The Bit That Keeps Me Fit

It will come as no surprise to anyone who follows my ramblings that I am a tech geek (my Apple obsession I will keep for another post). Just as I rely on an app (Headspace) for my meditation practice, I use one to track calories and, hopefully, weight loss (LoseIt), and now one to pay at the store (Wallet). But my longtime favorite, which I use daily, is Fitbit.

The Fitbit app (for iPhone, iPad and computer) uses a mini-tracker that I wear on my shirt (or pants, or bra, or wrist at night). The latest version, the Fitbit One, is about an inch and a half long, by half an inch wide, and comes in a rubber waterproof casing. It even connects wirelessly with the Aria scale, so no cheating there!

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I have been “hooked in” since January 3, 2012, and so have all sorts of records of what I have been up to since then. The tiny computer tracks my steps taken, the number of floors I climb (it has an altimeter in there), and the calories burned. When I wear it on my wrist at night, it records not only how much sleep I actually get, but the periods of restlessness, and any nocturnal wanderings. Follows the food I eat (OK, I do have to manually record that), and weight loss toward a goal that I might someday reach. And all this info and more is presented on a series of graphs and charts, to the delight of my scientific mind. And I am thrilled to know that I have walked 8,172,434 steps since I began tracking!

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An added geeky bonus are the challenges that members set up. The first I attempted was “climbing” the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, starting with Mount Kosciusko in Australia (who knew?) and finally topping Everest. Each floor climbed counts for ten feet up the mountain, and there is an online social interaction with other climbers from around the world competing and encouraging one another. It took me a year and a half to do it. Now I am “walking” across Australia.

When Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living,” I am sure he had other aspects of life in mind, but as I walk the treadmill of life, trying hard to stay in place, Fitbit is proving invaluable.

One thought on “The Bit That Keeps Me Fit

  1. I love the Fitbit so much, but the interesting conversation for me is whether one actually behaves different when wearing it vs. not. It’s an incredibly useful baseline for comparison, but the interesting thing is what happens in the margins, and does behavioral change happen (and then beyond that, is it sustainable?). Reminds me of the Atul Gawande article in last week’s NY-er on the adoption of medical innovation. Food for thought!

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