A week of walking

by DaniGirl on January 17, 2013 · 3 comments

in Me, only better

I mentioned last week that I’ve got a new gadget: a fancy little pedometer called a FitBit. I’ve spent the last week walking around with it tucked in my pocket to get an idea of exactly how many steps I take in an average day, and then I’ll try to figure out a reasonable plan to increase that number, which will lead to weight loss, greater health, whiter teeth, healthier self-esteem, better sex and a cleaner house. Right?!

The funny thing is that I don’t really seem to have an “average” day. One day I walked almost 12k steps when I happened to go to my French class in the morning and decided to walk to pick up the boys from school in the afternoon (both round trips of 2 km or so, or about 3K steps.) On Sunday, however, I walked a measly 3,000 steps during the entire day when I drove out to Kanata and sat through the nearly 3 hour long movie (The Hobbit, which was excellent!) with the boys and then spent nearly two hours playing mom’s taxi in the evening.

I didn’t expect to see that I tend to walk more on days I’m in the office than on days I’m at home. I guess that has everything to do with me walking from the parkade to my office and then walking to Starbucks later in the morning and then walking about looking for photos and lunch and coffee at least one more time during the day. On the days I’m home, getting a coffee requires about 20 steps, but the round-trip to Starbucks from my desk takes closer to 1,000.

Lesson 1: to increase number of steps, I only need to increase number of trips to Starbucks!

Here’s what my “baseline” week looks like:

One thing that shocked me was the vast amount of time that I am completely sedentary. Most days, FitBit tells me, more than 90% of my waking hours are completely sedentary. Ouch! When I move, I tend to move a lot (my daily graphs of activity are filled with long flat-lines broken by towering spikes of movement) but clearly one of the ways to increase my daily step count is to break up the many two-hour stretches in my day when nothing but my fingertips and my synapses are firing.

So now I know that (in winter months, at least) I walk about 6,000 steps each day. If I can boost that up to between 8K and 10K every day, I should be able to burn an extra couple hundred calories – about what you’d find in, say, 20 potato chips.

Baby steps, right? 😉

How do you think your weekly activity levels would stack up to mine?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle January 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

This time of year, those bars would be really low for me. I basically go from the house to the car, and then to the office, then the reverse. I walk outside as little as humanly possible. The summer is a whole different story though.

This looks like a neat little gadget. I’ve purchased inexpensive pedometers in the past and they’ve always crapped out after a few weeks. Plus, they didn’t have any kind of charting like this. I think I might get one – seeing my daily activity (or lack of) on a graph might be motivating.

2 Elise January 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

I can see too how seeing your daily activity can be motivating… You’re motivating me, Dani, you are!

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