Fitness Trackers, are they worth it?

Fitness Trackers

I have had a Fitbit since 2008. In fact, I have had just about every Fitbit as they have evolved. I love the data, finding out how much restful sleep I have had, and making sure I keep active all day. Its a great way to really know how sedentary you are, and where you can make small changes that will make a big difference in your fitness.

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Fitbit – I am currently using The Fitbit Charge HR. I upgraded from the Fitbit Charge, which I upgraded from the Fitbit Zip, which I upgraded from the original Fitbit. First and most importantly, ALL of my Fitbit’s are still working with the exception of my Charge.

I don’t know what happened there, the button on the side must have been faulty. But even my original Fitbit is still going strong. I have passed them on to my family members and they are all happy with them. I prefer my Charge HR to the other wearable that clip on, I have lost the clip on kind more then I can count, they just do not stay on me, so strapping it to my wrist is preferable to me. My daughter however dose not like the watch type ones, and is happy using my old zip. Another reason why Fitbit is my favorite tracker is because of the amazing web site they have. You can track all your food, set goals and see all your data in one place. When I was using Basis, I still used the Fitbit site or my fitness pal to track my food. You can set alarms to silently wake you up, it does steps, calories, my heart rate, floors I have climbed and my distance in miles. I basically only take it off when I am in the shower.

Pros- data, easy tracking and pairing, and the web site is the bomb!

Cons- Loosing the clip on kind, and having to wear two watches or take it off if I want to dress up.

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iwatch – I thought this would retire my Fitbit. I was wrong. I have not been to impressed with the fitness tracker on my iwatch. I spent one entire week wearing both the Fitbit and the iwatch and the steps were completely off, it only logged about half of what Fitbit did. If you are trying to watch your calories in/calories out you need another app for logging your food and steps like my fitness pal or Fitbit. As of today I would not recommend iwatch to use as a fitness tracker, but I will keep my eye out for new updates, and new apps!

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Spire – This is a different little guy from your run of the mill fitness tracker. Spire is all about managing your stress and staying active. Its a clip on, so right away I wasn’t exited, but, the clip is way better then my Fitbit’s, it just feels more secure, and it has never gone missing. The app walks you through clipping the spire on correctly, and it monitors your stress level and activity all day. What make it different –  as your stress changes the app will walk you through different meditations or relaxation techniques, with the idea, that being active and managing your stress will keep you healthy. I love it, I must say most days I just like comparing my stress levels with my husbands, lol, I do not always do the exercises. What can I say I am working on it. But knowing is half the battle right?

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Basis – I was sooo excited for my basis. We were on a waiting list when it first came out, so this review is based on the first model. It has since had at least one incarnation, and been purchased by Intel. The data you get from Basis is top notch, I found it the same or better then my Fitbit. BUT, that’s where we go wrong, that’s all you really get, accurate data, when compared to the Fitbit, where all that data is synced to an amazing web site that helps you work towards a goal Basis is lacking. Again I found myself wearing the basis, but logging all my info on Fitbit. So unless Intel changes something, it makes no sense for me to use one tracker and log my data into another one.

Hands down Fitbit works for me the best. I like to have all my data merged with my goals. For those with weight loss goals, you can input all the food you are eating, and it will tell you based on the goals you set how many calories you can eat that day, and how you did working towards that goal all week, month etc. If you are serious about getting healthy, buy a tracker. If you like data and easy use, buy a Fitbit.

♥Pamela

Pump up these Jams – Workout playlists

Workout Playlist

 

Good music makes every thing better! Nothing beats the feeling you get when your favorite song comes on. You get a burst of energy and the feeling like you are on top of the world. I love making new playlists for my workouts, long trips, and time by the pool. When I was still teaching I remember I made a play list for free time and when Ice Ice Baby came on, yes, I still love this song, the whole room started singing and dancing, clearly every one likes it as much as me. Some of my favorite memories are connected to specific songs, I love the thought of the endless hours my best friend Tracy and I used to spend making up dances in middle school.

Whether you are getting ready for a night out, cleaning your house, or jogging around the block a great soundtrack can get you motivated. Here are some of my faves, sure to get you moving!

“Let’s go Crazy” Prince

“Sugar” Maroon 5

“One More Time” Daft Punk

“Rebel Yell” Billy Idol

“American Boy” Estelle Ft. Kanye West

“Sweet Child Of Mine” Guns and Roses

“Baby I’m a Star” Prince

“Let’s Stay Together” Al Green

“4 minutes” Madonna

“Kiss” Prince

“Love on Top” Beyonce

“Brick House” Commodores

“Sexy Back” Justin Timberlake

“Super Freak” Rick James

“Locked out of Heaven” Bruno Mars

Under Pressure Queen and David Bowie

“Naught Girl” Beyonce

And any thing on The Pitch Perfect sound track, especially “Please don’t stop the Music” by the Treblemakers.

I think I could keep this list going forever! What are your favorites to listen to to get your work out going?

 

 

 

 

 

Easy ways to burn more calories every day

EASY WAYS TO

If you read my post on Fitness Trackers you know I love my Fitbit. Wearing a fitness tracker really lets you know how much you are NOT moving! I was pretty surprised to find some long periods of complete inactivity. Since then, I have really made an effort to increase how much I move every day. Its amazing how many calories you can burn during the day with out hitting a gym. Here are some simple ways to break up those sustained sitting periods at work and home:

  • Take phone calls standing up. If the phone rings, stand up! You will automatically find your self walking around.
  • Rather than email office colleagues, walk to their desks to communicate with them. On that note, don’t yell for your kids, walk to their rooms, or where ever they are to talk to them.
  • Create a standing workstation. My husband just changed over his work and home offices to this standing desk, it lowers so he can sit at it too, if needed, but its really amazing how many steps he has added not changing any thing about his routine.
  • Wear a pedometer or fitness tracker to encourage taking steps. I check on mine through out the day, reach for at least 10,000 steps.
  • Set a timer on your home computer or phone to alert you to get up every thirty to forty minutes and break up sitting with short bursts of activity, like running to the mailbox.
  • Have a dog? Try and increase you walks by 10 minutes, or take time to toss a ball in the yard, your puppy will love you for it!

Bonus tip – At home, stop multi tasking! Are you setting things on the stairs to bring up the next time you head that way? Stop, bring it up right then and there. I have found I doubled the amount of flights I climb each day just by doing that.

How do you add more activity in your day?

♥Pamela

Why you should be working with a Health Coach

Why you should be working with a

 

Is working with a Health Coach for you?

If you have ever thought of joining one of my group cleanses, or signing up for individual Health Coaching but still had questions this article is for you! Here are some reasons why working with a Health Coach like me can help you!

Accountability – Did you make a promise to yourself to hit the gym more, loose those extra 10 pounds, or maybe revamp your entire diet? Working with a Health Coach can help keep you on track to achieving your goals.  By setting Specific, measurable, attainable, time bound goals, and giving you with the tools you need to make your goals a reality.

You don’t know where to start – GMO’s, organic, Paleo, confused as to what is the best diet for you and your family? let me help you. By assessing your goals and lifestyle I can help you transition to a healthier life! As a Health Coach, I can give you a customized plan to help you meet your goals, one simple step at a time. Whether you want to loose weight fast, cook healthier food for your family, or get ready  to run your first marathon I can help!

Retrain the way you think: Taking a holistic approach, Health Coaches understand the emotional, physical, behavioral, nutritional and lifestyle factors that are needed to make a lifestyle change.   Let me help you diffuse anxieties and identify misconceptions that may be standing in the way of you reaching your goals.
Become self-reliant: While this may seem counter intuitive, the ultimate goal of a health coach is to help you to become self-reliant to increase your motivation to adopt healthy habits. From helping you create or maintain an environment that fosters success to finding and implementing a support system, as a  health coach, I am  committed to arming you with the tools you need to succeed in reaching your goals.
Make it a lifestyle: Health coaches enable individuals to see the value in reaching their health-related goals. By building a true connection between exercise, nutrition and  and all of the  normal daily activities you need to get done, you will learn to take ownership of your experience and create positive, lasting lifestyle changes that enhance everyday life.

Have more questions? Want to join a Guided Cleanse or sign up for individual Coaching? Leave a comment, or contact me at pamela@theahimsalife.com

♥Pamela

 

Why Arugula should be in your diet

Why Arugula Should be

I don’t know about you, but the produce department in my local grocery is killing it with the options these days!!

My normal routine is to head to the farmers market every weekend, but some times I can’t get there, or have inspiration for some thing else and head to my local chain grocery. These days I have been seeing a world of new and exciting foods on their shelves. I decided to create a series on all this great produce, what it is, why its good for you and how to prepare it. Here is part 1 on Arugula!

Arugula is a leafy green, you will find it near the greens in loose bunches or in those pre done salad bags. My daughters favorite is a Arugula Spinach mix! If you go ounce to ounce Arugula provides more Nitrates then any other veggie source. Nitrates lower blood pressure. When your blood pressure is lower your blood flow in increased, and more oxygen is delivered to your body, energizing all your cells, reducing your muscles need for this good stuff during exercise. In short, it makes it easier for you to get a better work out in!

Arugula is a great source of vitamins A, C and K. As a matter of fact, Arugula is one of the best sources of vitamin K, which leads to better bone and brain health.

Arugula has a great peppery flavor, which has a cooling effect on the body,  and like other  leafy greens, it helps keep your body hydrated, making it the perfect choice for those hot summer picnics and barbecues.

And guess what? Arugula, the modest little veggie that it is, gives all of these amazing benefits to your body, and is almost no calories! 1 cup of Arugula is 6 calories!!! 6 calories! For all that goodness!

How I love to prepare it –

The obvious answer is a salad, and I do prepare it that way a lot. We almost always have Arugula in the house, and if I am running around, or finishing up some writing, I grab a big bowl and load it with any veggies left on hand, and some oil and vinegar or lemon juice and its perfect.

For a quick meal, I toss it with some hot pasta, olive oil, and lemon zest. A little fresh ground pepper and Pink Himalayan salt and perfection! Lately at my house we have been making a lot of cast iron skillet pizzas, and a little arugula mixed with some olive oil and seasonings is amazing on the pizza just after its pulled out of the oven. If your trying to sneak in all that goodness to your children or a picky partner, stir a handful into your marinara sauce, they work together well, and your family will never notice.

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Why is every one so crazy about Coconut Oil?

Why is every one so crazy about coconut oil?

It seems like every one is talking about Coconut oil, here are my reasons why its great for you, and what you should do with it!

Using Coconut Oil in your cooking can give you added energy! Coconut Oil has medium chain triglycerides – unlike their long chain relatives found in meat and dairy, these MCT’s are not stored in your body, they high tail it to your liver where the get to work converting into energy. 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil per day increases energy levels by 5%!

It’s a anti-microbial, It kills viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi by dissolving their cellular walls. Adding a daily serving to to your diet can increase your body’s resistance to illness, improve digestive health, and even help to heal ulcers of the stomach lining.

Coconut oil Reduces Belly fat! Isn’t that reason enough to add it to your grocery list? It regulates your appetite and improves digestion, making it much easier to reduce your daily intake of calories  and lose weight at a healthy rate.

It is a natural mood enhancer. Coconut oil helps you to feel more motivated and energetic which can also assist with weight loss. Coconut oil aids in balancing hormones that reduce stress and anxiety – two of the leading causes of weight gain.

Its great for your hair and skin too! Full of vitamin E, coconut oil is a great moisturizer that helps to heal damaged skin, and reduces signs of aging. Coconut oil offers natural protection from harmful UV rays for both skin and hair.

Whether you use it for hair, skin, or both, it smells fantastic!!

Now that you know why you should love it, here is what to do with it!

  • Add a few tablespoons to your smoothies, sandwiches, or salads. Any where you would use butter or oil. Its amazing for a stir fry!
  • It makes a great deep conditioner for your hair! A little goes a long way on this one, 1 tablespoon is plenty for most.
  • Use it as a butter replacement for baking.
  • Its a natural lotion. Rub it into your skin for head to toe moisture.
  • Use it instead of shave cream, for a nice close shave that doesn’t dry you out!
  • Tame your frizzy hair!
  • Try it to remove your eye make up.
  • Season your cast iron skillet.
  • Calms skin after sun burn.
  • It reduces the itch of mosquito bites!
  • On cuticles to help nails grow.

 

Have you tried Coconut Oil?

 

 

Cozy up to a good book! Summer Reading List – Health and Wellness

theahimsalifecom

Summer reading list

Summer has arrived! There is nothing I love more then a lazy sun filled summer weekend spent cuddling up on the couch with my puppy Olive, a warm cup of tea and an amazing book.  Below are some of my favorite health and wellness books.

 

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Do Your Om Thing Bending Yoga Tradition to fit your own life

by Rebecca Pacheco

I loved this book. A little bit humor, a little bit yoga philosophy, Even if you do not have a yoga practice I guarantee you will get a lot out of the amazing lessons the author weaves through out this book. So inspiring! As soon as I finished, I started to think about reading it again.


 

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Success through Stillness: Mediation made Simple

By Russel Simmons

Buy this book right now. It will change your life. I simply can not recommend it more. I watched Russel Simmons on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. He talked about Mediation and this book, before the show was over I was already downloading it. I read it on vacation in one sitting. Russel Simmons breaks meditation down into easy bite size morsels, stripping away any misconceptions, he makes it so simple to work into your daily routine. But the book is way more then a “how to”.  Russel Simmons talks about his life, his success, and you even get a little yoga info too. Buy it, you will be glad you did.


 

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The Kind Diet A Simple guide to Feeling Great Loosing Weight and Saving the Planet

by Alicia Silverstone

I read this book a while ago, and still take time to flip through it again and again. It just never gets old. The Kind Diet is filled with stories, tips, tricks, recipes, and reasons why you should make a change to live cleaner and greener. I have made about half of the recipes and they were all delicious!


 

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Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

First off this book is gorgeous! The pictures are mesmerizing. Yoga girl is part coffee table book, biography, yoga guide and has a few delicious recipes to boot! I just just started reading this book, and I can already tell I will be keeping it handy for a quick inspiration.

What are your favorite books on Health and Wellness?

♥Pamela

 

 

 

Why you should sign your kids up for a Yoga class today

Why you should sign your kids up for yoga class today

Kids + Yoga = Calm centered children.

Sounds great right?

Are you constantly giving your child things to keep them busy at the doctors office? in the check out line? in the car, or basically waiting for any thing?

Do you download games on your phone, or buy them portable video games so every thing goes smoothly? Well Mom and Dad you need Yoga in your child’s life, like immediately.

I bring my children to Yoga with me as much as I can. Mine are older, but now that I see the benefits Yoga has on their lives I wish I had started them earlier.

I on own journey through (and to) Yoga I originally thought of it as just that, My journey. I went off on my own to do my home practice, or to a near by studio by myself, for a little me time. The benefits of practicing Yoga for me, are life altering. Through my practice, I kept on seeing ways it could help my children in their life as well.

Breath – When your child is stressed they yell and scream, they throw spaghetti a crossed the room , jk, Their breathing is stressed too. They breath quicker and more shallow. Pranyayama teaches us to slow down, breath deeper through our nose, and calm down. Yoga has also been found to help kids deal better with anxiety.

Strength –  Practicing Asanas help make them more aware of their bodies, how to move with intention. These postures make them more flexible and strong, which helps prevent them from future injuries.

Quiet the mind – In yoga we learn how to practice Stillness. This helps them listen, and make good decisions.  Poses like Savasana will teach them how to take a mental break. Calm down and get centered, and learn patience.

Take care of your self – Yoga teaches us to take care of our selves, your bodies our mind, and our spirit. Its for everybody and every body. No matter what size or shape you are, Yoga will help build your child’s self esteem.

Sleep –We see it all the time in magazines, books, and TV, No one is getting enough sleep, even our kids. Yoga can help shift the mind from lifes daily stresses, doing a few night time poses can help your child relax, unwind, and get more zzz’s

Focus –  Moving through each Asana, one at a time, paying attention to their bodies, listening for instructions, all of this focuses the mind, and helps children focus off the mat as well.

 

How should you get your child  started?

There are tons of videos and books that specialize in teaching Children, and can help you  start a home practice for your child. All of the studios I frequent either have a children, or family class as well. Just visit or call up your local studio and ask!

Have you tried Yoga with your children? Let me know in the comments!

Yoga – creating a home practice

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Busy work schedule, kids, dinner, laundry. All of these things can keep you from the gym or yoga studio. Starting a home practice might just be the answer you have been looking for to keep your practice going. Here are my tips on how to start a home practice.

  • Pick a place you will not be disturbed. This may be a extra room, maybe the living room before every one wakes up, or when they all go about their business after dinner. Believe it or not, I know one person who has a large master bathroom and unrolls her yoga mat there.
  • Stick with it. Trying to fit your yoga practice in where ever you can is good, but making a time and sticking with it is better. Even if you only have time for child’s pose, trust me, it helps.
  • Start your session with a plan. If you are an experienced Yogi you might have a series of asanas memorized or you can do poses from memory that your body craves. If you are a beginner, bring you iPad or get a DVD to help. There are also tons of books, and free yoga classes on line, even decks of cards with asanas to make it easier for you.
  • Turn your phone off! This is your time, take it for your self.

Most importantly, Have fun. Starting a home practice does not have to be intimidating, have fun with it!

-P

 

 

Juice of the Week – The Best Green Juice Ever!

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Green Juice, we love it!

In A perfect world you would be drinking at least 1 homemade green juice a day.

This recipe makes it easy to keep that promise, and its delicious too!

Kick Start Your Morning Green Juice

1 cucumber

3 celery stalks

2 green apples

5 Kale leaves

1/2 lemon

1 thumb size piece of ginger

Wash all ingredients thoroughly, making sure they are super clean, I always use a produce spray for this, and please buy organic!

Toss all ingredients in blender.

Blend till smooth, if you like it colder, add in some ice.

Drink and enjoy all the healthy deliciousness!

 

♥Pamela