Back to Strength Training!

At long last, I finally got back to strength training and went twice this week.  I made this one of my goals starting out this year.  From mid-2015 to mid-2016, I had worked twice a week with a personal trainer doing strength training.  Then I had to stop when I did my plastic surgery.  I wasn’t fully cleared to do all strength training until around the start of this year.

In January, I rejoined the Y and said I would start going at least twice a week.  And, then, I just…didn’t.  No real excuse.  Yes, I had a lot of things going on.  But, if I wanted to make it a priority I could have made it a priority.  I always just found it easier to use busy schedule as reason not to go.  When I go off track, I find it really hard to get back on.

The past 5 weeks or so I finally got back into using my treadmill, but I knew I really needed to strength train.  So, Tuesday I went with my husband to the Y.  I had actually planned to do it last week, but the hurricane legitimately derailed that (Y was closed most of the week).

We are actually going to a different Y than the one I went to before.  The old one I went to is a little closer, but I like the facilities and equipment at the new Y a little better.  It is also larger and has a greater variety of equipment.  I can still go the the other Y if I want to, so we’ll see if I like the new one better. [Read more…]

September Weigh In

Saturday Weigh In

I weighed today for my official September weigh in.  I was at 147.2 pounds, down .8 pounds.

 

That put me well within free lifetime so I was happy with that.  I had a really great week, both from food and activity and I was happy about that.  Given the stress of the week (hurricane – no water in our house, but constant rain and my routine was disrupted), I was really happy that I stuck with it.  There were a few moments this week when I was tempted to not walk on treadmill or to eat more than I plan, but I mostly withstood those temptations. [Read more…]

Fitbit Alta HR Review

This week I got the new Fitbit Alta HR and wanted to review it.  I have been using a Fitbit Blaze, which I did a First Look Review when I received over a year ago and then a follow up after two months.  I still really like the Fitbit Blaze and have been happily using it.  I did take off from exercising after my surgery last year, but lately I’ve been getting back into some walking (still not going to the Y yet) and am becoming more active.

And, the Blaze is great for that.  Despite that I bought a new Alta HR.  Usually when I buy a new Fitbit it is because the new tracker has some great new feature that I don’t have with the old tracker.  That isn’t the case with the Alta.  In fact, it has fewer features than the Blaze.  And, some of those features are important to me.  So, why get the Alta?

Looks.  That is mostly it.  Well, comfort is a factor, but that is relatively minor.  I love my Blaze and it does a lot of stuff.  If I could have only the Blaze or the Alta HR, I would go for function over form and keep the Blaze.  But, Fitbit allows you to have more than one tracker on your account.  I can wear the Alta HR part of the time, then switch midday to the Blaze and then switch back and if I sync both of them I will end up with all my steps and calorie burned counted nad all my activities recorded.

For that reason the question wasn’t Blaze or Alta HR.  The question was Blaze only or Blaze and Alta HR.  When I looked at it that way, it was easy for me to decide on having both of them.

The Alta HR does most of what the Blaze does.  It also is much smaller.  It is very sleek to look at.  Like the Blaze, you can switch bands if you want.  It is just that the Alta HR is prettier.  The Alta HR looks like the Alta which came out close to the time the Blaze came out.  I wasn’t tempted by the Alta, however, as it didn’t continuously monitor heart rate and that is a dealbreaker feature for me.  The Alta HR does continuously monitor heart rate.  I like how it looks and it is very comfortable to wear.  That is important since I wear my Fitbit 24/7 as I use it to also monitor sleep.

[Read more…]

Weight Watchers Tracking of Fitbit Walk

I walked today recording my walk as an activity using my Fitbit.  I had posted recently that Weight Watchers had apparently fixed the problem they were having in double tracking steps.  To recap, previously when using an activity monitor and recording walking (or running) as an activity, Weight Watchers would double count the steps from the walk with your steps for the whole day.  During the time that I wasn’t exercising (due to surgery), this got fixed and Weight Watchers now tracks the activity and then deducts those steps from the daily total.  So, you get extra FitPoints for the steps that are in excess of those for the tracked walk.  I was glad to see that since it meant I could now tracking walking as an activity on Fitbit and not worry that the steps would get double counted.

Today, though, I noticed another great change.  One of the negatives on walking (and reportedly running) when activity was synced using an activity monitor was that Weight Watchers awarded FitPoints solely based upon steps.  The intensity of the walk or run didn’t matter.  If you walked 5000 steps at a slow pace you got the same FitPoints as if you ran 5000 steps at a fast pace.  Of course, the latter would take much less time.  But, it was the same FitPoints.

This contrasts with how it is when you manually record walking or running (that is, you don’t use an activity monitor).  In that situation, you give the length of time and intensity and the FitPoints vary based upon both time and intensity.

It bothered me that intensity wasn’t a part of how activity points are given.  I happen to live in a hilly neighborhood.  When I go for a walk there isn’t much that is truly flat.  So, I burn a lot more calories than I burn if I walk the same number of steps when I go to a shopping mall.

But, that wasn’t reflected in my FitPoints.  But, good news.  I noticed today that it is now reflected.  This what Weight Watchers showed after my walk.

fitbit-walking

I went and checked on Fitbit and found that I walked 3825 steps during the walk.  If Weight Watchers was still going solely by steps, I would have earned 3 FitPoints for the walk.  But, I earned 4 FitPoints which is what I would earn for 37 minutes of walking at moderate intensity.  So, it appears that Weight Watchers is now using the information it gets from Fitbit to determine the intensity of the activity and awarding FitPoints accordingly.

I don’t know if this applies to all activity monitors or all activities.  But, this was really good news for me since I feel this gives me much better results on my activity.

To anyone using an activity monitor:  Are you seeing intensity being a part of how FitPoints are being awarded?

Received New Fitbit Blaze Bands

In my last review of my Fitbit Blaze, I mentioned that I had ordered a leather band and a stainless steel band.

They arrived yesterday.  I was really pleased with how they look.

Bands

As I mentioned in my review post, the leather and stainless steel bands from Fitbit come with a frame.  Many third party bands and the Classic Bands from Fitbit do not include a frame.

As you can see, my plum band (this came with my Fitbit) has to be held down as it won’t lay flat.  The leather band does lay flat which is nice.  The stainless steel has a clasp rather than a buckle. [Read more…]