Today is 3 months since I started tracking on my fitbit. I am at 970,032 lifetime steps. That is an average of 10,450 steps per day in those 92 days. I am only 3 days away from hitting ONE MILLION STEPS! I have to thank my sister for buying the fitbit for me (a birthday present), and for Tina Seamonster for inspiring me with her daily step posts on facebook. I also enjoy extra motivation from the occasional instagrammer in my feed sharing their steps, whether they be on a fitbit, a garmin or jawbone, etc.
As you probably know, it is recommended that everyone should walk 10,000 steps every day. When I was in college I bought a series of different analog pedometers. I remember they were decent ones, costing around $30 or so. Then there was a point where they got to be really hot and inexpensive, and they were even giving away pedometers with McDonald’s Happy Meals. I would wear my pedometer clipped to my pant pocket during work and school and was just always frustrated. I would be walking all day and get home and find I had only walked 3,000 steps. I’d be lucky if my pedometer would tell me I had stepped over 5,000 steps over an entire day.
I was pretty certain that whomever decided people should walk 10,000 steps per day was completely insane because people can’t simply walk THAT MUCH! Flash forward to the Fitbit and now I’m pretty sure those other pedometers were just junk and not counting my steps accurately. That is not to say that walking 10,000 steps per day is a breeze. I work a desk job but now make a big effort to get up out of my seat regularly and walk more. Many days I come home and just want to lay down on the couch after a stressful day and instead I have to put on my tennis shoes and walk for a couple miles on the treadmill and walk 4,000 steps before I reach 10,000 for the day.
I’ve always heard tips to get in more steps would be things like parking at the back of parking lots, get up and walk around during commercial breaks on TV, and take the stairs rather than an elevator. Now with the fitbit I find reaching10,000 steps daily is like a game. Each step is 1 point, I WIN if I reach 10,000 by the end of the day. So, getting in as many steps as possible is ideal. I have a treadmill, but sometimes that can get boring. Now I try to get in my steps in as many creative ways as possible. When I’m at work and have to plate a job for the presses, instead of just sitting at my computer or standing in place, I now walk laps around the CTPs. I definitely park near the back in parking lots. We will walk to restaurants or convenience stores, instead of driving. I’m hoping that as the weather continues into winter that we keep this up.
There are several different fitbit products out. I have the One, which can be clipped to your bra, or pant leg. There are several options and price points (from $60-$130) including options that you can wear on your wrist. The new Force will (like the One) count flights of stairs climbed, but is a bracelet like the Flex. There are plenty of reviews out there to compare and contrast, if you are thinking about buying one.
I love that the fitbit synches up to an app and I can keep track throughout the day. It absolutely feeds into my desire to be constantly checking in on my digital gadget. I have actually talked a coworker of mine into getting one too based on that. She then shared this article in Time magazine about this need for people to keep track of everything focusing on the pedometer/app trend. The article is right on spot with identifying other users that are also just addicted with the tracking, as well as the loss when you might lose your pedometer or forget to wear it. This just happened to me last week when I realized for the first time forgotten to wear it all day long at work. I didn’t notice until I got to work and the app wouldn’t connect, and then I completely forgot about it again when I went home for lunch. At first I didn’t want to walk at all that day thinking of all my lost steps that wouldn’t get accounted for, ha! Then I thought, well, when I get home I can just bounce the fitbit until it climbs to my average step. Not so easy. I decided to not beat myself up about it, it was bound to happen eventually. The idea of these new digital pedometers being yet another thing that makes people feel they need to be checking on their digital device may not be appealing to some, but to me this is a health benefit that I am willing to encourage.
I’m not a competitive person at all. In fact, quite the opposite and if I sense any competition I usually bow out so as not to deal with the stress. That being said, you can connect your fitbit with other friends who have one (any model) and the app keeps a leaderboard to show you the last 7 days steps. This way people can’t see if I’ve been lazy and laying on the couch watching marathon netflix for 3/4 of the day, they would only see that in the last 7 days I have stepped 64,000 steps. This works for people who are competitive and non competitive as well, like myself. I get to see that my friends are also getting in their steps and “winning” their weeks along with me, or I can send cheers or taunts.
If you have a fitbit and want to connect look me up by my email address, on robayre.com homepage under contact. Or do you use a different pedometer and what is your experience?
edit: I just remembered another thing I enjoy is that fitbit awards you badges when you hit milestones, which just adds to the whole “game” aspect. I have badges for walking 250 miles. I just looked and found that I am getting close to hitting my next badge for 500 miles. My fitbit account also links up to Sparkpeople, and so my fitness minutes also award me with milestones. I regularly get emails that I have accumulated such and such fitness minutes or miles in a month.