Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fitness Win

I am determined to resist the pull of doing nothing but knit and watch British shows on my iPad all autumn and winter long. I think I should have been a bear. Hibernation has a great appeal to me. To counter my natural tendencies I have gone on the offensive and purchased a Fitbit Flex.


I've had it for almost two weeks now and am having lots of fun with it. In many ways it's a glorified pedometer. It measures how many steps I take during the day, but it also does much more. I can go into the dashboard on my computer, or the app on my iPhone, and see how active I have been at any point during the day. It also keeps track of how well I sleep, showing the times I was awake in the night, and how many times I was restless.

My Fitbit is set for a goal of 10,000 steps, and I have exceeded that by quite a bit every day, except for when I was driving to Kamloops. It takes 32 steps to get to my yarn stash and back, and 50 steps to get to my chocolate stash and back. By my calculations this means 122 trips to each of these would have my reaching my goal for the day. But one must be realistic. This approach could prove to be counterproductive.

The good news is I like to walk. Taking Fergus out for exercise is a great way to add some steps towards my daily goal. The bad news is Fergus is a lazy dog. He hates walking. He would much rather sleep on the couch. We all know that sitting is the new smoking, and my theory is that applies to dogs as well as humans, so I make him go out anyway. The off leash area where we live is a path along Frost Creek, and right now it's covered with fallen maple leaves.


Here's my reluctant walking partner. Once I get him off the couch and out the door he enjoys himself.


My daily, dogless walks are either to Lindell Beach or up Teapot Hill. Both walks are beautiful. When I go to Lindell Beach I have a wonderful view of the mountains on one side of the road and golden trees on the other.


This is what it looks like from the top of Teapot Hill, looking south to the US border.


The walk up the hill is filled with beauty as well. Right now the forest is covered in interesting looking fungi.


The whole Fitbit thing falls apart for me after dinner though. The bar graph on the Fitbit dashboard basically flatlines. It's a shame it doesn't measure arm movement.



43 comments:

  1. My activity levels are non-existent in the evening as well, as is my willpower. What a beautiful area for walking though, and that white fungi is amazing. I love the view from Teapot Hill, and what a brilliant name for a hill.

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    1. I figure as long as we are active during the day we can give ourselves a pass for the evening. :-)

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  2. Now I was thinking of buying a Fitbit, until I got to that last line ... surely there has to be a steps equivalent to knitting!

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    1. I would look like a triathlete if knitting counted as exercise. If you have been thinking of getting one I would encourage you to take the plunge. I think the Nike equivalent is supposed to be good as well. The only complaint I have about the Fitbit is the wrist band is hard to close when it's new. It gets easier after a few uses though.

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  3. I've never heard of Fitbit, I shall have to check that out as I desperately need to increase my exercise levels. Fergus sounds just like my Archie, he much prefers to laze about all day too, though he does love to go snuffling about once he is out, he'd love Frost Creek with all those fallen leaves.

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    1. I am glad to hear there's another dog who is a couch potato. Before I got Fergus I thought all dogs loved to go out for walks. He has set me straight about that misconception! :-)

      I think you might like the Fitbit. There are a couple other similar products out there that do much the same thing. Read some reviews before you buy so you know which would work best for you.

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  4. What beautiful walks, stunning views.

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    1. Thanks! I feel very lucky to have such beauty surround me on my walks.

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  5. 10000 steps is quite a lot so kudos to you! What a beautiful area you have to walk in. You must be in super shape hiking up that hill everyday. It's hard in the fall and winter to get out as much as it gets dark so early now. I think we have a time change too this next weekend. Too bad knitting wasn't a high calorie burner ;( .

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    1. I can't claim to hike up the hill every day, Chris. I do it several times a week in the summer, and try to do it at least once a week the rest of the year. The problem is once tourist season is over there aren't many people on it. I will only walk it if there are several other cars in the parking lot. It sort of gives me the creeps to think about being on the trail by myself. Or worse, having just one other hiker on the trail. (I think I read too many murder mysteries.) Most of my walks are to Lindell Beach, which is a nice distance but not as much of a climb.

      I agree. It's a shame knitting doesn't burn calories. :-)

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  6. I have things in common with both you and Fergus. I've always believed that if I were an animal it would be a bear. I like time alone in the woods, scratching my back on a tree sounds like fun and (unlike you) I am sort of built like a bear. Sort of, not exactly. Where my wife sees a young William Shatner, I see a young Ernie Borgnine. :) As for Fergus, I usually don't want to go to parties, but end up having a good time after my poor wife drags me to one.

    How does Fitbit know you're asleep? (And who is it telling??? :)

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    1. I'm trying to wrap my mind around the William Shatner/Ernest Borgnine image. I just can't quite manage it. :-)

      You tap the Fitbit several times until it vibrates and flashes two lights. That means it is in sleep mode. I'm guessing it then monitors your arm movement instead of your legs.

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    2. Well that's your answer, Kristie! Why can't you tap it until it vibrates just before you start knitting!

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    3. Ha! It would just show that I had been restless and/or awake. :-)

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    4. haha...that is quite a difference. :)

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  7. I love that you've measured the number of steps to your chocolate stash, ha ha. Did you know that today is National Chocolate Day? Not that I'm trying to derail your healthy habits! And I'm with you on the urge to hibernate. I think it must be a combination of less daylight and more low-pressure weather systems. -- Ruth

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    1. National Chocolate Day? I had no idea. I'm headed to my stash right now to celebrate. :-)

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  8. Good for you, Kristie! I think the Fitbit seems like a great invention. I've been thinking about getting one myself. I love to walk and need to make more time for it. I am sure you're going to do great with your new tool and Mr. Fergus by your side.

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    1. You would like the Fitbit, Jennifer. So far the only downside is the wristband. It is hard to close when it's new, but gets easier once it has been used a few times. If you get one I would be interested in hearing if you like it.

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    2. I haven't heard of a Fitbit, sounds interesting. It made me laugh that you now know how many steps to reach your chocolate stash, that could prove very handy in a power cut. I think this time of year is hibernating season. Our time to recharge our batteries!

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    3. With my sense of direction Jacqueline I would take the right number of steps but in the totally opposite direction. :-)

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  9. I have just bought a new phone which has a fitness monitor on it so it will interesting to see how many steps I take in a day. Not sure if the sleep thing would be good for me or not, as I already have problems I may get a bit obsessed with how much sleep I get!

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    1. Have fun with your new phone and the fitness monitor, Chickpea! You are right about the sleep monitor. It might add to the stress of not being able to sleep. On the other hand, it might show you a pattern of when you are restless and/or awake.

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  10. Stunning photos - you are so lucky to have such fantastic walks nearby. I love the white fungus too. I also have hibernation tendencies but feel that it's one of the perks of this time of year to cosy up inside with a good book or some crochet. Today looks like it might be a nice one though, so I might try to get out for a walk before the rain returns. Have fun with your Fitbit Flex. x

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    1. I agree VeggieMummy. I am very lucky, and living in such a beautiful place definitely makes it easier to get out for walks. I hope you got that walk in before the rain returned. :-)

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  11. Enjoyable post! I'm a winter knitter in front of the fire on the long evenings but spend the day rushing about regardless of the weather. I hibernated last week for a bit then like you decided I needed to get a grip and sort out some energy. It's adjusting to the change in the season I think. Loved your pics of the views from your walks- looks like a beautiful place.

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    1. Most of my knitting is done in the evening too, but now that I've got my iPad connected to my friends' TV in England I can feel the pull to sit down and watch shows at a time I normally wouldn't. I'm hoping the Fitbit will be a gentle reminder that I shouldn't be doing that on a regular basis. We have had a couple weeks of almost steady downpours, and I think that has increased my need to hibernate. And like you say, it's partly just the change of seasons that contributes.

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  12. When my mom first got her fitbit, she was hysterical. She so badly wanted to reach her daily goal that she would walk laps around the main floor of my house. It made me dizzy to watch! :-D It is a great reminder to get up and move! We all could do with a little more movement!

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    1. That's hilarious! And I completely get it. There's something about the Fitbit being on your wrist that makes you feel competitive, even if it is just yourself you're competing against. I'm glad your mom is enjoying her Fitbit. :-)

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  13. Fergus looks like a cute walking partner :-) and you have a beautiful spot to walk. Teapot Hill ...love the name alone ♥

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    1. He is cute, Deb, but totally spoiled. I'm quite partial to the name Teapot Hill myself, and it is made even more fun by the fact that people leave their old teapots on it.

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  14. Coincidentally, I've had a Fitbit Flex for a couple weeks too. The feedback on activity level is useful. Congratulations on getting over 10,000 steps every day. I haven't yet made it over 9,000. Yoga doesn't seem to register as activity unfortunately!

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    1. Another Fitbitter! If you want to register your yoga go into the dashboard page. At the top there is a choice that says "log." If you click that and scroll down you can add in your own activities. It doesn't add anything to your step total, but it will calculate how many calories you burned, plus you have a record to see when you have done extra activities. I do free weights at the gym 3 mornings a week, so I add that in each time.

      We need to meet for a cup of tea/coffee and a visit again soon!

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    2. Yes, I'd like to meet up again. In the Fitbit spirit, maybe we could climb Teapot Hill together?

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    3. Great idea! How about early next week? We can keep an eye on the weather and take advantage of the first nice day. Let me know if that will work!

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    4. Sounds great. I'm busy Wednesday, but any other day would work.

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  15. I'm glad you put your Fitbit to good use and measured the number of steps to your chocolate stash. My husband and I are going to get them for each other for Christmas. We are thinking of getting the one that clips on to clothing (bra strap for me, shirt for him). How do you find the bracelet? My friend found it registered her arm movements and inflated her steps walked so she had to switch to the clip on one for a truer reading.

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    1. The only complaint I have had about the bracelet is it was hard to fasten when I first got it. It might measure larger arm movements, but it would be hard to get away from that with one worn on your wrist. If that's a worry, the clip-on one would probably be a better way for you to go. It's a great idea to exchange them for Christmas gifts! You'll have fun with them. :-)

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  16. Fergus, you good boy! And so handsome. Kristie, that last photograph made me laugh out loud.

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    1. Ha! He might be good, but he is very, very lazy. And he absolutely hates the rain, which we tend to get a lot of where we live. I actually had to carry him out to go to the bathroom a couple of nights ago when we were in the midst of a downpour. :-)

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  17. I love that you have worked out the steps and number of trips needed to your chocolate and yarn stashes, that is so funny! I hope that you enjoy the walking and that Fergus doesn't mind it too much either. xx

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  18. I have been tempted to buy one but then again really do I want to know how incredibly out of shape I am? And since I am home with the flu right now I would only be at maybe 200 steps and it is almost noon.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  19. I've never heard of Fitbit, but probably should get one now all the activity of the move is over. I gather that knitting does use more calories than just sitting in front of the TV. :) Your wonderful scenery is certainly an incentive to get out and move, even if you have to persuade a reluctant Fergus. My sister's Westie is also become a reluctant walker as he gets older, so Fergus isn't alone...

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