Archive for the ‘jumping jacks’ Tag

A New Exercise Tracker and Watch: Fitbit HR

photo by Guillermo Murcia

photo by Guillermo Murcia

I have been wearing the Fitbit HR for the past week. I’m enjoying it very much. Adapting to wearing a watch again has been the main challenge; my wrist is not used to the constricting feeling of a band around it. The LED lights felt painful, like a burning sensation, the first time I wore the watch. Now my skin has desensitized. I don’t notice any burning sensations anymore from the pulsing green lights penetrating my skin, measuring the flow of blood under the surface. If I am already wearing the watch when I turn on the heart rate function I feel a tickling sensation when the lights first come on. When I put my awareness to that area of my body I can still sense the lights flashing, but when busy or otherwise engaged I do not notice the lights pulsing. Because of this I choose to turn the heart rate function off for most of the day and use it mainly when exercising, to watch the heart rate recover. It works well in this function to track the general tendencies of the pumping of the blood. I receive an instantaneous report, as opposed to the 30 – 40 second delay experienced using the sensors on a treadmill, which of course aren’t available in the comfort of my living room when I am running in place, doing jumping jacks, or stepping.

I’ve set the watch to show the heart rate when I tap the watch so it’s very convenient to read. For instance as I sit typing my heart rate is a 76 beats per minute, that’s a bit higher than it ought to be but as my sleep was not so restful last night I’m unsurprised.Being able to view my resting HR is fun. It will be interesting to see if I can drop it below 62 for my average resting rate if I was too increase the consistency of my cardio workouts. Three or four times a week, instead of on to three times plus a few sprints to keep up with kids on bikes or trying to get to the school bus stop on time.

As I do the waves having a stop watch on my wrist is so much more convenient than using the stopwatch located on my phone and much less obtrusive when working with my clients. Also having the tap function set to heart rate makes accessing my heart rate instantaneous rather than needing to scroll through the time of day and the steps taken first.

Ever since my Polar Heart Rate monitor watch broke about 8 years ago I have been using my phone as my watch. After having children, I needed to be available if a caregiver or now the school needs to reach me in an emergency, and the phone has been ever present. I have never enjoyed doing this, as I do find phones and especially smart phones can be unduly distracting whether it is my phone or a clients phone. It’s also cumbersome and obvious when I’m checking the time in the middle of a session. With the Fitbit HR I can leave my phone in my bag or tucked away in a pocket when I am with a client. If I have an incoming call the watch vibrates and shows the caller id. I can put the distraction of the phone further away from myself. It would be nice if text messages could appear on it (after all more people seem to text than call these days) like a caller id with the message too, but for that I suppose I’ll need an apple watch. For a thorough review of the apple watch as a health and fitness tracker click here.

An additional function that I really enjoy is the sleep mode which does not need to be put into sleep mode; no button to push or tapping to do to get the device to record or come out of sleep mode. However, if you get up in the middle of the night like I sometimes do, the Fitbit will call that the waking up and you then need to add a second sleep log for when you fall back asleep until final wake up in the morning. During sleep I find that the weirdness of wearing a watch becomes more pronounced. I rarely wear jewelry or anything so I find myself wanting to remove the Fitbit HR in the middle of the night. It feels constricting and bothersome on my wrist. Needless to say on the nights when I remove during my sleep the results are not so accurate, but as with the pulsing of the LED lights my body is becoming acclimated to wearing a watch.

The rest of the Fitbit HR functions are like the Fitbit One, which my son and husband are both using when they can. I will post about their experiences in the future.

For more detailed reviews of the Fitbit HR you can go here and here.

Advertisements

I have a new accessory: a giant boot.

I'm supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

I’m supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

Nothing like a stress fracture to slow an active person down. Actually, I wasn’t letting the fracture slow me down, at least not enough, so it’s a good thing I’m lugging this boot around now. Its impossible to walk really fast in this boot. Slow I go, and now my bone will heal. Meanwhile the boot throws my hips out of alignment and “hello” to back pain. Add a lift to balance the hips. Immediate pain on the bottom of my non-injured foot. Try a lift with arch support. Removed that within five minutes, no sense in creating a new injury.

Solutions:

1) sit and not move for three to six weeks.

2) stretch as much as possible.

3) keep doing other exercises to balance my hips and stabilize my torso.

Solution number one, although ideal in many ways, is completely unrealistic. Solution two is something I can do for a few minutes morning and night, and occasionally in between. Solution three is essential even if the dishes haven’t been washed or the kids are not in bed yet.

Of course, 3 to six weeks of non impact cardio, that is a problem. Bike would be the best thing, but I have children and when can I get down to the gym? It’s so much easier to just do 50 jumping jacks then toss a load of laundry in the wash, do another 50, wash some dishes, do some push-ups, more jumping jacks, referee the kids, more jacks, and then find a few minutes at the end of the day to do a few more. Combined with walking kids to various places that makes for good activity, but 30 minutes straight, in a gym on a bike? Impossible, or at least highly unlikely! Hop on one foot? I’ll have to give that a try.

The good news:

1) The kids will get better at doing things for themselves.

2) I have a dance background and strengthening feet is something I can do! This fracture will not reoccur; my feet will become as strong as they used to be when I danced.