My Walking History….
I’ve been playing with a pedometer and trying to get more steps into my day for several years now. Some years have definitely been better than others – one of those things I’ve just had to accept during the times when my health has slowed me down.
My first pedometer was a cheap one that came in a box of cornflakes that I bought specifically for the step counter. I still have a notebook somewhere around here where I wrote down my day’s steps every night before pressing the reset. Sometimes it would reset itself during the day (Oh, woe is me!). The cheapy ended it’s life when it fell into a toilet when I was shopping at the mall. Considering it was just a cheap thing that maybe would have cost $3 at the time, I was devastated. It started a hunt for something better that wouldn’t get lost. I tried several that I could keep in my pocket and eventually my new smart phone, a Nokia N95, took it’s place.
I had the phone for a few years and had become quite used to take it everywhere with me, and relying on it’s records so I didn’t have to jot down my daily step count. I like it. Fast forward a few years and my new phone was of the Apple kind. There were apps that were step counters but in order to work, they had to be running in the foreground. That was a bit useless, so I went looking for real pedometers again.
I eventually ended up with a FitBit One, which I wore either in my pocket or for other times when I had no pockets, on a lanyard. The online Fitbit site kept track of my step history. Today I wear a Fitbit Charge so I don’t have to worry about pocket or lanyard issues and it does a better job at sleep tracking than the One ever did.
Trying something different…
Wear walking shoes
Pick a path
Make it a routine, build it into your day
After awhile, you might find yourself doing laps around the house when you weren’t intending to – it just happens. I think for me, it’s just an extension of the ‘what did I come in this room for?” and then just carrying on walking!
The thing I like with the silly house walking is I don’t feel resentful – I’m not missing anything. If something needs doing I can do it, I don’t do it long enough to get bored. I also do other things while taking my circuits around the house. Sometimes it might take a few laps to finish though. For example, emptying the dishwasher a few dishes at a time before continuing on my walk (and the same for filling it up), or folding something in the laundry room each time I pass by. Tonight I filled up my Sodastream bottles and fizzed them up – a process that took a few goes during my walk, but got it done and out of the way.
A few more hints and suggestions…
Don’t keep looking at your Fitbit (or other pedometer) for your step count. It’s like watching the clock. If you resist the urge, the numbers just magically go up and up. If you’re looking every few minutes it can be annoyingly slow in changing. I look about every two or three ‘laps’ if I can resist the urge. One thing I’d love for the Fitbit to have is an incremental goal. Like give my wrist a little buzz each time I reach another 1000 steps.
Set a reasonable daily step goal for yourself. Unless you’re already super fit and active, keeping your goal at 10,000 steps and not reaching it can be disheartening. Start with something you know you can do, then after you’ve reached that goal several days in a row, increase the goal by another 1000. And repeat. I’m up to 6000 steps a day, and as long as I’m able to hit this daily, I’ll update to 7000 next week.
If you’re a bit of a data freak like am, you can also track your steps on Runtastic and / or MyFitnessPal. I use the spikes that show on the Fitbit dashboard for when I’ve been walking for 15 minutes. If you hover over the spike in the graph for distance, it will show you how far you’ve gone. I average about half a kilometer for each 15 minutes when I’m doing the silly house walk. I take note of the beginning time and add that along with the distance into a new entry manual entry on Runtastic. Because my Runtastic account and MyFitnessPal are connected, so the entry automatically updates MFP. The only downside is that because Fitbit is also linked to these two, it seems to pick up the MyFitnessPal active time and add it to it’s own. But it doesn’t seem to double the calories burned so that’s good.