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The FitBit is Here, The FitBit is Awesome

January 11th, 2010 Comments off

So I had to wait seven months for my pre-order to fill.  So I had to wait an extra week thanks to some issues with shipping.  So I’m now OCD about tracking nutrition, sleep and activity data.  I fracking love this thing.

I’ll get a full review up after I’ve had a bit of time with it, but it rocks so far.  It was also far more accurate than I ever imagined at the gym.  I didn’t think the technology would track my activity on the Precor ellipticals, but it gave me an accuracy of about 85% or 90% relative to the miles and calories measured by the machine.  Not too shabby.

Unboxing photos, after the jump.  Read more…

I Heart Amazon.com

November 19th, 2009 Comments off

I do most of my shopping on Amazon and love Amazon Prime (which gives me free 2 day shipping… which I pay for… but do so once a year so it seems like its free). You’ll note that I will link to books and occasionally other items to Amazon.com where you can buy things. I don’t do this because I’m getting a cut (I don’t know how that would work), but because I shop on Amazon.

One of the worst parts of shopping is unpacking (which sometimes makes YouTube unboxing videos a bit more complex). Jeff Bezos, the man who made Amazon a reality and revolutionized shopping, wrote the below letter to customers about efforts to make packaging more buyer friendly.

I experienced this myself just last night on receipt of one of my more recent purchases: CleenFreak comfy shower shoes for the gym. I’ve been having issues with overwearing my flip-flops (both because I sprained a toe and because I’m over 30 and shouldn’t be walking around NYC in flip-flops — it looks immature, as opposed to shower shoes, which just look crazy). Anyways, the shoes arrived in a simple to open plastic bag with a simple to remove plastic keeper-together. Perfectly timed for this queued up post.

Click through to read on. Read more…

On Fitness and Unpaid Corporate Sponsorship

November 14th, 2009 Comments off

You know both that a) you’re over-consumerized and b) have no brand loyalty when you’re heading off to the gym in Champion lax shorts, an Adidas sports shirt, Puma socks, New Balance sneakers and a Nike wristband.

– Me… right now.

Review: The Vibrams, an early look

October 29th, 2009 1 comment

Vibrams“The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception.”

VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS

So two weekends ago, me and my buddy went to CitySports on a mission. That mission… to better commune with nature through funky shoes. Ok, not so much with the communing, but yes with the shoes.

Although fitting them was a bit bizarre (I was 3 sizes larger than I should have been, whereas he dropped a size vs. normal shoes), I instantly took to the Vibrams. I wore them out of the store, into St. Patrick’s for a quick stop (and an inappropriate altar boy crack… and humble apology therefor) and all the way home. I got a few stares, but I can hardly blame anyone. I look a bit like a freaking hobbit in them.

Vibram Five FingersThe basic concept of the shoes is simple. Unless you’re a biblical literalist (or a moron) you know that the human foot has evolved over millions of years, with at least 4.4 million years of biped evolution. As such, it’s a pretty good bet that natural selection has provided us with a pretty solid footing on which to walk, jog and run. Humans threw all that out of the window by introducing the sole three and a half or four thousand years ago. Suddenly, our toes no longer held a grip. Our feet were turned into a connector to the slat that touched the ground for us.

With no disrespect to Phil Knight intended, nowhere is this alteration in physiology felt more than with the athletic shoe. No $250 Jordans will give you the same control that you have barefoot. That’s the theory behind Vibrams. Well, that and the new chic trend of barefoot marathoning (see, e.g., Born to Run). Read more…

So my new addiction is the gym

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

I suppose it’s certainly healthier than my past addictions to smoking and pizza. But I honestly don’t feel good unless I get 90 minutes at the gym each night. I do it late, so I always wake up feeling wiped out, and yet never feel like I’ve quite worked out enough.

Part of the interesting element of my addiction is that it has a side effect (beyond losing weight) of watching a ton of TV. I purchased a DVD player and utilized my Netflix queue to get through multiple TV series while on the elliptical trainer. Right now, I’m wrapping up the BBC miniseries State of Play and have recently torn through Generation Kill, Torchwood, Firefly, Damages, Deadwood, Mad Men and a series of movies. I’ve also re-watched a couple of the seasons of The Wire that I own. So I imagine I’ll use this journal to provide my thoughts on them as I wrap them up.

Another side effect has been the unfulfilling purchase of fitness gadgetry. It never seems to work out: be it dumbbells I rarely use at home (though I thank Amazon Prime for ridiculously letting me ship those for free), that chin-up bar that doesn’t work on any of my door frames (but I still use as a push-up bar occasionally), the FitBit that I’m still waiting for word on when it will ship (and will review once I get it) and the Vibram Five Fingers that I actually love, but ordered just before it got cold and wet.

The Fitbit

Anyway, I started my addiction after finally hitting fitness rock bottom. Two years ago, I quit smoking for a month and gained about 20 lbs during that month. I figured I’d let myself go with eating so long as I didn’t smoke. Bad move. I ended up smoking again and never lost the weight. I continued to gain about 15 more pounds at my new firm thanks to far too many late nights with Seamlessweb. I knew it was time to finally quit about 10 months ago. I readied myself for the task (quitting while not gaining weight) by deciding to get gym regular. 20 minutes on the elliptical twice a week became 40 minutes thrice. I now go almost every day. In fact, last week I went 8 times (one two-a-day) and my standard workout is now between 90 minutes and two hours with some weightlifting, cardio and a 10 minute steam. I’ve gone from an all-time high of 227 down to about 207-209 as of this morning. More importantly, I’m seeing some change in my body and my waistline (and in my TV and movie IQ).

Ultimately, though, I do find it a little disturbing that I feel the need to hit the gym. I’ve chosen it over going out more than a few times and wonder if it actually is making me far more anti-social. Then again, I’m debating that with myself on Tumblr — I guess that answers that question.

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