Last August, my husband and I were at Best Buy looking at an iPad mini sale going on. He needed one to help him out with his job. I really think he just wanted one so he could play his farming games that he's always playing on mine. Anyways, I saw the Fitbit display and studied the packages. I read them over and over again, impulsively making the decision that I was going to take one of these babies home finally after watching them appear on more and more wrists each time I went out in public. I had been secretly wanting a fitness tracker for quite some time but I had no rhyme or reason why I chose Fitbit as my brand of choice. Like I said, this was an impulse buy.
I walked the package containing my Fitbit Flex over to my husband and told him I was going to buy it. He looked at me with a questionable look.
"How much is it?"
I mumbled, "Errrrrhundreddollars."
"Sounds like a damn expensive rubber bracelet to me."
"I promise it's worth it."
"Well, get it then."
So get it, I did.
I worked out occasionally and I stay fairly active around the farm and the house but really how active was I? What days of the week were I getting the least amount of activity? Was I eating too many calories or too little calories versus my activity level? Was I really getting enough sleep every night?
Those were questions that I wanted answers to in regards to my health.
I instantly aimed for the standard recommendation of 10,000 steps a day. I found myself getting between 5-7,000 at work alone everyday. Which, is pretty good and I am fortunate that I have a job that allows for a lot of walking, but by the time I got home, went to meetings, made dinner, folded laundry and engaged in my regular evening routine, I found it extremely hard to get those last couple thousands steps in without a workout.
On weekends, I found it even harder to get those 10,000 steps in. I sleep in a few hours later, we usually sit down for a big breakfast, more than likely we will sit in a vehicle for a long distance and it was just extremely hard to get all the recommended steps in.
I played around with the Fitbit app some and started adding friends that I knew. I then discovered the 'Challenges' you could invite your friends to.
That's when my Fitbit experience completely changed.
My friends and I started taking our challenges pretty seriously. You could do weekend, daily or work week long challenges to see who has the most steps in the end. I even held a challenge on Facebook offering a $25 gift card to Apple Bees to the winner. I decided if I won the challenge, I wouldn't have to buy anyone a gift card! I worked my butt off that week, had a lot of fun, I was exhausted but complete in the end. I wound up in 2nd place behind an avid dog walker that had a little better weather than we did but I still felt great about my performance.
Challenges aside, I became pretty obsessed about making my goal everyday regardless of my plan for that day. Whether it was working, having a laundry day on a Sunday, shopping or spending time with family, I decided I was going to make my goal every day no matter what it took.
I get creative to stay moving.
That is how Fitbit has changed my health.
Fitbit won't help you move mountains, give you a six pack or anything like that, but it's a small step anyone can make to put a little more activity in their life. Anyone can put one on and start moving. Anyone. You don't need a gym membership and heck, you don't even have to wear sneakers. Most of my steps are achieved in boots or socks!
After wearing my Fitbit for 7 months, I've come up with many new habits and tips to get those extra steps in for us country folk that probably spend a majority of our time driving from place to place unlike in the city where you walk place to place.
You will be surprised at how much a difference in steps these new habits make.
- When standing at the stove cooking, side step back and forth as you stir and prep ingredients.
- While folding laundry, do a little dancing or side stepping as you fold clothes. Music helps.
- Pace back and forth in the bathroom while you brush your teeth.
- Dance in the shower and while you're blow drying or styling your hair
- Park your vehicle as far away from the entrance at a store or business as you can.
- When you get home, park in the garage then WALK to the mailbox to get mail.
- Don't carry all your laundry to your bedroom all at once or all the shopping bags in at one time. Take multiple trips on purpose!
- Dance. Dance. Dance. Turn up the music in your bedroom and dance like no one's watching for 5-10 minutes on a low step day. Watch those steps add up!
- Watching your favorite show, do it from the treadmill instead of the couch or walk laps around the house during commercials
- Visit people you need to connect with at work instead of emailing or calling them. It's good to get a break from your desk and let the blood recirculate anyhow!
- Waiting in line at the bank or the store? Pace a little. People may look at you strange but hey, there's no shame in getting healthy!
- Take the stairs and skip the elevator. We were at a conference this past weekend and walking up the 4 flights of stairs to our hotel room was tricky the first few times but after a while it became routine!
- Participate in challenges with friends! You'll get a lot more steps in than normal because you're being held accountable. EVERYBODY IS WATCHING.
- Instead of using the drive-thru at a fast-food joint, park in the furthest spot and walk in to get your food. (The struggle is REAL if it's raining though.)
- When you think you don't want to get up and do that one thing, do that one thing. You know, like letting the dog out or taking out the trash. Just do it! Do it for the steps! Well, and the dog's bladder.
Disclaimer: I am not promoting Fitbit as the wearable tracker of choice. I am not claiming it to be the best on the market. I have enjoyed mine so far and I have heard they have great customer service. I'm very glad I went with Fitbit because of the app features and the amount of other friends that have Fitbit as well so we can participate in challenges and hold each other accountable.