On being moderate with fitness

If you have a Fitbit or other such fitness device, you’ll know that the “recommended” number of steps you should walk a day is 10 000.

I’ve never been able to get to the 10 000 steps. I wrote about that here, here and here 🙂

Interestingly, I heard some research from a reputable company that there is no research to support 10 000 as the magic number. There is research (decreased obesity and other related diseases) around the 7 500 steps mark though.

I still maintain that for my kind of job, if I’m walking around too much and racking up steps, I’m not actually working so the two things are diametrically opposed. I can either work or walk around.

In October, I decided to analyse my Fitbit stats. I only racked up 13 days of more than 5000 steps.

So in November, I decided to make my goal 5000 steps and try and get that number to 20 days of 5000 steps or more. I made it – got to 21 days.

I decided to do the same in December and managed to get to 5000 steps for 24 of the 31 days.

In January, since I knew I’d be on holiday for 10 of the days, I upped my goal to 25 days. Managed 28. That is excellent for me!

Now in February, I’m on a 14 of 18-day streak as at the time of writing this post. This has been a “normal” work month for me so plenty of client meetings, and therefore the days when I just cannot are quite usual.

What I have learned about my fitness journey is this:

  • Saturdays and Tuesdays are easy because I have a scheduled dance class already.
  • I’m much more likely to try get to my 5000 steps when I’m within a comfortable distance (if I have 4600 or so at 10 pm, I will walk up and down my kitchen) but not if I feel like it’s unattainable. This is a life lesson for all goals, don’t you think?
  • I’m a moderator with fitness. I’m definitely not an all or nothing type person. I prefer to do a bit on a very consistent basis than rack up 10 000 steps once a week and 3000 on the other days. What about you?
  • Shoes make a big difference. On gym days, when I have on my takkies (exercise shoes), I’m much more likely to run up and down my stairs to fetch things upstairs/ downstairs than I am when I’m wearing work shoes or flip flops.
  • I really need to increase my fitness very slowly to have success.

Do you track the steps you walk?

Do you walk more when you’re tracking?

Do you know what your average number of steps is, and when your highest days are?

What I learned in May

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  1. 1 year on Instagram has been super fun

2. 4 years since my book was published (go get your $4 copy!) and it still feels unreal

health

3. 2 years of Fitbitting 🙂 Here’s 1 year with my Fitbit.

Let’s talk some more about this:

I’m not sure what happened but while I still wear my Fitbit diligently, I almost don’t really care about reaching step goals anymore. I think it started with our long, hot summer (8 months is a super long time to be too hot) but it could have been before that. I still wear the bracelet because I am mildly interested in seeing what I get to… but mostly I wear it because I love the sleep stats. Super love them.

You may remember that I had a serious goal at the beginning of last year to increase my sleep. That worked beautifully and so I continue to track my time this year because I’ve found that what I measure, I manage better. And I’m constantly at my 7 hours 30 mins of daily sleep which is great. I sleep way more than this some days which balances out the occasional 6.5 hour nights.

4. I can read 3 non-fiction books in a month. Yes, that’s what happened this month. I’m surprised too because I thought my absolute top limit was two books in a really, really good month.

5. When you don’t rest properly if you’re a bit ill, your body takes longer to heal. I know, all you clever clogs learned this long ago. It’s just a really bad time for me to be a bit ill, what with Spanish exams looming, 2 big business things happening at my real work and the not-so-small matter of selling and buying houses.

6. Konmari really works. We have move dates so I went through a few rooms thinking, ” I need to declutter so I can pack” and…. I threw out 3 knives, a pair of pants and a top. That’s awesome 🙂 If you’re thinking of moving, do Konmari 🙂

IMG_86257. I actually can mess up my Bullet Journal. I’ve started to consciously write nonsense in there too because it’s not a shrine to plannerly goodness; it’s a notebook, for goodness sake.

Bonus – it is really fun to washi up some pencils. Try it and see. I grabbed everyone’s pencils at work and in one client phone call, washi’d them all 🙂

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Go on then, tell me. What did you learn in May?

My Fitbit mind shift

Last year in May I bought myself a Fitbit.

After seven weeks with it, I wrote a post that you can read here but I haven’t said anything else about it on the blog since so it’s time for an update.

Fitbit |www.OrganisingQueen.com

This is a colour called slate. I bought Dion one for his birthday and took the small band 🙂

 

I still love my Fitbit – I’m a goals person and knowing all my stats is super-motivating for me.

What I don’t love is how dirty the straps get and washing the strap doesn’t get all the dirt off.

As far as getting to the recommended steps per day (10 000) that is much the same as it was then, as in I don’t get to 10 000 steps even 4 times in a month.I just don’t think in the normal course of a sitting at desk and meetings job it’s possible to get to those 10 000 steps a day. Unless you go for a run (I’m not a runner) because even a walk around the neighbourhood with the kids for about 30 minutes never takes me to 10 000.

Fitbit |www.OrganisingQueen.com

discoloured strap (and it’s technically clean)

This is what my day has to look like to reach 10 000 steps in a day:

  • A Zumba class
  • A walk with the kids
  • Pottering around the house/ cleaning/ organising for a good couple of HOURS

On those days I’m so exhausted that the next day I conk out and walk only about 3000 steps. So I don’t think it’s better to aim for the 10 000 under those conditions.

But I want to share a few mindshifts with you that I had to make to get the Fitbit to work better for me:

  • I no longer aim for 10 000 steps per day. I only aim for 7500 steps because that is the number our medical aid  company rewards per day. This does two things:

1. It’s much more manageable so I actually feel like the goal is attainable, and I’m more likely to want to get to that number.

2. I can walk 7500 steps per day and (mostly) do it comfortably again the following day.

  • I set a monthly steps goal (mine is 200 000) which generally works out to about 6500 a day. Why a monthly goal:

1. It takes the pressure of a daily steps goal and allows for, well, LIFE! Some days I don’t want to run around the whole day because I want to sit in a chair and read a book for 3 – 4 hours (this happened on Sunday :))

2. From the middle of the month, I have a little formula on my goals sheet set up to tell me how many steps I need to reach my goal for the month. I’m writing this on a day I’m actually sick and my little formula just told me I need 10 000 steps a day, so that’s not going to happen. Maybe on Saturday.

3. I have found myself walking around the house taking one thing at a time to the kitchen (!) just to clock up the last couple of hundred steps (to 7500) but I feel crazy as I’m doing it and it’s really not my style to walk around like a crazy person just for steps.

 You might not have a Fitbit or the 10 000 steps might be manageable for you.

What I want you to take from this post is that you can change your goals to make them work with your lifestyle, so you don’t get demotivated (which is exactly what was happening with me).

Which of your goals currently seem insurmountable? How can you shift your thinking to feel better about your goal?

(Often getting out of debt can seem like it’s never going to happen. Don’t give up – even if you have to go all nerdy and type up the amounts in excel and make a chart so you can see the number reducing, do it to encourage yourself)

PS the next Let’s Do This workshop happens on Saturday 28 February. Join me and let’s get a handle on those goals.

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