Step by Step

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Did you purchase one of the 3.3 million fitness trackers that were sold in 2013? Do you check it relentlessly to see where you are in comparison to 10,000 step goal you hear recommended? Do you engage in work week challenges and banter about who got more steps? Do you do a dance of celebration when your tracker tells you that you hit your goal?

I wont lie, I immediately thought of this song when I decided the name of this post. And since its now stuck in my mind, I would like it to also be stuck in yours. You are welcome!

I was adamant about not buying a fitness tracker for a long time. I knew I was physically active because I was going to the gym daily and chasing around a 1 year old and pregnant with my second. I didn’t need any type of tracker to tell me that I was taking well over 10,000 steps per day. But my husband attended a work conference in 2015 and was given a Fitbit as a thank you for attending and gave it to me to use. I decided, what the heck, it was free and gave it a try. I upgraded to the Fitbit Alta for free with credit card rewards about 6 months later before tossing it completely when the charger broke.

Everywhere I go people are checking their fitness trackers and watches. It seems there’s a segment of individuals who are all obsessed with knowing calories burned, minutes active, and steps taken. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. I am obviously a huge supporter of movement and physical fitness. But, are they necessary?

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Here is my two cents:

I would highly recommend a tracker for someone who has historically not engaged in any physical activity or very little. If you are in your beginning stages of regaining control of your health and physical fitness, this is a great way to get a baseline for current movement and steps in a day. You may be surprised at how little you are walking when you may think that you are doing great. For example, I purposefully only wore mine during walk to and from work parking lot and around the office and home and took off during gym time. I was only getting 1-2,000 steps in my general work day tasks. That alone, if I wasn’t working out, is very low.

I love the group and social aspect of the fitness trackers. You can add friends and engage in social discussions about work week competitions. It always helps to have a support network cheering you on and checking on your activity.

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The tracking/data capabilities are great; sleep patterns and comparing steps see when you are most active and least active. The tracker provides a great opportunity to note trends and find where you can make improvements. My favorite aspect was the physical vibration and reminder to get up and move if I hadn’t moved a predetermined amount of steps in 2 hours. At work, it’s easy for me to get sucked into a task / project and want to finish. But it’s important to remember that physical activity, even if a short walk around the block, is beneficial for your mind and body.

 

What I didn’t like – it didn’t accurately count my steps. I would strap the boys in the double stroller and cruise the streets of Midlothian with one arm on the stroller pushing their body weight. If my arm was on the stroller it wasn’t calculating my movement. I would run 4-5 miles and it would only think did 2. So, if you’re a stroller patroller mama with littles, you might not be accurately getting your step count – bummer.

 

If you are not sure which tracker to purchase check out a colleague Kayla’s reviews based on 87 different contenders and her top 3 picks – Garmin Vivofit 3, Fitbit Charge 2, and Garmin Vivismart HR+. The details and breakdown are extremely helpful for anyone looking to buy for the first time or upgrade from a current version! Check it out here!

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But, are trackers mandatory? NO. I am a firm believer that sore muscles and regular activity and movement combined with healthy eating is mandatory. I know my body and I can tell when I can push myself farther and when I need to let my muscles rest for a day.   I also don’t need a tracker to tell me that my sleep patterns stink, I have my sweet 1 year old to remind me of that during every middle of the night wake up call. Thanks, Gray.

But, I am more eager to hear what you think? Do you currently have a tracker? Do you want one and feel overwhelmed with where to start? Do you love yours? Has it helped you stay on track or begin a new physical fitness journey?

 

Happy moving friends,

 

Erin

 

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    MegRolly
    October 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve been debating getting a tracker. My phone has one built in which is nice but I don’t always have pockets so it thinks I’m being super lazy and will send me a reminder to get moving. That’s when I get angry because it feels like it’s taunting me. And it’s so funny you thought of that song when you read the title but I saw it and sang this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF7ZY3ycnUE

    • Reply
      FitFamilyLife
      October 22, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      Girk TGIF was my jam in 90s on Friday nights after school. Totally highlight of my week! But I will admit Boy Meets world was my fave!

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