Google Fit, I’m warming to you!

Google fit red heart logo
Google Fit red heart logo

With the ongoing left knee problems I had stopped step counting. It was just too depressing. I gave away my Garmin fitness tracker and just walked as much as I could without pain.

Things have been better lately with my knee brace. I’m dog walking a bit more. And of course, I’m still bike commuting.

So recently I decided to activate Google Fit. It’s a bit much putting on the Garmin bike computer for my 5 km round trip commute but I wanted some way to quantify daily activity. So I decided to activate Google Fit on my phone. I have to say I’m impressed. I like its focus on active minutes instead of steps and I like that it counts intensity too.

From the app, “Being active is important to our health, but how much or what kind of activity do you need? Google Fit worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop two activity goals based on WHO’s physical activity recommendations shown to impact health – Move Minutes and Heart Points. When it comes to your health, it’s important to move more and sit less. Earn Move Minutes for all your activity and get motivated to make small, healthier changes throughout your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or catching up with a friend over a walk instead of a coffee. Activities that get your heart pumping harder have tremendous health benefits for your heart and mind. You’ll earn one heart point for each minute of moderately intense activity, such as picking up the pace when walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities such as running. It takes just 30-minutes of brisk walking five days a week to reach WHO’s recommended amount of physical activity shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and increase overall mental well-being.”

I’ve set my move minutes to 90 a day and my heart points to 20. I’m still fiddling.

I like the clean interface. It’s clearly focused on activity instead of weight loss. And it automatically detects my two main forms of activity–biking and walking. I like not having to wear a watch and I have my phone with me pretty much all the time I’m walking and biking. I mean, yes I walk around inside my house without my phone but I am happy not tracking that activity.

Read another review here.

Have you tried it? What do you think of Google Fit?


Sam is walking to work in the winter

Walking isn’t usually my thing. Compared to riding my bike, it feels slow. But I’m injured and I’m living too close to the university to even consider riding my bike.

That’s been true on sabbaticals. I walked to work in Canberra, Australia. Under 3 km doesn’t seem worth bike shorts and special shoes and that’s the bike I had with me. Ditto Dunedin and the University of Otago. I lived just a few kilometres from campus halfway up an extremely steep hill. It would have been a fast coast to campus in the morning and walking my bike up the hill in the afternoon.

But this is my first time regularly walking to work in Canada. I don’t have a car here in Guelph so that’s not even an option.

I could do without the ice and sometimes the temperatures have been a bit much. But as all the smiling selfies attest, mostly I’m enjoying it. Look there are horses on my route to work!