Monday, January 4, 2016

10 000 Steps

I got a Fitbit for Christmas. Well, sort of… I asked for a Fitbit for Christmas, and I didn’t get one, but I did get an outrageously overpriced gold chain that my sweet husband bought because I asked for a chain for an “L” charm I have. I did not mean for him to spend much money on it, and he didn’t want to spend much money on it. However, the poor man is not particularly comfortable buying jewellery, and so he is easy prey for salespeople when he walks into a jewellery store. He chose a lovely, very delicate chain that I probably would have broken in a week. I took it back and bought a Fitbit.

Initially, I wanted a Fitbit because I thought it would be a good way for me to keep track of my steps and improve my fitness on my own. Chris didn’t agree. He believed my motivation should be intrinsic (coming from within myself), rather than extrinsic (coming from a form of technology). What neither of us understood was that the Fitbit app provides an opportunity to develop a community of friends working toward a common goal and encouraging each other. Several of my friends had gotten this little gadget for Christmas, and a couple of them encouraged me to go for it. The most basic goal is to reach 10 000 steps a day, but it also keeps track of things like stair climbing, sleep, and heart rate. I’ve had it a week now, and today I hit that 10 000 step goal for the first time.

Connor accused me of cheating to reach my goal, but I didn’t. I went back to work today, and I know that I am on my feet a lot at work, depending on the class that I am teaching. Today I had about twenty minutes of down time with no one else in my classroom, so I started doing laps. I racked up about 1000 steps in no time, just cruising around my classroom. This was not cheating. No, this was doing exactly what the little gadget is supposed to do – spurring me on to better fitness by providing a daily goal. Not only this, but I have entered into a workweek challenge with a couple of friends and I was determined to end the day in first place. Would I ever have considered doing laps around my classroom if I were not wearing my new little tracking buddy? Not likely. Now, I will admit the few arm pumps I did at the dinner table to try to trick it into adding some steps, that was probably cheating. But laps in the classroom? Nope, that was just proving that the technology does what it’s supposed to do.

Am I a fan of every feature of the Fitbit? The jury is still out. I’m not convinced that the sleep tracker improves the quality or quantity of my sleep. On the contrary, I wonder if knowing I will find out in the morning exactly how long and how well I slept actually keeps me from achieving good sleep at times. I also question the accuracy of the heart rate monitor, but I appreciate having some measure of when my heart rate increases and why. I haven’t used the eating plan or kept track of my water intake yet, but I may try those features in time. Meanwhile, I am going to just keep trying to hit 10 000 steps every day, and at least 10 flights of stairs. And I am going to enjoy having a community of friends to spur on and encourage while we work toward the goal of better fitness in 2016. So far, I am liking my new toy.

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