I bought myself a new pedometer. I’d had the old one for 10 years, and when we moved, I lost it (convenient, huh?!).
I wasn’t crazy about the new one at first, especially since it wasn’t logging as many steps as the old one. I’m not sure if my activity level dropped or if the old one was just overly generous. At any rate, I had to step it up just to get back to where I was.
My previous average was about 6,000 steps a day – not too shabby even though the recommended number of steps is 10,000. I was okay with that – until I got my new pedometer.
You see, there’s a feature that comes with the new pedometer that I didn’t have with the old one – COMPETITION. This pedometer allows you to link with other pedometer users! You can follow their progress and send them messages, cheers and taunts.
The nice thing about the competition element of the new pedometer is that it’s based on the last seven days. If you get really behind, you can eventually catch up. But you also can’t rest on past success because it goes away. To win, you have to keep at it.
And I want to win.
I only have three other people on my list. One is my daughter, Rachel. The other is her friend (and mine), Amber. The third is my friend, Carolyn, who has a bad knee but is trying to increase her steps anyway. Go, Carolyn.
When I started, I was in third place. I didn’t think I would ever be able to catch up with Rachel and Amber, especially with my measly 6,000 steps a day to their 7,000 and 8,000. But guess what? I started working harder, and before I knew it, I was AHEAD. I stayed ahead for several days but then Amber decided she’d had enough and took her walking up a notch! I remember the day she made a concentrated effort to beat me. Every time I checked my pedometer, she was AHEAD! That wouldn’t have been so bad except I’d been walking on and off all day! She had a desk job so I couldn’t figure out how she was getting so many steps. By the end of the day, she was still a little bit ahead of me so I walked some more and kept my lead. I ended up with over 18,000 steps that day. Yes, I was really tired.
I wish I could say that I learned my lesson and paced myself from then on but that wouldn’t be the truth. I ended up with one more insane day – 21,500 steps. Yes, I was trying to stay ahead of Amber again. And yes, I was exhausted!
But this post isn’t just about how I’m trying (and succeeding some of the time) to stay ahead of the two 20-somethings on my fit-bit list. This post is about a couple of other important things.
1. If you don’t like exercise (I don’t), there are other ways to be active – like using a pedometer and trying to gradually increase your steps.
2. Most of us don’t get as much exercise or activity as we think. My husband is a part-time fitness trainer and he sees this all the time. People think they’re working a lot harder than they really are; or walking more than they are. It’s easy to fool yourself unless you’re using tools that accurately measure your progress. If you’re not moving forward, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re not working as hard as you think.
So if you don’t like exercise, find creative ways to be more active. And if you’re exercising but not seeing progress, figure out what’s wrong and fix it.
Do you exercise regularly? What’s your exercise of choice?
Other health and fitness articles are available in the Healthy Living Index.