Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Aiming for 10,000 steps per day

For my birthday late last year I asked for and received a Fitbit Charge 2 (affiliate link). I previously had a Garmin activity tracker, but although I liked how it looked on my arm it wasn't very reliable (I had two and each one developed a fault) and as I knew so many people with Fitbits I decided it was a good choice.

My original purpose for having a fitness tracker wristband was to receive notifications from my phone. I often carry my phone in my bag and so I don't hear it when it rings or I receive a message, so I thought it would be really useful to have a band that would vibrate with notifications. But I've found that the Fitbit is a really fun way to keep track of my activity, and since the beginning of January I've been challenging myself to do my 10,000 steps a day.

Last year I was able to walk the children to school a lot, and I easily reached the 10,000 steps. But since they moved to a school in a different town they need to be driven there, and my lifestyle has become much more sedentary. On a typical day when I spend most of my time sitting at the computer, even with a short walk from the car to the school I would often only count up 5-6000 steps during the day.

I've found that in order to achieve 10,000 I have to make a conscious effort to include some extra exercise in my day, and I'm really pleased that I'm managing it. I've found several different ways to add in the steps. The most obvious one is to go for a run, and I do enjoy running both outside and on the treadmill at the gym. I have found though that the steps rack up much more quickly on the treadmill for some reason, possibly because I run faster, which is very motivating.

Another way is to fit in a long walk. We have two supermarkets within reasonable walking distance which I'm always at for top ups anyway, and it's great if I just need a few bits that I can easily carry home. I've also been trying to walk if I'm meeting a friend for coffee, and sometimes I walk the long way around from the car to the school to squeeze in a few extra steps.

I've also been parking up on the way to school and going for a long walk after lunch. I'm lucky that the school run involves a drive along the coast, so I can easily park up and go for a walk by the sea. It's a bit cold and windy at this time of year, but at least there aren't too many people about!

Cold day at the beach

I find the Fitbit itself really motivating, with the little badges and medals that you can earn. So far I've only managed 20,000 steps in a day but I really want to push myself to get to 25,000 or even 30,000 steps one day - even if I have to spend all morning running on the treadmill to get there! I'm also in competition with other Fitbit owning family members (even if they don't actually know) and I'm trying to remain at the top of the leaderboard, healthy competition is always good!

Do you have a fitness tracker? I'd love to know what your daily step goal is, should I be thinking about increasing mine?

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