Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Amazing Fitbit: The Challenge Continues Day 1

Sometimes new technology and an addictive personality don't mix. Yesterday, at midday, my Fitbit arrived. I was so excited that I set it up immediately. The Fitbit is a digital trainer that you wear and which measures how many steps walked throughout the day in real-time. It's a sort of modern day pedometer. It provides instant feedback on your progress and urges to do more by awarding "badges" for each successive five thousand steps you walk.

I got my five thousand step badge quickly enough, and my ten thousand badge came by late afternoon. That was the badge that triggered my obsessiveness. I had to get my 15,000 badge by the day's end! I went for a "constitutional" after dinner, even though I normally stay in at that time of day (mosquitoes, you know). Sure enough, by the end of the day, I had racked up 16,100 steps (and with only a half day of monitoring), which Fitbit calculated to be 7.6 miles for a person of my height at six feet.

Now, you can easily cover ten thousand steps in the course of an average day without really trying, especially if you have stairs in your house, as I do. It surprised me when Fitbit explained with my 15,000 step badge that 15,000 steps is three times the average daily activity for an American! It's hard to visualize how little movement that really is. 

But here's the thing. The badges go up and up; and given my personality, I'm a little afraid that in a few weeks, I'll just be walking from dawn to dusk. For example, I know I'll easily get 20,000 today. And after that... Things could get really out of hand. But for now, I'm enjoying my first full day with the Fitbit, and I'm still behaving pretty normally. It is definitely fun so far.

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