When I was a mom of pre-schoolers I considered myself fairly physically active. I made an effort to get to the gym 3-4 times a week and spent the rest of my waking hours carrying babies and chasing toddlers. A year and a half ago, my baby started Kindergarten. I wasn’t a mom who was sniffling over this fact (unlike Celia in my Porter Family novel #2 Meant to Be Mine). I was a mom who was fist-pumping over this fact. I love having quiet hours in which to write, run errands, and clean the house.
Slowly, though, I began to notice that my activity level was dropping a bit too low. I’ve still been hitting the gym as frequently, but all the hours of sitting in front of the computer are starting to catch up with me. So, I bought a Fitbit to motivate me to MOVE more. For those of you unfamiliar with the product, a Fitbit is a watch/exercise tracker. It gives you a daily goal in terms of steps, then it tracks your steps and tells you at the touch of a button how many steps you’ve taken so far that day.
I bought mine in November. Here’s what I posted a week and a half ago on facebook…
Part of my reluctance had to do with the fact that I didn’t want to be told by an electronic device that I was a slug. Part of my reluctance had to do with the fact that my Fitbit monitors my heart rate 24/7. Which seemed creepy. I had an obscure fear that a few days after strapping on the Fitbit I’d receive a phone call from someone at Fitbit headquarters saying, “Mrs. Wade, I’m terribly sorry to inform you of this, but we can tell that you have a serious heart issue. You’ll probably be dead soon.”
Yep, that’s how writers with overactive imaginations think.
So I wavered.
In response to the above facebook post, women weighed in strongly in favor of the Fitbit. You can check out all their comments on my post here. They weighed in so strongly, in fact, that I powered up my Fitbit and have now been wearing it for a week.
My very first morning with my Fitbit, I headed out for a yoga class. To my great indignation, I quickly realized that an hour of yoga had added very few “steps” to my day. Hello?! Have you seen the bodies of women who do a lot of yoga? That’s the kind of fit and strong I’d like to be. Twenty downward dogs in one hour should count for a lot of steps, Fitbit.
I’m an oldest child, so I naturally want things to be “fair”. And I naturally want Fitbit to give me an A for fitness achievement.
- I got online and did the research and it turns out that there was a way to log the time I spent in yoga class into my Fitbit app. The program added a certain number of ‘calories burned’ to my day and provided me with a graph of my heart rate during class.
- I decreased the daily step goal from 10,000 to 6,000. Take that, Fitbit! I’d rather succeed during the early weeks of my relationship with my Fitbit thanks to a goal I can hit than feel bummed about a goal that’s often out of reach.
- Since it also tracks sleep, and since I also wanted an A in sleep hours, I decreased the sleep goal from 8 to 7 hours.
After one week of Fitbit use I, too, have become a fan. It’s doing just what I’d initially hoped. It’s inspiring me to move more. To walk the dog. To be grateful for the “steps” housework adds to my day. To get outside and breathe during my after-lunch ‘I can’t keep my eyes open’ lull.
Best of all, no one from Fitbit has called to tell me I have a serious heart issue. Yet.
Do any of you use exercise trackers? Did any of your new year’s resolutions pertain to fitness? Do tell!