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Step back into Steptember

With all my travelling and iPad difficulties and general busyness, I realise I haven’t updated you all on my Steptember.

Now I know you’ve all been waiting to cheer me on with my success but thought maybe I’d let this little goal slide (like the Year of the Garden) and you were all too polite to bring the topic up, lest I have to say, “Oh, I just couldn’t keep it up. Work. Stuff. Busyness. Life. You know!”

Well, don’t worry. I walked and walked and stepped and stepped.

I am actually quite chuffed with the steps I took. My target was 10,000 steps a day but would be very happy if I made it to 8,000. I made it to 10,000 steps on 12 out of the 30 days, and I broke 8,000 steps on 24 of the days. One day I was really sick and spent the day in bed. No prizes for guessing what day that was from the graph. My daily average was 9,745 steps. As this little graph shows, with my highest stepping day in a pop-out.

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Cute graph, hey?

I didn’t monitor my sleep. Now, that would make you cry. And tell me to get some more.

Nearly half way through October, but I will share my goal for that month soon. (And I’m still stepping out!)

Yay for the Fitbit!!!

Fitbitting for the Technologically Challenged

So, I’ve worked out (with help from Fiona and from a colleague at work) that you can do a screen shot on an iPad.

And the belittling response from my eldest offspring? “Will I be as hopeless with technology when I am your age?”

But I digress. This is about Steptember. Here is the graph of my daily stepping out for the past week as recorded by my Purposeful Thing.

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You can see the two green days – I reached my goal of 10,000 steps. And it calculates my average. Even shows it with the dashed line. If I touch any of the columns, the exact number of steps are displayed.

(And for those interested in a Purposeful Thing of their own, you can change steps to calories, distance or active minutes. Groovy, hey?)

And the PT tracks sleep. Last night I didn’t sleep well. I kept waking up and felt a little unwell. So what does that look like?

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A less restless night (but bad in its own way for how late I went to bed) looks like this:

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Yes, you can tell if you’re tired in the morning, that you didn’t sleep well. But it is interesting to see what it looks like. Don’t know if I can do much about it! Except it is making me more conscious of getting to bed on time (so much so that if I go to bed too late I don’t switch my Purposeful Thing to monitoring sleep mode.) And you can fool the thing by staying still. One night I couldn’t sleep so I got up, and lay very still on the lounge. The PT thought I had fallen back to sleep. But all in all, I’m a convert, with the zealotry of a convert.

Sorry if my photos are too big but with the upgrade of my iPad, I can’t work out how to resize images from my iPad into WordPress. Win some, lose some when it comes to technology. Look I called my iPod a Walkman today. Don’t expect too much from me.

Steptember – Week 1.

There’s been a cycle in my journey to health and fitness. I start a program of exercise, keen and eager, and then, well, umm, it kinda tails off.

So right now I’m in the up cycle. My Fitbit has given my walking a little boost.

Love the instant feedback. Love the motivation with the flashing lights. Love the graphs. Love how my iPad gets the data from somewhere. (Don’t love how I can’t save the graph as a picture so I can post it here. 😦 And don’t love how I can’t upload graphs straight to WordPress. I was wong on that little matter.

My Week 1 daily average is 9,579. Just short of my goal of 10,000. But better than the weeks before when I first got the Fitbit and my goal was 8,000. (I kept quiet lest the gadget was a dud or I didn’t stick with it.)

Monday: 11,605
Tuesday: 9,671
Wednesday: 10,263
Thursday: 8,749
Friday: 7,612
Saturday: 8,383
Sunday: 10,773

Key to getting my goal: going for a walk AND doing lots of incidental walking during the day. Walk to the printer. Walk around work. Walk to speak with people rather than phone or email.

Either on their own is not sufficient to reach the goal. So free hint: get your incidental walking up. It’s good for you. And if you can’t go for a walk (too dark, too cold, too wet, uneven footpaths and low branches make it too dangerous) the steps taken for incidental walking all count!

Stepping out in Steptember

You know how I like alliteration or a play on the name of the month to tie in with my goals? Well, here I was thinking I’d been slightly original.

Let me preface my tale of minimal disappointment with my latest toy.

A couple of weeks ago I got one of these:

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Where, how, how cheaply are details for another time.

Oh, what is it you ask? This little black strap is a Fitbit. It measures my steps and sleep. (I’ll write about sleep tracking another time too.) Data is synced with my computer and uploads to some cloud somewhere and then automatically/immediately/scarily goes to my iPad – by email, by message and on the app.

Ok, ok, I’ve had other gadgets before. A GPS watch thingy with a heart rate monitor, and a plain pedometre. And I loved each initially but soon dropped them. The heart rare strap was annoying and restrictive and the GPS always took too long to find satellites. And the pedometre’s battery went flat. I had discarded it earlier as I didn’t like the way it clipped on.

So then I got this one. And I have all the fervour of a new convert. I love my fit bit.

Apparently “they” say you are meant to do 10,000 steps. Don’t know who they are because my problem is trying to get my head around the number of steps. For the past two weeks my goal had been 8,000 steps. Most times I achieved my goal, it has been a conscious effort. Occasionally I achieved or exceeded the goal without a deliberate plan, just did a lot of walking. What I’ve realised is how sedentary my life is. If I don’t make an effort, I don’t even get to 8,000 steps. Last Saturday, for example, I only got to 2,677 steps. Drive to hairdressers, sister-in-law’s place for lunch, post-lunch nap and then off to a work event meant I had no time to go for a walk.

Anyway I thought I would try for 10,000 steps in September. It will be a challenge. One to which I will rise.

Which brings me to my mild disappointment. I was going to call it Steptember. But, of course, I find I am not original. And in the era of every charity having a gimmick, one charity has taken on Steptember. So if I say I am doing Steptember, people will think I am doing the charity thing. I’m not. I just like giving my goals and plans a name. So then I will have to explain that I am not walking for charity, just for my health.

So does anyone want to join me and track their walking in Steptember? Apparently this groovy little ting also uploads to WordPress. More scary tracking things!