Throughout my life, I’ve ran, skied, walked, and cycled. In short, I love to exercise. Yet, there have been a few times in my life when I didn’t exercise regularly because of work related stress and time constraints. For instance, when I worked in the investment management industry, I was working and driving so much that I didn’t prioritize exercise. As a result, my body and mind suffered. Thanks to encouragement from good friends, I renewed my commitment to exercise by joining a swim team and training for a half-marathon.
As I renewed my fitness goals, I developed a habit of tracking the amount of time I spent running, swimming or cycling. I entered my totals in a spreadsheet for years. From an outside perspective, I’m sure this seems like a strange habit. But I’ve discovered that tracking my daily activities enables me to meet my fitness targets.
One of my fitness goals for 2013 is to walk more often. I cycle a lot, but I need variety in my exercise routine otherwise I get bored. During the first few weeks of January I wasn’t walking as often as I wanted. I knew that I needed external motivation to get out the door.
Last year, my brother in-law, Tyler, told me about his new gadget called a Fitbit. After a year of considering a Fitbit, I decided to purchase one and I’m glad I did. I tend to be data driven person, so being able to see how many steps I’m taking each day is eye opening. For instance, if I don’t take a walk in the early morning, I only take about 50 steps. Since I’ve started tracking my steps, I’ve been walking between 2-4 miles a day; with the goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day.
I’m getting more exercise and taking lots of photos too! Plus, walking is meditative and it’s one of the best ways to clear the fog out of my head. For example, this morning I wasn’t able to focus on writing. Instead of staring at my computer screen, I went for a walk and brought my journal along. On my walk, I stopped frequently to take photos and to jot down thoughts in my notebook. As a result, I knew what I needed to accomplish this week. By the time I got back to the tiny house, I felt less sluggish and ready to write. Tracking my daily activities helps me reach new fitness goals, be more productive and stave off grumpy moods.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you exercise everyday or set fitness goals? Why or why not?