Fitness and Fit Bits

When it comes to technology, I tend to loiter on the periphery. I don’t feel the need to have the latest gadget or know why it is superior to its washed up predecessor. Even still, it is hard not to pick up a thing or two about the latest gizmo on the market. So when the raving started about something called a ‘Fit Bit’, it wasn’t long before I realised that this was not a modern way of describing ‘eye candy’!

I am sure over time there have been basic devices to measure how many steps one takes in a day, but once you sync your Fit Bit with your smart phone, the device transmits more information about your activity than you could ever have thought possible. Short of making you breakfast, this clever little wristband can tell you everything from how many steps you take to how many calories you burn in a day, week, even in a month! You can record food and water intake, set targets and even challenge your friends remotely.

Persuaded by a Fit Bit believer, I finally took the plunge and bought a shocking pink device to help me walk my way to ‘fitter bits’! As walking has become my main form of exercise, I was confident (smug even) that I would zip through the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and was excited for my chic little bracelet to confirm such in all its 21st century smart technology glory!

My excitement quickly fizzled out when my Fit Bit told me how just how little we desert dwellers walk. Even with regular outdoor exercise, I was just about making the 10,000 steps! As the temperatures rise, walking is substituted with driving. You park your car as close to your destination as possible to minimise sweating, instead of further away with a view to burning more calories!

Feeling a tad ticked off with my new Fit Bit friend for being so brutally honest, I felt it was time to up the ante, beat the heat, and return to my trusty treadmill. Fit Bit? Check. iPhone synced? Check. Incline set? Check. Pace set? Check. Determined to prove the Fit Bit wrong I got ‘lycra-ed’ up. Let’s see how many steps I can knock out in 50 minutes…..Making sure I was moving my arms with each step, I couldn’t help but look for the endorphin rush of watching my steps tot up on my phone. I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed to see what looked like an average, albeit steady, increase in the number towards my daily goal. Convinced I was walking quicker than the Fit Bit cared to acknowledge I checked the distance and calorie burn calculations on my treadmill. My reliable treadmill told a very different story. My trusty friend told me I had walked further. The speed and time confirmed that distance to be more accurate. Perhaps my old friend treadmill was being kind to me; perhaps my new friend Fit Bit felt I needed to work a little harder to prove myself. There was only one way to find out – I reverted to the old fashioned method of mental maths. I counted my steps over a minute using my phone’s stopwatch. That cheeky little gizmo was cheating me out of hundreds of sweaty steps!

It seems I could clock up just as many steps on my Fit Bit by moving my arm up and down whilst in a seated position, watching TV than I could sweating it out on the treadmill…..however I will not ditch the ‘FB’….when I hit the 10,000 target each day, I will smile because I will know that I probably did a lot more!

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