Saturday, 27 July 2019

We bought the children Fitbits

A couple of weeks ago we treated the children to a Fitbit each. Although Ram and I do exercise regularly, I often think that the children don't get active enough. We can't walk to school as it's several miles away, although I do make them walk to the road that I park in. But they aren't the most athletic of children, and I can't imagine that they get particularly involved in PE lessons at school. Aside from swimming lessons they aren't interested in doing any sports clubs.

I've had a Fitbit for a few years now, and I find it really interesting and motivating to keep track of my steps. For the first year after I started wearing it I managed to reach my step goal of 10,000 steps every single day, and although I'm not as obsessive about it now I do feel better when I've made that goal.

Fitbit Ace worn by children

A great deal of deliberation went into purchasing the Fitbits. The children don't have phones so they need to connect to a tablet, and they have small wrists so it needed to be one designed for children. I was keen to go for the Fitbit brand because then we could share our stats and enter challenges together, and we eventually settled on the Fitbit Ace. This is an older model, so it was a reasonable price.

The children were so thrilled when they arrived. They soon worked out that they could 'cheat' the step count by waving their arms around, although I don't mind because it still feels like a form of exercise! Mia also discovered that when Harry challenged us to a step goal day challenge she could adjust her goal to one step and complete the challenge before she even got out of bed! But they've become used to them now and are using them as they are intended, checking in their step counts with each other and with me throughout the day.

I'm really enjoying how it has been encouraging them to get out for a walk. At the moment in our town there is a brilliant initiative called Beat the Street running. Electronic boxes have been placed at regular intervals across several towns in the area, and you can use a map to find them and swipe them with a special card to collect points. We've really enjoyed going out for some walks together, and many of the boxes are at playgrounds which is added motivation. I've found that because they have such small legs, their step count racks up much faster than mine does!

Beat the Street box in Worthing park

I'm very interested to see what their step count looks like once they are back at school. It's only a small school but there are lots of steps up and down so it may well add up quite quickly! I'd definitely recommend a fitness tracker if you want to see how active your children really are, and take literal steps to improve.

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