Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Hi friends! So we are in vacation down in Virginia! I meant to write this two days ago, but Monday ended up being a pretty lazy (much needed!) day so now I am finally getting around to it.

I’ll probably try to get a vacation post up sometime next week with all the pictures, but for now, I have a review of my new Fitbit Charge 2! I got this about a week ago, and I absolutely love it. I got one of the special edition colors, lavender and rose gold, which are two of my favorite colors/color combination. I am very glad that I went ahead and spent the little bit of extra money to get this color.

I have been charging it every other night, but it could probably go every three nights before needing to be charged.

Things that it measures: 

  • time
  • steps
  • heart rate
  • miles traveled
  • flights of stairs climbed
  • active minutes per day
  • sleep
  • water intake

Other features:

  • tracks exercise/different kind of exercise
  • stopwatch
  • guided breathing
  • “silent” alarms
  • bluetooth connection to your phone

 

This is what the app’s home screen looks like. It’s very user friendly.

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I don’t know what it’s thinking with the weight tracker. I haven’t put my weight in…

 

Okay, so I think I will walk through each of these features and give a run down of sorts about what I like about it and what I wish would be different.

Starting with the time…the Fitbit app gives me several different options for how the clock face can look. This is how I chose to have mine:

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Since my “main goal” is steps, that is what appears on my clock screen. That number “48” is the number of steps per hour. Maybe I should get up now if I’ve only walked that in 45 minutes:)

One thing I really like about this Fitbit is that one of your goals is to get 250+ steps every hour. I have mine set to send me reminders if I haven’t reached that goal 10 minutes before the hour. And it sends reminders from 9am-6pm. You can change both of those settings, but I have found that it really works for me like this. Right now, my goal is 8,000 steps every day. I haven’t reached that goal yet, but I’m hoping that once I get home from vacation, I’ll start hitting it most days. I know that I will for sure get over 10,000 every day at camp and once I get to college I will also be doing a ton of walking.

Like most Fitbits, it also measures heart rate. In the app, I can see my averages for just sitting and also working out. I’m pretty sure that it uses heart rate to calculate my “cardio fitness” a.k.a. how fit I am.

I am still trying to figure out how/what Fitbit counts as a flight of stairs. For instance, it doesn’t count me going down a flight of stairs, which makes sense. But sometimes it doesn’t count me going up the stairs either. I have to figure out how to move my arms in order for it to count the stairs I guess. I have my goal set to 14 flights each day right now, and I have been reaching that goal most days!

The active minutes per day. It counts the minutes that you are “moderately active for more than 10 minutes at a time.” My goal right now is 30 minutes every day which is the recommended amount. This is fairly simple to reach the goal every day for me. If I do a 30 minute workout along with a warm up and cool down, I’m easily at 40 minutes every day.

This is probably the coolest part of the Charge 2. It measures sleep! Every morning I wake up and look at my stats from the night. I set my goals: 8 hrs of sleep every night, bedtime 11pm, wake up 7am. I also set it to send me a “bedtime” reminder at 10 pm every night. It shows me how much sleep I got, time awake, time in REM, time in light sleep, and time in deep sleep. It also tells me if I met the sleep goals that I have set. Here are my stats from last night.

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I had a Fitbit Charge HR before the Charge 2 and from what I can remember, the Charge HR didn’t have an easy to use button for tracking workouts. With the Charge 2, I scroll to the workout screen and tap through the options such as “running, elliptical, biking, intervals, or treadmill” to name a few. I just have to press and hold for the workout timer to start. I can click the button once to take a rest, and press and hold again to stop it. By doing this, it will track the time, the steps, and the calories I burned for that workout. Then when my Fitbit syncs to the app, I can see charts with all of that information.

The guided breathing is pretty cool! Options for 2 minutes or 5 minutes. Once it “recognizes your breath” you have to inhale and exhale along with a circle that gets bigger and smaller. When you breathe to the right rhythm, you get sparkles! If you don’t breathe to the rhythm, you don’t get sparkles….and I love my sparkles:) I haven’t used this yet (except to test it out), but I think that it will be very helpful when my life starts to get stressful again.

The silent alarm option just means that it vibrates on your wrist so it won’t wake anyone else up. I loved this with my Charge HR, and I love it with the Charge 2. I don’t know about you, but hearing that same song come on my phone every morning gets obnoxious very fast. It’s loud and repetitive. If you’re like me and leave it on snooze and then leave your phone upstairs, it is frustrating to go find your phone to turn it off. Anyway, I love the vibrating alarm!

When I had a Charge HR, I didn’t have a smartphone so I’m not sure if it had bluetooth, but now I have one so I connected my Charge 2 to my phone. It gives options for everything. You can turn on/off whether you want calls, messages, and calendar events individually. For instance, I have messaging and calls connected, but I decided that I didn’t want calendar events coming to my Fitbit. With the messages, I can choose from getting notifications of my text messages, hangouts (not even sure what that is), or Facebook messenger. I chose my text messages since that is my main communication.

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I also started playing around with the community part of this today. You can add friends for a little competition and join groups of all different kinds. For example there are weight loss groups, healthy sleep groups, and healthy eating groups. There are also groups in the major cities like Chicago, NYC, Sacramento, etc. So many options!

One more thing. The Fitbit actually detaches from the wrist band to charge which also means that I can get other fun bands!

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Overall, I would definitely recommend this Fitbit to a friend. It is perfect for me, and how I want to use it.

Here is the one that I bought from Amazon. I got it in a size large. I have pretty small wrists, but I wear it comfortably on the first hole.

Have a good Wednesday friends!

 

 

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The Insanity of Finals

Hello friends!

My finals week is next week. Eep!! Since I have had the “college finals” experience twice before, I now have realized what I need to do to be more successful. This semester, I have a final in every class. Last year, I had a final in about half of my classes. The good thing is that I have 1 final each day for a total of 4 finals next week. I know some people might like to have them all on just one or two days, but I prefer to have them spaced out to give me the ability to “hyper-focus” (is that a word??) on each exam.

So anyway, I have organized my next 2 weeks. Maybe over organized, but I think it will help me get things done.

First, I scheduled my morning in time increments and wrote it out (color coded of course) on my whiteboard:

**

Wakeup 6:30

Get ready(teeth, wash face, etc)

Devos 7:45

Eat 8:00

Yoga (I do a quick 15 minute yoga to wake me up and get ready for the day. it really helps!) 8:15

Get ready (hair, makeup, clothes) 8:30

Leave 8:50-9:00

–>study

–>workout after school

–>shower (on certain days)

–>study some more!

–>quick room clean

–>set out clothes, lunch, fill water bottle

–>depending on what time it is, I’ll watch an episode of something, but I try to be in bed between 9&10.

**

So that’s my general daily schedule. I think it will help keep me on track instead of procrastinating.

Next, I wrote out all of the things I know I want to do each day on a note card. There are 10 days until my last final so I drew 10 columns. At the top of each column is the day. When I finish each task I color in the box with the corresponding color sharpie☺ For the shower row, I blacked out some days and left the days blank that I expect to take a shower.

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To finish off my organization frenzy, I wrote down exactly what I need to study each day for each subject in order to be ready for the final. It doesn’t look like as much when I put it on paper!

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Then on the days of each exam, I wrote “exam” so I could clearly see it😃

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So that’s what I am doing to maintain my sanity during finals! Somehow, organizing things like that helps ease the stress and keep me motivated.

Well, I’m off to take my last lab exam of A&P 1!!! It’s all about the brain, ear, and eye.👌

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Talk to you soon! 

 

**not sure if the pictures will post sideways…ah computers🙄**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churro Waffles

Now how can you not make those??? I planned on making these yesterday morning with my friend, but we ended up making her favorite: French toast. I decided to share this recipe anyway and try it later. (I found this recipe on the Chica Choclatina blog.)

Churro Waffles
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Becca Rychener
Those delightful, buttery sticks of goodness. Those yummy, fluffy cakes of goodness. Put them together and what have you got? Magic.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon
  • For the churro topping-
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cinnamon (depending upon how much you love cinnamon!)
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Also mix your churro topping and set it aside. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in three shakes of cinnamon and beat until blended
  3. Melt your 1/2 cup of butter used to pour over waffles. Next generously spray your waffle iron with no stick cooking spray. Fill your preheated waffle iron as usual. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Once fully cooked immediately pour melted butter on each side of the waffle and then dip each buttered side into your cinnamon/sugar churro mixture.
  4. Devour as soon as you make each waffle.
  5. Oh and if you know me, I have a huge sweet tooth! So you can also drizzle your waffles with maple syrup. Either way tastes amazing.
  6. Enjoy:)

 

I do plan on making these ASAP:)

We just arrived in Virginia. I finished unpacking and just getting settled in our hotel room. Pizza is in the oven and TV on. I am convinced that it is the only way to spend the first night in your hotel room. It is really hot here, close to 90 degrees, but our room is very comfortable:)

I have still been doing the yoga challenge. I thought that I would give you a little update! I have missed a few days so far, but I made them up as quickly as I could. I am a little behind right now, but I plan on catching up soon. I also plan on doing yoga during vacation as well!

I have loved the videos that they have sent me. You can choose between beginner and advanced, and they are very clear that the beginner level does not mean ‘easier’. 🙂 And they are right! The moves stretch me and make me really work, which feels great! Again, allow me to say how much I love yoga. I highly recommend My Yoga Works. To have full access to the site, you have to pay, but there are certain videos that are free. Head on over there and check it out.

So there is a little update on things. Hope you have a great Thursday evening.

 

End of School and SUMMER

School, technically, ended last Wednesday. I still have a few things I need to get done: French, Lit, and history.

Overall, this should be a relaxing summer and I am already enjoying it very much! I took a lot of pictures with people for lots of great memories as this is my last year at my school after 11 years. *Sniff* 😦

As Wednesday was the last day of school, our P.E. teacher, Coach, set up an outstanding field day themed ‘Down on the Farm’. She asked me to man the ‘Pig Out’ table. And of course…once the students were all finished I just had to try it! So I asked one of the teachers, going by the name Genevieve Elizabeth o’Shinseki (just for the blog!) to face me.

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On your marks…get set…

 

Go!

Go!

 

And the result

And the result

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t mind our hair…in any of these pictures…

Noni came to watch the events. We had a wonderful time! unnamed (24) 

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is our friend, Katy. She is going to public school next year so we won’t see her every day, but we still will see each other at church on Sundays! unnamed (29)

 

 

 

 

 

These next two pictures are with Miss Horner and Coach. Miss Horner is another teacher at school (3rd and 4th grade). I had her as my 1st grade teacher. I will miss both of them tremendously.

Miss Horner

Miss Horner

Coach

Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally…my beloved Chemistry teacher (she is the RRT that I followed.)

LOVE HER

LOVE HER

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you have faces to put with names! As to this summer, I am taking my driving road test on Wednesday! Pray that I pass the first time!!

I have summer camp later this summer, our VA trip with Noni in June, just swimming with friends and reading. OF COURSE, tons of CILT work to do before camp, but that’s fun…right?

Yesterday was the first day of the yoga challenge. Is anyone signed up to do it? I got the first email yesterday. I’ll post about that soon as well. Tell me about your summer plans.

Whole05

Ok listen. I survived the Whole30 for 5 days. I learned that I can live without chocolate or donuts or dairy or breads or sugar. It was a challenge sometimes, but I did push through the cravings for all those things–mainly chocolate. I also learned that strictly following the Whole30 doesn’t make me feel the best. Sure, my body feels great, but I don’t feel like myself.  ?

I don’t think the Whole30 is for everyone. I know all of the arguments: it is only for 30 days, you really can live without it, you can always go back to eating grains and such, it isn’t a restrictive diet it is a way of life,  etc. But I don’t feel that the exact Whole30 is right for me.

Therefore, I have decided to kind of make my own eating plan. I don’t want to restrict what I eat. I love the benefits of eating the Whole30 way. I definitely feel much better and not as tired. Maybe I have the wrong mindset about it, I don’t know. I just think that I would feel better if I ate healthily without excluding anything from my diet and exercising as much as I can.

For that reason, I don’t believe that I am quitting. I know I said that I started this to see if I could finish it. Well, I have realized that I could if I felt it was benefitting me. I don’t view whole grains and dairy as bad food. I realize that most Whole30-ers don’t either. In my opinion, for me to be really healthy, I need to eat some of every food group. Still limiting the sugar to special foods. Still staying away from processed junk. I absolutely love almost all of the Whole30 foods that my family has made, and I will most likely still eat what my mom (who is still doing the Whole30) eats for meals. I just might add in some yogurt or a piece of toast.

So there:) I didn’t really know how to say this without making it sound like I was quitting. So don’t think that! Because if I thought that I was being a wimp about it, I would push my way through.

What do you say about choosing ‘your own healthy’?

Presidential Physical Fitness Test…and more

So I finally took the test that I have been preparing for! Just as a refresher…in order to receive the Presidential award (as a 16 year old) you must do 1 pull-up, 45 sit ups in a minute, run the shuttle run in 10.1 seconds, run a mile in 8:33, sit and reach– 42 cm (that’s about halfway to the end of the box in the picture). Yesterday, we did the pull ups, sit and reach, sit ups, and shuttle run. I met all the requirement except for the sit and reach. I will have to redo it tomorrow when we run the mile. But, so far I am very excited that I have been able to meet the highest requirements.

On Monday, I received an email from my online writing school, the Circe Institute. A few weeks ago, I entered their annual essay contest. My age group, ages 16-18, had to write on the issue ‘whether Achilleus should have returned to battle’ from the book the Iliad. I decided to write my essay on ‘Achilleus should have returned to battle’. Well, I came in third place! I was really surprised. Not that this is the only reason that I am excited…but that can go on my college resume too!

Also, yesterday, I talked to my friend, and she told me that she is going to the same university branch that I am next year! We went to school together from Kindergarten to the 5th grade, then she went to public school. I never thought that we would go to school together again. Happy times!!

What have you all been doing?

Whole30

Hi ya’ll:)

Saturday

I had an exciting yet mostly slow weekend. Yesterday morning I survived the SAT! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I was more nervous about the math sections than anything else. I had to leave a few blank, I didn’t want to lose points. For the others that I didn’t know but could almost figure out, I used the process of elimination and guessed from the two or three left. In order to study for the test, I ordered How to Crack the SAT from the College Board. Their test strategies really helped me to answer some that I wouldn’t have been able to answer on my own. I feel like I could have done better on my essay, but those 25 minutes flew by! I followed a very basic outline. My mom read somewhere that the people who score the essays are really looking for structure and complete thoughts. They only spend a few minutes on each essay. I feel like I did a pretty good job in that time frame, so I’m happy:)

Yesterday afternoon, I was just so tired. I walked the dog and laid out in the sun on the hill across from our house with him. The day was gorgeous! Blue sky and huge white fluffy clouds and warm sun. Beautiful! After my mind slowed down a bit, I just relaxed the rest of the day. We ordered Chinese food because I took the SAT and tucked in for the night.

Today

This morning, we went to church. Our pastor is starting a series on Revelation. So far it is really interesting and I learned a lot:) This afternoon I have been working on some Bible study stuff for camp and blogging!

Whole30

Now, onto the name of the post. Today I decided that I am going to do a Whole30. Mainly because I want to see if I can do it. And also because I want to see if it makes me more alert and not so tired. So therefore, I want to get the blog back onto the fitness side of things. I still want to write about everything I am doing, but also yummy, healthy recipes and how I am progressing in fitness. So there you are! My goal for the month of May. The Whole30!

Just saying ‘Hi’

Hello there! Like my last post’s title indicated, I am still pretty busy.

On Wednesday, I finished Driver’s Ed and scored a 94% on my written exam. Yes!! I scheduled my driving time with the instructor for the very end of May. No!! I have to wait the whole month before I can get my license. Oh well…I am still getting it pretty soon:) At the beginning of Driver’s Ed, I dreaded going back the next day. Now that it is over, I actually miss it.

I just have a little bit of time to write a post today, but I figured that I would use the time that I do have to pop in for a bit:) Today, my mom and I are meeting my aunt for lunch at the hospital cafeteria close to us.

How many of you watch the Marvel movies? Or any superhero movies? My sister is enthralled with the Avengers and X-Men and all those other superheroes. The new Avenger movie, Age of Ultron, comes out tonight…I think it does at least, it might already be out. Either way, we are going with a few friends to see it at the drive-in. I hope it is warm enough!

More official news…I am taking my first SAT tomorrow! I am not really nervous, but I am kind of worried. There is a difference:) I guess I am worried because this is the first real time that something I do will have a direct impact on my future. I mean, sure, everything that I have ever done impacts my future, but my SAT score will eventually go to the colleges that I apply to. It is just making everything seem all too real:)

I have an appointment with my high school guidance counselor for next year on Monday morning at 7:30. She is going to give me a list of exactly what classes I need to take in order to graduate high school. Then later in May, I have an appointment with my guidance counselor in at the University branch that I will be attending as a part of the College Credit Plus program to actually schedule my classes. All of a sudden, things are happening that I have been waiting for years to happen. It just doesn’t seem real.

On to the fitness side of things…next week is the Presidential Physical Fitness test. I don’t know how I am going to do! I was training for it for about a month and then I got slammed with things and I just stopped. Getting back into a fitness routine is always in the back of my mind. If any of you have any ideas of how/what to do, please comment below or email me!

 

Catching Up

Hey there my wonderful readers! How were your weekends? I had a pretty fun one myself:) I will hold off on the details for now though. I am waiting for some pictures from a friend so that I can give a proper post.

So I won’t talk about my weekend yet…I will talk about my future plans! When I say future, I mean this week’s plans:)

I set up two Physician Shadowing dates. One of them is this week, one of them is in about a month. I can’t talk about any details, but I can share about my general visit. No names. No cases. So look for that post either Friday or Saturday.

Thursday evening, I have signed up for a First Aid/CPR class at the hospital. I have to take the class for CILT, and since I am going into medicine (hopefully) it is a good skill to have. It is a good skill to have for anyone:) That post will probably be combined with the shadowing post.

Saturday, my grandma, my mom, and I are going to a flute convention in Columbus. I don’t really know what to expect, but I know that there will be flutes on display and flutes for sale. That will be fun! Post for that Sunday or Monday.

And then on Sunday, I have my first flute concert with my flute group. I am kind of nervous though. I really have to practice hard! And that post will probably be combined with the flute convention post.

Wow! I feel like I am too busy. But I like busy:)

I have a confession. I have really slacked off of my fitness routine and good eating. I told myself that I would start today. So I am starting! I am looking for a good fitness routine that I can stick to. Any suggestions?

 

Questions: What does your week look like? Are you busy? Do you get a break this week? Do you like it when you are busy?