Tools – Activity Trackers

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The most asked question I get about my weight loss is….drum roll please…

Did you exercise?

The answer to that question is not a simple one.

I hate hate hate exercise.  I know endorphins and all that are supposed to happen, but I HATE IT.

That’s not to say that I hate activity.  If I have a hiking trail or a nice bike ride I’m a happy camper.

I don’t like to run unless there is danger, and it better be some pretty serious danger to boot.  I get bored by workout tapes, and I work so much it is hard to get to a class.

My mindset on exercise changed up a bit when I started wearing a fitbit.  I use the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Small (US Version) that has a heart rate monitor. Back in March I noticed this screen:

20170819_055412

This is what my screen says now, and trust me it didn’t say that five months ago.  I wish I would have taken a screen shot of it, but I was so shocked by it that I just wanted to not look at it ever again.

It said I was fair to poor for my cardio fitness.

Wait, what?

It was kind of a wake up call, kind of like the ones you experience when a really horrible picture of you is posted on Facebook.

Was I really that out of shape? I was close to being just plain Poor for my cardio fitness?

As you get older everyone you know gets older to of course.  You see your parents, your friends parents and the like get to the AARP age and you see how their lives are different.

My parents had a blast in their twilight years and were relatively fit most of their lives.  Yes, they got heavier with middle-age, but the were always super active and really lived it up.

Some of my friend’s parents, especially the heavy ones, didn’t have it that good.  Bad knees, backs…Out of breath just walking into the store….

I don’t want to be that person.

I know there are plenty of people out there that are thin that have those health problems.  I said it before and I’ll say it again there are plenty of drunk people that drive home just fine, and plenty of sober people that get in car wrecks, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to chance it and get my buzz on hoping for the best.

Nope.

I’ve worked hard for everything I have and I want, God willing, to enjoy my retirement years.  I want to do things.  I want to see things.  I want to be able to volunteer and help more than I’m able to right now.

That’s just not going to happen with a fair to poor cardio score, and I’m not near retirement age yet!

So I made the decision to incorporate exercise into my life.  I didn’t do it to eat more, or to get thinner, but to be a stronger, healthier version of myself.

Any of you that are my Facebook friend have seen my shirt that says “I work out because I like Food.”

Just ignore that, I just think it’s a funny shirt..lol

Anyhoo….I changed my fitbit goal to 10,000 steps a day, and I get that at least 6 days a week just from my normal activity.  I allow myself one day to be a slug if I want.

Then 3 days a week I do 40 minutes on the damn treadmill.  I do 3 MPH, then 5 MPH for 5 minutes, then 3 MPH for five minutes…back and forth, cussing the whole time.  It’s all at an incline, which I have no idea what it is because I have a cheap treadmill.

I make myself do the treadmill 3 times a week no matter what else I do.  Even if I was running around the park that day, or riding my bike.  I have made it a habit, an irritating habit, but a habit none-the-less.  I have a very good reason for this.

Winter is coming, and I live in the Chicago area.  It is not exactly good weather as you can imagine, so I wanted to have a habit that didn’t involve outdoor activities.

It has always been my downfall.

Oh, and I never want to see my cardio score get close to poor again.

So I know there are a bunch more prolific exercisers out there, they run 5 K’s, they lift weights….I know it is important to my health to exercise, but when it comes to being at a healthy weight your nutrition is where it’s at.

You see, thanks to my handy dandy fitbit with the heart rate monitor it tells me how many calories I burn when I do things like freakin’ run on the treadmill.

It’s not that impressive.  I mean going by how I feel when I’m doing it you would think that I could like eat a couple cupcakes or a Dairy Queen blizzard and not gain a pound.

Wrong.

If I’m lucky and I push myself to a faster run I might burn 200 or so calories.

What?

That’s two tablespoons of butter.

That’s half of a Snicker’s bar.

8 Hershey’s kisses.

You get my drift, right?  I think a lot of us overestimate just how many calories we will burn by exercising.  I didn’t want this inconvenient math to derail my intentions of getting healthier, so I made the decision that it wouldn’t factor into my Weight Watcher program at all.

You can trade activity points for Smartpoints on the plan, but I don’t.  I know my app is always asking me if I want to expand my exercise goal.

Nope.

I do think I’m going to start doing my yoga, but to me that is a mental health exercise more than exercise-exercise.

I might even start a little strength training, but not so I can eat more.  I’m going to incorporate it to keep my muscles and bones and joints strong.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

 

 

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