Tag: workout

No, I don’t use a FitBit…I just develop an exercise routine

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Although I didn’t follow this advice myself, please consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen. Additionally, the exercise regimen I described in this blog post is my own exercise regimen, and others may find a different exercise regimen better suited to them than mine.


As someone who has battled with obesity since childhood and has been trying to get in shape in recent months, I’ve become well aware of the rise of activity trackers, such as FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin Vivofit, and so on. These are electronic devices, usually worn in a similar manner to a wrist watch, that are designed to monitor number of steps taken, heart rate, and so on.

However, there are two reasons why I don’t have or use these types of devices. First, they’re very expensive. Many models of these activity tracker devices are a few hundred dollars in price. I can find far better things to spend a few hundred dollars on. Second, In the case of FitBit, they’re facing a class-action suit over allegations that they give inaccurate heart rate information. FitBit users in California, Colorado, and Wisconsin have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that two FitBit models are giving out wildly inaccurate information about the user’s heart rate:

Fitbit customers from California, Colorado, and Wisconsin filed a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that two 2015 Fitbit models—the Charge HR and the Surge—don’t offer accurate heart rate readings. As the Verge, which first reported the news, points out, Fitbit also dealt with a class-action suit in 2014. In that case, customers were getting rashes from the Fitbit Force.

In the current suit, Fitbit users assert that the LED “PurePulse” heart rate monitor in the Charge HR and Surge doesn’t offer accurate readings. “Plaintiffs and many consumers like them have experienced—and testing confirms—that the PurePulse Trackers consistently mis-record heart rates by a very significant margin, particularly during exercise.” Good thing no one uses their Fitbits while exercising. One plaintiff claims that her heartbeat was actually double what her Fitbit said during a personal training session.

You can read the class-action lawsuit here.

For someone with a medical condition that requires them to have their heart rate and/or other vital signs monitored during exercise, getting inaccurate information from an activity tracker could lead to health problems not being noticed until it’s too late.

I’ve spent several months trying to find an exercise regimen that I’m comfortable with, and, in the past week, I’ve stuck to the following exercise regimen:

  • 45 minutes of racewalking — Believe it or not, racewalking is actually an Olympic sport, although I’m not a competitive racewalker. Basically, racewalking is similar to running, but with the requirement that at least part of one foot be in contact with the ground at all times. I racewalk around my kitchen table, I time myself using the kitchen timer function on the microwave in my kitchen.
  • Several minutes of weightlifting using detergent bottles filled with water — Instead of using dumbbells, kettlebells, or other types of actual weights, I use a pair of 75 fl. oz. bottles of laundry detergent filled with water (roughly 4.9 lb. each) as weights. I can do many dumbbell and kettlebell exercises with these weights.
  • Several minutes of unweighted exercises — Types of exercises I do without weights include lunges, stretching, arm circles, leg circles, calf raises, leg raises, and standing crunches, and squats, among others. Sometimes, I’ll do punches and kicks as well.

Most importantly, I don’t have to spend a ton of money to keep that exercise regimen.

 

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My struggles with obesity, and how I’m trying to lose weight

AUTHOR’S NOTE #1: The blog post includes measurements in both U.S. customary and metric units, with metric conversions listed in parenthesis and courtesy of Wolfram|Alpha, except for a square meters calculation that is my own.

AUTHOR’S NOTE #2: This blog post is merely a documentation of the author’s obesity problems and attempts at weight loss, and the post is not intended to give weight loss or other medical advice to anyone. When in doubt, seek advice from a licensed physician before starting a weight loss or other fitness regimen.


4XL pants I used to wear when I weighed over 340 lbs., but are far too big for me now because I've lost roughly 50 lbs.
4XL pants I used to wear when I weighed over 340 lbs., but are far too big for me now because I’ve lost roughly 50 lbs. since I wore these pants regularly.

I’m struggled with being severely overweight since I was about 6 or 7 years old. For many years, I’ve had habits of eating junk food excessively, eating large amounts of sugary candy, drinking several cans and/or bottles of soda pop per day, and not exercising. Several years ago, I weighed over 340 pounds (over 154.2 kilograms).

However, I’ve changed my habits. A year or two ago, I cut back considerably on soda pop and sugary candy. I now drink soda pop and sugary candy not more than 2 or 3 times per week. By changing those two habits alone, I managed to get my weight down to slightly over 280 pounds (slightly over 127 kilograms).

A few days ago, I changed more of my habits. While I still mostly eat food that isn’t healthy, I’m eating less food that I have in the past. Additionally, I’ve begun exercising on a daily basis. Since I spend most of my time in a bedroom that is 12.5 feet (3.81 meters) by 8 feet (2.44 meters), or 100 square feet (9.3 square meters), and I don’t have any exercise equipment (weight machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, dumbbells, exercise ball, etc.) at all, I’ve had to improvise with my workout routine. For 45 minutes per day, I will exercise. On most days, this will consist of 45 minutes of brisk walking back and forth across my bedroom, although I’ll sometimes do less than 45 minutes of brisk walking and fill in the remaining time with striking exercises (punches and kicks) and a core workout (mostly sit-ups). Over the weekend, I lost roughly 3 pounds (roughly 1.36 kilograms), mostly because of my significantly increased exercise.

If I lose a significant amount of weight in the coming months, I promise that I’ll share before and after photos on this blog.