Archive of ‘Fitness’ category

FitBit Alta Review

Trying to get Daisy to pose with the FitBit Alta

Trying to get Daisy to pose with the FitBit Alta

Hey everyone! I had a birthday this month and received a FitBit Alta as a gift. The FitBit Alta is one of the latest FitBit models, along with the new FitBit Blaze. It comes in four basic colors, but I had the black one (there were customizations you could purchase for it later if you wanted). At first, I loved it! It was slim, unlike other FitBits I had seen before. I was also excited to get reminders to move throughout the day, during my sedentary desk job, and to see how many calories I burned. However, the usefulness of the fitness wristband stopped there for me.

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Leveling Up IRL: I Survived My First Spin Class

fsy-studio-spin-room-cycle

Last month I tried my first ever spin class! Since my 26-month contract with the big box gym in town ended, I’ve been trying out different gyms and studios for somewhere that I will actually go to that will supplement my aerial classes. (It was actually pretty hard to motivate myself to go to the other gym for a number of reasons.) Doing aerial silks and hoop requires a lot of strength and flexibility, but I thought I was missing a “cardio” type activity in my workout regimen. I also wanted to trim down and lose a little more fat (because I love to eat?!), so I decided to try indoor cycling.

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7 Days of TruFusion: Gym Review

TruFusion logoA couple weeks ago while I was running errands, I stumbled upon a gym called TruFusion that offered a variety of different classes of Pilates, yoga, TRX, kettlebell, and more! I asked the girl at the front desk to tell me a little bit about the gym and pricing, and received a tour of the facility, which seemed great! They had a few different rooms that specialized in different activities, a healthy snack and smoothie bar, and even a retail area where you could purchase fitness clothing and supplies.

I had been bummed that my favorite Pilates instructor at my usual gym had dropped to only one day a week. Additionally, lately it has been difficult trying to fit in classes that I like in my schedule (gaming, appointments, various other errands and full-time job), and my usual gym does not always offer classes that I like during times that I am available. However, this new gym does, and so I took advantage of their 7 days for $7 to try out their classes and the gym to see if I would like to join.

Here is how my 7 days of TruFusion went!

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Working Out at the Gym is Like Playing an MMO

Working out at the gym is like playing an MMO–to me anyway! The other day in the midst of a group fitness class at my gym, I was thinking about the game (which I do a lot!). I was thinking about how much I enjoyed the group classes versus working out alone on the weight or cardio machines, and I thought this was similar to how I play an MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I go to a very large, busy gym, and there are people working out there 24 hours a day, just like there are tons of people playing on a server at all hours. Like in-game, sometimes you have to fight or run quickly towards a gym machine/mission objective!

There are many people that choose to simply play or work out solo. There are others that like to work out or run content with a couple friends. Finally, there are people that like to do group fitness classes or run raids/operations. I’m one of these people.

When I’m in-game, the majority of the time I’m doing group content, unless I’m trying to level a character up. In that case, I usually level alone because I don’t like making anyone wait while I listen to cut scenes or having people buzz in my ear on voice communications. However, it is a rarity for me to be leveling, since I only like playing one character anyway. Most of the time I’m playing with my guildies doing either flashpoints or operations.

I personally don’t like doing dailies. I know it’s a good way to earn credits in-game, but it’s boring and unchallenging. This is how I feel about hopping on a treadmill. You spend however long “grinding” on a machine, and it procures results. However, going to a group fitness class or doing an 8-man operation in-game is so much more fun for me, and I still get results.

Everyone likes to do things differently, and I do periodically run dailies or get on a cardio machine. However, my favorite thing to do is to play/workout with others, which seems strange to me since I really like to be left alone a lot of the time!

Do you find a correlation between how you like to work out and how you like playing an MMO?  I’m sure not everyone likes going to classes like I do! Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @Heather_PLS.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions & Tips for Goal Setting

This upcoming year I have a few resolutions that I’m aiming for. They’re pretty common things that many people hope for in the New Year, but I thought you might be interested in seeing mine anyway!

My 2015 Resolutions

  • Drink at least eight 8oz cups of water every day.
  • Take vitamins every day.
  • Maintain workout schedule.
    • I actually have this one written out, but I won’t detail my exact plan/schedule here. I like this goal because it’s a goal to stay active and in shape. I don’t ever weigh myself at home, but I can get my body fat percentage and weight measured at the gym once a month by a personal trainer, so I will be able to keep track of my progress.
  • Move into a new home before June 30, 2015.
    • I would like to save a little more money for furniture and other things to put into a house, so I will have to make some personal adjustments on my budget right now.

Tips for Goal Setting

I do have a few tips for those who are also setting goals and resolutions for the New Year. More effective goal setting first starts with how you phrase and go about achieving your goals. I have a few example resolutions and goals.

Original: “I’m going to lose weight.”

Suggestion: “I want to lose ____% body fat by December 31, 2015.” (After all, muscle weighs more than fat anyway.)

Suggestion: “I will work out at least three times a week for at least a half hour.”

Be specific!  Instead of just saying you will lose weight, be specific on what you want, when you want it to happen, and how you’re going to do it. Make your goal measurable, or set a timeline to achieve the goal so you can plan what you are going to do in that amount of time.

Original: “I’m going to save more money.”

Suggestion: “I want to save $5,000 by December 31, 2015, so I will have to save about $416 a month.” (Because 5,000/12 = 416.66)

Suggestion: “I will save money on eating out by bringing my lunch to work at least twice a week.”

Average amount spent on eating out for lunch = $10/day

Savings by bringing lunch to work instead = $20/week * 52 weeks = $1040

(Obviously not totally accurate since I have to buy the food that I bring to work still, but it’s still cheaper overall and will garner some savings.)

You can say all you want about how you’re going to save more money, but how about planning on how you’re going to do it, and setting a date on when you will have a certain amount saved? To make this more effective, you may want to create a budget, see how much you could feasibly save over time, and compare that with how much you would like to save. When you examine your budget, you can also see how much you’re spending on certain things.

For example, I spend way too much money on lunch every week, and could easily save more by bringing lunch to work on some of the days. Another tip is to make sure your goal is realistic. If I set a New Year’s resolution to bring my lunch every day, this would be extremely difficult, since I’m not accustomed to doing that. Instead, I could aim to bring my lunch at least once a week, until I meet my ultimate goal of eating out for lunch only once a week.

Do you have any 2015 resolutions and goals? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @Heather_PLS!

Leveling Up In Real Life Part 1: Exercise

As a gamer, there are lots of things I do that are pretty unhealthy, like sitting hunched over in an uncomfortable desk chair for long hours, staring at a computer screen, staying up way past when I should be going to sleep because I’m trying to get something done in-game, snacking on whatever processed foods happen to be in my kitchen, etc.

However, I try my best in other aspects of my life to offset these things. While this seems really superficial, I think that if you like how you look and you feel healthy, it makes a difference in how you feel about yourself and being confident.

Gaming is an extremely sedentary activity—unless you’re playing one of those Wii or Kinect games that require you to move around. I also find myself snacking on things that are bad for me (Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Puffs), because I was too lazy to eat a real meal before doing a SWTOR operation for a few uninterrupted hours. It’s good to get your blood pumping and do some physical activity! Not only will this help with your heart, but you might even lose a few pounds or gain some muscle depending on your body type.

I personally like to do a couple of the cardio dance classes at the gym, along with Pilates, weight machines, and once in a while I’ll get on a treadmill (but that’s the most boring thing to do). Once in a while I might go hiking or walk around for hours at the mall, which are fun activities that will still get my heart rate up.

One thing that motivates me to work out seems a bit silly, but it totally works. I subscribe to Fabletics, which is a clothing service for women, in which you take a little quiz on what kind of exercises and workout clothes you like, and every month they recommend personalized outfits based on what you like! You can always choose to skip a month if you don’t want to purchase anything (or be lazy like me and never remember to skip), but I find that having cute, new workout clothes makes me want to wear and use them. Eventually you can earn enough points for a free outfit! Here’s my referral link for Fabletics if you are interested.

I think starting out is a little hard at first, but after a while, exercising becomes a routine. You WILL start to feel better after going. I also recommend having someone in your life that will motivate you (in a positive way) to exercise even when you don’t feel like it.