For quite a while I've been talking about getting fitter - not getting thin, or running marathons or even the couch to 5km challenge, but just being able to go out for longer walks without feeling exhausted by the end. With this in mind I'd been talking about methods of tracking how far I'd walked, and for my birthday eldest daughter bought me a Fitbit - a basic version without the all-singing/dancing gimmicks of the more advanced ones but it does everything I need it to.
The first challenge was getting it set up! It wasn't the Fitbit's fault but my phone is so short of memory that it couldn't cope - something inside it gave up completely and I lost internet connection for days. Then I tried to sync with my pc - oops, no bluetooth connection.
I'm in the process of moving everything to a new pc, so I tried that - still no luck.
At this point I went away and ate my birthday chocolates
Eventually we've rigged up a bizarre communication method, whereby the Fitbit links to my husband's phone, then to my new pc.
And then I had to try some exercise!
I quickly found there are several oddities about the exercise tracking. Knitting for example registers as steps (possibly due to moving both hands). Ironing doesn't, even though I'm standing up. Same for gigs unless I move around A LOT. One evening, it decided I'd been asleep when I was actually chatting on social media. I figure it's give or take accurate enough to give me an idea of roughly how much exercise I'm taking each day.
So, the big question, how many steps DO I take?
Well, I started with the daily goal set quite low - 3000 steps - and soon realised that I reach this most days (unless it's raining). So I upped that a bit to 5000, but a walk round a supermarket (don't rest you hand on the trolley or the steps won't be counted) can reach that, and with the fine weather, I've been out walking a lot. I don't want to feel any pressure though on the stay-at-home days, so, as the Fitbit has four flashing lights to mark my progress, I've settled for now on 6000 steps as a target. A slow day will only see two of those light shining, but that's ok with me, and if I go way beyond the target I can find out by how much by checking the pc.
I'm not sure if it's encouraging me to take more exercise - I don't have the hourly prompts set, as I refuse to be nagged by a fancy wristband, or have it checking my sleep patterns, as I think I sleep soundly most night and don't want to learn otherwise. Anyway, both seem beside the point. I want to monitor how much I'm walking, to get back to a state of fitness where I'm confident I can walk 5 or so miles, and for that the Fitbit seems to be working.