Adventures of a Mom with a fitness tracker
So this week I felt compelled to write a little bit more of a personal post as I was looking into one of my #tribes linky party’s #abrandnewday which features posts of inspiration and healthy living. I don’t particularly think of my self as a supper healthy person but am always striving to work towards better personal wellness. A word that I have been hearing pop a lot lately and that I love. I love it mostly because it refers to taking better care of yourself in everyway; something most of us moms aren’t the greatest at doing (me included…sigh). But it’s important not only for ourselves but also for our families. After all the more well balanced we are as moms the better we can be there for our families. You know the old saying “You have to help yourself before you can truly help others”; probably didn’t get it exactly right.
So I was thinking about what I have done recently to improve my own wellness and health that I could write about and it hit me! This year I became the owner of my very own fitness tracker. In full disclosure I received a Fitbit for Christmas so it is the only brand I have experience with and therefore feel comfortable discussing.
I had wanted a fitness tracker for a while now but felt guilty asking for one because they are not really a cheap accessory. Also I think my husband felt like he couldn’t buy me one because it would be a fitness related gift. However, because he is wonderful he put a bug in my mom’s ear when she was doing her Christmas shopping.
Now that I have owned one for almost 6 months I feel as if I can talk about fitness trackers with a certain amount of authority. So far I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it but mostly it falls on the love side. The major factor in me enjoying it is that I don’t use with the hopes to loose weight but to help motivate me to be more active.
For those of you who haven’t heard about this phenomenon a fitness tracker is a band that you can wear on your wrist (or some you can clip to clothing) that tracks your steps. Personally I have the Fitbit Charge (featured below with an affiliate link to amazon where you can buy one) which tracks my steps, miles, sleep, flights of stairs, calories burned, minutes of activity, minutes of non activity, and a few other helpful things.
I particularly like the Charge version as it also doubles as a watch that displays not only the time but also many of the things it tracks. It has other nifty features as well. Personally I really appreciate as a mom the silent alarm; which you can set on your phone (along with everything else) to vibrate on your wrist as a gentle alarm. I appreciate this because I usually wake up first in my house and it helps avoid waking my husband and son.
The other feature that I really appreciate about fitness trackers (again my only experience is with Fitbit) is that you can create a community of supportive friends with the app on your phone. Frequently I sign up with friends for challenges to see who can walk the most steps in a day, weekend, or work week. Which in the beginning I thought would make me more ashamed than encouraged but really turned out to be helpful (as everyone was so nice).
My most recent adventure occurred when my work signed up for this online community called Million Mile Month. This was in April where as a community we were challenged to walk a million miles in the month of April. Which sounds a tad bit crazy but there were people signed up for it from all over the United States (every state to be exact) and we ended up reaching 1.5 million in the end. The cool part about the challenge was that we all set our own goal for miles to reach in the month and if you wanted to could set up your fitness tracker to automatically sink activity to your account.
I’ll be completely honest and tell you that I didn’t reach my goal of 100 miles but funny enough it was because the last day was the day I decided to start this blog and got a little consumed with the internet with only 1.5 miles left to my goal. But still I think walking 98.5 miles in a month was pretty great. It kept me accountable and encouraged me to find more ways to remain active even though I spend a good half of my day sitting at a desk. Some interesting things I started doing was dancing more while completing house work like cooking and doing dishes. I also started having silly dance parties with my two year old to family fun music (which he adored and continues to ask for). And really just got me to be more active while playing with my toddler in general.
Some tips before I finish this long post (sorry if you are still reading).
- When pushing a stroller or buggy attach the tracker to your shoe as it doesn’t pick up your movement while your arm is stable from pushing. (a tip I learned on twitter recently).
- Don’t forget to charge it at night while you are sleeping every 4-5 days. There is nothing worse then trying to reach a goal and having the battery die on you.
- That being said it does have a cool feature of tracking your sleep, how many times you wake up, and how restless you are if you are wanting to lean more about how you sleep.
- You can add friends on the app you can download for your phone which makes the experience even more enjoyable.
- The Fitbit company recently started something where it tracks how many hours you go during the work day without walking at least 250 steps to help you remember to get up and move around more.
Hope this wasn’t too long for those of you reading and thanks for stopping by.