Workout Gear

A runner’s review of the FitBit Charge 2 Heart Rate Plus

gear-review_-the-fitbit-charge-2-heart-rateAbout a month ago, my FitBit Charge HR got a random crack in the display so I contacted FitBit support to see if I could get a replacement as it was still under warranty. They offered to send me another one free of charge (which was awesome because I relied on it daily as a watch, silent alarm clock and easy way to track my workouts), but since the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate Plus was coming out soon I asked if I could have a discount off a new purchase instead. They agreed, and I got my snazzy new FitBit several weeks later.

How the FitBit Charge 2 compares to the FitBit Charge

The display is bigger, but not too big. I love being able to see two activity stats (that you are able to choose) along with the time when I tilt my wrist up to check my FitBit. To see more stats, such as distance travelled, calories burner, steps taken and heart rate, you just have to tap the watch face to scroll through. I also love that it’s roughly the same size as the Charge, so it’s still very comfortable to sleep with.

fitbit charge 2

There are more ways to track workouts. When you press the single button on the side of your FitBit Charge 2, you can scroll through to the workout function that gives you several kinds of workouts to track by tapping the watch face. You can select a run, treadmill, elliptical, bike, weights, workout or interval workout, which actually has a built in timer to vibrate every 30 seconds so you know when to go hard and when to rest. The run function shows your time and distance on the main display, or you can tap through to get your pace, heart rate, average pace, steps and calorie burn. The only workout functions I haven’t tried yet are bike and elliptical, so I’m not sure if those have any unique features to them. I wish it had a yoga function!

FitBit Charge 2 vs. a Garmin 235

FitBit Charge 2 vs. a Garmin 235

You can see and do more things from your wrist. Since the display is bigger, you don’t have to tap through as much to see your stats. You are also able to set and turn off alarms from your wrist and check your pace, heart rate, resting heart rate and other stats while working out instead of relying on the FitBit phone app to see everything.

There’s a breathing tracker. The FitBit Charge 2 has a function that can track your breathing and guide you through a slow breathing exercise for two or five minutes. You can do it all from your wrist, which is handy.

The wrist bands are replaceable/interchangeable. I had to replace my previous FitBit Charge because the wrist band broke, so I was super happy to find out the FitBit Charge 2 bands are replaceable and interchangeable. Finally, no more plain boring black all the time!

Things I don’t like about the FitBit Charge 2

The breathing tracker isn’t very helpful. I tried the breathing exercise a few times but didn’t find it very relaxing to hold up my wrist to stare at it to follow along. What would be really helpful is an alert that tells you when you’re breathing too shallow and remind you to stop and take a deep breath. I feel like I need that!

It still doesn’t track runs as well as a Garmin, even when using the GPS on your phone. The FitBit Charge without the GPS is still slightly off when it comes to tracking runs. It’s good for a generally distance, but if you’re training for a race I’d suggest using something more accurate.

Verdict: Overall, I love the Fitbit Charge 2 even more than the original and it’s totally worth the $200 price tag if you’re a regular fitness tracker wearer.

Do you wear an activity tracker? What’s your favourite type?
What are your “must-haves” for a fitness tracker?
What features do you like/dislike most about the FitBit?

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Disclaimer: This post contain Amazon affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

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Linking up with the lovely:

Annmarie at The Fit Foodie Mama, Nicole at Fitful Focus, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Jen at Pretty Little Grub

West coast fall and winter workout gear essentials

fall-esstentialsLiving on an island off the west coast of beautiful British Columbia definitely has its perks. The ocean surrounds us, the wilderness here is beautiful, there are plenty of places to explore for hours on end without seeing another human being, and the weather here is never too extreme. That means year-round outdoor adventures and not having to spend the winter cooped up in a gym to stay fit and healthy.

Even though we hardly get any snow here at sea level and the temperature rarely drops below -1°C, outdoor enthusiasts still have to consider the elements when exercising outside during the fall and winter months. Here are a few key pieces of apparel us northern west-coasters should add to our workout wardrobe for fall and winter: (more…)

How I prepared for a fitness magazine photoshoot

IMG_7660This past Sunday I did a photoshoot for an article I’m working on for an upcoming issue of IMPACT Magazine.

Of course, the article has to be about sports bras and of course the photoshoot has to happen in the middle of winter. As a chronically cold person with Raynaud’s disease, I seriously had to psyche myself for this photoshoot. And not just because of the cold — I was going to be photographed running around in JUST a sports bra and shorts; something I don’t feel comfortable doing even in the summer months. Lying around in a bikini in the sun at the beach, sure — but things jiggle when you run. And since I’m right in the middle of marathon training and my fast-twitch muscle fibres — the ones that get more defined with resistance training — are taking a back seat to my less defined slow-twitch muscle fibres, I’m a bit squishy at the moment. Marathon training hanger hasn’t really helped, either. (more…)

West coast fall and winter workout gear essentials

wcwwgeLiving on an island off the west coast of beautiful British Columbia definitely has its perks. The ocean surrounds us, the wilderness here is beautiful, there are plenty of places to explore for hours on end without seeing another human being, and the weather here is never too extreme. That means year-round outdoor adventures and not having to spend the winter cooped up in a gym to stay fit and healthy.

Even though we hardly get any snow here at sea level and the temperature rarely drops below -1°C, outdoor enthusiasts still have to consider the elements when exercising outside during the winter months. Here are a few key pieces of apparel us northern west-coasters should add to our workout wardrobe for winter: (more…)

1 million minutes challenge: Wrapping it up with Prana!

Hitting the trails upside down during the #1millionminutes challenge!

Hitting the trails upside down during the #1millionminutes challenge!

Happy Monday! This morning I’m filling out a fun mad lib blog prompt for Fit Approach, as it’s the last week of their fun 1 million minutes challenge.

When the 1 million minutes challenge with Fit Approach started, I set out to achieve 3,000 minutes of activity over the two months of the challenge. And according to my Garmin and LEAF activity tracker, I came fairly close to that goal by running, hiking and strength training my way to 2,640 is minutes of activity. Of course, I totally failed to track everyday at Fit Approach, which only racked up my official time to 340 minutes. Despite my lame contribution, us Sweat Pink Ambassadors (SPAs) have racked up 375,839 minutes so far — well done SPAs!

The best part of this challenge for me was seeing how all the SPAs were logging their minutes on Instagram. Sometimes when I would be on the fence about going for a run, I’d open Instagram and see a photo from a fellow SPA that made me want to lace up and get out there. (more…)

#FitFashion Friday Feature: Get your sweat on in locally made Tonic Lifestyle Apparel

I was first introduced to Tonic apparel while attending the Every Woman Moves conference weekend in Whistler almost five years ago. This local Vancouver-based yoga and lifestyle apparel company uses environmentally friendly manufacturing processes when creating their clothing, which is awesome. Their stuff is high quality and made right in Vancouver, which is also awesome. Tonic is available in select specialty stores throughout the world, including Breathe Athletic here in Victoria on Fort Street.

If you happen to live in Victoria and are free today between 10 a.m and 4 p.m., stop by Breathe Athletic for Tonic’s Promo Day event! Ania from Tonic Lifestyle Apparel will be there to chat about their Canadian-made brand of athletic clothing and to give away complimentary headbands. There will be a draw for a fabulous Tonic outfit and a 10% discount on all purchases and light refreshments. Can’t make it in store? The discount applies to purchases made online as well.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces on their website right now. I especially like the sweat shirt/infinity scarf/fuchsia capri pant combo. If I didn’t have an office job where I had to dress business causal sometimes, I would live in that outfit 24/7.

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To see their entire collection, visit mytonic.ca.

Fitful Focus

Thanks Nicole for the link-up! 🙂

#FitFashion Friday Feature: Carrot, Banana & Peach yoga wear

Carrot, Banana & Peach sounds good enough to eat, doesn’t it?

Though I don’t recommend it, you probably could eat the clothing made by Carrot, Banana & Peach, considering most of the materials the company uses to create their eco-friendly yoga apparel comes from bamboo, soybeans, milk, bananas and aloe vera.

Carrot, Banana & Peach is a U.K.-based yoga and lifestyle apparel company specializing in “hypoallergenic yoga clothing created from organic and sustainable sources.” While I’m curious as to how they make stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric from aloe vera, milk and soybeans, I can imagine the fabric feels super soft. I love the subtle and natural colour palette they’ve used in their collection of “retreat” wear, and the bright pops of colour featured on some of their yoga and fitness gear. Below are a few of my favourite looks from their fall collection. (more…)

#FitFashion Friday Feature: Sustainable outdoor fashion by Nau

If you’ve ever been to Portland, Oregon (or Vancouver Island, for that matter), you’ll notice an eclectic mix of outdoor wear (think Gortex and hiking boots), hippy threads (ponchos, pantaloons and Cowichan sweaters), hipster garb (tight pants, boat shoes, plaid shirts, toques, grandpa sweaters) and various spandex attire meant for yoga, running or cycling. I wouldn’t call it fashion-forward, but I would say the clothing definitely fits the environment and how we function in it. Luckily, there is one company based in beautiful Portland, Oregon that manages to make our west coast sense of style… stylish.

Nau makes beautiful functional clothing for both men and women that’s perfectly suited for our urban-yet-wild, sometimes-rainy-hardly-snowy environment. Not only do they use sustainable fabrics like recycled polyester, wool and organic cotton, but also donate 2 per cent of every sale to a partner organization of your choice. Which is awesome and very considerate of them, considering most of us on the west coast are like this: (more…)

Gear review: Polar M400 Sport Watch Activity Tracker with GPS

polar-reviewIf you’re a regular reader of Run. Lift. Yoga., you know how much I love testing wearable fitness tech (see here, here and here). I currently own a FitBit Force for tracking activity and sleep and a Garmin Forerunner 110 for tracking and pacing my runs, so when an opportunity to review the beta version of the new Polar M400 GPS activity tracker came up — a sport watch that not only tracks your daily activity levels and sleep, but also your running, cycling and other indoor and outdoor activities — I obviously did this:

 

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I was curious to see how the Polar M400 would stack up against the Force (which has an LED display and tracks activity, sleep and stairs climbed) and the Forerunner 110 (which tracks your runs and heart rate during activity). I like to use my Garmin’s heart rate monitor in conjunction with my FitBit and the MyFitnessPal calorie counting app to get a fairly accurate representation of what I energy I take in and expend each day (see my fat loss experiment here). (more…)

#FitFashion Black Friday: Deals and discounts on all my favourite things!

blackfridayYeah yeah, I know… Black Friday = evil first-world consumerism. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support amazing local companies or companies with awesome products who are doing nice things for the world, such as supporting local artisans in Costa Rica or using recycled materials and offsetting their energy consumption with renewable energy credits.

Since I like to vote with my dollar and support amazing companies, and because I want other people to save money at a financially stressful time of the year, I’m going to pass some of the deals and discount codes I received via email subscription this morning and other social channels along to you! Happy shopping 🙂 (more…)

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