There is a popular saying, “What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done!” Most often we are not aware of how sedentary or active we are during a day. Last Diwali, a client of mine sent me the Fitbit step counter in lieu of a payment from America. The device turned out to be a revealing coach in my quest to add more movement into my days.
At first I set a target of 10,000 steps as is often recommended but achieving it was another task. When I missed it for a month, I wanted to give up on my Fitbit. But then decided to move the target down to 5000. After achieving it consistently for 5 days a week for 2 months, I moved it up to 6000 and then again to 7000 and this is where I stand today. Here are the 3 things I learnt from wearing it for the past 9 months.
- Schedule a regular walk for 30-50 mins
The days that I am going to go to shop for something or to visit a friend at a public place with some walking or stair climbing involved, a 30-minute walk is enough to make my step goal for the day. If I am going to be standing and teaching as I often do in my profession as a public speaker on health, I can meet my goal without going for a scheduled walk. However, if I am going to be spending my day mostly at the desk, then only a 50 min walk can get me to my goal!
- “Walk and talk” and take every opportunity to move
Whenever I get a phone call where I don’t need to refer to anything at my desk, I get up and pace. Best friends calling to talk about office or relationship issues are fantastic as you will be surprised how many steps you can rack up in a space of 20 mins!! When you see it is evening and only 3 of the 5 lights are lighting, then you want to take the stairs and volunteer to fetch the water from the kitchen for the family! It definitely gets you moving more if you keep the goal in sight.
- Even small periods of activity count
Just achieve that consistently and then increase the target little by little. The idea is to not get overwhelmed if you can’t achieve your desired target but to work your way to it slowly but consistently. This is the key.
Share with me your own experiences and what you learnt from your own activity tracker. I would love to hear from you.