid foot pain altogether.
Squats aren’t just for the gym. Think about how many times a day you already squat (hint: big, white porcelain seat). I recently heard a presenter at a fitness conference talk about his signature squat. Every time he sits down, he makes a point of doing it three times. Let’s say you did this 3 times a day: 3 extra squats, 3x per day = 9 Squats. 9 squats x 7 days a week = 63 squats. 63 squats x 52 weeks a year = 3276 per year!
Try adding squats when you’re waiting at line, watching your kid on the playground, or my favorite, while your brushing your teeth!
It’s not easy to stay on track when your dining out. Here's one of my favorite hacks: Ask your waiter for a to-go container when your meal comes and outsmart that oversized portion on your plate. Then, you won’t be tempted to overeat when your food is safely tucked away, sight unseen. Happy eating out!