I want to start off this post by saying that I in no way am against fitness trackers. I believe they work for some people as a way to track your progress and to challenge yourself to keep going. I think they’re a great piece of technology, they’re just not for me. It’s another one of those things, like ditching the scale which you can read about here, that I’ve decided to keep out of my fitness routine this time around.
I don’t have a Fitbit or any other sort of fitness tracker outside of my phone for a few reasons. The main reason is that knowing myself and my temptations, I know that an activity tracker, especially those that show how many calories I’ve burnt, has a potential of actually being detrimental to me. There is a chance that I will see the calories I’ve burnt and use it as an excuse to cheat. Basically “Oh look, I’ve burnt 500 calories, I can have this 300 calorie chocolate bar now.”. So while my activity may be up what I’m putting into my body might not be quite as good.
Similarly, I do believe there’s a chance, a lesser chance but a chance still, that I may look at my tracked activity and not continue to push myself harder. For instance, if I reach the recommended 10,000 steps early in the day, it provides me with the opportunity to say I’ve done enough and just spend the rest of the day on the couch instead of continuing to be active throughout the day.
Lastly, I hate wearing things on my wrist all day. I don’t mind wearing the odd bracelet out for an evening or something but for the most part I prefer my wrists bare. I know this from multiple trips to Disney World where I can constantly be seen avoiding wearing my Magicband on my wrist by attaching it to my belt loop or the strap of my camera bag.
All this being said, the one reason I do wish I had an activity tracker is to count my steps mostly out of curiosity.
After most of our Disney trips where we had spent 16 hours in the parks, walking thousands upon thousands of steps around all the magic, my mom and I would always come home with the good intention that if we could just keep our walking up we could lose some weight. Based on my phone’s recordings the record for my last trip to Disney was “22,053” and the one for our trip to Universal was “22,390”. On the Universal trip my friend Keeragh was wearing a Fitbit and on average my phone was registering within 500 steps of her tracker so I’d say it was fairly accurate.
I am afraid to say I mostly fell short on our post-trip walking goals, not making time for any more walking than I usually did. But with all of this in mind, I have decided that getting back to walking a lot is something I should focus on.
When I’m out, I tend to walk almost everywhere. I like exploring and I find the best way to do that is to just walk from one location to the next instead of hopping on and off transit all the time. However, since I’ve been unemployed for the past four months (Not anymore! More on this later) I don’t actually spend as much time out of the apartment as I would like and therefore there are days when I have been pretty sedentary outside of my workout. I have since decided that I need to change this. Unfortunately, it is winter and winter in Canada is accompanied by cold weather, snow storms, and my nemesis ice (I’m a Canadian who can’t skate and therefore a shame to my country). But winter hasn’t totally stopped me from getting out: I went to the Royal Winter Fair with my friend Keeragh, I went to several Christmas markets, and I’ve done my fair share of steps wandering around Yorkdale Mall and the Eaton Centre.
Coming into the New Year, I still felt like I wasn’t moving around enough and with the weather getting worse I knew I needed an option other than walking around outside. Since the gym in my building is still not finished I decided to make use of what space I have so I began walking around my apartment.
Before you get the image in your head of me pacing the floor of my 550 square foot apartment, staring at my phone, waiting for it to up my steps, I should explain that I’m not just walking. Instead, when I’m taking time to read I do so walking around instead of laying in bed, sometimes I’ll throw a show on the tv and walk during it, and when the phone rings I generally hop up and have my conversation walking around.
You might think this is silly but I’ve seen some pretty good results recorded on my phone’s health app.
Those are both days where I never left my apartment once. I didn’t even have my phone on me the whole day, I just had it in my pocket when I was purposefully walking around. It might not be a 20,000 step Disney day but it’s definitely a start.
What do you do to keep active when it’s cold outside? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, and if you’re stuck in an apartment like me consider getting up and stretching your legs a bit! It can’t hurt!