Wednesday, September 11, 2013

These Boots Were Made for Walking

I'll admit it -- I've gotten to the point where I need some gimmicks to motivate me to exercise.  (And believe me, I NEED to work out!  There are some things going on with this body of mine that shock me when I look in the mirror.  How did I suddenly get so old and, well, slack???)

My first stop was Foot Locker for a new pair of sneakers.  I figured a little bounce in my step would do me good.  And this pair of Asics just called out my name.  Obviously, they would go with everything (or so I thought, forgetting that many of my work-out tops are prints), and I would want to wear them all the time.  I do love them--and get many compliments (or is it just comments?) when I wear them--but they haven't inspired me to put in more time.

My next "aid" came compliments of my friend Maggie.  Always a late adaptor of technology, I have had a smart phone for less than a year, and I am not a big user of apps.   But I am really enjoying using "Cardio Trainer" on my Droid.  So long as I remember to activate it when I head out for a walk or ride, it maps where I've been and gives me data on distance, time, pace, and calories burned (which I take with a grain of salt).   There are other features that I haven't explored, including a heart rate monitor (usable with a Polar bluetooth) and Calorific (for tracking your calorie intake if you are so inclined).   The app can be used for other types of exercise as well (including swimming and yoga), although I don't really understand how you would use it for these activities since you wouldn't want your phone strapped on when you are in the water or struggling to get into triangle pose.

Which brings me to my latest acquisition -- my Fitbit Flex.  This baby actually IS strapped on my wrist at all times (except when charging).  Fitbit Flexes have become so popular that they were out of stock for six weeks over the summer.  I impatiently waited to get mine, and I love it.  At its core, the Flex is a fancy pedometer, tracking your steps throughout the day.  We all know that the "goal" is to walk 10,000 steps a day, and the Flex makes me aware of how much time
I spend sitting in front of a computer (or, let's be honest, in front of the TV).   Walking 10,000 steps a day is both easier and harder than you might expect.  I've learned that it's about 500 steps from my house to the mailbox and back.  And that if I go to Walmart or the Mall, I am golden.  Nonetheless, I've found myself falling short of my goal on many days.  There are some reasons for this (in addition to my laziness).  Although you can log in exercise other than walking, I haven't figured out how the Fitbit actually treats it.  I definitely get some "credit" for biking, but not as much as I think is appropriate.  So there's some room for improvement in the technology.

The Fitbit Flex also has the ability to track your sleep patterns, which for some reason is oddly compelling.  Each night before I go to sleep I "tap" my Flex to put it into sleep mode.  (I used quotation marks around "tap" because I actually have to whack the heck out of my wrist until I've hit the device in the correct place the correct number of times for it to pulse to let me know it's going to sleep.)  Then when I wake up, I tap it again to wake it up.  I find myself rushing to my laptop to input my hours in bed to find out how well I slept.  I often do this even before checking my emails!  I have no idea why this information is so interesting (after all, you can pretty much tell when you wake up if you got a good night's sleep), but it is.

The Fitbit software has lots of other components to take advantage of if you are really keen.  Not surprisingly, it has a log where you can put in what you eat so that you can see in black and white where the issues are.  (No thanks to that!)  So far the most significant impact the Flex has had on my eating habits occurred when I was leaving a restaurant the other night with a box of leftover steak and mashed potatoes in my hand.  I started telling my friend about my Flex and was gesturing to show it off when my food suddenly flew out of the box and onto the floor.  Oops!  No more seconds on mashed potatoes for me!

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  I'm happy to have found a way to take advantage of it that actually inspires me to spend a little less time in front of my computer.  And now it's time for my afternoon walk.



1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of a Fitbit Flex! I think I know what I'll be asking for on my birthday. :)
    Blessings, Nanette!

    ReplyDelete

Is the Whitney Biennial a Bunch of Baloney?

"Claim (Whitney Version) by Pope.L I couldn't resist this inflammatory question, the genesis of which will shortly be revealed....