Sunday, January 30, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not Up To The Task

I had to raise the question of whether the pedometer was accurate.

The answer: probably not.

I think my pedometer is better suited to count the steps during a walk. But when it comes to counting all the steps taken in one day, it isn’t cut out to handle that kind of responsibility.

I’m not just speculating here, I have actual facts to back up my conclusion. I tested the accuracy by enlisting the help of my favorite co-worker. She has a pedometer too. So on the first day she wore both hers and mine. And at the end of the day the results were: hers at 6703 and mine at 7787. So on the second day I wore both. And at the end of the day the results were: hers at 2644 and mine at 1849.

When you compare that on the first day when my favorite coworker wore them, mine was 1084 higher... and on the second day when I wore them, hers was 795 higher... these results leave me with nothing, but a headache so the great pedometer experiment will have to be reevaluated. Perhaps I’ll take it back up in the warmer weather when I can use it strictly for walks.

What the heck did I expect for $15.00?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Great Pedometer Experiment

I thought a good way to approach the exercise thing was to figure out how much I was getting while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Why overlook the many steps I take during the day? They are no different than if I were walking them in a park or on a treadmill. So I decided to wear a pedometer to see how many steps I took during my workday.

The first workday I took 4,685 steps. Not bad considering I just did my normal work routine, disregarding the few extra steps I had to take because my favorite coworker decided to HELP by taking my closer parking spot.

But a number wasn’t enough. I needed a scale to measure it on. I searched and ran across this good one*:

1) Under 5,000 steps/day may be used as a “sedentary lifestyle index.” (blogger thought: okay, I just feel they want to say lazy, because honestly when you see “low active” in the next one - what else is there to conclude?)

2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered “low active.”

3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some volitional activities (and/or elevated occupational activity demands) - (blogger’s thought: this is just the 50-cent version of someone choosing to exercise or their work requiring them to exercise more) and might be considered “somewhat active.”

4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as “active.”

5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as “highly active.”

Keep in mind I only counted steps taken during work, so to say I’m in the “sedentary” category seems a little harsh. If I were to breakdown my steps by hour, I averaged 625 steps/hour. Times it by 15 (average hours I’m awake) and you get 9, 375 steps/day. Now I’ll keep in mind I don’t walk as much when I'm at home, so that number is probably high. But I don’t necessarily think its sufficient grounds to bump me out of the “somewhat active” category.

I think the only way an accurate conclusion can be made is if I wear a pedometer for a complete day. Problem is, the second day I tried to wear it to work, I accidentally knocked it off my pants. After it hit the floor, it didn’t want to count for me. I guess it figured if I was going to be careless, I didn’t deserve its services.

I’ll give it the weekend to go over its options: working for me or the trash.

*Sports Med 2004; 34(1):1-8
“How many steps/day are enough? Preliminary pedometer indices for public health.”
Tudor-Locke, C and Bassett DR Jr

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Right Way Isn't My Way

I want to say since my last post I’ve come up with a brilliant plan on how I’m going to tone up, but that would go against my procrastination tendencies. Instead I’m going to tell you why it is okay if you made a New Year’s resolution to (insert yours here), but haven’t done anything to achieve that goal.

Too often we say we are going to do something and if we don’t instantly start doing it the “right” way, we give up all together. But sometimes doing things the “right” way doesn’t last.

For instance, the “right” way to tone up might be to watch what I’m eating and add in some exercise. This would probably warrant fabulous results, except it goes against my lazy nature. And while I might be able to force myself to do it for a few days or even a few weeks, I would burn myself out over it. At that point, I would stop and never look back.

So what is the “wrong” way that might actually work, at least for me? I’m going to ease into it. I’m sure some form of exercise would be beneficial. Besides being a useful technique to engage in when the desired outcome involves getting into shape, I saw this tidbit in a magazine article:

“The simple act of exercising – regardless of your weight or fitness level – can make you feel better about how you look, possibly due to the release of feel-good hormones, finds a review of 57 studies on exercise and body image.”

And who doesn’t want to feel good?

So the first step is to examine what types of exercise I have at my disposal and what would work within my time restraints. I’ll get back to you with all that.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Less Than Physical

"Roaming" the internet uses a verb that gives the illusion of movement, yet you are sitting in front of a computer going nowhere. With all the miles you travel visiting blogs from across the US and overseas, could you imagine the shape you would be in if you walked those miles? And no, I wasn't thinking sorry or dead - although I do see your point.

When I started my blog, it was a fear that too much time sitting in front of the computer would cause me to gain some extra weight. I found my fear wasn't unfounded as many bloggers posted New Year's Resolutions about losing the 10-15 pounds they gained after starting their blog.

If you met me you wouldn't say I needed to lose weight and I would agree with you. A more accurate statement would be I need to tone my existing weight. The number that shows up on the scale is far from horrible, but the way those pounds are situated on my body needs some improvement.

For anyone who is seriously struggling with your weight, please put the pitchfork down, I'm not trying to offend. My blog is about staying healthy while engaging in an activity that is less than physical.

So join me, if you will, as I try to transfer some mush into muscle. And keep off those extra alien pounds that are waiting to jump on me from cyberspace.