As I look out my window, all I can see is falling, blowing snow. It’s October 7. How do you feel, Calgarians? I feel cold, and I fear that winter is here. The forecast suggests this horror will be short lived, but I’ve never trusted Calgary meteorologists.
Have you been reading the health news this week? I have, of course. I need to keep abreast of critical research on the next superfood, and on losing 10 inches off my waist while eating pumpkin pie. Call it health porn, I just can’t help myself.
I was recently dismayed to learn that people are experiencing no health benefits, such as weight loss or lowered blood pressure, from their expensive electronic fitness trackers. All that money for naught. The people who are tracking are moving more, however. If a band on your wrist gets you off the couch, that’s a good thing, isn’t it, especially since sitting is the new smoking?
I’ve staunchly resisted the Fitbit movement, although you may disagree with my rationale. I have always been an active person–activity is my Prozac–so I didn’t feel I needed any external motivation to move more. In fact, I worried that, with a tracker, I’d push myself too hard on days that I’m not up to it. You know I’m a goal-oriented obsessive type.
I don’t need an electronic device to confirm that I need to be walked, more often, it turns out, than my aging dog. Until recently, I probably exceeded the target 10,000 steps per day during my morning outings with Jelly. I’m not boasting here; if I didn’t exhaust the little beast outdoors, she’d race around like a maniac all day indoors. Have you read Nancy Drew’s latest, The Case of the Missing Sock? I don’t have to read it to know it was Jelly.
When Jelly put a stop to our morning walks, I lost my built-in early-morning exercise, my pride in my accomplishment, and my spent dog. She’ll now let me take her to the park, some days walking farther than others, but she’s hit or miss on leash. Bassets are experts at digging in their heels.
When Jelly stopped walking, I did too, for a while. Then I relearned how to walk without a dog. (They say it’s like riding a bike.) I’m sure I used to do it, but I’ve had beasts for so long, I’d forgotten what it’s like to walk without someone to talk to. (I know, I know, she’s a dog, not a person.) This week, out of desperation, I walked back and forth to the gym twice. Unfortunately, the most direct route is through a very large parking lot. No wonder I don’t do this more often: the scenery is uninspired.
Although these fitness trackers have now been discredited by the research, I may have to invest in one after all. That’s me, always late to the party. If you’ve thrown your tracker aside in disgust after reading the same studies I did, or abandoned it long ago because you found its always wanting to sleep with you a little creepy, perhaps I could take yours off your hands. If I find I don’t need it, I’ll strap it to Jelly. Turns out she may need a little external motivation herself.