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Move it! Move it! (And Measure it!)

by Beth on January 21st, 2014

The research showing the health risks of inactivity has me a bit worried, especially since I spend most of my days writing at my computer. I thought I was fine as long as I got to the gym every morning, but it turns out that exercising once a day does nothing to counteract the dangers of sitting for hours. People who sit for more than 6 hours a day have a 40 percent greater risk of dying, even if they exercise regularly! So one of my resolutions for 2014 is to “move it, move it” like King Julien in Madagascar.

In his book, Eat, Move, Sleep, Tom Rath suggests measuring your movement if you want to improve it. I’ve been teaching for years that in business “what gets measured gets done.” So my husband and I gave each other Fitbits for Christmas. A Fitbit is a device you can wear on your wrist that measures your daily activity.

It has been amazing to see the effect measuring our activity has had on our behavior. There is no question that our dog has benefited the most. Whenever one of us thinks we may not meet our goal of 10,000 daily steps we take the dog for another walk. If I haven’t achieved my goal after dinner, instead of sitting on the couch to watch TV, I pace back and forth behind it while laughing at Phil’s goofy antics on Modern Family. The kids think we are nuts! Having to park far away from a store is now a good thing, more steps! Yesterday I ran upstairs to grab a few things. Of course, I forgot one of them until I was back downstairs. But instead of moaning about having to go upstairs again, I thought, “awesome, that’ll give me more steps!”

There is no question that tracking your progress, be it number of steps, pounds lost, miles run, hours of practice, or pages written, is a great motivator. Seeing progress encourages you to keep at it. So what’s one of your goals? How can you start measuring your progress?

One Comment
  1. I fell in love with my Fitbit. It was a great motivator and I pushed hard to hit those 10,000 daily step. One day, sadly, I accidentally drowned it by leaving in a pocket of a pair of jeans that went into the washing machine. Your post reminds me that there’s more than one Fitbit in the sea. Or at REI.

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