Come Walk With Me
In preparation for spring and better weather, I ordered fitness bracelets, in February, that count steps and calories. We – all of us – were going to get into better shape, lower our blood pressure, and have more energy. The colorful bracelets are a technological marvel. They snap on our wrists and have flashing lights that blink when you tap it or sometimes if your grocery cart hits a bump. They tell you how many hours of sleep you get each night and if the sleep is restful or not. In addition, the bracelets will buzz and vibrate you awake each morning, provided you set it up correctly and provided you wear it to bed.
I went further than just the bracelets. I signed up for the entire record-keeping, food-logging, statistic-showing, goal-making webpage. Bright charts flash and dance across the page once I have synced my bracelet to the computer. I can even see if my walking minutes are “active” or not. Now we know so much about our activities, it is almost scary. AND we can sync with our phone and have that information right in front of us day and night.
Here is the breakdown for our family.
Dad wore his for about two weeks. To be fair to him, we had snow, snow, and more snow so it was difficult to get out and exercise. He wore it to bed one time. The computer showed that he did sleep that night so he felt that was enough. I rolled my eyes and asked him to wear it during the day. He could track his steps and evaluate how active he had been during that day. He agreed. He thought taking celery bites for lunch might be easier.
The teen wore hers faithfully day and night. For a while. However, by the end of a regular school day, she had met all of her goals. She walks up and down the halls, marches in the band, plays tennis, and she has to maneuver the stairs both ways to get to her classes. She regularly made all five lights go off before lunch. She took to playing with her sleep alarms so that it would buzz her arm during class. Her bracelet is somewhere on the floor of her room.
The two younger boys got watch style bracelets and they were excited for a few days as well. However, until they were set correctly, one was convinced that he walked over ten miles before breakfast one day. Unfortunately, they had to stay in many days in a row because of snow and extreme cold weather. Hard to track steps inside but we did give it an effort. The youngest and I set up an obstacle course through the kitchen, around to the living room, down the hall and back through the kitchen. We had to hurdle the trash can, step up on a step, lift a ten-pound weight, and push up on the seat of a chair as we walked in very tight circles. We did not meet our step goals for that day but we did have a great time.
I am happy to report that I still wear my bracelet and am intent on my 10,000 steps per day. Because of my crazy schedule with a million kids (estimated) and one husband, I don’t always get my 10,000 steps but I try. I go out in the cold and walk and I circle around inside the house when necessary. I park on the back part of the lot at Walmart and I walk around the tennis courts while the kids are playing. I have found that the bracelet not only helps remind me that I need to move around a bit but also helps in training the children.
One bright Saturday, I got to the school to wait on the teen to return from a band competition. The buses had not arrived. I tapped my bracelet and saw that I needed about 3000 steps to finish my goal. I looked around and saw a big parking lot. I needed steps, so…I got out and walked around until the buses came. I waved at all the other parents as I passed their cars. I know they were envious of my energy!
As soon as the teen got off the bus she vaulted over to me and said, “Moooootheeeeerrrr….what are you doing? All the kids on the bus saw you walking!”
I tapped my bracelet and said, “I only need a few more steps. Come walk with me.” I tried to take her hand but she moved too quickly.
I am sure you heard her groan all the way to Texas.
Life is such fun if one tries hard enough!