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Activity levels and fitbug - Ed's journal
Activity levels and fitbug
Well, I've been using a Fitbug for a couple of weeks now. One of the things that it's reinforced is just how sedentary my job is. I mean I knew - I drove to work, sat at a desk all day, drove home.

But ... well, having a pedometer tells me my daily steps is somewhat under 2000 - which adds up to about 20 minutes walking (I walk at a fairly steady 6000/hour it seems, which is ... almost exactly 3 miles).

My current daily target is somewhere nearer 10k steps/day, which ... well, has required a bit of effort to shoehorn into my day, I must say. But I am starting to notice the improvement - the number on the scales is diminishing, and my general energy levels are steadily improving. And my need for sleep is also decreasing (or perhaps more correctly, I'm sleeping better and thus am finding it easier to haul out of bed in the mornings)

So I'm considering walking to work in the mornings. A quick check today suggests that the halfway point takes about 40 minutes at my typical amble, so it does mean quite an early start. (It's 4 miles total, so clocks in at about 1 hr 20). Maybe walk to work/bus home. The annoyance is taking 'stuff' to work and back, like... well, laptops whilst on call, and gym kit. And of course, getting to the gym in lunch, which is just about far enough away that it's marginal - it'll take just about long enough that my session would be severely curtailed to the point of pointlessness. But then, if I've walked 4 miles each way, then maybe i'll skip the gym that day :)

All to the good, really. At least, assuming I can keep it up - 10k steps is nearing 2 hours of walking, which does dig in a useful chunk of the day. I can fill the gaps in a bit faster by going to the gym - although ironically, a lunchbreak down the gym, what with travelling, changing, showering etc. adds up to a similar amount of activity to what I'd be using just by spending my lunch hour walking in circles.
But it's good for other reasons - it makes me use different muscles - so I'll try and keep on with that.

Been spending less time computer gaming mind.

Ah well. Anyone want a referral to fitbug?
12 comments or Leave a comment
elrohana From: elrohana Date: May 17th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found using a pedometer very edifying - made me realise that even with my relatviely active lifestyle, some days I didn't make the 10K steps target. You should find your 4 miles will take less time as you go along - at one point when I was really fit, 6 miles would take me about 1 hr 20 mins and you have longer legs than I.

And yes, I find the more fresh air and exercise I get, the better I sleep and thus need less shuteye.
tomf_ From: tomf_ Date: May 17th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Gym economics

If it takes 40 minutes to walk, and 15 minutes to drive, then by walking you're getting 40 minutes exercise for the 'cost' of 25 minutes.
luggld From: luggld Date: May 18th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, what about going to work by bike?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 18th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Investigated, but discarded - too many difficulties regarding storage (both home and work), and getting to work hot and sticky. (getting changed/showered is awkward).
luggld From: luggld Date: May 18th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wat? Seriously? Where do you live? :P
I mean... I just park my bike on the street everywhere, like everyone else here does. There's lamp posts and stuff if you're not content with chaining it to itself. Who's gonna mind a wet saddle? :D Besides... 40min walk is maybe a 15min bike ride. And the sweatiness goes away after about a week.
And it's environmentally friendly!
And no petrol costs!

Win-win, really.

If you don't already own a bike, try getting a cheap, old, used one for 10 bucks somewhere. No need to spend fancy money on something so simple :)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 18th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Central Coventry. I mean, literally right in the city centre. Round the back of the house isn't accessible, and round the front is basically 'on the street, where drunk people walk past'.
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 18th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've sent you an LJ message. If you could reply with your preferred email address, I'll send you a referral thingummy.

's £84/year - works out a bit more if you go for shorter term, because they absorb the cost of the pedometer.
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 18th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's working out for me quite well so far. That's at one month in. Ask me again in 6 months :).
But it does satisfy my 'inner geek' regarding statistics of walking daily, nutritional balance, and stuff.
To the point where I've actually gone out and ensured i've made 'pink' days every day barring the one where I stayed off work in bed. (Grey = no targets me. Turquoise = Aerobic met, Green = total steps met, Pink = both targets met)

Which I think is quite good, and has made me more active and healthy. YMMV :)
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 19th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Well that's thde other think about the sitd that has proven useful/interesting for my inner geek. It estimates energy in/out, but also looks a targets for carbohydrate, fat etc. My thing was that I actually eat way too little fat if you can believe it.
nuala From: nuala Date: June 17th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I joined a gym briefly last year, and had fantastic results. But that was mostly because I also received a fitbug membership and pedometer. Over the past year, it's made a real difference in how much walking I do. Now I do half an hour of aerobic walking each day - this satisfies on several levels. Especially as I don't wear my bug anymore. My battery died, I moved, and now I can't find either the replacement battery or the pedometer! Also, I don't have a pc since I moved. I can't upload stats (or couldn't the last time I tried) via my mac. So no more bug, but I still maintain the healthy habits.

Sometimes it's quite difficult to keep up the numbers, but remember that your gym workouts count towards your 'steps' for the day - you just have to input them separately on the website. I had trouble balancing gym days and walk-heavy days. I'd do a mile at lunch and gym in the evenings 3 days a week. But I couldn't do "3 mile days" in conjunction with gym days. It would wipe me out completely, and made me ravenously hungry despite eating an already healthy amount of healthy things.

Also, hauling laptops 4 miles? That's a workout in itself! Use it to your advantage! :D

(Hi! I still stop in occasionally, even if I don't post/comment often!) :-)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: June 17th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm finding most of my daily 12k comes from the gym at the moment - my job really is that sedentary. But if I go out at lunch, that's about 6k :).
An hour of rowing counts for a lot of steps :).
Although I've just about got to the point that popping out to the gym on lunch isn't an option any more - 20m isn't quite enough, and I can't quite squeeze in more, with time to get changed and back to work.

Ah well.

Seems to be working.
(And hi :))
nuala From: nuala Date: June 17th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
My way of saving time was to gym after work, walk a mile and a half to Embankment, and tube home for a shower. By that time most of the rush hour was finished and I didn't have to stink out everyone with my gym clothes. ;-)

I also worked right on the river, so I would walk along it at lunch. It's extra incentive if you have a nice area nearby to explore. Also my boss used to nag me to go for walkies at lunch. He knew it cleared my head and chilled me out for the afternoon. ;-)
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