I am a fitness tracker junkie. I’ve been wearing some kind of pedometer for over 15 years. I’ve used simple ones that were free from my doctor, cheap ones that I found at Dollar Tree, and even an expensive one that gave me a horrible burn/rash. Last spring, I purchased one that I really liked called (Amazon affiliate link) Misfit Shine. The Shine tracks differently than other pedometers and gave me “points” instead of steps. Running was worth more points than walking. There is a direct link between my purchase of the Shine and my venture into running as an exercise. There is also a direct link to that running and the multiple back injuries I’ve had this year. But… that is another story! In the end, however, the Shine had a terrible design flaw where it would pop out of its band and fall to the ground. By the 30th or so time that it did this, I never saw my Shine again.
So, a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and spent more money than I ever have on a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge HR. This beauty tracks my steps, approximates my heart rate, counts flights of stairs climbed. Huge bonus… if I elevate my wrist in the right way it will tell me the time without me needing to press any buttons (like for those times I have no free fingers and need to know when my speech session will be over!). Additional bonus, many of my friends also have Fitbits and I can “compete” with them for steps.
Today, for the first time, I was at the TOP of the list for most steps in 7 days. Woot!
I know that one complaint that many people have with fitness trackers is that they just aren’t accurate. And while I know that is most likely true (this one counts my claps as a step!), take a look at how close my Fitbit was to the treadmill’s distance reading.
Why is my fitness tracker an important part of Embracing 40?
- The fitness tracker reminds me that I have to keep moving. It’s easy to be more lethargic as we age! Today was a teacher work day, which meant that I was sitting almost the entire day. However, whenever I would look at my wrist, I would remember to get up and jog in place for a couple minutes. Eventually, I got in the habit of standing up and jogging whenever I got the “spinning wheel” on my screen.
- It helps me connect with people I may not know as well. When I see fellow fitness trackers in the hall, we can have a quick chat about our steps–awkward silence is gone!
- It gives me gold stars. I need gold stars to be motivated and encouraged. Sometimes I get these from people, sometimes from gadgets on my wrist. Either way, the tracker vibrates and tickles my wrist when I reach my goal and the app congratulates me. Two gold stars!
Years of gadget trial and error have got me to where I am today: a fitness tracker junkie currently training for her first half marathon. While I’ve always embraced exercise, my fitness tracker has helped me go the distance (literally and figuratively!). I’m proud to say that at 40, I’m in the best shape of my life.
Comment below: What do you do to keep yourself moving?
Are you too learning to embrace your 40s and beyond? Check out all of the posts in this series here.