Lately, I’ve been doing some walking. A WHOLE lot of walking.
I’m participating in this contest where I’ve pledged to walk a certain amount of steps each day. It sounded like fun to participate, plus it would be a regular way to get exercise and challenge my limits.
I track my progress through a Fitbit, which I wear on one wrist. Mine is a purple Charge HR, which I was able to afford thanks to an Amazon sale and a VERY generous birthday gift card from a high school friend.
My Fitbit shows me the number of steps I’ve done, distance traveled, heart rate, steps climbed, calories burned, etc. I’m required to do about 8,000 steps per day, but I’m nutty enough to want to try more. I do about 30,000 steps a day, on average. (That’s about 5 hours of walking every day, fitted around the other activities of my day.)
Somebody at Fitbit is a comic genius, though. The Fitbit is recharged through the use of a power cord that plugs into a computer, and I get a motivational message in the Fitbit’s little window after I unplug the Fitbit. I don’t know who at Fitbit thought of this feature, but I’m loving it.
My Fitbit has quite the personality. It seems well-traveled; it’s told me “BONJOUR” and “VAMANOS”. It’s also asked for a hug (“HUG ME”) and given me “SMOOCHES” twice.
It’s also told me “YOU ROCK” and called me a “STEPGEEK”. I’m choosing to be flattered by that.
Other times, my Fitbit grows stern about me exercising. I’ve received “LETS GO”, “ITS ON” and “MOVE IT”. (I swear, this Fitbit is so strict, it ranks up there with the personal trainers at my gym!)
But the funniest story involving the Fitbit concerns one particularly long day of walking. I did a huge number of steps one day just to see if I could, using a local shopping mall and my gym after the mall closed for the day. And the message I got from my Fitbit the next day? “STEP IT UP.”
Seriously, little Fitbit? Over 51,000 steps in one day was not enough for you??!!??
The Fitbit has also led to some adventures. I’ve gotten some beautiful photos while walking along some roads and watched an entire day at a shopping mall from its initial wake-up to its closing.
I’ve used it at my gym, walking laps around one large room to finish off my steps for the day. One evening, a young guy came in to work on some dance steps. He was into swing music and played Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and other people like that, which was an interesting change from the usual music on my iPod. We had a great time chatting about the classics.
But the real magic of the Fitbit is that it makes me want to exercise and push my workout just a little farther. (“Oh, just 220 more steps to go to reach today’s goal…okay…I can do that.”) I call this state of mind “Fitbit-itis” and it seems to affect other exercisers I know as well.
I like the Fitbit blog, too. Fitbit has a well-written blog with good health and fitness tips, if you care to read it.
After the contest is over, I’m taking a few days to rest (!) and then I’ll have to figure out other ways to challenge myself. Some of my walks have approached marathon territory, so maybe I can find some competition where I could just walk. Or I could participate in a Relay for Life. Any suggestions, blog readers?
We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.