Many of us have heard the saying that “Sitting is the new smoking.” In other words, a sedentary lifestyle is just as likely to kill you as smoking. As our economy has shifted from largely farming, manufacturing and manual labor jobs to more service oriented occupations with longer commutes, Americans spend more time sitting than ever before.
As one of the millions of Americans who sit behind a desk all day, this was really brought home to me recently when my partner gifted me with a FitBit Charge 2. I set my daily goal at 10,000 steps. I was completely stunned at how little I was moving during the work day. Thanks to the FitBit, I receive a gentle vibrating reminder every hour between 9:00 and 5:00 to get up and get in 250 steps for the hour. Often I am startled that another hour has passed without having moved from my desk.
The best thing the FitBit has done is raise my awareness of just how sedentary my work day really is. Even though I work in New York City and have more opportunities to walk than many office workers in other cities (to and from subway stations, train platforms, etc.), it just isn’t enough to get in those daily steps without a real concentrated effort. Before the FitBit, I just assumed when I arrived home tired each evening, that all of my running around the office was enough to get me to the magic number of 10,000 steps.
If you have a sedentary job, I strongly encourage you to get some type of fitness tracker – especially one that will remind you to get up and move. I do my best to get up each hour and get the required number of steps. Just one small thing I can consistently do to improve my health. Tracking my steps has been invaluable to me and once again, I have my loving partner to thank.
On Monday of this week I started a food and fitness journal. Throughout the years, I have often logged my food and/or exercise, but have never logged the two together. My partner is a big proponent of fitness journals…and still has many of his from previous years. (Once again, he is my hero!) I jokingly say that I am “consistently inconsistent,” as I will try something and do it for a while and then slowly let it go. (Food journals often get axed after a bad day of mindless eating.)
As the saying goes, “If you change nothing, nothing changes.” So I have determined to keep plugging away at my food and fitness journal. As my friends and family can tell you, I have always been a list maker. Lists not only keep me on track for what I need to accomplish on a daily basis, but they also provide great personal satisfaction when I complete an item and check it off the list.
Fitness experts are also big fans of lists…as it relates to food and fitness. Fitness/food journals help hold you accountable for your workouts and nutrition, help motivate you to keep exercising and eating well and serve as a stepping stone toward your goals. How can you get where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been?
Another benefit I have found to keeping a fitness journal is variety. It helps me keep my workout routines from getting repetitive or stale. When I am working out at 5:00 a.m., my brain is not always fully functional, so having the ability to look over the week and see what I have done, the number of reps and the amount of weight used is extremely helpful.
I encourage you to get some accountability in your bag! I keep my little red fitness journal in my purse and take it with me wherever I go. But yes…I recognize this is also 2018, so you can also keep a digital journal on your phone or tablet or use a variety of apps to help track your progress. One of the most popular, and one I have used myself is MyFitnessPal, which is free in the app store.
Get some accountability in your bag! I would love to hear about your progress. Best of luck in your fitness journey.