My 7-year-old asked for a step counter for his birthday. I got him a Fitbit Zip, which he then promptly lost. But I was intrigued enough by the idea that I bought myself one. I was curious how much activity I was averaging, and if the Fitbit would encourage me to get more.
I now know the answer to the first question. I do a lot of running around. I started wearing the Fitbit on Sunday this past weekend, and it was not a day that would seem to be particularly active. I did not do any “exercise” — no runs, no walks. I didn’t do any errands. I went strawberry picking but that wasn’t particularly active because I parked by the hay wagon, took the hay wagon to the fields and then didn’t venture that far into the fields due to whiny children. That only added about 1000 steps.
Yet I still managed to top 11,000 steps for the day, and that’s even with not wearing the Fitbit for a pool trip. My life just seems to involve a lot of running around. I go up and down the stairs a lot. Unloading the groceries from my husband’s car when he got home involved a lot of steps. We ate dinner outside, and so I probably made at least 4 trips out to the deck table bringing things, and at least 4 trips back inside when we were done. Putting the kids to bed involved going back down stairs twice — once to find a new toothbrush, once to get two clean cups for water. I watered my garden and planted two new plants, but I didn’t even do that much intense yard work.
I guess it’s good to know that my daily activity easily hits the 10,000 steps we’re supposed to log each day, and will no doubt be higher on days I go for decent runs, though it’s somewhat discouraging too. I got this Fitbit in part because I’d been telling myself that since moving from New York, I wasn’t incorporating enough movement into my life. I was no longer walking briskly to the subway. I was no longer walking my son the quarter mile to his preschool, and the distance from my garage into my house is less than I’d walk with a cab dropping me off in front of my building and then me walking to the elevator and to my apartment. Because my life lacked this active structure, I told myself that’s why I’m carrying around an extra few pounds that I cannot still claim is “baby weight” from my 2.5 year old daughter. If I got a step counter and made sure I got the 10,000 steps a day, it would just disappear!
Except I’m already getting the 10,000 steps. So if I actually intend to change anything (not entirely clear) I’ll either have to up the target to 15,000 or more, or pay a lot more attention to what I eat. Which I kind of knew, but I sort of hoped the answer would be different.
Do you track your activity? What have you discovered?