4 Things my Fitbit Taught Me

No one warned me that when I turned 60 I’d discover I was hardly moving throughout a 24 hour period. Ok – I might have been warned but I apparently didn’t pay attention.

My friends were starting to get those running devices to monitor their exercise. I listened as they extolled their benefits and wondered if it was for me. I’m a hip almost senior. At least I think I am! I love learning about new gadgets but often discover that after the initial newness wears off, it lays in the top drawer of my nightstand. Somehow they don’t all fit into my life.

Enter the Fitbit. I ordered it. Strapped it on and downloaded the app. I used it mostly as a watch and slowly I realized it was teaching me new things.

I’m a sluggard – but now I’m moving!

My day is very sedentary – and without any encouragement, I can easily get less than 1000 steps in a day. I work from home. Waking up, I step through my house to the kitchen for breakfast, sit down for a bite and my freshly brewed iced tea. A few more steps away, I take a seat in my chair with my laptop on my lap. I’ll sit like this for hours until I realize its lunch time. I’ll get up for a short bit, maybe run out to meet my girl friends for lunch – but I’m driving across town to meet them – then back again for the afternoon of work, sitting.
The solution? Once I started to wear my Fitbit, I had it telling me at ten minutes before the hour – that I needed to move. I needed 250 steps. I get up, stretch. Do a few jumping jacks. Or I walk through the backyard. I get my steps in without much effort.  I LOVE this feature.

I’m burning calories once again

In addition to the hourly reminders to move, I have a goal to keep. I’ve started at 5,000 steps. Yup, its a low goal. But for a gal who was getting less than 1,000 most days, this IS progress. Its one step. I’ve tried to start the day by walking 30 minutes through my neighborhood – or if I don’t have time in the morning – I’ll try to get out in the late afternoon before it turns dark. Because my neighborhood is hilly, I’m getting “floors” credited to me along with burning calories. How do I know? My Fitbit tells me so!

Weight Loss – I’m more careful about my calories

This is a work in progress. The Fitbit app tracks my steps, my level of exercise and will track my food intake if I take the time to document what I’m eating. Do I want to add 16 chips to my food intake diary? No….which is an incentive for me NOT to eat those chips. Instead, it tells me when I’ve overeaten, when I’m “in the zone” and when I’ve not eaten enough. By the end of a week, if I’m being honest with my calories and followed the app – I lose 1 pound a week. Win-Win!

I feel better.

Except when I’ve overdone it and my muscles are aching from renewed usage, I feel better. I move more easily. Exercise produces endorphins – and I’m happier.