fitness

100 days of counting steps: Are we there yet? #VirginPulse #GlobalChallenge! #GettheWorldMoving #WesternU

It’s Day 97! And like Tracy (see her blog post on wanting this to end any time now) I’m ready for the workplace team building step counting exercise to be over. It ends on my birthday. Yippee! Happy birthday to me!

Mostly I’m frustrated because my FitBit is broken (see Should Sam buy a new FitBit? What’s your two cents?) and while it counts steps it won’t sync with the app and so I have to manually enter my steps each day. Oh the horror! I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to mind but I found when my FitBit automatically uploaded the data and automatically synced with the Global whatever challenge app, I didn’t have to think about it. Steps were tracked and occasionally I just logged in to add bike miles. For some reason needing to remember each night and see what my steps were felt so much more onerous.

What I liked about the automatic counting was that I could pay attention or not. If it felt motivational, I went with it. If it started to feel oppressive I ignored it for a few days and just did my usual thing. Given that my usual thing is still pretty active that worked okay for me.

After 100 days of counting steps, where did I land? My average is somewhere between 18,000 and 19,000 steps a day thanks to dog companions, bike riding, and not driving very much. Also I learned that living in a large house with four stories makes a difference. I get up to 4,000 without even leaving the house thanks to basement laundry and lots of roaming from room to room looking for things. Here Garmin! Here heart rate monitor strap! Sports bras, come out come out wherever you are!

By comparison the average step count among those taking part at my university is 12,548.

But my team’s average is over 25,000 steps a day. Over-achievers! I’m part of a team with serious triathletes all training for Iron distance events. They easily leave me in the dust with all that running, biking, and swimming. They are the three activities the challenge tracks. I like the challenge of running with the big dogs. Being the one who aspires to keep up suits my personally. I don’t think I’d be happy being the top achiever on one of these teams.

I’m glad the challenge included my six bike rally days. You can see them below. Big big days.

I was less happy with the activities I do that it didn’t count, like paddling in Algonquin.

Even the portages only sort of count. I mean, yes it counts the steps but no special credit is given for the 50 lb canoe on your shoulders! Or the balance it takes to walk with a pack through ankle deep mud.

And strength training doesn’t count either.

Neither did all the carrying of patio stones and wood flooring and hampers of laundry I move about the house.

So while it’s one aspect of fitness I did find it shifted the focus away from other things I really care about.

Sam’s short version summary review of the challenge: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot more when my FitBit was working and I didn’t have to think about it. And I’ll be glad come my birthday when we’re done.

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