MY LITTLE FRIEND IS BUZZING
Learning to love the Fitbit
Iwith joy as if it has won the Lottery.
At a time when we are all being told how vital exercise is to our health and wellbeing - especially as we get older - it is a wonderful little gadget.
It gets into your sub-conscious and actually motivates you want to clock up the miles. Of course, the advantage is that you do not have to rush, the speed at which you cover the distance is irrelevant.
But you do find yourself popping to the Post Office, the library or the corner shop on foot rather than in the car. The added incentive is to reach that magical target.
Sons one, two and three all have the device and no doubt text or Facebook each other with their latest facts and figures.
That’s not for me, but I have to say the daily wearing of the Fitbit day. And the little wristband application certainly tries to help me achieve that goal.
A buzz reminds me that I have been sitting comfortably for quite a while and suggests it is time to stride out.
It also buzzes to say “Come on now, let’s crack on with some more steps because you are closing in on your target”.
And when I do make the 10,000 steps mark, the little chap buzzes t was a long-standing joke in the Redhead household.
My three grown-up sons are all very active, into their various sports and regularly attending gym sessions.
I used to be the same. But now I’m older.
However, I do love gardening and at least one day each week I spend a lot of time working on my garden, my allotment, or indeed, other people’s properties.
It was with great pride that I told sons one, two and three, that I would bet I walked around 10 miles every day I did gardening work.
They gave the sort of ‘yes Dad’ laugh which suggested ‘humour the old chap but I expect it’s probably about three miles if he is lucky!’
At Christmas they clubbed together and bought for me a Fitbit.
For the uninitiated, the Fitbit they bought me is like a wristwatch, only a little slimmer. I wish I could say the same.
It tells me the date and the time and how many steps I’ve taken during the day, converting that number into miles walked. It also tells me various other pieces of information, including the number of calories burned off.
If I wear it in bed it tells me the time I went to sleep, the time I woke up and on how many occasions I was restless or awake.
It is excellent technology and very useful.
But basically, for me, it is about the steps I take and the distance I cover.
The target is 10,000 steps every
and constant checking of data is contagious.
By the way, on the last four full days of gardening I’ve completed, I have managed to walk between nine and 12 miles on all four occasions.
Not bad for an old ‘un I reckon.
Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging the public to ‘Try20’ during May, the designated National Walking month.
Its campaign encourages people to walk for 20 minutes every day throughout the month and observe the big differences small steps can make.
Last year the charity saw thousands across the UK pledge to walk for 20 minutes a day.
A follow-up survey in December found that 75 per cent were still walking for 20 minutes a day and reporting tales of weight loss, money saving, improved social life and increased fitness.
Living Streets recommends walking as a free, easy and fun way to improve your health which means a lower risk of contracting heart disease, certain cancers, depression and Type Two diabetes, to aiding weight loss and reducing feelings of stress and isolation. Its key messages are: Add a 20-minute walk into your day.
Twenty minutes of walking a day is a good step towards achieving 150 minutes of physical activity a week as recommended by the country’s Chief Medical Officer.
You don’t have to go out of your way to exercise, walk your daily journey to work, to the shops or skip a stop on public transport.
Getting people out of their cars and on their feet is part of the solution to the country’s congestion and air pollution problems.
Rate your walk and help to improve spaces and create a walking nation where everyone can enjoy the benefits the simple act brings on streets that are fit for walking.
Key dates during May, National Walking Month, are: May 15-19 Walk to School Week and May 16 Happy Shoesday, when pupils, parents and teachers will raise money for walking projects by wearing their happy shoes and donating £1.
ABOVE: Fitbit Surge fitness super watch, £199, Pilch.
Fitbit Flex, £79.99 from firebox.com.