Author Archives: pchanner
Author Archives: pchanner
As a mom with kids, I often find myself so busy that I am unable to exercise like I used to when I was younger. And even when I do have time, I often am too tired and unmotivated to go out and do something to stay physically fit.
Because of this, I have started to try out this new wearable tech craze that has been going on. These things are known as “fitness trackers” and they are supposed to log your exercise routines and give you helpful reminders when you have been sitting around for too long. Wearable fitness trackers like the Fitbit and Apple Watch are lightweight and have a watch like face on them that helps you navigate the myriad of features and settings they offer.
What’s more, there are also many trackers that are kid focused. That is, they offer features like being able to radio your child when he is wearing the device and some even have GPS tracking so he/she will never get lost.
I recently purchased a Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 for my child, which is feel is easily one of the bes
t fitness trackers for kids. This device has a lot of Disney theme arm bands which is great if your kids are into Disney character’s. It also offers a color screen and have a myriad of educational type games on it. There are also daily activity goals and movement reminders which are similar to in scope to many adult oriented fitness trackers.
I also love the fact that I can assign chores to the device and it will beep to remind my kids when they have forgotten to do them. It does the nagging for me! Haha.
But anyways, I digress. I have had a lot of experience with fitness trackers over the past year and I feel that I have a found the best fitness tracker for adults. But before I give you my personal opinion, let me give you a brief overview about fitness trackers, and how to spot one with good features.
Fitness Tracker Sensors
Some fitness trackers are limited in there sensor design, and others will boast a large array of sensors that can track almost any type of movement. The three sensors I look for in a good activity tracker are:
Accelerometer – all good fitness trackers should have an accelerometer for tracking your steps throughout the day. They are also good for logging things like running and jogging. Basically any type of lateral movement.
Altimeter – this sensor is for tracking your elevation. This is handy for those folks who like to do a lot of hiking or even mountain climbing. It has a more practical use as well – it can log how many flights of stairs you’ve traversed during the day.
Gyroscope – these sensors are ideal for tracking movement and rotation. These sensors will make it easier for your tracker to calculate sports like swimming and cycling, or even dancing. Basically anything with a bending or twisting motion.
Heart rate sensors – being able to keep track of your heart rate during your exercise is really handy for making sure you stay “in the zone” so to speak. There are 3 types of heart rate sensors: optical, which work by singing a signal into your wrist, Ballistocardiography which generally go over your chest and track your heart beat directly, and electrical, which operate by monitoring the electrical signals under your skin.
Most decent activity trackers should have at least an accelerometer and gyroscope. The better ones will have altimeters and heart rate monitors as well. If you are serious about tracking your fitness, its best to go for a device that at least has a heart rate sensor, as it will increase your ability to track your workouts and also help with the accuracy of the tracker as well.
Fitness Tracker Features
There are a lot of different features that set a good fitness tracker apart from a bad one. But I think I have found the most important ones, so I will go ahead and stick to those. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Sleep tracking – Many devices will allow you to log and score your sleeping quality each night. This is great for me as I have a lot of sleep issues, and my tracker has helped me to nail down a lot of what is causing them. Keep in mind that a tracker that doesn’t have a heart rate monitor will only log you’re out of bed duration and movement. You won’t be able to see your REM/normal sleep periods, which can be really beneficial if you want to dig deep into your sleeping patterns. This is another reason to get a tracker with a heart rate sensor.
GPS – the really high end trackers have GPS built into them. This is great for people who do a lot of cycling or distance running since you can map out your trip and have a super accurate log of all of your activities at the end of the day. The downside to GPS is that it tends to drain your battery very quickly, so you will have remember to charge your device during the day if you go on a long bike ride.
Connectivity – most fitness trackers are standalone devices. But some higher end ones can do neat things like sync up with your smart phone and forward texts and calendar alerts. I like this feature because I hate carrying my phone with me at the gym. A few trackers will have Bluetooth smart, which allows you to ofcource pair your phone but also other types of sensors such as foot pods and power meters. This is probably a feature that is more for the hardcore wearable folks out there though.
Well I hope I didn’t ramble on too long. These are just a few of my thoughts about staying fit in today’s busy world.
As a busy mom with kids, I often feel that I have missed out on a lot of things in life. This is especially true when it comes to realizing certain dreams. And one of my dreams has always been to travel the world. As you can imagine, finding the time to travel can be difficult enough. And this is even more true when you have children. And forget trying to travel with kids. Safety is always my number 1 concern when it comes to my children, and it can be difficult to find travel companies that cater to both children and adults.
Fortunately I recently connected with a group tour company called Original World. They are great since they allow children along and cater to families. They have a great many different options when it comes to tours too. Heres a what i was able to glean from their operators:
Asia World Tours
Original World has about 9 tours in Asia, which covers places like Tibet, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and Bangledesh. These tours seem to be geared to mostly out of the way places, such as Taktskang monastery and Paro for instance.( I am planning on going on this one in the fall, and will update this post accordingly.)
Middle East World Tours
This one is not as all encompassing as the above, but they do have quite an interesting itinerary, especially if you opt for the Morocco inclusion. I have heard a lot of good things about Casablanca, and I may go on this one in the future.
I recently went on one of their tours of India and had a wonderful time. Here are my thoughts…
This tour was an all compassing look at the North India country side, and we also visited many religious and heritage sites on the way. The kids loved the Pushcar camel fair, which i thought was unique in that it was more like a “tribal market” than a traditional open market.
There was a lot to see. I particular loved the temple and palace buildings. And we saw a lot of awesome monuments as well, mostly statues of dignitaries and Hindu deities.
And no trip to India is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, of course. The kids especially liked that one, since it was quite a splendor.
Our journey also took us through the Himalayas. We got to see the Monastery of Ki, which looks like something out of a fantasy movie. This palace like structure is at the top of a mountain and clocks in at around 14,000 ft! It is a training place where the monks go to learn more about Buddhism practices. The fort is in a historically strategic location, so it has a sordid history of attacks by neighboring countries.
Original Worlds Indian tour was very culturally immersive, and it was also very family friendly, as Original world provided ample support to ensure our continued comfort and safety along the way.. Our guide was nice and good with the kids as well!
I am blessed to say that 2010 had to be one of the best years of my life. I witnessed God do the most amazing things for me and my family. I almost want to say there is now way to top it but I now know that, God was just getting started. He has loads of is store my family this year.
As usually I try to set myself some goals for the year. While I do strive to accomplish them, I promise not to beat myself up if I don’t reach them all. The important thing is that at the end of the year I can look back and honestly say that I tried. The goals I set for myself were all pretty simple and I an happy at where I ended the year. This year I plan to do the same. This morning my husband I were sharing our personal goals with each other and discussing where we felt God would take our family in 2011. I was amazed at what God laid on both of our hearts and feel confident that as a family we can accomplish it all.
Here are just a few of our long and short term goals:
Purchase our first home. I know this seems like a big step but this is this is some thing God revealed to me over the summer this past year and I have faith and confidence that with Gods power and protection He will make it happen.
Help husband complete citizenship. My husband is a native Jamaican who migrated with his family when he was 12. Up to now he has been successful in doing pretty much everything a citizen can do except vote. It has been a desire for Jim to change and this year I want to help him make it happen.
Memorize 52 Bible verses. I have been successfully reading my Bible this year with the exception of a few weeks here and there. Almost finished reading through. I just have never taken the time to memorize scripture so I hope this year will be different.
Be the best mom I can. I know sounds mushy but each day I spend as a mother to a fin loving toddler boy I realize there is much more for me to learn. And I have a lot of learning and growing to do before our baby girl arrives in May.
So nothing too heavy and out of reach bit somethings I am aiming for and looking forward to how God will help me achieve them all.
With in the past few weeks I shared about how once the first trimester finally past I was able to get my life, home and work back in order. It took some work and concentration but I gained some balance back in my life and I do not feel embarrassed to have people come by my home any more. But I am realizing now that getting it clean was the easy part. Keeping it in order is now lot harder than I thought.
While I have gained somewhat more control over my mood, attitude and outlook, my energy level hasn’t fully returned yet. I have always been a morning person so my most productive time is spent right as I get out of bed. However I am finding that the amount of time I have to get myself ready for work, get my son ready for day care and complete projects around the home is limited because I value my sleep time so much. On the other end of things, by the time I leave work and head home I am so drained of life I can barely focus to get a decent dinner on the table. It is even worse when my husband has to work later than planned and isn’t available to help watch my son ‘explore’ the house while I try to cook. I have even tried to do some small projects after the son has gone to bed … only works about 25% of the time because I myself am so exhausted that I end up falling asleep myself. Never imagined that I would have 10 hour of sleep a night and still think that wasn’t enough.
So my question to you all is how do I find the time and energy to maintain the cleanliness and order in my home without losing precious sleep time? What has worked for you? How does your choices effect the balance and quality time in your family?
I was recently contacted by General Mills’ Pssst about hosting a Pillsbury Crescents “Holiday Entertaining” Recipe Swap with MyGetTogether. MyGetTogether is a fun way to try products and sometimes new recipes in the company of good friends, where one or more brands from General Mills and other companies may participate, giving you a real inside look at the products, providing coupons, unique giveaways or other offers.
To share these fun recipes with my friends I decided to host a luncheon at work. My co-workers all love projects and get-together’s so in order for them to feel involved and engaged I shared the fun of preparing the meals with them. Using the grocery list provided I bought all the ingredients for the four different recipes and distributed them to different staff members on Thursday for them to cook/bake and bring their meals with them for the luncheon on Friday. The response and feedback was awesome. Everyone had a great time. They shared how easy and fun the recipes were and everything came out tasting wonderful. I think we may do something like this again. Here are a few pics from our fun time together.
Pssst along with mygettogether.com sent me the opportunity to participate in this wonderful recipe swap. The box contained the following items: Pillsbury Crescents recipes to share with guests, 5 coupons for FREE Pillsbury Crescents, A $20 gift card to purchase recipe ingredients, A handy shopping list of recipe ingredients, 30 product information sheets with coupon, Allergen fact sheet, Tabletop signs to display near food, 60 recipe cards (15 of each recipe) to share with guests, A sheet pan and metal turner, A special oven mitt.