I received an email the other day from Runkeeper, an app that helps me log my exercise activities. Runkeeper wants to track 118 million miles to honor the 118th Boston marathon. You can read more about it here. They encourage you to sign up and pledge to help by tracking your miles. You can also donate money. So from March 1st until April 21st my personal goal is to log 118 miles. That means 52 days. That is a goal I feel I can accomplish. I will be running (when the weather cooperates), walking, cycling or using a fitness machine at the gym. I took the day off today, but yesterday I logged 5.8 miles on an elliptical trainer. I will also be tweeting (@goingtogermany) and sharing my progress on Facebook. Does anyone care to join me?
Several months ago I received a Fitbit Flex for my birthday. I couldn’t wait to start using it to see how active I was on a daily basis and what sort of data I would see. Like most new things, it was fun and I logged in multiple times a day to see my latest results on steps taken or hours slept. Then I hit a bump in the road and the Fitbit was still worn and the results still looked at, but I was no longer super motivated to check daily results. In fact some days I purposely avoided logging into my account because I knew I would see disappointing stats. Sigh.
Now, as the recurring polar vortex rears its cold head and since I live in Chiberia, I am only semi motivated to use it to help me improve my physical fitness. Right now it is a battle in my mind, two opposing sides are trying their best to persuade me. The Fitbit Girl reminds me how easy it is to make my daily goal of 11,00 steps (by the way, you can choose how many steps you want for your daily goal. I began with 10,000 and then a month later moved it up to 11,000) by exercising on a machine at the gym for 30-40 minutes and then walking somewhere in the neighborhood. Homemaker Girl is on the other side reminding me how cold it is outside and don’t I want to spend my time doing things like baking bread and cooking homemade soup. Usually someone wins. Lately it has been Fitbit Girl, but Homemaker Girl is hard to ignore, especially on really cold days when I have to bundle up extra to venture outside. I have thought maybe they could start compromising more.
So, the best parts of having a Fitbit so far are 1. Being able to view my daily step progress and take action if I have not moved very much during the day. 2. Being able to see how much sleep I was getting on a nightly basis 3. Being able to change my goals for steps, active minutes, distance, etc. There are many other things you can do with the Fitbit, but they require a bit more of your time. These included keeping track of your calorie intake, water consumed, body weight and body measurements. There is even a journal you can write in. I have tried these options, but mostly during the first month. I was fairly inactive for about a month due to some family circumstances so I am no hurry to remeasure my thighs and see if there has been a change. Recently a friend of mine started using a Fitbit and has befriended me. Now I occasionally check his step count to see if I am ahead or behind. Sometimes a little friendly competition is enough to get me to move more.
I think in another month when the clocks change for Daylight Savings Time and Spring is a bit closer I will see myself more motivated with my Fitbit. I definitely enjoyed exercising more outdoors in the Fall. How about you – Do any of you have a Fitbit? Does it help you with exercise and fitness goals or is it just another tech toy? What are your thoughts on it?