So maybe I don’t have a smart phone.
But my wrist is pretty intelligent.
It tells me when to move. It tells me how many more steps I have to take to achieve completing a specific number of steps for the hour. It greets me in the morning with a ‘Today’s the day!’ or a ‘You got this!’ affirmation. It even throws a little party for me when I hit my daily goal of 10,000 steps.
Yes, my daughter got me a Fitbit for Christmas. It took a couple of weeks for me to get up the nerve to strap it on; I had seen plenty of people becoming slaves to the little read out on their wrist and wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about that.
But all is well.
Turns out, I like the not-so-subtle nudging when my Fitbit vibrates to let me know it is time to get up and move.
Most of my days start out with a good 2,000 steps or so walk with our dog so that gets me a fifth of the way to my goal. There are only a couple of days during the week where it’s easy to fall short of 10,000 and that’s Monday and Tuesday, when I am literally stuck at the computer doing lots of writing, proofreading and getting the pages of the newspapers ready to go to print. To that end, I’m still trying to come up with a way to make sure I get all my steps in. This past week I paced the living room on Monday night while watching the news, wearing a groove in the rug to finish out around 1,300 steps I needed for the day before the clock struck midnight.
You can actually set your own goal, whether you want to make 5,000 or 10,000 or however many steps a day. My sister – who coincidentally received a Fitbit from her daughter for Christmas as well – set her goal at 8,000. A friend of mine started at 10,000 and has since upped her game to 12,000 steps per day.
There are also settings for doing cardio, using a stopwatch to see how long you can run in place, Fitbit lets you know how many sets of stairs you have climbed; it tracks your heart rate, how many calories you burn, etc., etc.
One thing I have learned is that I don’t climb a lot of stairs. Guess I need to spend more time in office buildings.
There’s also a feature that can track your sleep patterns. I usually take the Fitbit off at night, but one time I did wear it and learned that I got 3 hours, 45 minutes of restful sleep. I could have done without that knowledge. Not a real sound sleeper and I didn’t need my wrist to tell me that.
One of the good things, though, is that my daughter picked one for me with a purple strap. My favorite color; she has this gift thing figured out.
I do enjoy the little sparklers and fireworks graphics when the 10,000 steps plateau is reached each day and it’s actually kind of fun to get my ‘weekly update’ via email that tracks how well (or not) I did over the past seven days.
There’s also something to be said for feeling as though you need to measure up. That’s probably part of the strategy. I don’t like to let my Fitbit down. It is keeping track of all sorts of healthy data for me and it’s important for me to do my part. It isn’t synced with a smart phone since I don’t have one but I am getting used to reading my wrist and responding appropriately.
With all the traipsing around I do at school sites, accident scenes, sporting events, back and forth to the coffee maker in the kitchen … I make my goal more days than not.
Just wait until football season – up and down the sidelines on Friday nights, it will be time to re-set my goal a few thousand steps higher.
Oh – it just interrupted me – ‘Take me for a walk?’ – it asked. Got to go.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.