TAKING STEPS TOWARDS BETTER HEALTH

POST ORIGINALY FEATURED on WATERFI.COM 

2015-10-12 21:13:47

BY SARA K. MADDEN

It started my first day of vacation. I had just begun an easy run, and found that about 10 steps in, I could not take another step without pain radiating through the top of my foot. That pain turned out to be a stress fracture.

My favorite triathlon watch conveniently bit the dust the same week I hurt my foot. So I’ve been hobbling around in a boot, and my wrist was naked!

I’ve had a lot of time to think about my health beyond an hour or two of swimming, biking, or running every day…something I didn’t put much thought into before. But this injury is challenging me to be fit apart from training and racing. So as long as I’m on the sidelines, I’m exploring the idea of making healthy choices all day long. That means paying attention to how much I sleep, what I eat, how much water I drink, and how many clunky steps I take!

Well I think found the perfect tool to help me make healthy choices outside of my workouts…

I set up my Waterproofed Fitbit Flex profile and made some healthy goals, determined to make fitness a lifestyle despite my bum foot! I wouldn’t call myself a Flex-master yet, but I am picking up a few tricks along the way.

Bonus – My wrist no longer feels indecently exposed. And the blue band makes me happy and happens to match most of my wardrobe. ☺

SET GOALS

I can set and change my daily goals from my fitbit.com dashboard pretty easily.

  1. Log in and click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose Settings > Devices
  3. Under Daily Goal Process, make your choice from the drop-down menu.
  4. Choose from: Steps, Distance, or Calories Burned.

I chose Distance, since as a runner I think in miles. ☺

Once I set my Fitness goals with the Fitbit, the Flex’s LED indicator lights show me how close I am to achieving my goals when I just tap the wristband twice.

TRACK GOALS

This is what happens when I tap my Flex to see my progress…

The indicator lights illuminate when I hit 20% increments towards my daily goal. When I reach my goal, Flex celebrates by buzzing and flashing its lights! When this happens in the grocery store, it’s hard not to declare to that lady looking at cereal that I just hit a goal!

TRACK SLEEP

Sleep goals are different than regular Fitness goals, and I don’t receive physical Tracker celebrations for meeting a sleep goal, but that’s fine with me!

  1. When I am in bed and ready to go to sleep, I tap the Flex rapidly for one to two seconds.
  2. It vibrates and displays two slowly dimming lights to indicate that I have entered sleep mode.
  3. During Sleep mode, the Flex alternates two blinking lights back-and-forth to indicate that I am currently in sleep mode.
  4. When I wake up, I tap the Flex rapidly for one to two seconds to exit sleep mode.

I like that I can compare my Sleep charts with my daily activities, habits, and food log to see what helps me sleep…or makes me restless!

LOG FOOD

What I really appreciate about the Food Log feature is that I can start typing, say, Oatmeal, and a drop-down menu appears that allows me to pick something specific.

Fitbit has an actual Food plan, but for now I am just logging what I eat, and then scrolling to the bottom to record my Water Consumed. And that alone is incentive for me to grab a glass of water instead of that soda!

TRACK ACTIVITIES

At the end of each day, I can review how many steps I’ve taken and miles I’ve covered. However, Fitbit doesn’t differentiate between activities, so walking down the hall at work looks the same as swimming.

I noticed this after I wore my Fitbit when I swam on a relay team for the Lake George triathlon recently. The swim was lumped in with my 16,680 steps and 2064 calories burned for that day. I remedied that easily enough by going under Log Activities, choosing the Swimmer icon and recording the duration and distance of my swim in the lake.

My 16,680 steps remained the same, but the calories burned jumped to 2194 calories – Woohoo!

I noticed a few other groovy things about the Waterproofed Fitbit Flex when I swam with it! I dig that it can be submerged in water, and it fits under my wetsuit comfortably (which my deceased triathlon watch did not). And I’m digging the affirmation it provides! It buzzed in the middle of my swim, indicating that I had reached a fitness goal. I wanted to tell the swimmers around me, but refrained!

Speaking of which, I really appreciate the emails Fitbit sends me! Like this one…

GET AFFIRMED

As a Type A, goal-obsessed athlete, I like affirmations, so these colorful messages make me smile. Especially when they inform me that I earned a Penguin March badge and I didn’t even know it existed! It may not be a Finisher medal, but I was pretty excited to match the distance that the emperor penguins cover marching to their breeding ground!

And the emails reminding me to charge my Fitbit Flex are very helpful too!

CONCLUSION

I will definitely keep using my Flex, even when I’m able to start running again. The data is important because my sleep and daily habits affect my training. I don’t want to sabotage those workouts by making unhealthy choices during the day.

With my Waterproofed Fitbit Flex and some healthy goals, I’m learning to make fitness a lifestyle despite (or thanks to) my bum foot. Which reminds me, Das Boot and I have about 542 steps left to go today. We better get hobbling!

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