I’m halfway through my day; the plan was to work in my office in the morning and take care of sundries in the afternoon. Normally, since nothing is in the same general area, I’d take my car. But not now: now I feed my need to please this very small piece of machinery on my belt. Not only do I cater to my Fitbit, I also spend a lot more time in coffee shops. Every chance I get, I walk instead of ride. Because I work from home, you’ll see me nearly every day, walking to various coffee shops with my overloaded purse and laptop bag.
And I’m not the only one: Geraldine in her blog posts calls her Fitbit a pedometer but more judgmental – because it lets you know how you’ve done every day. She laments that there is no limit to what she is willing to do to appease that tiny robot on her arm. Joanne Lee obeys her Fitbit even to jogging in place as she makes her morning coffee, and schedules her showers between red dots. Fitbit produces one red dot per hour if you’ve reached a certain level of activity. Sort of like the red star my kindergarten teacher gave us for being good.
There’s now a March Madness Fitbit challenge that anyone with a Fitbit can join; you play by sending in your “daily Showdowns” that Fitbit sends you. And the latest? Since sexual activity is a calorie eater, Fitbit tracks this. We feel good when we’re doing something that’s healthy. Some of us can go overboard with this device, but then if not with the pedometer, then probably with the speed bike, or exercise classes, or some other activity. Walking is available to almost everyone and it’s free. Using a pedometer does help us focus on the number of steps we walk daily, if for no other reason than it provides a solid goal – the now almost universal 10,000 steps originally suggested by a Japanese firm in the 1960’s who’s product translated to 10,000 steps meter”. According to Live Science walking around 8,000 steps a day, or participating in this kind of activity for 150 minutes a week, reduced blood pressure after 24 weeks, and for overweight women, improves blood glucose levels.
Harvard Health Publications reports that people who use pedometers walk an extra 2,000 steps per day on average. Using a pedometer promotes walking in aging adults who might otherwise not exercise due to arthritis and diabetes, and most universally, walking reduces stress and depression.
If you’re interested in joining pedometer madness, here are a few pointers:
Have a step-count goal; to begin, try going for a little more than you would normally walk;
Walk at a brisk pace – something that challenges you without getting you out of breath;
Get a good pedometer; it doesn’t have to be expensive – find reviews of the different models and see which suits you best. The piezoelectric models that “work at any angle” cost more but may be more accurate and easier to use.
Yes, Fitbit can be an obsession – but a healthy one. Instead of ruminating on things that we can’t control, we can now “get our fitness on” and think about healthy things – which, in turn, will lead to a healthier body!