After a 3-month break to rest, recover, and recalibrate, say Hello to TwitterGetsFitter 2.0! So what’s different this time around? Well, for starters…
One thing I’ve noticed about people who embark upon their fitness journeys, is that their first purchases tend to be fitness trackers. I remember being really thrilled when Fitbit gave me one for the TwitterGetsFitter movement too, so believe me, I understand the appeal!
I can’t claim to be an expert on fitness trackers myself. But I’ve definitely come a long way from the days when I would simply be swayed by “Oooh look, pretty!”. That said, I must admit that my first reaction when I saw my gorgeous Rose Gold edition Fitbit Charge2 was “Ooooooh, pretty!”
But seriously, look how pretty! 😀
But I digress. Ever since I started TwitterGetsFitter, I’ve started reading up on exercises, equipment, nutrition — everything related to healthy (and unhealthy) fitness journeys. After all, the more I know, the better I can be, and the better information I can offer to all my participants.
For this post, I teamed up with the amazing guys at Reviewsbee to share all the stuff you should be looking for in your fitness trackers. Here are some things I’ve learned from my research, as well as from owning and regularly using a fitness tracker.
What Can A Fitness Tracker Tell You?
There are dozens of fitness trackers available in the market today, and they all offer various combinations of features. A few basic features that are common amongst trackers though, are step count and calories burnt. More premium models can also track heart rate, sleep patterns, smartphone notifications, and even automatically log certain activities or sports.
It’s also a great way to monitor your progress. When you can see empirical evidence that you’re able to run faster, or for longer durations, it can be a great motivator!
What Can’t A Fitness Tracker Tell You?
How many calories you’re really burning. Let me explain. Every fitness/activity tracker works on approximations and some assumptions. They calculate approximate calories burnt using data like your average heart rate, and the numbers of steps you’ve taken, or the number of active minutes. The catch is, the data a fitness tracker gathers is never 100% accurate. Before you believe this is a point of outrage, none of them claim to be 100% accurate. Every fitness tracker in the market bears a disclaimer that their data is not perfect, and that it shouldn’t be used for medical evaluations. Even step counts can be gamed by simply shaking your arm. So while it can give you a ballpark idea of how much you’re burning, or still need to burn, it isn’t gospel.
So, Do You Need A Fitness Tracker?
There’s no universal answer to this. It isn’t really necessary, but it can be helpful if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, or if you’re a very serious athlete or bodybuilder. The data a fitness tracker offers can help you gauge how much activity you’re really getting. If you’re someone who leads a largely sedentary lifestyle, the initial days or weeks of working out can feel like a lot. You might even feel like you’ve absolutely crushed your step goals, or burned more than enough calories for the day. A fitness tracker can help give you a clearer picture.
Also, if you have a smartwatch (which so many people own nowadays), then you don’t really need an additional fitness tracker. Most new smartwatches have in-built activity trackers and heart-rate monitors. So yay!
This Is Also Important…
It’s very easy to become obsessed with what your fitness tracker tells you. A fitness journey is usually riddled with a lot of self doubt and insecurities anyway. Having a tiny gadget tell you that you haven’t taken enough steps, or that you still need to burn more calories each day, can easily add to that. Speaking from my own experiences, I remember jogging around my house for 5 minutes before I went to bed, all because my Fitbit told me I needed to take 200 steps more to achieve my target for the day! See what I mean? It can easily turn into a nagging little voice in your head, and that can get really dangerous.
So What’s My Verdict?
Fitness trackers are a great way to get a look at how many calories you’re burning in the day, how active you’re being, and whether you’re creating a calorie deficit (the only real way to lose fat!). If you feel like you could use fitness trackers to help you gauge these metrics, without getting obsessive about it, then by all means, get one. The models available nowadays are also really stylish and come with tonnes of customisation options. But if you’re considering getting one just to jump on the bandwagon, then don’t do it. They definitely aren’t mandatory towards getting fitter. After all, there were fit people in the world long before there were fitness trackers!
That said, for those of you evaluating getting a fitness tracker of your own, the team at ReviewsBee have published their picks for the Top 10 Fitness Trackers available today. It’s a well-rounded look at the various devices available in the market, ranked by features, expert ratings, and consumer ratings.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you pro-fitness tracker, or do you prefer to go old school? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
This post was written and published in collaboration with ReviewsBee.
Given the aura of mystery and exotica that surrounds the art form, I’ve found that most people have a lot of questions with respect to belly dance. So I decided to compile and answer them all in one place. Presenting, Belly Dance FAQs with Bombay Bellyrina!
Here are some of the most frequently asked ones:
Q: Belly dance is an Arabian dance, right?
A: Yes and no. The Arab nations are amongst the birthplaces of belly dance, but the art in itself has no singular point of origin. Roots have been traced back to the Incas of South America, the Egyptian pharaohs, Greek temple priestesses, Oriental geishas, African tribes and yes, even Rajasthan in India!
Q: Don’t you need to be Egyptian or Russian to belly dance?
A: Amongst the most renowned and revered belly dancers in the world are tribal dancer Rachel Brice, and the mind-boggling duo of Sadie & Kaya. All three are purebred Americans. Some of the best tribal belly dance in the world can be witnessed performed by the women of the Banjara tribe in Rajasthan. Shakira is Hispanic. Beyonce is African-American. Rihanna is from Barbados.
And if you’re still in doubt, you’re welcome to come watch a class in progress. I assure you, it’ll allay all doubt as to whether or not Indians can belly dance!
Q: “But I’m not as hot as Shakira. Not even close. I’m overweight. Can I belly dance?”
A: Belly dance doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re 4 foot nothing, or whether you’re 6 and a half feet tall. You could be as thin as a grasshopper, or be divinely voluptuous. You could be light-skinned or dusky, fair-haired or brunette. Belly dance isn’t about how you look, it’s all about how you feel. The only prerequisite is to want to dance.
Q: What’s the age limit for belly dancing?
A: Age limit?? Who said anything about an age limit?! Anybody from the age of 4 upwards can learn to belly dance. One student was so excited about learning the dance, that she signed her 6-yr old daughter up for classes as well. Another has joined along with her 70-plus mother.
Q: How do I know if I’m fit enough to belly dance?
A: Now this is an important topic. Although belly dancing is rather low-impact, it’s high-intensity. If you suffer from orthopaedic conditions like weak knees or a bad back etc, do make it a point to inform your instructor of the same. She will ensure that your routine is altered to cause you least discomfort. In case you suffer from any chronic/ acute conditions (diabetes, cardiac trouble, etc), it is advised that you consult your doctor before proceeding with this or any other dance regime.
Belly dance is also an excellent form of pre- and post-natal exercise (as I’ve mentioned in this post). However, in this case as well, it is mandatory to receive clearance from your gynaecologist/ obstetrician before beginning the program.
Q: What are the benefits of belly dance?
A: Improved posture. Increased confidence. Grace. Sensuality. Toned and stronger muscles. Relief from muscle cramps and discomfort.
Not to mention a dash of envy from some of your friends!
Q: Sounds tempting. So how long before I can dance with a sword on my hip?
A: Whoa there, honey! The swords make their entrance a lot later, and is only for very seasoned dancers. It’s imperative to have your basic isolations and maneuvers down pat before any of the balancing acts. Mastering your muscles can take anywhere between 3 months to a year. And not even the fastest learner is handed a sword before she’s been dancing atleast 2 years.
But as far as putting on an impressive performance and having a few eyeballs pop out of their sockets goes, it usually takes a minimum of 6 to 8 months. It’s important to remember though, that you cannot and ought not put a timeline to learning belly dance if you’re serious about it. A universally agreed-upon estimate to completely master the form is no less than 15 years!
Q: What sort of music should I be practising to?
A: This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions in belly dance FAQs, and my answer never changes. You can belly dance to any music. That’s right, any music! Fast, slow, happy, dramatic — it depends on what your soul connects to, and your level of proficiency (as far as tempo goes). Personally, I play a very varied selection in my classes. You’ll here some Linkin Park, maybe some Moby, even a little Skrillex sometimes! 🙂 Like I said, any music.
You can read more about my thoughts on this in this post.
Q: Are there any precautions/ preparations I need to keep in mind?
A: 1) Dress comfortably. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to shimmy in denims. Ideally, wear loose cotton pants and a tee. Gymwear is also acceptable. The key is to wear something that allows you freedom of movement.
2) We dance barefoot. Socks are optional, but not advised as they may affect your balance and footwork. Initially, your feet may feel a little tense and cramped. This is nothing to fret about; soak them in some warm water for a while and they should be back to normal.
3) Always ensure you warm up and stretch properly before and after every session to prevent muscle pulls and cramps.
4) Relax, and enjoy yourself. Remember, this is a dance class. You’re not being graded, there are no exams, nothing. You’re there to dance. To connect with the music.
Breathe. Smile. Have fun.
Have more questions to add to my belly dance FAQs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them!