One of the greatest tools for me in my on-going evaluation on how I’m doing has been the FitBit Force. I explain it to my friends as basically a geeky pedometer that tracks your steps, sleep, floors and active minutes. The online dashboard shows lots of neat statistics and it rewards you with badges when you hit milestones. It’s fun for the competitive types to see how active you are in comparison to friends.
It starts you out with a goal of doing 10 000 steps per day. I first thought this was impossible until lately when I actually managed to get over 25 000 in one day! Here’s the pictorial proof:
The 10 000 daily step routine has definitely gotten a lot easier by continuing to move throughout the day. There are still great days and not so great days, but I try to hit the 10K each day as much as possible. Usually a brisk hour’s walk is usually all it takes to put me over my target. I wanted to share with you a few of the things that have worked for me to help inspire you to move more too!
How To Get More Than 10 000 Daily Steps
Park at the farthest end of the parking lot.
Pick the furthest space away from where you want to go. Park at the opposite end of the mall and walk to the store you need. Park further away from the cart return to get more steps!
Take the stairs, then take them again.
Stop using the elevator and escalator, use the stairs as mini fitness breaks for you daily. If you have many flights to do, then take the first set at a fast pace, and the next at a more moderate pace to get your heart pumping.
Hook up your smartphone headset & do your phone calls on a walk
One of my favourite things to do lately on a walk alone is to reach out to friends by phone. I hook my iPhone ear buds in and talk to my friends while I’m trail walking. A few hills make me breathless but I find I can do more than 5K without even thinking about it.
Consider a desk alternative
Sitting in front of the computer sure doesn’t help the step count! Consider a treadmill desk (walking a slow, 1-2 mph), an exercise ball, or standing desk. These alternatives can help your posture, and keep you moving.
If you have to sit, take breaks
One of my co-workers put a mini-break in her schedule in the morning & afternoon. She would use it to walk to the water cooler on the opposite side of the department & stretch on her way back. Another colleague of mine set an egg timer for every 20 minutes, and would get up and do a little walk around or get information off of the printer to make sure she wasn’t just sitting.
When waiting for anything – an appointment, the bus, children at the park – pace. Keep walking in a mini-path to keep your step counter going. Run on the spot, hop on one foot, jump, dance, just move move move!
Walk that dog
My one adventure partner who is always ready to go is my border collie, Milton. It doesn’t matter what time of day, I grab that leash and he’s amped! He’s a great companion for walking and is ready when you are. If you don’t have a dog, why not check out the local SPCA group to see if they have any dogs that need a walk?
Form a walking group
The local FitBit crew and other walkers formed a little online (secret) Facebook group. Each day, members post from where/when they are walking. Others reply if they will come and everyone meets up at a spot. It’s always great for a chat & learning while you walk.
Discover local trails & amenities
We’re lucky to be surrounded by amazing conservation areas, national and provincial parks that are brimming with fascinating trails. Check out a few trails in your neighbourhood that you haven’t before and get hooked on being outdoors.
Many trails have geocaches along them, and many are within walking distance of each other. Pick a few and put them together into a walking route you can do with your family and spend a little time treasure hunting. (Geocaching is using multimillion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. Free membership & easy to try with a smartphone app!)
Stop driving when you can walk
From my house, I can walk to the medical clinic, dentist, chiropractor, grocery store, liquor store and health food store without much effort. With a little more effort, I can make it to the indoor playground, early childhood centre, library and recreation centre. Not even to mention the four different outdoor playgrounds! Instead of always driving, I have been making a concerted effort to walk to these places instead.
Make It a Family Habit
Mr J & Miss P absolutely love to be outdoors and go for a walk. I try to make sure the children get a little outdoor time every day by taking them on a walk to the playground or other destination.
Protect Your Daily Step Count with BitBelt
Although I love my FitBit, one of the problems I have with it is the clasp doesn’t always stay done up. From first glance it looks like it’s done up, but the strap is undone. As in the picture below – the clasp is actually completely undone but the fitness band still looks like it’s on. Unless you feel it slipping off, you literally wouldn’t know you are about to lose your gadget on the trail.
After investing more than $100 in one of these nifty pedometers, you want to ensure it’s safety. Several times, the FitBit has flown across the trail or room and gotten into some hairy situations. Even the baby is able to pry it from my wrist! I won’t share the disgusting places it has landed, but I’m happy it’s waterproof & can be washed.
Recently, I was out running on the trail with my border collie, Milton. I reached for my FitBit to check what my step count was, and panicked as it was not on my wrist. I began to run and recheck my steps where I had been. In my head, I was just panicking thinking that I was going to lose my daily step count and averages that I had worked so hard for. I realized there was no way to claim the FitBit as mine either! So even if it was found, there was no info for the individual to contact me with.
As the dread set in and the adrenaline subsided, I took off my jacket. I wanted to give it a firm shake just to ensure the fitness band hadn’t gotten stuck anywhere. Sure enough, out popped the FitBit to my relief. With the varied terrain and kilometers that we log every day, I’m lucky that I found it so easily.
I started to think there must be a better solution to this panic – and after a little time Googling & a bit of chat on Twitter, I found it.
The BitBelt was created as the solution to keep FitBits and other fitness & magic bands on your wrist. It’s a simple inexpensive way to keep it on. You just slide the BitBelt over your fitness tracker and it holds two overlapping bands together. It comes in a variety of colours, and you can even add more than one BitBelt to your gadget if you like! The smart folks over at BitBelt just released a second version that fits on FitBit Flex too (Junior).
I love simple solutions. I have been using mine for over a month now, and since securing it I haven’t lost my FitBit. There have been times where the clasp has come undone and I didn’t notice. BitBelt simply keeps my fitness band on my wrist without worry. This is indeed a cheap way to keep your investment safe. I really love the ice blue & hot pink colours and look forward to the new camouflage and purple with gold glitter coming soon.