Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How The Apple Watch Is Enhancing My Fitness


My Watch

I love my Apple Watch! I bought the 42mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch with the white sport band on launch day (April 24th).
Apple Watch Mickey Face
My Apple Watch with the Mickey Mouse watch face!
I've now got over a month of daily use out of it. It's changed my fitness in quite a few ways that I wasn't expecting!

How It Works for Fitness

The way the Apple Watch works in terms of fitness is as follows:
  • It tracks your steps
  • It takes your heart rate every 10 minutes
  • It constantly tracks your heart rate when you use the workout app
  • It knows when you're standing, and taps you if you haven't stood by 50 minutes into the hour
  • It tracks exercise in minutes
  • It tracks "move calories" which are the calories burned from being active
  • It gives you achievement medals for hitting various goals and milestones (making it FUN!)
  • It sends the data to your iPhone's Activity and Health apps so you can see a whole lot more detailed information!
  • And more I'm likely forgetting!
iPhone Activity App Move Exercise Stand
The iPhone Activity App
Since using my Apple Watch I'm much more aware of my inactivity during the day at my desk job! Quite often I'll get tapped by my watch telling me I should stand up because I've been sitting too long. When that happens I usually get up and walk around my pod and stretch or go upstairs to the cafeteria to fill up my water.
Apple Watch Activity app
The Activity app on the Apple Watch
Another observation…I LOVE the gamification of the achievements you get for hitting all three metrics for the day (move goal, 30 minutes of exercise and standing at least 12 hours of the day for at least a minute).
Apple Watch Activity App Achievements
Achievements I have so far!
It makes it so fun and addicting to see those three rings fill up throughout the day! And if I look like I'm falling short—I'm finding myself actually doing more activity (like a walk) to get that ring filled; I never used to walk. It's doing some good!

Using The Workout App

Using the Workout app is simple: before you start to workout you just open the workout app, choose the type of workout (I choose Other Workout since my PiYo, P90X and Body Beast workouts are not a typical cardio workout) and set either a calorie burn goal or a time goal. It does a 3 second countdown and then I start my workout.

At any point in the workout you can look at your wrist to see how you're progressing, or what your heart rate is at.
Apple Watch Workout App heart rate
The screen on the Apple Watch during a workout.
Also, at the halfway mark of your goal it will ping you to let you know; it will also ping you once you've hit your goal. (If you're doing a distance workout, it'll also let you know when you hit distance milestones like every kilometre or mile).

At the end of my workout, I'll just Force Touch (hard press) the screen and choose the "End Workout" option. It then provides a summary of my workout on the screen and I can Save or Discard the workout. All in all, it provides some great feedback!

Final Thoughts

I really enjoy my Apple Watch. It's giving me very valuable information about my workouts and overall daily activity that I love.

If you're on the fence about getting an Apple Watch because you're not sure how useful it'll be and you're into (or wanting to get into) fitness, do it. You won't be disappointed!

The activity tracking is definitely one of my top 3 things I love about the device and I don't ever want to be without this new feedback again.

Check out Apple's site that has some more details on the Health & Fitness features of the Apple Watch here: http://www.apple.com/watch/health-and-fitness/.

JS :)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Recipe: Grandma Fillion's Borscht


If you love flavour, you'll love my family's recipe for borscht! It's not "stewy"...it's more of a tangy-sweet-dilly flavour :D

Enjoy!

Grandma Fillion's Borscht
 
Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

3 or 4 large beets, peeled and diced.  (Boil beets in water for about 1/2 hour. Rinse under water and rub skins and they will fall off. Wear rubber gloves so you don't get purple hands.)
2 peeled potatoes, diced
1 carrot, shredded or thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix works)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
3 medium tomatoes peeled or 1 can (14 oz) tomatoes
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
4 cups of vegetable or beef stock
1 teaspoon white sugar
sour cream for dollops before serving
 
Instructions:

In pot, boil beets as described above. In another large pot cover potatoes, carrots and celery in the first 4 cups of vegetable stock (or water). Boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Chop beets and add to the cooked carrot mixture.

In a skillet, melt butter. Saute onion and garlic, add to soup. Add chopped cabbage, parsley, chopped dill and lemon juice or vinegar, tomatoes, salt, pepper. Add remaining 4 cups of stock.
Simmer until tender. Add sugar (to taste...the beets already make it a little sweet).
 
Serve with dill and sour cream on top.

Note: For a heartier option, you could also cook ground beef or ground chicken/turkey and add to soup.

Enjoy!

Friday, 15 May 2015

An Amazing Video of What Beachbody Workouts Are All About!

Fox News in Houston did an amazing news story that explains exactly why the Beachbody workouts I do and help others start doing WORKS.  Such a great snapshot–don't miss it. :)