Fit Family|Fitness|Lifestyle|Review

My Love Affair with Fitbit has Helped Me Restore My Health

After being diagnosed as chronically ill in December 2016, the decision to fight for my life saw me embrace an immediate lifestyle change.  The thought of my children growing up without me was something I just couldn’t fathom.

Expeditious action was required, so I made the decision to join the gym on 4 January 2017. I also began exercising and eating right.  I’m 41 and to be honest the tech generation was never my thing, but I needed something to help me track my physical activity.  A month into my journey I decided that it was worth giving a fitness tracker a try.  Absolutely clueless in this department, I did my research and due to the fact that just about everyone was talking about fitbit I decided to go with it.  To be completely honest, i’m a skeptic so instead of buying a new Fitbit, I opted to buy a second-hand one to determine if this was really for me.

A few days had passed and it was final, a Fitbit was for me.  Off to the shops I went and bought myself a brand spanking new Fitbit Flex.  I loved everything about it, from the tracking of steps to the tracking of the food I was consuming, plus I could swim with my Flex.  The highlight for me was the sleep tracking on the app, which was a huge wake-up call (excuse the pun).  Fitbit helped me realise that I was ony getting 1.5 to 2.5 hours of sleep per night.  I literally trained my body to get more sleep thanks to my Fitbit.  I’m happy to report that I now get approximately 6 hours of sleep per night, which plays a vital role in productivity as well as achieving my weight loss goals.

Fitbit Family

I was so impressed with my Fitbit, that I bought the Charge 2 for my eldest son (age 14) and myself.  Yip, you heard right … another upgrade for me. I also bought the Alta HR for my 10-year-old. It’s important to keep in mind that under Fitbit’s Terms of Service it states, users under 13 years of age are not allowed to have personal Fitbit accounts.  If you do want to sync your kid’s tracker with the Fitbit app, you will need to create your own account and let him or her access it that way.  Buying Skylar (10) a Fitbit has seen him lose 4kg and seriously improve his fitness level.  To be honest, we don’t fully utilise all aspects of the Fitbit for him, he is extremely aware of the number of steps he gets in every single day.  This little one racks up approximately 25000 steps per day.  On days when he gets home from school and hasn’t reached his target, he’s sure to head outside to kick around a soccer ball so that he can get those steps in.  Ashton (14) who was diagnosed with anxiety disorder utilises the Relax mode which really helps with his anxiety levels.  If that wasn’t enough reasons to own a Fitbit, well its made this fit family super competitive with us trying to beat each others daily steps or times when we do races.

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We Love Fitbit

The Fitbit Ionic

My Charge 2 was amazing and I had absolutely no issues, but due an injured right foot I needed to take up swimming. Monitoring my training which now includes my swimming was vital, so the Fitbit Ionic was next on the list.  The Ionic is everything and more.

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Watch this video below for a quick summary of what it can do and then you will understand why I’m completely and totally in love with the Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic is more than just a smartwatch, it’s been quoted as the first 24/7 smartwatch.  From the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, my Fitbit doesn’t leave my hand.  Okay, I take it off to shower (but don’t necessarily need to).  The Fitbit Ionic tracks calories burnt, stairs climbed, exercise, resting heart rate, sleep and the latest addition to the app means that you can track your period too ladies.  I even set notifications to keep me on track throughout my day. All of the above and the battery actually lasts approximately 5 days thanks to the impressive battery life.

The Ionic is a big bold statement piece and even though it looks like a fitness tracker, I still wear it with my formal wear.  I mean, I am a fitness girl after all and fitness is a lifestyle.  Straps can be changed so you do have options.  The large screen has impressive clarity and the swipe and tap functions on the screen are effortless. Then there’s the Fitbit app which is pretty amazing and provides your stats without any effort.  It even allows you to change your digital watch face, which keeps things fresh and exciting. 

The addition of Exercise mode means that the Ionic automatically recognises a host of different exercises, from running, cycling, swimming, treadmill running, weights, interval timer and workouts.  Theres a host of dedicated apps that can be utilised with the Ionic.  Deezer and Strava are definite highlights for me.  In addition to that, your watch stores up to 300 songs on it.  The built-in Coach app is Fitbit’s personal training app, which offers workouts of varying difficulties and duration.

Life without a Fitbit

21 months after I bought my first Fibit, I honestly can’t imagine life without my Fitbit.  It  has been life changing and has seriously helped keep me on the road to smashing my goals.  I’m mindful of my body, what it does and what it needs thanks to the use of a Fitbit.  I’m 22 kg lighter and have dropped 6 dress sizes.  Sounds impressive right, but I still have 10 kg to go, so watch this space as I smash my goals as I gear up for 2019.

Fit Family|Fitness|Fitness event|Giveaway

Fitness Magazine’s Fit Affair 4 Ticket Giveaway

Fitness Magazine’s Fit Affair series is gaining rapid momentum, as the fourth fitness event in the series is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 1 September 2018.

Fit Affair 3

Before I give you the low down on Fit Affair 4, let me recap Fit Affair 3. The event which took place in June at the Rietvlei Zoo Farm, was an energy filled event that catered for the entire family. There was definitely something for everyone with a wonderful line-up that saw everyone work up a sweat.
The line-up packed a punch with an energetic Boxercise workout by Mika Stefano, who was also the MC for the event. Participants got to muscle up with the functional fitness experience by @train_boutique_fitness. The days drew to a close with a cardio Zumba session with @gusmarimaritz.

The Main Reasons I Attend Fit Affair

  • The event caters for everyone including families. This means that my #FitFam gets to workout with me.
  • I get to meet and hang out with like-minded individuals. The regular Fitness Fanatics show up in all their glory to not only workout, but to encourage and motivate participants who are on their individual fitness journeys.
  • Rather honestly … Fit Affair is a vibe

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Fit Affair 4

It’s definitely been an exceptionally cold and long winter. The welcoming of Spring just happens to coincide with Fit Affair 4. Its time to bring the heat and join in on the action as we get ever closer to the summer months.  Fit Affair 4 will take place on Saturday, 1 September in Muldersdrift between 8-11am. The line-up includes celeb trainer Mika Stefano who will lead the warm up. So be prepared for to say #MikaMadeMeSquat! A bodyweight team challenge session with Simone Jacobs Fit is sure to get your heart pumping. You can also expect a fantastic resistance band session with wellness and fitness business owner, Lisa Raleigh. The days events will finish up with a killer ‘cardio-dance’ session by @macdavaan and @_fitnessicon_ so be prepared to get your party on!

Giveaway

I am giving away tickets to Fit Affair 4, so make sure to enter on my Instagram page. T’s & C’s apply.

Fit Family|Parenting

It isn’t about winning, but more about crossing the finish line

Those of you who follow me, know that my family is indeed a #FITFAM. I couldn’t look at improving my health and fitness level, without including my kids. Being fit as a family is important to me, as it’s created lasting moments of quality time spent together. I know my kids will look back and cherish our moments of fitness fun.

Fit Family of the Month
It’s so important to me that I’ve decided to do a series about Fit Families who inspire me. Today I’d like to introduce you to Emanuel and his family. Mani (as he is better known as), is a Dad blogger who shares Darren’s and his personal journey as gay parents in South Africa. They are the gorgeous family behind the blog Two Dads & a Kid

Mani has generously agreed to share their story as a Fit Family with us and I’m over the moon and grateful to have them on the blog today.

Their Story
Hubby(Darren) and I both grew up during a period that sport was part of the school curriculum. You weren’t expected to participate in every single sport the school offered, but we were expected to participate in at least one sporting discipline in addition to PE (now known as Physical Training). Darren was into athletics and his rugby. He loved rugby so much that it became part of his career. I on the other hand was exposed to and participated in a variety of sports disciplines ranging from individual activities like squash, athletics and swimming through to group disciplines like soccer and cricket.

Into our adult life, sport or rather physical activities have always been a part of our daily routines. We either at the gym for 30 to 60 minutes doing weights or cardio, or we are on the road, running or cycling. Entering races has become part of your weekend routine, not to win but to finish and improve on your previous race time. When our son was placed with us, he was our support crew with whichever spouse was not participating. Early morning starts became part of our weekend game.

Even before our son came home, it was a given that he would be encouraged to participate in sports. So, it was no surprise that we introduced him to swimming at age 6 months. At this point we attended lessons for about 4 months before he had had enough. So, we stopped. I’m so glad that we attended these lessons though, because a Sunday afternoon a year later he accidentally fell into the pool. Thank God for the lesson, because instinctively he turned himself onto his back and started kicking his legs and moving his arms about. What felt like minutes, was a lot less. When I eventually reached him, he was calm. This scenario could have been deadly, thankfully it wasn’t. Drowning is real! Besides saving your life there are many other benefits to learning how to swim. Swimming is great for the heart, lungs, improving your strength, balance, posture and flexibility. In recent years child obesity has become a huge concern, as it may lead to diabetes, swimming is a great preventative measure.

Although our son disliked the pool for a while, today he is loving his swimming lessons. We’ve introduced him to the world of Karate, Basketball, Soccer and Mountain Biking to bring a little more balance. Of all these disciplines, Mountain biking is where his heart is. He is a true MTB Rider. Seeking all the challenging routes while out on the trails. Although the hills are still his nemesis, if neither Darren or I are around, he will give it his best, refusing to give up, and giving him a sense of achievement. As he matures, being out on his bike will be another way for him to meet and make new friends. Although relatively new to schools, MTB is growing at school level with many events now introducing a prize for the school with the most entrants, for example. The best part of MTB or Cycling is that you can go out onto the trails as a family and it’s a skill your child will have forever.

Benefits of Exercise for Families

  • it improves our moods by releasing endorphins in the brain, that natural ‘high’ you feel after a good workout
  • kids that exercise regularly are more likely to pay attention and switch between tasks with better speed and accuracy
  • perform better on tests regular exercise also builds a child’s self-esteem
  • provides an environment for kids to meet and make new friends

Different Strokes for Different Folks
As a family we don’t necessarily all excel in the same sports. So, for example, Darren enjoys MTB more than I do. For that reason, he tends to be the one hitting the trails with our son. Swimming is my fortes, so besides swimming school, whenever I get the chance I hit the local pool at the gym and basically get our son to show me what he has learnt during swimming class. All three of us enter races. There’s nothing like a medal to boost your spirits and push you to do better.

Final word
Their motto is that as a family they do not give up. They may not be the first to cross the finish line, but they will finish! If you would like to follow these amazingly inspirational dads as they keep fit with their handsome son, then go and vist their blog TWO DADS & A KID and follow them on social media.