About a month ago, the HR department at my job told us they’d be switching our healthcare provider. So when I enrolled, I saw that our new provider, United Healthcare, had a “Motion” program that involved getting a pedometer, setting fitness goals, and earning money toward our care. Sweet!
I have never really tracked my steps. I have been on diets before where I counted calories, and also tracked how much I worked out, but that’s about it. Several years ago, I wore a cheap pedometer as an experiment for an article I was writing. I remember being surprised at how tough it was to get steps and I’d be marching around my apartment at the end of the night (while brushing my teeth) trying to up my tally for the day.
Well, I guess I’ve learned no lesson, because after week 1 with my fancy pedometer, I’ve determined I must just be the laziest person ever.
Let me back up. After signing up for the Motion program, I got a credit of $55 that I could put toward a pedometer. I picked the one that was $55 – the cheapest option. It was black, tracked steps, and said it had an app you could sync with to see the stats on your phone. Works for me!
Another coworker signed up for the Motion program, too, and we got our pedometers in the mail just a few days later. I was told I would get a $40 “Swift Start” bonus if I put the pedometer on right away, so I did – I put it on last Monday around 5:30pm when I got it out of my mailbox and then I headed to my usual Monday night routine: two 1-hour dance classes back-to-back.
That Monday evening I got 2,954 steps.
The days following weren’t much different – I admittedly don’t really move once I get to work, which I have heard is WORSE than smoking cigarettes. I’ve heard repeatedly that we’re supposed to get 10,000 steps per day, and I barely got that in seven days. I know. I’m half ashamed.
However, I decided week one should just be an honest look at my life, and then now we make a change. Right? But I’ll admit that each day, only getting 2 or 3,000 steps, I was getting frustrated and I wondered how people got 14,000 steps each day?
I consulted other pedometer-wearers and they all said that getting steps is a challenge. You really have to set yourself up to get steps – whether it’s parking further away, or setting an alarm every hour to walk a few hundred steps.
A friend of mine tracks her steps and when we went to Vegas last year she would tell me when we’d hit 10K – and I remember thinking, “Wow, we’ve walked a TON,” and I felt very sore.
Hmmm. During week 1, I took a few less dance classes than normal, but I also rode a workout bike for 6 miles, and still only got 2,883 steps for the whole day. My best day was Saturday, where I took a 1-hour cardio class and then a 3-hour nap. Go figure.
So, this week – my goal is to walk more while I’m at work, even if that means simply taking a lap around the office every hour. It still may not get me to 10K, but it will be more than what I got last week… right?
If you track your steps, is there a trick that helps? Walk every hour? I’d love to know how you’re getting your steps in!