We all love food. We were born to crave and need food. We grew up having certain foods our whole life only to realize how much of the foods we ate as kids is not healthy. The foods we ate when we were younger shaped our emotions for eating. At such a young age, there is no way we would even think about how healthy food was for us or not. As we got older into adulthood, we’re then told that carbs and fat are the culprits. The fast food industry gave us such warm fuzzy feelings as a kid that when were adults we still gravitated towards fast food because it was cheap and it was guaranteed to taste great, which in turn always involves happy emotions. Lets not forget about the addictive emotions sugar creates for us our whole lives as well. So is there a way to eat the way we love and still get fitness results? In order to do that, we need to make ourselves aware of the emotions involved too. Let’s dive in and I’ll share my experiences on how I’ve overcome my emotions over the years.
I never liked running all the way through High School and my 20’s. When I was 320lbs I was the kid at P.E. that opted to walk and not even try. My outlook of physical activity was covered in my earlier blog post this week (Fat & Depressed at 16 to Passionate and Fit at 34). Even in my 20’s I just had no drive to push myself to run. I would go through maybe a few weeks or 1-2 months where I would really build myself at running and get to 4-5 miles on the treadmill at the gym. Right. The treadmill as I never pushed myself to run outside much and if I did, it was once in awhile. I lacked so much drive to continue going and never got my niche for running in my early 20’s. I’m pretty sure my depressed teenage years where I faked an injury while running during Baseball had a negative effect for me. However in my late 20’s and 30’s I did start building more of a habit for running, but I never ran more then 40 miles a month and averaged about 15-20 miles doing about 5-7 runs a month. For me, it was a simple way to get some cardio and change things up from going to the gym. It wasn’t till 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic that I would suddenly find my true passion in running.
Losing the gym March of 2020 was a big blow and I was at a loss on how I would continue my fitness at first. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I reverted back to doing mostly cardio except this time I had no exercise machines. No elliptical or treadmills to auto pilot on. All I had was the ability to run. So I ran I did and while normally I would’ve burnt out on running and doing the same thing in a month or two like I normally did in my 20’s. Yet this time was different. I was unemployed thanks to this pandemic in April 2020 and I also had a baby on the way. While most people would brood in negativity over this situation, it somehow drove me to continue my running and not give up. I began consistently using the Nike Run Club running app to track all my runs. I started out simple and ran 25 miles in April. It then progressed to 38 miles in May where my wife and I had our first newborn. The running for me didn’t stop there as I continued on to run 64 miles in the month of June as I hit a new monthly PR in running for me that month. I kept running steady at 55 miles in July and then charged things up again in August running 65 miles. I had somehow pushed past my running limits that I had in my 20’s and no longer had anything holding me back. In August I had gotten a new job and was now a new Dad with a working job. However that didn’t seem to slow me down as I went on to soar to new heights in my birthday month of September and ran 100 miles which is a goal I set at the start of the month. However I didn’t make it easy for myself at all. I had only run 30 miles by September 19th and while it looked grim that I would meet my 100 mile goal I wasn’t about to give up. I pushed hard and ran the 70 miles needed from September 20th to the end of the month and on the last day of September made it to my goal of 100 miles. I completely became a competitive runner right before my very own eyes. I had no plan to do this. This seriously happen organically and it was something I never expected until it happened. I’m now inspired to join more running races in the future especially Spartan races.
I’m lucky to be blessed with living in a peaceful nice town such as Foster City. I can run either at night or during the day and feel very safe. I also have to give props to my Siberian Husky Leia who is a strong 5 year old running partner and she kept me motivated as well to keep pushing at my running. She ran over 120 miles herself in 2020 while I topped out at 483 miles of running in 2020. I had never even ran 100 miles in a year before 2020. I hope this blog post proves to anyone that no matter what happened in your life or what is happening in your life in the present, there is always a chance to make a big change that’ll impact your life for the better. I look forward to when this pandemic is over and I can enter into some races and Spartan races. I’m so motivated and driven to kick some ass in some competitive racing when it comes time. Until then, I will stay training hard and continue to work on getting stronger and stronger till its time to unleash all the running strength I gained from 2020.
So one thing you should know about me is that I’ve been working in the IT Tech field for 16 years now. Which means its only natural that I use my technical mind to do some comparisons between Fitness technology. Later on I’ll also do a review between Fitness apps as well so that you can hear it from me on what I think of each one. The Tech for Fitness has been improving more and more over the years. As a Techie, I really enjoy testing things out and seeing what gadgets and apps are being innovative enough to spark my interest for my fitness.
I used to have an Apple Watch Series 5 before I switched to the Samsung world. Now I have a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 so I thought it was fitting that I could write up a blog between the two and share my thoughts on the pro’s and cons of each watch. So lets jump right in.
Lets start with ease of use: Both watches were fairly easy to setup with the phones via Bluetooth as they had easy walk through instructions that helped you get the watches setup in no time. My wife who’s not a Tech was able to get both of these watches to setup very easily herself. Then as far as using the watch and configuring it to how you want to use it, both watches provide you with a variety of choices to setup. Setting up a cool watch face and being able to buy more is very simple. The only difference is that Apple Watch Series 5 gives you the option to configure a watch face using your phone while the Samsung Galaxy Galaxy Watch Active 2 only allows you to change the face using your watch. However Apple and Samsung both give you the ability to add/remove apps using both the watch and the phone app. Both watches for me ran pretty smooth and without much delay when using a Fitness Activity. This is a key feature that I’m sure most fitness folks will appreciate. The ‘Always On’ feature is available for both watches as well. This always comes in handy when you\’re running or in the middle of a workout as it gives you the option to glance at your watch and check and see how much calories or distance your at. I remember using the Apple Watch Series 2 for a few years and having to tap my watch in order to see how much time and calories I’ve burned and when you’re out of breath and in the middle of staying focused in a workout, it could be pretty troublesome. One thing the Samsung watch is better on (At least at the time when I had the Apple Watch Series 5) is that it tracks my sleep much better then the Apple Watch Series 5 when I was using it last year in 2020. However it has been awhile and its possible Apple may have improved this, but when I switched to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, tracking my sleep became effortless. Overall the ease of use between both of these watches is fairly similar and I didn’t feel like it was too hard to make the switch from an Apple Watch to a Samsung Watch.
Lets get down to some technical specification comparisons. We’ll start with whats the same. Both watches are available in 40MM and 44MM so there is not much difference for options there except for the fact that Apple Watches are shaped as a square and Samsung Watches are shaped as a circle. Both Smart Watches are able to survive underwater as deep as 50 meters and also able to utilize GPS and LTE technologies just the same. They both come with an optical heart rate sensor along with also being able to utilize Apple Pay and Samsung pay respectively.
Now lets finish up with the real battle between both these watches. Which watch is better then the other as far as technical specifications? So as far as price, Samsung wins this round as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available starting at $279 for GPS only version and $429 for the LTE version while the Apple Watch Series 5 (Now Series 6) is available for $399 for the GPS version and $499 for the LTE version. Also if we compare the Batteries, Samsung wins this next round with the Galaxy Watch as its able to handle 24-60 hours of battery life compared to the Apple Watches 18 hours of battery life. However the winning streak ends for Samsung when you start comparing thing such as display quality as the Apple Watch Series 5 has more pixels on screen for both its 40MM and 44MM versions compare to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Also the Apple Watches have 8 times higher storage space with 32GB while the Galaxy Watch Active 2 only has 4GB of storage space for music and photos. The Apple Watch has a larger variety of colors to pick from compared to the Galaxy Active Watch 2, but for woman its key to note that Apple doesn’t have a pink Apple Watch while Samsung Galaxy Active 2 does have a Pink Gold option.
Also one more thing to conclude this watch comparison is that while both watches are both good at keeping track of running workouts pretty well utilizing their GPS features, the Apple Watch is far superior in tracking overall calories whether you are in a workout or not. There is a huge difference in my overall calories burned using the Samsung watch compared to when I had the Apple Watch. When I say ‘overall’ I mean my calories tracked throughout the day from my normal day to day activities. This is extremely noticeable when using my Samsung Galaxy Active Watch 2 for HIIT or weightlifting sessions. When I had the Apple Watch Series 5, one hour I was typically able to burn up 900 to 1100 calories during a HIIT session. My current Galaxy Active Watch 2 racks up just under 500 calories burned in an hour of doing a HIIT exercise. After researching this distinction, I found out that the Apple Watches base the calories more off of your heart rate through the workout or normal use while the Galaxy Active Watch 2 bases calories burned from the weight you set when you first setup the watch.
So its safe to say that the Apple Watch Series 5 (And now the Series 6) is the superior fitness watch over the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. I\’m looking to see if Samsung will improve their watch to one day be on able to track HIIT and weight training sessions much better in the future. I honestly would\’ve stuck with my Apple Watch Series 5 when I switched to a Samsung Phone, but Apple does require you to have an Apple Iphone in order to use the Apple Watch devices as there is no Apple Watch support on the Ipad. So for now I’m content with using my Galaxy Watch Active 2 in hopes Samsung improves their next watch to support better calorie tracking. Hope this smartwatch comparison has been helpful.
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The elusive morning routine is not an easy one to create and maintain by any stretch of the imagination. I used to look at people that woke up early and think, “That’s crazy how early people are waking up.” I loved getting my sleep and when I was in my 20’s and read about the positives it is for your health to get 8 hours of sleep, I was big on making sure I got enough sleep so that I could maintain my busy lifestyle of being an hard working IT guy who works out 3-4 times a week. However that all changed when my wife of 4 years told me she was pregnant with our first child and I knew some big changes were on the way. My coworker from a job I had gave me some good advice about parenting a new born, “Surrender to not getting enough sleep. Ever.” He pretty much stated that its better for you mentally to have low expectations of getting enough sleep. I’ve taken this advice to heart and before my daughter was born, I decided to work on developing an early morning routine in order to prepare myself for early morning wake ups.
So while the Covid-19 pandemic just got me laid off from my job and the pressure of having a baby on the way in 3 months was my reality, it was a bit of a mental battle to worry about something as simple as developing a morning routine. However I pushed myself to still try. At the same time, I also really started amping up my running & workout regime. I’ve always used fitness as an outlet for everyday life stress and the pandemic wasn’t an exception. While the anxious and fearful thoughts about my future hit me hard, I decided to focus on what I can control which was getting out and going for a run. I started small by waking up at 6:30AM at least 3 days a week to get my body used to waking up earlier. While it wasn’t easy at all and I had mornings where my mind said, “What the hell are you doing? You should go back to sleep and get your rest. There is no reason for you to get up early with no job to get to.” My mind can be a real prick sometimes. Haha. After a few weeks of waking up early three times a week, I started stepping it up to 4 and 5 times a week pretty fast. After 1 month, my body really adjusted pretty easily to the new routine. I even started getting into some early morning long runs at 10-12 miles which for me was the first time I’ve ever even run that long before. By the time my daughter was born in May, I was ready for the sleepless nights and early morning wake ups. My best advice for working on building a new routine is to smart small and then build your way up from there. This method sure worked for me in 2020.
Fast forward to 10 months later to today. I now wake up to the alarm of my watch at 5:30AM and my initial reaction is to turn it off as quick as possible so that my 8 month old daughter doesn’t wake up as well. After that I take a minute or two to wake up before I crawl out of bed quietly and tippy toe my way out of the room. Once I feel the cold morning air in my living room (Where I’ve been working out for 10 months now), I start waking up. I go for getting my Beachbody Performance Pre-workout ready. These days I’m not running as much as you can say I’m going for my bulk and more HIIT workouts more these days. Although I did run 8 miles two weeks ago so I can bust out and do a long run if I need to. However with no end of this pandemic coming anytime soon, I’m working on building strength vs. racking up the running miles. After about 15-20 minutes my pre workout called “Energize” kicks in and I’m ready to kick ass on my current workout program. Waking up early is easy for me now. The 8 Mile run I ran two weeks ago at 4AM; I did it after I spent an hour and half trying to put my daughter back to sleep. While most parents would be exhausted and want to get back to bed, I’ve really trained my body to be awake and aware in the morning. This wasn’t easy to achieve and it took me months for it to be normal to wake up at so early in the morning. After I finish my morning workout, I start my routine of getting ready for work at my full time job and face my day powered by my morning routine.
I really appreciate my morning routine now as its the time I use for myself. Its the time I use to prepare myself for work day. Its also the only time where I can truly have some “me” time which is very elusive when you become a parent. I currently just started a new Beachbody Program called “The Prep” where the intensity is pretty high for this program. I almost get an adrenaline rush now from knowing I’m about to kick ass before my day starts. Its been a great routine that I use to help me be a stronger version of myself. Always be sure to make time for yourself. Whether you’re a parent or not, be sure to switch gears and focus on something you truly feel passionate about. You won’t regret the benefits of giving your mind what it needs to feel fulfilled.
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