If you have a desk job, listen up. You know how you’re supposed to stand up and walk around every hour or so to loosen your limbs and get the blood flowing? And you know how you always forget and realize only when you’re physically straightening your back and your knees with your hands at 5:00 that you haven’t moved in hours? Then this might be for you.
Remember pedometers? I do. I bought my dad one once for Father’s Day. It kept count of his steps during the day to guilt him into getting up out of his chair more often. Well, that was maybe 20 years ago, and that’s all that pedometer did—it counted his steps. Today’s pedometer is a whole new breed, and I think you’re gonna like it.
There are many on the market right now, but one I’m seeing my clients succeed with is the Fitbit (http://www.fitbit.com). It clips on under your clothes and discreetly counts your steps, approximates calories burned, and even syncs up with food diaries like My Fitness Pal to give you a final tally for the day. I’m telling you—I am seeing this thing work. When you see you’re at only 2,000 when 10,000 steps is the goal, are you really just going to sit there? No, you’re going to walk instead of drive to pick the kids up from school, or at least run up and down the stairs a couple times.
If you’re more interested in knowing how many calories you’re burning, you might prefer a heart rate monitor. (The Fitbit gives you an estimate of calories burned, but it’s based on steps taken, so if you do a cycling class, it won’t accurately assess your burn.) When you exercise you start the monitor, and it lets you know if you’re in your target training zone or slowing down, and when you’re done it tells you how many calories you shaved off for the day.
These little gadgets are note terribly expensive, and they’ll basically give you some friendly competition—with yourself, which might be just what you need. You know you need to get up and move, but if there’s a number attached to it—or literally attached to you—that might just be the big push you need to get off the couch. There’s no magic about it, just a little tangible guilt! Oh well…whatever it takes!
If you use a gadget that you love, I’d love to hear about it.