15,000 (And Counting)

A couple of days ago I mentioned to someone that I sort of missed my Fitbit Flex. You may remember that, back in March, it stopped recharging, needing to be slapped onto the charger every hour or so. The person I was chatting with recommended that I contact Fitbit support. I was hesitant, given that the unit is three years old and I am the third owner. However, I took the plunge, figuring that all I had to lose was time.

Two hours later, my Fitbit was back up and running, thanks to a patient tech, a system reboot, and an alcohol swab. I was delighted.

That is, until I checked out my numbers for the last few days.

Not Exactly What I Expected

The numbers were…discouraging, to say the least. At no point since the Fitbit sprang back to life have I hit my step goal for the day.

I thought I was actually maintaining a high level of activity. We haven’t managed regular gym attendance for two weeks now, thanks to scheduling conflicts and Real Life. But I was under the impression that I was getting my activity in via daily activities like walking the dog, working around the house, etc. That impression has now gone the way of all fantasies – vanished in a puff of rainbow-colored smoke.

Instead, I have been managing a mere 6,000 or so steps a day.  Before the Fitbit died I would hit my step goal of 8,000 regularly. Now, I am coming in 25% short every single day.

For the sake of reference, a 5K race like the one we completed a month ago is a little over 4,000 steps. We did that in less than an hour. And now, I suddenly can’t make 8,000 steps in an entire day.

That was discouraging enough. Then I received my most recent copy of Men’s Health and got a real eye-opener.

15K or Bust

Turns out the magic number for improving health in men is not a mere 8,000 steps a day.

No, the International Journal of Obesity (referenced by Men’s Health) states that the number of daily steps taken by men with zero reported metabolic issues is…15,000.

The number I should be aiming for is almost twice my current step goal for the day (8,000 steps.)

Which, as I mentioned, I am no longer hitting. The 3-month absence of the coach on my wrist has brought my daily activity down by 25%.

So, now what?

Eyes on The Prize

It isn’t as though I have retired to a life of indolent luxury. I am not lying around the house in a toga, power-eating carbohydrates.

The things I have been doing are important. Working on my novel. Dealing with issues from my other disability. Communicating with Senators and Representatives about potential changes to SSDI. Studying for my Personal Trainer certification test (now only 45 days away.)

But, none of that is really going to matter if I backslide into bad eating habits and low activity. The fact that we got through the 5K has created a certain lassitude in me. My current physical goals are not as pressing as the 5K was.

Apparently, I need to address that.

First things first: I need to get back over my minimum required activity level for the day.

So, here is what I am going to do:

For 6 out of the next 7 days, I will post on Facebook when I get over my 8,000 steps for the day. (Sunday will not count, as I give myself one day off a week.)

Feel free to call me out if I do not post for the day. Facebook messages, Tweets, emails, whatever.

Once I get back on track…well, then we will start talking about that 15K number.

Inviting You To Hold My Feet To The Fire,

Jeremy

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