Fitness Flotsam (@Fitbit)

Some random observations…

  • I really like the Fitbit adventures and challenges. They definitely encourage me to move. Getting notices that light up my phone at midnight to tell me the Challenge is starting (etc), however, is discouraging good sleep. #tradeoffs
  • Setting an alarm to make sure I get my hourly activity in, is working well for me. The other thing that is working well, at least during the day, is that my house is so flipping cold. Moving around warms me up. It’s kind of sad though that in between I’m wearing gloves in the house. But there you have it, being cold all the time is not all bad. Apparently
  • I know I’ve become a little bit crazy about this hourly activity goal thing, because yesterday I had a meeting that ran through the entire 11 AM hour, and I was irked because it made me miss my steps for that hour (which was the only hour I missed, after making 14/14 hours for the prior 7 days). And now I’m looking at the itinerary for a Retreat I’m attending (and looking forward to) this weekend, and noticing that the sessions start on the hour and end into the next hour. There is clearly something wrong with me, when I want to tell them that if they started sessions on the half hours, the sessions could take the same amount of time and leave people a window on each side to get in their hourly Fitbit steps. Which, I’m pretty sure, is not where one’s attention should be, as one goes into a Retreat.

I managed to do this 7/7 days in a row. I doubt I will ever be able to do it again

    A day in the (workout) life

    An eclectic musical journey

    Before I went to bed last night, I ran down to the laundry room for a fresh pair of workout clothes. If today were an Office day, I would have left them in the main floor bathroom, so they’d be easy to change into on arrival from the office (on Wilmington days I’m already getting up before 5 to get on the road; there is simply no way I can get up earlier to fit in an early workout too). But today is a Work From Home (WFH) day, so I put them in the upstairs bathroom – wishing that my 2 year old Fitbit Flex had an altimeter to track my stairs – so they’d be in easy reach for me first thing.

    (If I am already changed for working out, I am much more likely to actually do it. Not sure why “I’ll need to change” is such a big barrier, but it seems to be nonetheless.)

    So, here it is morning, and the WFH Day alarms start going off at 6:30. I got enough sleep, on paper, but I still find myself fighting it for 10 minutes. Then I drag myself into the bathroom for all the early morning ritual ablutions, and change into my waiting (@1SturdyGirl) workout clothes.

    I’m moving slowly still, just 10 minutes to 7AM at this point, and only have a handful of my hourly steps in so far. I am going to miss the first hourly goal if I don’t get going. It isn’t always possible to get all the hours in – meetings and such intervene – but I’ve really been trying lately!

    I go downstairs, start the coffee, and turn on my iPod, flipping for something upbeat – Christian music will lift my spirits but it rarely lifts my feet, and dear God how much of my life have I spent pining or heartbroken when there’s all these dismal ballads and laments to wade through? I switch from shuffling All Songs to a playlist with some attitude, and boom, I’ve got my morning beat:

    One song and 250+ steps later I have my 6AM hourly steps in with a few minutes to spare, and I am feeling awake.

    Time for my workout. I realize I forgot my socks; trek upstairs (stairs!) to get them and then it’s time to get going!

    Down in the basement, I have my workout area waiting for me. I log into my @WiiFit account, and pull up something to watch on the DVR while the system checks me in with a basic body test. (Apparently today I’m leaning slightly right.) I already know I don’t have any in-person morning or lunch appointments or scheduled deliveries, so I can go straight from workout to office if I need to. With that little extra time, I scroll over to one of my predefined workouts, about 45 minutes’ worth, and get started…

    Sun Salutation to stretch, Ski Slalom to ease me into moving, then Jazz Dance, Advanced Step, and a 30-minute Run (short strides of necessity in the basement), then a few others to cool down.  It’s not the hardest workout in the world; I don’t really even feel like I worked up a sweat…

    Still, when I’m all done, WiiFit tells me I’m halfway to today’s calorie-burning goal, and my Fitbit tells me that I’m more than 5000 steps (or half my steps goal) into my day.

    I’m also on day 5 of my pretend #FitbitAdventures NYC marathon, and coming down the home stretch. Honestly, the marathon bores me; the NYC marathon photos don’t do much for me in general; I’ll be back doing virtual Yosemite hikes (or hopefully some other new adventure they introduce in future) but this was the last Adventure I hadn’t done yet and it will be good to put this one in the “complete” column.

    If it was a weekend, I might keep going, but it’s not. Now it’s quarter to 8, I have a work day ahead of me, and I want my coffee… badly. I go up to the kitchen (stairs!) pour myself a cup and go up  (stairs!) to throw on a tanktop and head to the office to start my day. Usually my team won’t be online until 9 (unless my boss is also working from home), but I like to get started early.

    At 8:15 I’m already deep into sending and responding to emails, but I suddenly remember that it’s a new hour, and I need my steps… my iPhone has my playlist handy so today I shuffle to I Can’t Wait by Nu Shooz and have a quick dance party for one (which I repeat again just after 9AM because it’s what’s handy and I have to get the steps in quick before I have to get on a call.)

    If this was an Office day, I would just circle my half of the floor to hit the hourly goals, a quick walk every hour – but at home it’s a little harder to make a defined 250-step circuit – it’s not that big a place, after all – so I try to work in a 1-song dance party every hour, if meeting schedules permit.

    I set a timer/alarm on my phone for an hour away. I have an older model Fitbit, so not only doesn’t it track stairs (alas when I do so many stairs!), it also doesn’t remind me to move; I have to remind myself. And I do need the reminders, because otherwise I get so deep into whatever I’m working on that I could easily forget to move at all for hours at a time.

    During the course of the morning I will need to go grab another layer of clothes (once I’m all cooled down, the tank I put on over my workout clothes isn’t sufficiently warm for all the just-sitting of the day), and of course there will be at least a couple of trips up and down (stairs!) for caffeine, while I work on this report.

    For the 10 o’clock hour, I get my jam on, and my 250+ steps, to Kate Voegele’s No Good:

    About mid-morning I check my schedule and my energy levels; to determine how I’ll be spending my lunch: eating, showering, working out again, or just working through. Today, I am thinking it will be the 11AM steps (at more like 11:30), a shower, a quick bite, and maybe the start of a load of laundry (stairs!) In the mean time, the howling of the neighbor’s dogs tells me that my mail carrier is making her rounds. (Stairs!)

    Then I wrap the report for review, send a few more emails, delete the piles of junk mail that have come in over the last few hours, and dig into something else on my desk…

    At 11:30, it’s time to break for lunch and my steps… I’m skipping through the shuffle for something that feels right: P!nk, Taylor Swift, INXS, Bruno Mars, not that one, no, maybe later, nah… oh, here we go, The Vogues:

    That doesn’t quite get me to the 250 steps, but before I can hit repeat, ABBA comes up, and that feels like a good fit for the mood too… in no time I have Dancing Queened my way well past my hourly goal (and within 350 steps of the end of the marathon Adventure)!

    Then it’s time to grab a shower, figure out a lunch plan, and get myself back to my desk!

    45 minutes later, I’ve had my shower, hauled a bucket of water outside (stairs!), started a load of whites and workout clothes (stairs!), and while my Lean Cuisine heats (dang, I’m getting hungry now), danced my way to the end of the Marathon and my 12 o’clock hourly activity goal (to Maroon 5’s Wake Up Call – wouldn’t this have been perfect at 6:30AM?)

    That’s a lot accomplished in a short break, and I’m up over 8K steps for the day  but it’s time to get back to the workday grind…(Stairs!)

    1PM hour… I look up from the document I’m reviewing for my hourly steps… I skip past the GoGos, Mariah Carey, and Rixton, and decide on Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

    For 2PM, I’ve made good headway on the day’s projects. I run down for water (stairs!) and then I am ready for some Taylor Swift, to Shake It Off

    By now, I am really closing in on my 10,000 steps for the day.  Less than 500 to go!

    I also remember mid-hour that I left laundry in the washer that I should go rotate into the dryer. (Stairs! You know, I do believe I’ve gone up 14 flights today, all in all. And the day isn’t over yet!)

    Then for my 3PM steps, the afternoon is starting to feel a little punchy, and I think I’d much rather hear Word Crimes (by Weird Al) than deal with Blurred Lines

    I enjoy that one so much I would do it twice, just for the joy of it. But work awaits, so I have to get back to it. Well, maybe just one more time…

    (Buzz Buzz Buzz … there goes my step alarm; I’ve hit 10,000 for the day!)

    By 4pm, I’ve passed my daily steps goal, but I still have a few hours in the day to try to hit 250 steps. I flip though my list, but I’m just not in the mood for Katy Perry or Train at the moment… oh, but Blow Me (One Last Kiss) from P!nk gets me moving (sorry I can’t find the version without all the language in a video format).

    And then… ah, 5PM hour. Let the weekend begin!

    I still have hourly steps to take though, and I already played 5 O’Clock World earlier. But you know you’ve been working too hard… to Take Your Time for a little SOS Band seems like the thing to close out the day…

    And that, my friends, is how I hit all my Fitbit goals for the day. Not to mention, wrapped up the actual WORK work. Win!

    Afraid of my shadow

    That’s not me trying to be clever. I actually just jumped back from movement in the dark, and it was my shadow that had scared me. 

    Yup. Sometimes I’m that silly. 

    Heart rate almost back down to normal… ha. 

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    I just reached Taft Point with 25,100 steps on the Pohono Trail #FitbitAdventure @Fitbit

    Random observations

    • Everyone’s rush same-day requests come on Fridays. And everyone who wants a meeting needs it to be on Mondays. What is with that? (How about we just switch the weekends up, and take Tuesdays thru Thursdays off, in that case?)
    • If companies would broadcast some kind of dance music over the loudspeakers for the last 5 minutes of every hour, no one need ever miss their 250-step activity goal for that hour. Read more of this post

    Apparently I am crushing it @Fitbit

    So this happened for the first time ever yesterday. Hourly activity win!


    I can’t guarantee that I’ll ever be able to repeat this, since work schedules do with they will. But it was kind of fun to make it once.

    Progress, not perfection

    #FitbitAdventure @Fitbit

    The picture above, courtesy of the good people of Fitbit and shot by Chris Burkard, greatly reminds me of a picture that lives on my walls – not a professional shot in that case, but a fantastic shot of the same valley and one of the few photos on my walls that I didn’t take, since I didn’t own a camera then.

    It turns out I like  the Yosemite virtual hikes vastly more than the NYC virtual walks/runs. Read more of this post

    My first #FitbitAdventure @Fitbit

    After months of having no time, space, or inclination to work out, I’m back on the bandwagon, tiring out my WiiFit Mii on a regular basis and letting my Fitbit encourage me to move more.

    There’s a couple of newer capabilities in the Fitbit app that I’ve been making use of.

    One is the widget that keeps track of whether I’ve taken a minimum number of steps every hour (250). I like this in theory, but in practice it needs some help.

    Like, I have it set to track the 14 hours of the day I’m most active (from when I wake up to a couple hours before bed (when I want to be winding down). The reality is, though, that I keep different hours on different days.

    • When I’m working in Wilmington, my day starts at 5 and I lose two 90 minute windows to the commute.
    • When I’m working at home, my day starts more like 6:30 or 7:00
    • When it’s the weekend, my day starts when I’m good and ready for it to, and not before.
    • On any given day, I may have to be in a meeting or whatnot and not be able to just pop up and move around.

    I could tweak it day to day, but that’s silly. Unfortunately the app doesn’t let me set variations by day of the week, or better still let me tell it that it’s ok if I don’t move EVERY hour just, I don’t know, 10 out of 14. So I can sleep in, or drive to work, or attend a meeting or whatnot, but still be able to succeed.

    While I’m at it, I’d like it it the app would send a notification/reminder each hour (not necessary or desirable to buzz my device or anything) so that when I could get up and move and I should get up and move but I’m deep in the shuffle and losing track of time, I’d know to get up for a few minutes. (Moving throughout the day is good for me but lifting myself out of the crunch is a challenge!)

    And then because I do work hard at my job during the day and can’t be just wandering off willy nilly -but I also like my little success awards-it could let me see how many steps I have taken/have left in the current hour. That would be super. 

    Yeah that was a lot of wishes for something I actually like, in theory.

    The other feature I’m trying out for the first time is “Fitbit Adventures.”  Basically you select one – I picked one in NYC because it was the shortest one, something I should be able to complete if I hit my daily goal anyway – and as I take X number of steps, Fitbit maps out for me where I would be if I were taking those same steps on a particular course in the City.

    There are little treasures (mostly but not exclusively fitness tips) along the way and, on this course, 6 landmarks I can “visit” as I make progress. The one shown above was the third for this course. The next one I’m headed toward is Avenue of the Americas (not exciting for my own reasons) and then 2 in Central Park. (Hey Sis, remember that day?)

    Anyway it’s So Far So Fun giving that a try. I might be under enthused about NYC in general but there are also Yosemite treks (hey, hey my friend!). And I’d love to see others in future. To my way of thinking they don’t all need to be running courses… take me on a hike in Kauai, etc! This country alone is FULL of beautiful places and interesting cities, let alone the world, so bring it on!