So I got a new Fitbit today. The Charge 2. (Thanks Lisa, Brad, etc for the recommendation.)
It’s the first step to layering in more movement in my life. Specifically step count — what I think is the easiest thing for me to do as a baseline.
(Layering these habits is key for me. I’m not trying to overwhelm myself. One bite at a time.)
The daily preset goal is 10,000 steps, which is approximately 5 miles a day.
I kind of gasped when I saw that as I’m averaging around 2,000-2,500 steps right now according to my iPhone’s Health app. So I’ve got significant improvement to go on my daily movement currently.
(I found lots of good reasons for this 10K step goal here on the Fitbit blog.)
But going with my goal of learning a lifestyle of holistic health, the Fitbit is just a tool to teach me better daily movement habits.
Later on, I want to figure out how to add in more intense exercise routines. But I’m not there yet.
Ideas for increasing daily step count
Trying to be more mindful about my step count means I need ideas to do so …. here are some relatively easy ways I think I can get more steps:
- Park farther away — that’s just stupid obvious simple for how to get more steps in my life. Being more mindful of this will be key as I did this morning at a coffee meeting.
- Regularly getting up and moving from my desk — Just doing this will add some to my step count. And I think drinking more water (another thing I’m layering in) would will help this as the more water I drink the more I have to go to the bathroom! I’m hoping my Fitbit’s reminders will help with this without getting annoying.
- Morning and Afternoon treadmill (or walk around our office complex) — A couple of our team members do two walks around the office every day. Maybe I should just join them! But several years ago, I bought a treadmill for our office and have never used it. (Doh) 2,000 steps takes about 20 minutes according to this article. So I’ll shoot for that and think I could even set a calendar reminder for the best times to do that (and maybe discontinue my Fitbit reminders but we’ll see). I’m already thinking watching Netflix shows or a good audiobook would help the monotony, or as this article suggests, use it as “brainstorming” and idea time (HT here).
- 250 Steps every hour — so the default reminder for Fitbit is every hour walk 250 steps, which is really interesting to me as I learn what it takes to increase my step count and daily movement goals. Based on the Fitbit info, that’s around 1/8 of a mile, or 650 feet.
- Extra grocery store steps — we’re trying to save time by using Walmart Grocery Pickup for most of our shopping, but for other stuff, I could easily pace each of the aisles, or add an extra one, without adding too much time. (HT prevention)
- Drink more water and use a different bathroom — For nutrition alone, I need to drink more water. I have a bathroom within 30 feet of me. But I could double my steps simply by choosing another one in our office. One article suggested even taking the long way to it. (HT Prevention)
- Bringing back the trashcans — We have a long driveway and I take the trash down with my truck. For various reasons, I don’t want to take both trash cans down to the road right now. But typically after trash day, I load them the empties in my truck to take back. I could change that easily.
- Do it with others — yes, I could do many of these things with others, but from the past time I had a Fitbit and getting my account back up, I’ve garnered a few friends there. And now am adding more. (Friend me on Fitbit here.)
Ideas with my wife
My wife and I have toddlers. So suffice to say, we have to schedule in quality time for each other. So we do Saturday Day Dates. She’s already a runner, so I’m just catching up. But here are some thoughts for getting some more steps with her.
- Exploring and hiking some nature trails, like Martin Nature Center in OKC. It combines walking with nature and beauty.
- Go to a museum. She loves museums. And then I get more steps too, while being more cultural.
- Walk around Lake Hefner, that has awesome walking trails, or Lake Overholser, which I’m not very familiar with.
- Explore and walk the Oklahoma River near downtown OKC, which has miles of trails.
- If we go to the movies, park in the opposite lot.
I realize I’m also using one of my Character Strengths here — Appreciation of Beauty and Excellent — in many of these.
Ideas with kids
I have a 4 year old and 2 year old … they get the equivalent of 15 adults steps in per day currently, so I can use them to help me and get some extra quality time in with them and maybe make some memories too. (Kids, if you’re reading this later in life, you’re a huge reason I’m doing this.)
- Dance party with the kids — my kids love to dance. They are extremely active and for certain songs in certain movies, they go nuts. Thanks Zootopia! (HT Prevention)
- Chasing them around the house more — hide and go seek, races around the living room, etc. as long as Lindsey doesn’t shoot us first!
- Taking them to the playground and doing it with them — I’ve done this mindfully a couple of times. And the playgrounds they and I like best include lots of stairs. I just have some bruises from doing the slide afterward!
Other ideas to contemplate
- Walks as stress relief — I really hadn’t thought about this. When I’m stressed or anxious, burn it out walking.
- “Power Hour” — maybe not an hour just yet, but use one of my breaks to do more power or more intense walking. Maybe I up the treadmill speed for a break once I’ve established more of a routine.
- Play games while walking — this article suggested Pokemon Go. That’d be a neat idea to take my mind off the routine, but we’ll see.
Ideas for charging my tracker
One reason I choose this Fitbit is it is advertised as having 5 days of battery life. We shall see!
But here are the ideas I got or have for charging it (and thus, integrating it as part of my daily life):
- At my desk — this came from a couple of people’s suggestions. When I’m not moving, I could be charging. So I plan to keep my charger with my laptop and in my bag, as I want to start tracking my sleep patterns now with it.
- While in the shower — This Fitbit is not water proof. I will need a separate charger I think for this.
- Buying extra chargers — I found the Fitbit chargers on Amazon for $6, so I ordered two extras. Now I have one for just my backpack/laptop, one for the shower and an extra if I lose any.
All of this is just academic … now I have to put it in action. But it helps thinking it out a bit to be more mindful.
OK, would love your ideas and feedback here. Thanks!