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FitBit Data May Help Insurance Companies Reduce Your Premiums

fitbit-flex

It’s all about perspective.

Ten percent can be a large or small amount, depending on the context of what it represents. If we’re talking about unemployment, 10% is unacceptable. If we’re talking about income tax, paying only 10% would be a blessing.

For today, we’re avoiding politics and the economy and instead, talking about the 10% of Americans who use wearable tech fitness trackers to monitor and track their daily activity, food intake, sleep, and exercise. This 10% of Americans make up a group of people that health insurance companies are examining closely to determine more accurate ways of calculating insurance premiums. On average, your premiums fluctuate once each year, which usually means added cost. That added cost doesn’t always have anything to do with you, and is often part of a re-rating of the group pool you’re a part of, like the company you work for.

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

What if your premium was calculated based on how you, as an individual, actually live? What if your premium fluctuated because of choices you make regarding your individual health and not because of others in your insurance pool dragging you down?
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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off a 569 Calorie Plate of Nachos

Everyone has that dark room food. The one they should literally eat in a dark room in order to hide the finger licking, the hunching over the plate, and the single-minded focus. For some people it’s pizza. For others it’s donuts. For me it’s nachos.

nachos

I didn’t mean to eat a whole plate of them. In fact, I had fresh veggies for a salad in my fridge. But I met friends for happy hour and one thing led to another… All of a sudden I was carrying an extra 569 calories. Eek!

How could I have burned off all those extra calories?
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10 Gym-Free Ways to Burn an Extra 100 Calories

stair climb

By Gary Ditsch, Retrofit Lead Exercise Physiologist

We’ve all heard the saying, “A little bit goes a long way.” When it comes to weight loss, common advice is to make big changes to get quick and substantial results. While rapid results can be motivating and encouraging, the long-term value of these changes are only observed when they become habits. The process of adopting small changes can can be beneficial when it results in lifelong weight loss maintenance.

In the spirit of making small changes, here are 10 ways to burn an extra 100 calories throughout the day:

1. Walk. Choose to walk instead of drive if you’re going somewhere nearby. 18 minutes of walking will burn 100 calories.

2. Climb. Instead of taking elevators or escalators, take the stairs. A cumulative 15 minutes and 20 seconds of stair climbing can burn 100 calories.

3. Yardwork. Mow the lawn for 13 minutes and say goodbye to those calories.

4. Clean the House. Cleaning, sweeping and other general house work can burn 100 calories in about 19 minutes.
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David Sedaris Is “Obsessed” With His FitBit

Fitness tracking technology is a great way to both stay motivated to get enough exercise, and track how well you’re doing. However, I think we all know a few people who take their fitness tracking to an extreme; doing anything in the name of adding extra steps to their daily count. Maybe they walk to the restroom more times than absolutely necessary or pace while brushing their teeth. Perhaps they always take the long way on a walk – no matter how much extra time it adds (or how late it makes their kids for school).

walking

Using a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, can drive people a little crazy about tracking their activity. Writer David Sedaris takes an entertaining look at the obsession created by Fitbits in this article for The New Yorker.

“‘Every little bit helps,’ my old friend Dawn, who frequently eats lunch while hula-hooping and has been known to visit her local Y three times a day, said. She had a Fitbit as well, and swore by it. Others I met weren’t quite so taken…To people like Dawn and me, people who are obsessive to begin with, the Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand.”


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Work it Off: 3 Warm Weather Workouts to Blast Away a 320-Calorie Bowl of Mac and Cheese

Portland houses the International Test Garden for roses, which basically means there are thousands of different varieties of the fragrant flower planted in a handful of large gardens around town. Thanks to our warmer than usual weather most of these are already in bloom, so earlier this week I decided to organize a picnic among the roses. To start I made a salad topped with strawberries straight out of my garden (those are already in season too!). For the main I made a tasty  dish with campanelli noodles, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, goat cheese, and a little bacon. While I thought of this as a fancy pasta dish my boyfriend pointed out that it was really just fancy mac and cheese. Tom-a-toes Tom-ah-toes, people!

mac and cheese

This dish was a hit and simple to make, but healthy it is not. For a 1/2 pound serving (which is a small bowl-full) this dish clocks in at 320 calories. Not awful at face value, but when you factor in the dish contains 7 grams of saturated fat and 850 mg of sodium—basically 35% of your recommended daily allowance of each—you can see why this was a meal I definitely needed to burn off, stat! (Here’s a healthy mac and cheese recipe to try, if the craving strikes.)

How could I melt away those 320 surplus calories?
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