One Year of 10,000 Steps

I celebrated an anniversary earlier this month – one year of counting my steps every day. So, what has it taught me?

I’m very competitive – with myself. So, I have done at least 10,000 steps every day now for a year. I can’t bear to have a day where that doesn’t happen. I’ll get up early, if necessary, to walk.

I’m also boring about it. When I told my husband about the anniversary of doing those 10k steps, he said, “a year of hearing about it too”. My NY resolution is to stop going on about it.

A step counter does make you more active in general. If I’m doing housework, for example, I do it inefficiently. I don’t gather up all the stuff that needs to go upstairs or downstairs in one bundle. I take it up and down in a few trips. Going to the library, popping out for supplies from the shops, bringing in the bins…everything becomes an opportunity to add to the step count.

I’m a geek. The UP app is the one I use most on my phone. Have I done my steps yet? How does today compare to yesterday? What’s my average like for this week? The app also tracks your sleep, though that’s not quite as interesting.

You can use exercise instead of insulin. Proceed with caution here, my insulin-dependent friends. This is an individual thing that won’t work for everyone. But walks after lunch do the same job as insulin for me – sometimes.

Exercise won’t help you lose weight, but it will help you maintain. I’ve kept my weight consistent over the whole year, or at least I think it is as I don’t weigh myself. Everything in my wardrobe fits, though, and some of them date back more than ten years.

I feel better. Being active every day makes you feel TERRIFIC.

I’d definitely recommend one. I use the Jawbone Up, the basic model that costs about £5.99. I didn’t want a FitBit as they are much more expensive, and you need to charge them every five days, whereas my entry level tracker needs the battery replaced every two months. The Fitbit also seems invasive. I’m obsessive enough without something on my wrist bleeping at me if I haven’t moved for an hour or so.

Do you find exercise and activity helpful for the management of your diabetes?

Apps for Activity Tracking

jawboneMeet my new toy – the Jawbone Up activity tracker.

As activity trackers go, this is one of the basic ones. It tracks your movement and your sleep. But that’s still something. The analytics include a log of the longest time you’re active and idle and it tells you your sleep patterns too.

My husband got one through work, but wasn’t interested. As it was going spare, I took it up. You download an app for it, pair it with the device and away you go. Walk walk, walk…

So far, I’ve only done a couple of other forms of exercise while wearing it – a Joe Wicks work-out I found on YouTube, which it recorded, and some body weight exercises that don’t seem to register unless you count the steps you move while performing them.

You can log your other exercise and the app claims if you do this, the app will learn to recognise things. That might be interesting for a class such as spin, for example.

Anyway, it is interesting wearing a tracker and it does compel you to move more. I’m a bit competitive with myself so I’m always aiming to achieve high step figures. My average is about 14,500 steps a day so far. The app my daily step count puts me in the highest percentage of users – and in the top 10 percent for my age.

Go me…

We’ve been lucky in Scotland this winter so far, in that it has been fairly dry. If wet, windy weather comes along, tallying up those steps might not be as easy.

Do you use an activity tracker? Has it changed your behaviour and do you find it useful?