In an effort to exercise more, I befriended a Fitbit with a number of annoying habits. Fortunately, he’s also had a lot to teach.
I recently gained a new friend, a Fitbit Charge 2 by the name of Boris.
I was happy to make Boris’ acquaintance because over the past cough cough months my level of activity has been somewhere between low and catatonic. I thought Boris might help inspire me to get moving again.
The start of our friendship has been a little rocky, but we are slowly learning each other’s quirks, and I believe we have a bright and possibly even active future ahead of us.
I like to think we’re learning from each other.
What I’ve learned from Boris the Fitbit
I don’t like to be nagged by my watch
Every hour that I don’t make at least 250 steps, Boris vibrates to remind me.
For context, 250 steps is somewhere between going out to the kitchen to make coffee and running to Canada to escape the zombies. (In my case, geting to Canada also involves more than 250 strokes of swimming.)
I quickly reached the conclusion that I can’t (at least, shouldn’t) drink enough coffee in an hour to get my 250 steps just making coffee. Hence while I’m on holiday I mostly haven’t been making my 250 an hour.
So every hour I get nagged by Boris. “Only 245 steps to go! Come, on get moving, you lazy sack of cake-fed writer.” Or something like that.
Getting nagged by a person is annoying enough. Getting nagged by a watch makes me start looking for sinks full of water. (Boris can’t swim.)
I usually manage about 40 paces before I get out of bed in the morning
I check my paces for the day shortly before I get out of bed each day, and it’s usually in the 35 to 40 pace range.
I see several possibilities.
I may have sleep walked out to the kitchen to make coffee.
Boris may be counting the paces I take in my dreams. Because thinking is almost the same as doing.
Boris may know how hard it is to start from zero, and be giving me a foot up so I don’t get discouraged.
It’s hard to hate him, even though he’s a colossal nag.
My wrist changes size at different times of the day
I haven’t worn a watch in years. Turns out there’s a fine line between a watch that’s uncomfortably tight and one that’s too loose to pick up my stats.
If I set my watch at the perfect size before I go to bed I wake up in the night feeling choked.
Also, adjusting the band in the middle of the night results in a great deal of pinched skin.
Boris and I have had words about this.
Walking to my letterbox and back is 23 floors
The walk to my letterbox is a pleasant stroll through native bush where Nicholas Augustus lives.
I knew it was a long way.
Boris tells me it’s 23 floors.
That sounds like a lot, so I’m inclined to believe him.
Getting out of bed and showering is really hard work
Boris keeps a record of how my heart rate changes through the day, and he’s pointed out something that I intuitively knew was true.
Getting out of bed and showering is a great deal of work.
Now I have even more reason not to do it.
Rowing is not real exercise (I already suspected this)
I had 10 minutes today in which to take 215 steps to make my goal of 250 in an hour, so I got on the rowing machine and rowed like mad for two minutes.
I know two minutes isn’t much, but it wasn’t many steps I was after.
Certain I’d succeeded, I got off and checked with Boris, who told me definitively that I hadn’t taken any steps at all.
I know technically rowing isn’t walking, but let’s not get metaphysical about this. It should still count.
I was miffed with Boris, but he insisted. From now on, rowing is not exercise.
Flapping *is* real exercise
Given rowing wasn’t working, I had to find another way to reach 250 steps.
Thankfully, I hit on the perfect solution: flapping.
In terms of steps for effort, flapping is very efficient. You can even do it sitting down.
The problem is that after a while it’s hard work. I don’t think I could handle being a bird.
What Boris the Fitbit has learned from me
It takes me 8 minutes to get to sleep
Boris keeps a record of my sleep cycles, which I have to say is rather cool. I can see how long each night I’ve spent in light, deep, and REM sleep, and how many times I woke up for one minute or less (usually when His Royal Fluffiness walked around the bed meowing).
I can also see how long it takes me to get to sleep.
Sleeping is one of my talents, it seems. Two to eight minutes is normal. No wonder I never figure out any plot problems lying in bed at night.
Yes, Boris has only learned one thing from me. I guess he’s not that smart.
Have you ever used a Fitbit? Did it help? Do you have any other suggestions for getting motivated to exercise?
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