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STEP Right Up!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

I am determined to make myself better in 2021 than I was in 2020. The winter months are difficult for me to maintain my walking activities and the closing of fitness centers did not help the situation any. I became a real slug bug!

I dedicated this month to getting back to living healthy once again.

Healthy Habits need to include finding a new fitness routine and I have questioned what this should look like. The CDC recommends150 weekly minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (or a combination of both) plus 2 or more days of strength training. In addition, The Harvard Health Publishing quotes a study done by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise stating that a 7000 daily Step count was sufficient for good health (4,600 steps each day in the course of normal activity + 2,300 steps during exercise) and that the 10K standard was most likely a marketing tool developed by a company that sold pedometers.

I needed some motivation help to get my Step count back up. Da-Da! Why not use this Fitbit that I am tied to. It has a setting that prompts you to take 250 Steps each hour. You can set the hours that you want to be active. At 10 minutes to the hour it notifies you if you have not met that goal and lets you know how many Steps you have left in order to get your 250.

That sounded easy enough to me so I set it up and this is what happened. Some hours, such as when I'm head deep into my computer and Spark People, I wasn't getting any Steps. That means that at 10 minutes to the hour I really had to scramble if I was going to get my little "dot" reward. At other times the remaining Steps I needed varied.

Here is my issue - I found myself pacing the floor and/or walking aimlessly in circles in order to get those steps in. Time passed and I became frustrated with the whole idea. Pacing back and forth? Make sure you swing your Fitbit arm! If this picture doesn't sound ridiculous to you, it sure did to me! So I turned that feature off. The result was that my Steps started to slide again. Yup. As a retired person I can do a lot of sitting!

In recent days I have seen other Sparkies that use this feature successfully. It made me wonder what in the heck was my problem. So I turned it back on 2 days ago. I almost immediately was faced with the same frustrations. Yesterday I was sitting in the Salon chair getting my hair done and my Fitbit buzzed that I needed 96 more steps. Really! I'm supposed to say "Excuse me, but I need to get up and walk around a bit" right in the middle of my hair coloring?

If nothing else, I am determined! So this morning I got right up and started my morning routine - wash face, brush teeth, go downstairs and fill water bottle, walk (aimlessly) around the kitchen island while I drink my first glass of water for the day, feed the cat, feed the dog, get my cup of coffee, walk back upstairs for my devotions. You would think that would produce 250 Steps wouldn't you? Nope! I was still short 96 Steps and I don't really have a tiny house. Go figure. A trip to the bathroom met the goal from 7 - 8 a.m.

From 8 - 9 a.m. I made 3 trips up and down our stairs from my perch to the kitchen for the lentils I was cooking for breakfast. 3 trips! Plus I drank another glass of water while I walked (aimlessly again) around the kitchen island. Surely that should add up to 250 Steps. My Fitbit didn't notify me at 10 minutes to 9 so I must have met my goal! Nope. I apparently did not since it didn't give me my "dot" reward. My count said I had 546 Steps. Who knows what went wrong, but it is so frustrating to me when this happens.

Now I am working on 9 - 10 a.m. I got up in the middle of this blog to make my bed. It takes me several Steps to walk from one side of the bed to the other and back and forth until it is all made up. I have not gotten any buzzing notification from my Fitbit so I'm hoping I'm good for reaching that little 250 Step goal this hour. Just to be sure I think I will take a trip to the bathroom making sure I swing my arm on the way!

What I'm wondering is how on earth all of you retired Sparkies and/or you who have desk jobs and no kids (they can add a ton of Steps!) manage to get your daily Step count done? All ideas are appreciated.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Let’s start with an A for effort! Lol
    I had a FitBit a couple years back that I liked and used. Never did the hourly thing.
    IMHO Getting steps in is a good goal but your description does not sound fun or motivating and therefore would fizzle and fade away for me.
    I just try to limit my time spent sitting and reading and get more done. I usually get my steps with outdoor walks or a walking video.
    Give your best shot and adjust as needed.
    Spark on!
    105 days ago
    As a retiree ... I had to come up with a method NOT to sit allllll day. Every hour I get up and do some kind of chore or just walk the loop of our house ... one end to the other.

    I also have a treadmill to get in my weekly exercise goal.
    105 days ago
    LOVE my FitBit Charge4. Definitely gets me moving when I might not wanna!

    105 days ago
    Henry walks!! I love to get outside regardless of the weather and so does he! His golden fur coat is suitable for all temps: my long down coat and tall sheepskin boots with ice grippers do the job for me!!
    105 days ago
    Too funny! Yes, I find myself doing the same thing. But I finally had to let go of achieving the dot every single hour of every single day - like when I'm sitting in the hairstylist's chair, or getting my nail done. It's just going to happen those hours. And I'm ok with that now.

    In this cold, snowy weather, some days I've had to resort to running/walking in place while watching my favorite TV program. The other day,. I sat so much that I had to walk/run in place for an hour to get my 10,000 steps. (10,000 may be a marking gimmick, but it works for me.) I obviously didn't hit a lot of my hourly step goals that day to have to walk for an hour to make it up.

    Have a fabulous weekend!
    105 days ago
    Too funny! My Fitbit nudged me at ten to the hour as I was reading this. So, I put down my iPad, did a few loops inside the house until I felt the buzz, poured a cup of coffee and came back to finish reading your blog. I’m still in my pajamas - the joy of the weekend, and being retired! I have a friend who is crazy about getting those dots completed. I didn’t really care, but I’m making a better effort at it. What I missed was my stair count, so I replaced my Inspire with a Charge. I sometimes ignore the subtle 250 step reminder, especially during my Sunday Zoom church meeting, and sometimes simply just because. My #1 goal is the daily 10,000 steps, and the #2 goal is 10 - 20 flights of stairs, which I try to get naturally, but sometimes resort to basement stair hiking just to get it. The 250 steps per hour is good, but not my focus. When I did computer work, I could easily sit for hours and not get out of my chair. The old me needed to get out of that chair more regularly.
    Awareness is key - and you are there. I am not a slave to my Fitbit, but it is a tool I use to get and stay healthier. Sometimes I even let the 10,000 steps go. That is life! Variety is good. Mix it up.
    105 days ago
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