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Why I use a step tracker + how to get more steps in to your day

Why I use a step tracker + ways to get more steps in to your day.

Recently I have been able to test out a Fitbit Charge HR wristband for the first time (a kind loan from my partners parents), after swearing I would never buy one as I didn’t think it would help me towards being fitter or healthier. I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong!

A Fitbit (or any set tracker, I am not just endorsing Fitbit!)  is an all-day activity tracking device featuring real-time stats, steps taken, distance traveled, Caller ID and alarm notifications, and a heart rate monitor.

So all this high-tech stuff sounds pretty nifty right, was this why did I decided that the Fitbit (or any activity tracker) was worth having?

The answer is nope. None of this stuff has really helped me achieve my fitness goals. Calories burnt? Not really something I worry about. Heart rate stats? Interesting, but I don’t need  an app to tell me when I feel like dying. Sleep pattern technology? I’ve got a partner who likes to tell me how restless and noisy I am at night.

No it definitely wasn’t all that technology that made me love my Fitbit (not saying that that stuff isn’t cool, you will find it fun and interesting!), it was the step tracker that really intrigued me.

Research

When you join Fitbit, the default goal is set to 10,000 steps a day. I’d always wondered why this exact number was important, and had never even thought about how many steps I did a day.

According to Fitbit:

“Medical authorities around the world have agreed that 10,000 is a healthy number (or steps) for which to aim. The American Heart Association uses the 10,000 steps metric as a guideline to follow for improving health and decreasing risk of heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.”

So 10,000 steps a day is a rough equivalent to the recommendation to get 30mins of activity most days of the week. Apparently it should be enough to reduce your risk for disease and help you lead a longer, healthier life (which we all know exercise helps with anyway!).

Discovery

 

 

10,000 steps daily is approximately 8 kilometres. As I found out, unless you lead a very active lifestyle or profession, you probably won’t reach 10,000 steps on a given day without putting some extra effort into your activity.

I was shocked to find out after the very first day that I get nowhere near 10,000 steps in a day, and I confess I believed I was pretty active at this point. I became more aware of what I was doing each day at work and after I had finished, how little I actually moved from desk and I admit, it was a bit scary to discover I was borderline sedentary!

Having the Fitbit has really changed the whole way I think about activity and exercise, and trying to get to the daily step goal has become a convenient, free and simple challenge to add to my daily routine.

Small ways to get more steps in to your day

At home:

  • Walk around while brushing your teeth or hair

  • Walk to the mailbox to check for mail every day

  • Volunteer to take the rubbish out every week

  • Make extra run around time with your baby/fur-baby

At work:

  • Drink 2L of water day so you have to walk to the toilet every 10 minutes

  • Go and see the person you want to talk to instead of emailing them

  • Walk to the water boiler to get frequent cups of green tea

  • Book the furthest meeting room away from your desk when scheduling a group meeting

  • Take the stairs not the elevator

When exercising:

  • Lots of walking lunges

  • Add 20min of walking/running to your exercise routine if you haven’t already

  • Walk to the gym/the location you exercise at if you are close enough to it instead of driving

 

How do you get more steps in to your day? Let me know in the comment section below!

Nic x

The Sunshine Exchange.

 

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