Hannah and I have been over-the-top uber exercisers forever. We began running the canal paths of Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona as twenty-somethings. Each with a degree in physical education, we were road runners for thirty years until, in our mid-50s, our knees creaked, No mas. Putting the uber into uber-rageous, we biked the 190-mile Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with its 15 degree mountain inclines; we both believe that’s the most difficult physical challenge we ever attempted. (How do you like that humble brag in the lead paragraph!)
Now into my seventies, I pickle, workout at the gym, play ping pong, and walk the trails and side roads of Maine and California. I don’t need a Fitbit measuring my every step to know I am rocking active senior until…
…this past January when our son Will and daughter-in-law Laurel sent Hannah and me Fitbits to the house where we were staying in California for the winter.
For those new to Fitbit-dom, Fitbits primarily register the steps one takes in a day; the default goal is 10,000 steps per day. Fitbits calculate our weekly average as well as allow Hannah and me to compete playfully to see who gets the most steps during a work week. In addition, Fitbits scroll vibrating messages that show me my latest text or email.
It turns out that being in temperate California in January and February was the ideal breeding ground to fall in Fitbit Love. Away from the ice and cold of the New England winter, Hannah and I walked daily along the Pacific or through the town of Carpinteria to add to our pickleball and hiking step totals.
But what I never expected was that my Fitbit would enhance my active life in at least six ways.
One, I just exercise more. My Fitbit regular reminds me to get some more steps and think to walk to the Cliff Walk in York or for twenty minutes in our neighborhood.
Two, I just move more. My Fitbit has vibrating and visual reminders to get me up and moving around when I sit at the computer or read and write on our front deck.
Three, when in the early afternoon, after picking up 6000 steps at the gym or 8000 playing pickleball, I say to Hannah I need a neighborhood walk to get to 10,000. And so we do.
Four, I no longer just stand around waiting on the court when playing pickleball. When the other players are chasing the ball, getting into position, or preparing to serve, I walk around to stay loose, and equally important, rack up valuable steps.
Five, I no longer just sit for long stretches on the sidelines waiting for my next turn to play pickleball; I walk around to stay loose and be less likely to pull a hammy or rip an Achilles. I’m ready to play without being stiff from sitting. (Just a thought. Perhaps, considering their serious injuries in the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson could use Fitbits. I’m just saying.)
Six, I just dig the satisfying feedback that quantifies my activity. The daily numbers reinforce that I am a mover and groover.
That’s Fitbit Love!
Here’s a Fitbit screen shot from my iPhone for June 21, 2019. Notice the 17K+ steps for the day that came from an hour and 40 minutes of pickleball this morning, mowing 3/4 of our lawn this afternoon, and evening walk in the neighborhood with Hannah. Do take note of the sweet nap I had earlier in the afternoon. I thought it was 30 minutes, 40 tops.