Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Stepping Out

by Pa Rock
Walking Fool

This past December, at the insistence of one of my kids, I invested is a little wrist device called a "Fit Bit."  The gizmo, which looks like a very thin wristwatch, does keep time, but it also does so much more.  It tells me how many steps I have walked since midnight, how many miles I have walked, how many sets of stairs I have climbed, and my heart rate.   There is one other set of numbers, currently at 855, which I have no idea at all what it means.

Being a bit OCD and also being retired with occasional stretches of "free time" drifting through my day, I spend some time each day recording numbers.  I keep a legal pad on my desk with three columns of numbers - my daily weight, my blood sugar, and now, thanks to the Fit Bit, the number of steps I take each day.  Although I have yet to perform a statistical analysis on the sheets and sheets of numbers which I have recorded, I strongly suspect a correlation exists among the three sets of numbers.  It probably goes something like this:  the more I walk, the lower my blood sugar dips, and the lower my weight is.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I had never used any type of pedometer before getting the Fit Bit, primarily because I failed to understand how a wrist device could count the number of steps that my feet were taking - but it does!  Now that I wear one religiously, I find that I am constantly thinking about ways to increase the amount of steps that I take.  It is having a motivational and psychological impact on my daily routines. 

Everyone should wear some sort of pedometer, and while a name-brand "Fit Bit" is rather pricey, just a standard pedometer is not - and, in fact, I have even received them free at health fairs.

Yesterday marked a walking milestone of sorts for the short period that I have been tracking my steps.  When I began keeping track of how much I walked, the daily total was usually around 5,000 steps.  Of course, it was the dead of winter, and much of my walking was done in the confines of my small home.  As spring started approaching, the daily totals increased to around 7,000 steps for most days, and one day I even broke 9,000.  I set a goal of 10,000 - but that seemed to be very elusive.

But yesterday was a beautiful day, and I rushed around the farm trying to accomplish several tasks before the expected rains set in.  Somewhere around four in the afternoon my wrist started to tingle, and then I noticed that the Fit Bit was vibrating.  It had never done that before.  I stopped my activity in the chicken coop and looked at the wristwatch-and-more.  It showed me that I had just passed the 10,000-step mark!  By the time I headed to bed a few hours later, the total was 11,558.

Today it is finally starting to rain, so yesterday's record may not be broken for awhile.

The time is 9:25 a.m. and I have walked 1,560 steps since midnight - .71 miles - and I have climbed no stairs.  My heart rate is 67, and the other number has climbed to 886.  It's time to get busy!

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