Uh Oh My FitBit Broke

Yesterday I went to shower and as I was going to undo the strap on my FitBit my FitBit broke.  My FitBit is one of the tools I rely on greatly in my weight loss efforts.  It allows me to track my daily progress.  As soon as it broke my first thought was how am I going to track my steps, my blog!

So I called FitBit just before they closed and spoke with their sales department hoping to just order another band.  Turns out that you cannot buy a band for the FitBit Charge HR.  According to the sales person I have to speak with someone in their customer service department to determine whether they can fix it for free or I will have to pay for it.  After the amount of wear my FitBit has seen it isn’t too surprising that my FitBit broke but I like it.  I am really hoping to hear that they will fix it for free.

My FitBit Broke, Now What?

After I was done with all of that my next thought was my FitBit broke, what am I going to do about my Pact?  Well I looked at the Pact app and it will sync with the Jawbone Up Move.  The move is labeled as a throwaway fitness tracker and at the price of $49 it is hard to disagree.  I have a friend who has one so I decided to give it a go.  At the very least it will give me a way to track my steps while my FitBit is being sorted out.

My FitBit Broke

When I arrived at Best Buy there were only two options black and red.  I went for the black one.  The Jawbone Up Move normally comes on a clothing/belt clip but because I lost my first FitBit because it had a belt clip design I wanted to get the watch strap for it.  I got a pack of watch straps from Best Buy, black, yellow, and a redish color.

Until further notice I will be using the Jawbone Up to keep track of my steps and possibly my sleep.  The device doesn’t have a heart rate sensor so it fits a lot looser on the wrist which is nice.  It almost feels as if it wasn’t there.  I am still trying to get used to the Jawbone Up Move but the app is a little confusing and it seems to be having some syncing issues.  As far as I can tell there is no option to force a sync with the device.

Once I have worn the device for more than a day and have had a chance to figure things out I will post a review of the Jawbone Up Move so that you can know a little more about it.  I will also keep you apprised of what FitBit says about my Charge HR.

Weekly Check-In

Yesterday when I got home late from work I was completely pooped.  This cold has been kicking my ass.  This week isn’t going to be a normal check-in.  You aren’t going to see a weight or a step count.  The reason?  My scale started spinning and not uploading weight when I tried earlier in the week and I didn’t get the chance yesterday.  As for the steps?  Last week was terrible and I know it.  I spent most of my free time in bed.  I will say that I only walked 67,471 steps all last week.

My Pact

My first worry when I became sick was my Pact.  When I started my Pact I wasn’t sure if there was a way to report being sick because I couldn’t find anything like that.  I had looked because there was a week in which I was hurting.  This week when looking I did find a section labeled medical emergencies buried in the menu structure.  I received a response while at work yesterday from them that last week will be invalidated, aka, it will no longer count against me.  This week is already off to a good start with over 16,000 steps.

Sore Throat Cures – You Can’t Finish It If You Aren’t Well

Yesterday I got on to write my post and found some issues with the last two posts, I was sick and the only thing I could manage to do was try and fix the issues with the website.  Both of the issues should now be fixed.  I started thinking about what to write for finish it Friday this week and I knew almost instantly what to write.  You can’t finish it on Friday if you are sick.  So here are some of the best sore throat cures from around the internet.  Some of the cures that I have tried, some of them have been reviewed well by people on the internet.

Sore Throat Cures

Chicken Noodle/Chicken Soup

Soup - Cures For Sore Throats

I used to be a huge fan of chicken noodle soup, especially as far as sore throat cures go.  Now the broth from chicken noodle soup tends to leave me with a weird taste.  Just because I don’t like it anymore though doesn’t mean that it isn’t among one of the most popular cures for sore throats.  In fact, when we were out shopping the other day, my fiance told me that we have chicken noodle soup in the cabinet at home and that I should eat it.  Doctors believe that the sodium in the soup broth could be what is causing sore throats to be eased.  Sodium is known to act as an anti-inflammatory.  I have always heard of chicken noodle soup being one of the best sore throat cures but as I was doing the research for this article I found that chicken soup can also be used.  It also helps that soup is easy to eat, even when you have a sore throat.

Hot Totty

Hot Toddy - Cures For Sore Throats

This is a classic recipe for sore throats that you obviously need to be 21 to enjoy.  A hot toddy is a mix of honey, rum, and boiling water.  You can also use an other spirits such as whisky and brandy.  Some people choose to finish the hot toddy off with decorations such as a lemon or add flavor with a cinnamon stick in the glass.  I have used this method before and it goes away quite well.

 Hydration

Hydration - Sore Throat Cures

Dehydration can be a cause of sore throats so staying hydrated is a great way to cure them.  Even when your sore throat is caused by another issue water can cure it.  When I was in high school I would sometimes wake up with sore throats and the first thing I would go for was water.  Almost everytime this would solve my sore throat.  Some people recommend drinking hot water in order to get the best results but under most conditions I don’t like drinking hot water.

Tea

Tea - Sore Throat Cures

Tea has been used to cure ailments around the world for years.  It isn’t a surprise then that it is considered among sore throat cures.  Tea soothes the throat and depending on what you mix into the tea it can help your sore throat in a variety of ways.  If you want to help the tea go down, add a dab of honey for smoothness.

The Salt Water Gargle

Gargling - Cures For Sore Throats

As I have said before, I love salt but I haven’t tried this one.  Gargling salt water is supposedly among the best sore throat cures.  The warm salt water is said to lessen the swelling in your throat and even ease the discomfort.  One must gargle at least once every hour and more frequently if you have a runny or stuffed nose as part of your sickness.

Marshmallows

Marshmallows - Cures For Sore Throats

This one may be one of the tastiest cures for sore throats for most people.  Marshmallows contain a sap that for years has been used to treat sore throats and other ailments.  The most common form that this sap is used in though is as a tea.  There is no scientific proof that marshmallows help with sore throats; however, there are plenty of people that feel that it does help.  Some other professionals also think that the gelatin in the marshmallows coats the throat causing your throat to feel relief.  This is one of the cures that I don’t think I will try.  I don’t like marshmallows, especially the regular sized or large ones.  The taste and texture have never done anything for me.

Avoid Smoking and Smoke

Avoid Smoking - Sore Throat Cures

Smoking in itself has been known to cause sore throats among many other medical issues.  Because of this it is imperative you stop smoking at least while you are trying to get over your sore throat.  If your sore throat returns when you start smoking again you know what is causing the issue.  Second-hand smoke is known to have its issues and among those is causing sore throats and causing them to last longer.  This also applies to the other tobacco products.

Sleep

Sleep - Cures For Sore Throats

One of the best sore throat cures and cures for other ailments is sleep.  Many times our body just needs to sleep more than we would normally want to allow it to.  I spent most of yesterday sleeping to help recover.  I woke up still feeling sick but a lot less so than I had been feeling the day before.  Sleep sometimes acts as a reset switch for the body.  It allows ailments to heal, energy levels to restore, and our brain to reinforce pathways.  This is also why it is so important to get enough sleep regularly.  It helps to keep us healthy and prevent colds in the first place.

When it comes down to sore throat cures there are a lot of them out there.  Some of them may work for you while others may work for your friends.  Finding the right cure might take a little bit of trial and error.  Luckily, all of the cures listed here are without medication so that you can try as many of them as you want.  Well, okay, one of them has alcohol in it but for most people that isn’t a deal breaker.

Based on how my sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and coughing has progressed I should be better before Monday and have a quality check-in post, hopefully with some good news.

Top 3 Exercise Myths

Do you think you know everything about fitness, exercise, and weight loss?  I don’t think I am an expert, but I am trying to learn more.  Take a look of these exercise myths and see if you are guilty of believing them.  I was guilty of believing some of these and I know a gym that I went to believes in at least one of these.

Top 3 Exercise Myths

Exercise Myths 1: No Pain, No Gain

This exercise myth is quite popular among weight lifters and cross fitters.  I went to a gym in Burien, WA for a month that believed that this was the only way to workout.  I told the trainer that my mom paid for that I felt as if I was going to throw up but he said that is good and then repeated the old mantra of “no pain, no gain.”

I see two problems with this.  First, when you follow the no pain, no gain exercise theory you are likely to get an injury.   Suffering an injury while working out can hurt your muscles and can also cause you to miss days on your workout.  Missing part of your weekly workouts can set you back further.

Second, you create a problem where your mindset is that you aren’t getting a good workout if you aren’t feeling pain.  This means that every workout you will want to push yourself to feel pain.

Out of most of the exercise myths this one can be the most damaging to your exercise goals.  Don’t hurt yourself and workout until you feel stretched, not until you are in pain.

Exercise Myths 2: Your Weight Is The Only Matter

When you are working out for the purpose of losing weights your weight is not the only thing that you need to worry about.  In fact, you might gain weight at some point because you are gaining muscle.  So when you are trying to lose weight you should try to keep track of your body fat and measurements.  This will allow you to better track your changes.

I track my body measurements but not as frequently as I do my weight.  You just take a tape measure and measure parts of the body that you want.  Often times these areas are measured:

  • Neck
  • Biceps
  • Quads
  • Waist
  • Hips

Exercise Myths 3: One Type Of Workout is The Best

When it comes to working out people tend to believe that one type of workout is all that you need.  One may be better than the others.  For example, some people believe that lifting weights is all that you need and cardio has no place in exercising.  Some people believe vice versa.

The truth of the matter is that to be its most effect for weight loss and muscle gain you need to vary your workouts.  Low intensity and high-intensity workouts are needed along with both cardio and weights.

It is also recommended that you get a mix of cardio and weights.  For example, if you run on a treadmill one day, the next cardio day you should go out and run on the sidewalk or at a track.  This gives your muscles a variety of different work.

Now that you know these common exercise myths do your best to avoid them.  They will hurt you and could result in you losing ground on your weight loss efforts.

Weekly Check-In Monday 10/19/2015

This week I did better on my steps I walked a total of 85,856 steps which is 9,121 steps more than I walked last week.  I know after seeing last weeks stats that I wanted to do better when it came to walking.

Monday 10/12 – 2,228 Steps
Tuesday 10/13 – 10,348 Steps
Wednesday 10/14 – 14,748 Steps
Thursday 10/15 – 11,725 Steps
Friday 10/16 – 10,897 Steps
Saturday 10/17 – 18,804 Steps
Sunday 10/18 – 17,016 Steps

* Like with last week the green means that the day I met my FitBit step goal, the orange means that I met only the Pact goal, and red is the day that I didn’t meet either.

Unfortunately, despite increasing the number of steps I took this week the scale is telling me that I am 184.4 lbs.  I don’t know if that was because the scale wasn’t calibrated or if I had actually gained that weight, but it was not pleasant to see.  My goal for this coming week is to be at least 1 lbs less this coming week.

I have started playing a new game which requires walking, Ingress.  So far it has been fun but it is a little complicated and want to gain more experience before writing about it in detail.

 

Stretching At Your Desk – Finish It Friday

Normally Finish It Friday is all about exercising but today I wanted to take the focus and put it on stretching at your desk.  Stretching is just as important as exercising in today’s world of keyboards and desk sitting.  Actually, stretching is a form of exercise in itself, it is an exercise that is used to warm up a specific muscle or muscle group.

Why Is Stretching At Your Desk So Important?

When you slave away at a keyboard your fingers are hard at work and your wrists are being consistently bent.  This puts a lot of strain on the various parts of your hands. It can lead to a variety of different conditions such as tendentious.  To prevent injury to your body from working at your desk start integrating stretching into your day.

The number one rule when it comes to stretching at your desk is do it every hour at minimum.  Stretching, moving, and exercise sessions every hour should be between five and ten minutes for maximum effectiveness.

If you are typing for a long period of time it is also advisable that you take a small break every five to ten minutes.  This gives you time to look at what you are typing at the same time as giving your fingers a break.

Stretching At Your Desk

Basic Stretching

As mentioned above your fingers should take a break when you are doing large amounts of typing.  When you take a break roll your wrists around and open and close your fingers several times.   Place all your fingertips on the desk and push down on them, release and repeat.

Neck Stretching

It may not sound like it but your neck builds up a lot of stress when you sit at the desk.  You are looking at a monitor and holding your neck in the same position for a long period of time.

Start by pushing your ear to one shoulder and holding it there for five seconds.  You should feel the stretching.  After five seconds move the other ear to the other shoulder and repeat.  Once both sides are done repeat the same process for holding your head back and then pressing your chin to your head.

When you are done stretching your neck it should feel more free and relaxed.  If you desire you can always repeat the neck stretches multiple times.

Finger Stretching

Here is another finger stretching exercise for you.  Stand up at your desk and place your hands on the desk with your arms straight at your sides.  Do your best to point your fingers back at your body while keeping your palms on the desk.  Lower yourself towards the desk and you should start to feel the stretching.  As soon as you feel the stretch you hold the position for fifteen seconds.

You can repeat the stretch as many times as you want throughout the day.

Touching Your Toes

This one is very well-known but it is rarely done because a lot of people think of it as a kids exercise.  Start with your feet just under shoulder length apart, bend down at the waist and touch the floor.  Slowly walk your hands back so that they are touching your toes and hold the position for 15-30 seconds.

Office Chair Leg Raises

place both feet on the floor with you back straight against the backrest and arms on the armrest.  This is the standard sitting position.  While keeping one foot on the ground raise the other leg straight up as high as you can.  Hold the leg there for fifteen seconds or as long as you can hold your leg there.  Lower your leg to the ground.  Repeat the same process with the other leg.  This is a great way to stretch at your desk because you don’t need to get up to do but you are still working your legs!

Other Stretches

You can use any stretch that you have seen or used in the past in your office, just be aware that your co-workers may look at you strangely.  Don’t be discouraged though.  My co-workers understand why I stretch and get up and walk now that I have explained it to them.  So what are you waiting for?  Start stretching at your desk and live a healthier lifestyle.

Video

Here is a video of some office stretches that you can do.

Foods To Eat When Trying To Lose Weight

Earlier in the week I wrote an article on foods to avoid when trying to lose weight, today I am writing an article on foods you will want to look for when trying to lose weight.  This post was delayed due to a busy day yesterday and this morning.

Next time you are at the grocery store think about incorporating some of these food items into your daily meal.  There are a variety of them so thaere will be options for most meals.

Foods To Eat When Trying To Lose Weight

Water

Foods To Eat When Losing Weight - broccoli

Water plays a key role in weight loss.  It may not be a food but it should be on any foods to eat when trying to lose weight list.  Your body needs water in order to be able function but also in order to process food.  Experts say that you should have at least 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before eating a meal.

I didn’t use to drink enough water and at the time I didn’t know that.  It would cause a large amount of headaches.  Now that I know that I need to drink a lot of water every day I am not getting as many headaches and feel better.

Broccoli

Foods To Eat When Trying To Lose Weight - BroccoliBroccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are great for those who are trying to lose weight plus they help you to satisfy your daily vegetable need.  These foods have high levels of protein and fiber, both great for those who are looking to be active.  Scientists also believe that they contain elements that could be useful for fighting cancer.  The calcium contained in broccoli also helps to power your body’s weight loss efforts.

Here are some of the other cruciferous vegetables:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts

Tuna Fish

Foods to Eat When Trying To Lose Weight - Tuna

This picture of tuna fish may not look like it should be on a list of foods to eat when trying to lose weight because it simply doesn’t look appetizing.  Tuna is great for your weight loss efforts though.  Tuna doesn’t have much fat, is low on calories, and is high in proteins, all things you want when you are trying to lose weight.

Make sure not to have too much tuna every week though because it has high levels of mercury which can be dangerous in large amounts.  You should also choose tuna stored in water over tuna stored in oil because it is healthier.

I actually just made tuna two nights ago and still have some left over.  It is one of my favorite foods for sandwiches and is great because it is simple to make a tuna salad for sandwiches or to eat by itself.  I just combine chopped pickles, tuna, and mayonnaise.

Grapefruit

Foods to Eat When Trying To Lose Weight - Grapefruit

I have heard of this one before but I am not much of a plain grapefruit fan.  Grapefruit is great for your heart and is also great for your weight loss efforts.  It contains a collection of vitamins and acids that are good for the body.

While grapefruit in itself is great for weight loss there is a group of people that claim that when you eat them before your meals it will help to burn off the fat from the meals.  I have heard people both vouching for and against this diet so I don’t know which stance to take.

Black Beans and Lentils

Foods to Eat When Trying To Lose Weight - Lentils

Black beans, lentils, and some other legumes are great for weight loss.  Compared to most other sources of protein, such as animal meat, they are extremely low on fat.  They also contain some of the good starch.  Legumes can be hard for some people to tolerate so it is important to prepare them properly.  This will help keep your room smelling better after you have eaten them.

Take this list of foods to eat when trying to lose weight and keep it in the back of your mind when you are shopping.  Just remember to check the food that you buy to make sure it is healthy.

Stay tuned because I will be doing a follow-up post to this one in the near future with even more foods to eat when trying to lose weight!