Drew Harrisberg Fitbit Ionic running

Exercising into summer by Fitbit exercise physiologist Drew Harrisberg

Summertime means two things: the sun’s out more and so are you; and the panic about how we look is well-and-truly real.

So unlike any other year before, the time is now to grab your health and fitness by the haunches and jog, run, jump, lift and sweat it into submission with a few small tweaks.

Admittedly, how to go about doing just that is near impossible without the right help (willpower, anyone?), which is why we had to pick the brain of Fitbit ambassador and exercise physiologist, Drew Harrisberg to get an idea of how to make it happen.

Turns out he knows a thing or two and in actual fact, making a change for the better needn’t be as massive an undertaking as you’d otherwise think.

Drew Harrisberg Fitbit

“Keeping fit and healthy is only hard if you don’t know why you’re doing it,” says Drew.

“Let me ask you this: What’s your ‘why’? Once you can figure out a good reason to be fit and healthy, you’re half way there. When you have good reason to do something in life, motivation is part of the package. If your ‘why’ is to look like someone on the cover of a fitness magazine, then I’m afraid it’s going to be a long, hard road. If your ‘why’ is to be able to prevent chronic disease so that you can play with your children and watch them grow up, then in my opinion, you’re on the right track.”

But in this day and age of fitness, beauty orthorexia, body-shaming, body-hailing and all other manner of physically focused clap-trap we have shoved down our throats, finding a reason to just be, and get healthy in the process can be pretty full-on.

Within all that, though, going about it can actually be a pretty approachable undertaking, says Drew.

“People often get caught up thinking that it has to be a daily grind, or that you have to be in a state of constant pain and sacrifice to be healthy,” he said.

“Being healthy doesn’t require extremes. You don’t have to slave away in the gym for over an hour a day. You don’t have to go hungry or starve yourself to see results. You need to do all the little things right. Walk everyday, move your body as much as possible, do some high intensity training, lift heavy-ish things (your bodyweight, weights, objects), get some sunlight everyday, sleep adequately, and so on.

“It’s the little things that often make the biggest differences to your health. Don’t underestimate the power of the everyday tools that you have at your fingertips.”

Tools also include things like the latest Fitbit Ionic that can actually help you on your way to exercise greatness, apparently.

With all the bells n’ whistles like a built-in wallet, music storage, fitness programmes for your lunch break, relaxation programmes to help you chill out and all the mandatory numbers for your day, it’s a perfect little machine.

“We are living in a day and age of collecting data. Everything we do has infinite amounts of data that can be analysed and used to improve the way we function,” says Drew.

“Not only does a Fitbit collect important health data, but it gives you the extra push you need to stay on track. People don’t realise how sedentary they are until they strap on a Fitbit. Furthermore, people often overestimate activity levels and underestimate food intake. In my own experience my Fitbit Ionic keeps me accountable.”

Fitbit Ionic

Of course, much like the food you eat, what you get out of the latest and greatest in tech and fitness wearables really comes down to what you put in.

“I see clients who think that they’re active until they wear a Fitbit for a week and see that they’re falling short of their ten thousand step goal by nearly six thousand steps. It’s also much more than a step tracker, my Fitbit helps me to keep a track of my food intake and overall exercise output, monitors my sleep and heart rate as well as various other cardiovascular markers. The point is, it encourages you to do all the little things right whilst collecting important data that you can use to get better,” says Drew.

And the best news? According to Drew, if you’re aiming to take as many steps as him per day – he clocks about 15,000-20,000 steps – that old myth of the more weight you carry, the more easily it will fall off can actually be debunked.

“Most people have a body-fat percentage set-point. In layman’s terms, we have an amount of body fat that we are genetically programmed to keep on our body.

“We need some body-fat to be healthy. If your current body-fat percentage is 30% above your set-point, it can come off quite rapidly. If you’re sitting very close to your set-point, it can be quite difficult to lose even tiny amounts of body-fat.

“We call this stubborn fat because no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t seem to go away. The other factor is, it depends on your metabolism. When you restrict calories, your metabolic rate will also reduce.

“This means that the more weight you lose via caloric restriction, the slower your metabolism becomes, making it harder and harder to lose more weight. The body is always trying to maintain a state of homeostasis (equilibrium/balance), so if you eat less you’ll burn less.

“If you eat more, you’ll burn more. This is why losing a few kilos when you’re very overweight is relatively quick-and-easy at first, but then after a while when you get leaner and leaner, losing a few kilos becomes very difficult,” said Drew.

Drew Harrisberg Fitbit Ionic gym

The lesson there? Get yourself a Fitbit Ionic and get stepping, remembering that a good exercise-life balance is vital.

“Build a lifestyle that merges the two together. Get a dog and take it for long walks in the park before and after work. Get a bike and use it to commute instead of driving your car. Play a sport let the game dictate your intensity. The best form of exercise is the one you don’t know you’re doing.”

“On top of an active lifestyle, I’d say 45 minutes of quality resistance training three times a week and one HIIT/sprint session is a healthy balance,” said Drew.

Find out more about how to keep fit and healthy, as well as how Fitbit can help you do so right here.

Find out more about Drew Harrisberg here.

Drew Harrisberg Fitbit Ionic cross arms

See more about the Fitbit Ionic and why you need it in your life here…

 

 

 

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