While I was away on holidays I discovered via a travel pal that my phone has a health app that tracks your steps providing you're carrying the phone with you. I confess I became a little obsessed and delighted at the end of each day with how many steps and kilometres we had walked, and also how many floors we had climbed. In some places the amount of floors were astounding. I felt good knowing how active we had been and it certainly accounts for why there was only a small weight gain at the end of a very indulgent 6 weeks.
My partner Gavin has since given me a FitBit to continue my obsession and now I check my tally every day. I can be pretty competitive and when I see I haven't reached my 10,000 steps for the day I will do things like walk laps of the house before dinner (we have a long house so that helps). My dog Pepper thinks it's great fun as she runs along with me up and down the length of the house. Even the pussy cat Abbie likes to ambush Pepper as we stride along. Everyone has fun before dinner!
Other things I do besides the regular morning walk include: catching the local free bus into the shops instead of driving plus getting off a stop or two earlier and walking the rest; having a walk at lunchtime; going up and down the stairs at home more times to increase the "floors climbed"; and parking a bit further away from work. All simple things to do and yet they make me feel much better in many ways.
Many people I have spoken to about their FitBit or other gizmo that tracks their steps say that keeping an eye on their activity has made them more active. Mine has really made me very conscious of moving more and climbing more stairs. Plus you can hook up with friends who have a FitBit, see how they're going and cheer them along.
Another function in my FitBit Charge is sleep tracking. I know I don't need to see how poor my sleep has been on a bad sleep night, however, it's interesting to note how many times/minutes I had been awake or restless. If anything it makes me consider what factors had affected my sleep. Caffeine? Too stimulating a TV show before bed? That glass of wine?
Then on the other end of the spectrum, what helped me have that very restful night's sleep? Was it the afternoon massage I enjoyed? The fact I had walked more than 10,000 steps that day? Perhaps it was avoiding the second coffee or tea? The red wine I said no to would have also contributed to better sleep.
The point of my blog today is to encourage you to track your steps each day so you can challenge yourself to do more, feel more energetic and keep trim. Aside from any regular exercise, the smaller bursts of activity will bring even better results.
I'd love to know your thoughts! Do you have a step tracker?