3 Common Exercise Excuses for Christmas

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‘Tis the season for indulgence. And hey, you won’t hear us saying that’s necessarily a bad thing (bring on the peppermint hot chocolate). But let’s acknowledge that we all have way too many excuses to put off our health during the holiday season. A few? No problem. Halt the diet for a day and pound back a couple cocktails and charcuterie at the office party. It’s a time for celebration, after all. But eating candy canes to the point of explosion and then parking your bloated behind on the couch? Not a good plan.

We know we shouldn’t overindulge. But that doesn’t stop us from making excuses to abandon all vegetables and tuck away our running shoes for the season. The countdown to Christmas may even start to mirror the number of cookies you consume or the hours you spend stationary watching Christmas Vacation on repeat.

Do you find yourself coming up with these sorts of excuses below when it comes time to hit the gym or eat a salad during December? After all, the elf on the shelf is watching. And he’s counting your steps. And your slices of gingerbread cake. Be honest and confront your excuses to overcome them and reign in your indulgences this holiday season.

1cold

Yes, it’s cold. It might even be so cold that the snowmen come inside to get warm (waka waka). But like getting out of bed in the morning, it will only hurt for a minute. Once you brave the winter air and get moving, you’ll thank yourself for your courage. Maybe it’s the right time to try hot yoga? Winter is an open opportunity to mix up your fitness routine and add a jolt of energy. And if you’re having real trouble getting out, you can try one of these (a great conversation starter around the gym).

2parttime

You might have a holiday event every night. Your dance card is full. You’ve worn so many ugly sweaters, festive onesies, bow ties, and sparkle tops that you don’t even remember what it was like to dress in a way that didn’t scream “celebrate!” With so much revelry it can be hard to remember that alcohol and hours d’oeuvres shouldn’t be pounded back on the nightly. Try eating a protein packed meal before you attend to reduce snacking temptations, and take it easy on the cheer-filled drinks so that you don’t end up on the naughty list.

4shopping

But I shopped today. Doesn’t that burn calories? Sure it does. But you’d likely have to shop nearly 6 hours to burn off the calories consumed in one pumpkin scone. That might literally be shopping to the point of dropping and if you can brave the crazy crowds for that long you deserve a medal. But don’t assume standing in line equates to the same fitness benefits as your normal workout routine.

Try not to abandon your good habits during December. Because that’s not what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown. And ducking out to take a walk or hit the gym might save you from making snow globes with your Aunt Mildred and her weird cats (who decided to come for the holidays at the last minute.)

Leave It At The Door

leavesFall is here and it’s the best. Is it because society has finally taken its obsession with pumpkin spice too far? (Pumpkin Pringles? Really? The world isn’t ready.) No, put down the PSL and consider this: it’s the leaves. The crunch. The satisfying crunch. The ubiquitous sound of that special season between summer and winter.

Venturing outdoors becomes a crisp playground of child-like wonder. (Crisp: obligatory adjective used when describing apples, fall, leaves or a combination of the three.) Each leaf that releases itself from the tree and trickles to the ground beckons to you, urging you to embrace your inner Henry David Thoreau and meet nature with open arms. Arms that ache to flap and make fall’s version of a snow angel in a pile of freshly raked leaves.

Sometimes during the month of October there’s nothing better than lacing up your walking shoes, layering on a long sleeve tee, and stepping out onto the gold and brown riddled pathway. You leave your house, forgetting your cares and stepping out to embrace the adventure. It’s cathartic, feeling this thrilling transitional time of year. A period of promise. Where do you go from here? To winter? No, not quite. But it’s coming…

Each crunch beneath your feet is a goal you will reach. Yellow crunch. “I’m going to walk 20 minutes a day.” Red crunch. “I’m going to stand twice every hour.” Brown crunch. “I will go easy on the array of pumpkin spice products that contain zero pumpkin and/or spice.”

Pulverizing the foliage beneath your feet empowers you to make a covenant to yourself to live better. The world is changing before your eyes, thriving in spectacular color. So why can’t you too? Allow your best self to transform and unfold. You’ll probably like what you see.

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Oh, The Things You Would See

What if you stood up, got off the couch, closed your computer, set down the smartphone, and went outside. What then?

OITNB

What if you went outside and walked around? What would you see?

Maybe its the homeless lady who riffles through your recycle bin. Maybe its the twelfth cat that belongs to your neighbors. Maybe its the Amazon Prime delivery person wondering if you’re lost. Point is, you won’t know what you’re missing until you get out there.

Here are 3 things you may miss if you are hiding in the house:

1. This bunny:

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It shouldn’t be running around your house, unless, you know, its your pet Sniffles or something.

2. This view:

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You won’t see this from your couch, unless, you know, you’re a millionaire, in which case, good for you Daddy Warbucks.

3. All these red cars parked in a row:

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ZOMG THERE ARE FOUR. FOUR.

So there you have it. Don’t miss these things. Get out and give your couch a break. And when you return, Orange is the New Black will be there. Piper, Crazy Eyes, Red – they’re all there. Waiting for you. And probably envious that you aren’t limited to a dirt track in freezing Connecticut for exercise. Get out while you can – if you don’t, you may be sorry later. Yeah, jail. That’s right – JAIL. Things just got serious.

Working Out is a Challenge. Summer Makes it Worse.

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It’s officially summer. That means the bikinis are on and your rolls are out. The BBQs are fired up and the meat temperatures are being bickered over. And the sun won’t let you forget that you didn’t want to work out in the first place (you can barely drag yourself off the couch to walk when its a balmy 70 degrees and overcast, let alone lace up your running shoes to venture out into satan’s armpit of 98 degree hell fire).

Summer is arguably the toughest time to maintain your healthy lifestyle (aside from the fruit cake capturing days of December). When you break a sweat walking to the bathroom, it can be difficult to maintain the positive fitness vibes that you cultivated during the spring. So what do you do? Try these 5 tips to stay motivated during the summer months:

Start early. Even with the fan blowing you’re probably too warm to get a good night’s sleep anyways. Beat the heat and wake up early to get in an outdoor workout before the sun dominates the landscape. You’ll feel better throughout the day and be glad to avoid the harmful rays.

Hydrate often. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day. This will curb hunger, keep you hydrated as the sun depletes your nutrient supply, and reduce headaches associated with the heat. And don’t forget to hydrate any pets that you might drag along with you on your exercise excursions.

Class Pass. When meteorologists are frying eggs on the pavement to make a point, going outside is out of the question. Summer may be the perfect time to try indoor fitness classes and see what all the fuss is about. Look for temporary options like summer passes or month-to-month packages. And air conditioning? Oh yes.

Eat seasonally. We know that fresh is best, so eating seasonally is the best way to jazz up your summer dinners while keeping your waistline trim. Chances are you aren’t interested in a heavy meal anyways, so check out a seasonal food guide to see what’s freshest in your area.

Play. Remember when you were a kid and felt amazing after a day of swimming or running amok and eating popsicles outside with juice running down your arms? Tap into your childish sensibility and play at the beach, swim in a pool or start an outdoor game. You’ll burn more calories than you think and have a ball while you do it.

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What Can I Do With My Time That Is Important?

treeforestchesterIn reading through countless articles from “experts,” “gurus,” “coaches,” “analysts” and other faux-specialists applying their shoddy/brilliant expertise on the interwebs, I came across one little sentence that splattered my mind matter in a ginormous mess all over the wall:

Ask yourself: What can I do with my time that is important?  

It probably came from an article titled “10 Ways Kim Kardashian Makes 10 Million a Day,” or “Why Cats Fall into Laundry Baskets” or “You Will Only Be Happy If You Read This So Do It” or something like that. No doubt I fell into the click trap and pursued it because I just had to know the answer. (Spoiler: there’s no explanation for why cats do anything, so don’t fall for it.)

cat laundry basket

See? Pointless.

But read it I did, and this sentence seemed groundbreaking in its simplicity. It hit home for me so much that I WROTE IT DOWN on a POST-IT (no, I didn’t invent them). This was monumental because:

a.) I have accumulated stacks of post-its with nothing to write on them since the invention of the keyboard.

b.) I recently acquired a new pen that had yet to see any action and it was hungry for a cause.

c.) I never come across words of wisdom that don’t make me roll my eyes in a “too cool for school” fashion. This time I was not, indeed, too cool for said schooling and squealed like a cheerleader when reading the sentence.

Not to make this too much like school, but let’s dissect this little sentence, shall we?

What = implies an action, something in the realm of possibility. What’s for dinner? What do cats dream about? What’s the big deal? We don’t know just yet.

can I do = it’s you, it’s all up to you. You are doing the action, and you can. Go, you! (Still in cheerleader mode.)

with my time = everyone has time. It is yours, and it is special.

that is important = we are all capable of doing something important. It may not seem important to everyone, but you shouldn’t be worrying about someone else’s version of important.

? = Isn’t that just it? It’s a question mark. I don’t know the answer, but I do know there is value in searching for it.

If you wake up eager to do something important, then you’re on the right track and your desire to succeed in something shouldn’t be trivialized. Keep going. Fitbeasts are people who want to make themselves better, and make other’s lives better in the process. Health is important, but so is finding someone to love, something to do, something to look forward to and something in which to believe. So are you moving in the right direction? Ask yourself:

What can you do with your time that is important? 

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Food Pushers and How to Stop Them

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Maybe it’s your skinny friend who pounds back Oreos like it ain’t no thang and throws the bag at you to join them.

Maybe it’s your mother when she whines, “why don’t you call more often and did you finish that box of cookies I sent you? OK I’ll send another.” (Food is love. You have to eat the cookies or face the consequences.)

Maybe it’s the coworker who insists on bringing extra enchiladas and stares wide-eyed over the cubicle with glee as they watch you begrudgingly consume them.

Point is, Food Pushers are everywhere.

Food Pusher: Someone who pressures you into eating something that you didn’t really want in the first place and you feel guilty for both eating it and for potentially turning them down. If you refuse they take offense for some reason like you’ve refused a special gift. Usually accompanied by a “come on, just eat it!” demand and a pouty face aimed to make you feel like you’re missing out and therefore ignite feelings of self pity.

These people can show up in the most uncommon of places and make life extra difficult for those of us who can’t/don’t want to throw back beers and brisket like there’s no tomorrow. Some people kind of want to have a tomorrow, you know?

So how do we deal with Food Pushers? I’ve come up with 3 options. These are solid and 100% fool proof and you should definitely try them:

1. Post a strange sign that keeps people puzzled and far away from you: 

hallucinogensalligators

They’ll get the picture.

2. Ignore them for all eternity.

ignoredog

Remember that friend who always made me eat Red Vines? Yeah, me either.

3. Automatic whipped cream face smash when hearing “eat the ______!” 

pieface

SMASH. Works every time.

Well..OK…those probably won’t work. For long anyways (except the face smash will likely ensure a quick getaway). But enough kidding around. What’s the real solution?The silver bullet that stops these Pushers in their tracks? The actual tipping point that could snap some sense into them so that they learn the error of their ways?

A talk.

Yeah – I know, talking. Ugh.

Or a well timed text. Or email. Or airplane sky writing: NO MORE FRIED CHICKEN PLZ K THX BAI WOW THIS IS A PRICY OPTION….

The only real solution is boring, but effective. The only way to get the point across to these Pushers that you simply can’t handle all the food they offer all the time is to share your health goals. Tell them what you are trying to achieve. Let them know that you have a hard time turning down their scrumptious fried chicken and thanks but your butt is smooshing enough for the time being. Remind them that you don’t want to waste food that could be offered to someone else. Tell them that you are trying to make your health a priority and are being mindful of your foods. These are not outrageous requests, and it will likely make an impact when you tell them what you are trying to achieve.

Because the people around you 100% influence your habits and lifestyle, and a big part of that includes eating.

And if that doesn’t work, repeat steps 1 – 3 until the end of time. Solid plan.

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10 Things That Happen When You’ve Been Sitting For Longer Than 1 Hour

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  1. Your brain gets foggy. Fact: movement stimulates creativity and gets those neurons firing to aid mental processing. If there’s no movement, there’s no mental processing. And then there’s only mindless cat-video-watching as opposed to mentally stimulating cat-video-watching.
  2. People think you never leave your desk. This gives them the green light to constantly stop by and bother you. Especially Gladys from Accounting who loves sharing her cat’s latest demonstration of super powers. No Gladys, the pee pattern in the kitty litter box doesn’t look like Jesus and your cat isn’t a prophet. 
  3. Your back’s disks will be starved of nutrients. This weakens the disks and locks them up. And you need them to work right for walking and stuff. Poor disks.
  4. Your pants get wrinkled. You end up looking like a tattered rag used by a homeless man and then abandoned on the sidewalk. And not in a good way. Rachel Zoe is feeling apathetic about you somewhere.
  5. Your butt flattens. It will start to feel like a pancake. It will be ready for syrup and the special’s board at iHop.
  6. Your muscles become perpetually cramped. This can tighten and damage your muscles over time. You’ll end up feeling like you constantly need a massage and then you’ll spend all your money at the spa and probably end up on the street with the homeless man’s rag.
  7. Health risks increase. Just, all the things. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes, just to name a couple. Sitting pretty much helps every disease screw you over. Asshole.
  8. You embrace stalker tendencies. Maybe you need a change of scenery so you stop checking if your ex posted a new Insta every 2 seconds. Just sayin’.
  9. Explorations abandoned. What passed you by while you were just sitting there?
  10. People miss out on your backside. And you have an absolutely breathtaking heiny.

So what do we do? Move, Fitbeasts! Go forth and end sitting’s evil reign over your backside. Because that thing is nice and someone might want to be friends with it.

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Definitive Proof that THIS Is The Right Time of Day to Work Out

Note: there is no right time.

clockDon’t you just love headlines that lead you to believe there is one right answer for something? Unless it is the correct way to refer to pi, which is, in fact, apple with cinnamon crumble topping and not 3.14159 as some might think.

The right time to work out is anytime. As long as it is sometime. Simple as that. If you are trying to move, you are doing it at the right time of day, i.e. the time that works with your schedule. Whatever time you prefer to get active, here are tips to ensure you work out at some point in the day:

IN THE MORNING:

Skip the coffee. Please. The sloshin’ won’t be a pleasant knockin’ on an empty stomach.

Lay out your exercise clothes. The less thinking required in the morning, the better, so select your outfit the night before and it set next to your running shoes for easy dressing. Rumor has it some people sleep in their exercise clothes, but you can’t prove that unless doing something extremely awkward.

Make breakfast ahead of time. Pre-work out opt for a one cup-sized fruit and veggie based smoothie made the night before to jumpstart your routine. Post-workout finish off the most important meal of the day with eggs or plain oatmeal that give you a healthy breakfast in just minutes.

IN THE AFTERNOON:

Do a shoe swap. Bring comfortable walking shoes to change into during your lunch break. Dress shoes won’t get your motor running to take a brisk walk between meetings, so be sure to come prepared with proper footwear.

Brown bag it (in a reusable bag, of course). The worst way to derail a fitful afternoon is the need to make a mad grab for fast food. Pack a healthy lunch the night before and set a reminder to actually bring it with you. Consider packing a meal that can be snacked on walking around if you have little time on your breaks.

IN THE EVENING:

Prep the vegetables.  Everyone knows you should eat lots of vegetables, but sometimes if you need to wash, cut and prep them for cooking it can take some time. Do this ahead of time and portion out your vegetable helpings and ensure you aren’t wasting away in the kitchen until the wee hours of the night.

Eat a hearty lunch. If you are aiming to exercise right after the rush hour, make sure you have a healthy lunch or late afternoon snack to give you the energy to make it through your workout and deter running to the nearest Pizza Hut. Nuts and fruits are the best options for long-lasting energy that will bring you home to dinner time.

Get an early start. The closer you workout to bedtime, the harder it can be to fall asleep. Try to finish working out at least 3 hours before you will go to bed. Exercise will improve your sleep patterns, so be sure to find the right time and hit your sweet spot.

Is it your time to get active? Off you go!

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Fitbeast Awarded 2nd Place in Google Fit Challenge!

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We are happy to announce that Fitbeast has been named a 2nd Place Winner of the Google Fit Developer Challenge in the New App category! Developers from all over the world entered this contest to compete with other apps that use Google Fit. Judges were looking for apps that showed real innovation, design, longevity, helpful functionality, and (we think most importantly), were fun to use.

Chester’s corgi toes are tickled by the news. And we’ll admit, it feels pretty darn good. Almost as good as earning burritos. Everyone knows how good that feels. And to top it all off, Google gave us some pretty sweet prizes too, like:

Sony Smartwatch 3 powered by Android Wear

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Withings Smart Body Analyzer Scale withings

Polar Loop Activity Tracker 

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Polar Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor 

polarloopcensor

 

 

Adidas X Cell 

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Adidas Speed Cell

adidas speed cell

Thanks to Google for this recognition and we look forward to taking more steps forward in improving health and wellness in a way that is actually fun. And won’t make you want to throw your running shoes out of a moving car. That’s pretty much the goal.

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Come With Me If You Want Your Chair to Live

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As if we all needed to hear it again, here it is: sitting is killing you. Slowly. Worse than the albino torturing Wesley. Except that you can’t just yell TRUEE LOVEE and it all stops. Inigo Montoya’s sword is not being guided to a hidden underground tree chamber to come and save you. It’s just not happening at the moment.

Sitting truly is the silent killer, according to multiple infographics that office coworkers send to each other. While sitting. At their computers. And never. Standing. Up. After 8 hours of mailing cat gifs back and forth to your office bestie in your average, spinning business chair, your back and bones probably start to feel sitting’s evil sting. It must be stopped.

So what do we do? Forfeit the battle for our bodies and turn over into artificially intelligent robots? No, it’s too early for that.

Ahem, excuse the shameless plug, but Fitbeast can help. That’s why Chester is here. To help you be healthier and stuff. Allow Chester to let you in on a little secret:

fituals

Fituals. Tiny little reminders that remind you to do one little thing: move.

Every hour from 9am – 5pm, which is the typical workday for the tax-paying steak-loving, computer-dwelling American, a tiny Chester will remind you to move (if you haven’t already). Just, move. Get up out of your chair, take a few steps, improve your health. Repeat. And end sitting’s dominance over your sad chair. It probably deserves a break. Poor chair.

You can thank us when you have those extra years on your life handy to earn a Nobel Prize or write that novel that rests on the shelves between Twain and Dostoyevsky. Or the Princess Bride. All classics.

What do you have to lose? Give it a try. Chester’s nice. He’s funny. He likes steps. And burritos. The more steps you take, the more burritos you can probably have. Seems fair.

– Get Fituals

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