Monday, April 4, 2011

The Land of 10,000


Have you heard of the research that says we should all aim to take 10,000 steps a day?

In the 60s, a Japanese researcher was trying to come up with a way to improve the health and fitness of people in Japan.  He figured the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day. He reasoned that if they took 10,000 steps a day they would be healthier, thinner, happier and all that jazz. So pretty soon everyone in Japan was wearing pedometers and taking the stairs. Turns out he was right. The more steps people took, the more active they were and ultimately healthier (duh). Too bad it took the good ol' US of A a few more decades to catch on. But better late than never, right?

So what does that have to do with me? 

Last week I bought myself a fitbit
A nifty little fitness gadget that I had been eyeing up for a few months. It's a pedometer and fitness tracker that you wear every day. It counts steps, computes distance, estimated calorie burn and overall activity level. You then sync the fitbit to your computer and it uploads your data to the fitbit website. The website is pretty neat in and of itself. You can enter foods eaten, input additional activities or exercises, journal and more. There is an online community as well. 

You can also wear your fitbit while sleeping to track how well you sleep at night. Which is kind of a moot point for me at this point since Penny still wakes occasionally during the night to nurse. 

And my husband hogs the covers. 

And sometimes the dog goes ballistic at 2 am when a party bus unloads a few houses down and two guys start yelling at each other in the middle of the road as their friends egg them on while turning their music up even louder. 

(Wow. When did I turn into a crabby old woman who gets pissed at the shenanigans of the after bar crowd? Oh yeah, when I stopped being part of the after bar crowd. Kids will do that to you. And driving a mini van.)

Back to the fitbit. 

So the goal is to log 10,000 steps a day. Which kind of seems like a lot. Ok, it is a lot. Approximately 5 miles worth of steps. But I figured my step count had to be up there considering I have a child who never stops moving* and another child who can't quite move on her own. So between chasing and carting, I move around a lot.

Or so I thought. Turns out I take around 5,000 steps per day. Which is still not bad, but a long way from 10,000. Now I will say, the four days I have been wearing it have been pretty cruddy out so we've been in the house for the most part. I am sure once we are back to playing outside and our daily dog walks that number will be much higher.

But I would still like to increase my step count to get closer to 10,000 every day. Not because I think it's some sort of magical number but because the higher my step count, the more active I am (again, duh.). And coming out of this very cold, long winter I can use all of the activity I can get! I have gotten into the bad habit of plopping down on the couch and opening my computer anytime I walked by it. Not good for anyone involved. Not to mention my couch, the poor thing has a permanent Lindsay sized butt imprint on it. 

So with that, I am going to close the computer, get off my butt and do a few laps around the house cleaning up as I go. Not only has this little gadget motivated me to move, but my house will probably be cleaner. I said probably. Don't hold me to it. 

If you're interested in getting yourself a fitbit, you can order directly through the fitbit website or from Amazon or REI. (I got mine at REI using my member rebate, 20% off coupon and a store credit. Final price? Free. Score.) Word on the street, er, the interwebs, is that it's better to order from Amazon or REI. Quicker shipping and better return policy.  

How many steps do you think you take in a day? 

*I would love to strap a pedometer on Olive and see how many steps she takes in a day. Pretty sure she takes 10,000 steps before lunch.

I was in no way, shape or form compensated to write this review. The fitbit people have no idea who I am. The words are my own. Just like the butt imprint on my couch.


  1. Sounds great! I got into wearing a pedometer a few years back (around wedding time - ha! related? I think so...) & loved it. Especially while hiking out west. I too am about a 5,000 steps per day gal with lofty goals. Sadly my pedometer bit the dust & I haven't replaced it. I did buy a pedometer app on my iPhone which works fairly well, but it doesn't always kick back on in the 'background' which is highly annoying. I may have to check out the fitbit! I like the name too! Okay - enough babbling....

  2. Get one! Get one! Get one! Then we can be fitbit friends and have walk offs. Or would it be step offs?