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One of the more trendy type of Internet article is the ‘look back in time'. This has a list of things that happened during a particular year.  These bring back some memories, of course, and also make me feel old.  I'm convinced that in the future, when we look at present time, the Fitbit will be front and center.

Still, it's a popular trend now and I'm right on board!

Why 10,000 Steps?

Out of the box, the Fitbit is pre-programmed with a goal of 10,000 daily steps.   Though you can reprogram your Fitbit to track against any number, I have kept the 10,000 step goal in place.  I expect most have.

Hitting this isn't always easy, but it's definitely something I'm more aware of and try to do every day.  I've now met the goal every day for several months straight.  Keeping my streak alive is great motivation to stay active!

Running Days

I head to the gym about 10-12 times per month and run on the treadmill.  On these days, as long as I remember to wear my Fitbit, hitting 10,000 steps is easy!  I generally run between 3.5 – 4.5 miles.  This means I'll have between 5,000 – 7,000 steps in before I even get to work.  Hitting another 3,000 – 5,000 is generally not a problem.

Non-Running Days

On days that I don't run, I still want to hit my goal.  Even though my wife once pointed out that 10,000 is a good average goal, I want to hit it every single day.  So, it's a bit harder on days where I don't run.  But, I'm up for the task!  Getting there is definitely a bit more challenging, but I've tried to make fun of it.

Strategies To Get My 10,000 Steps

There are a few different strategies that I use to try to hit my goal:

  • Use our office ‘racetrack'.  Our office building was renovated a few years ago.  They basically put all of the offices, cubicles and conference rooms in the middle, and left the perimeter of the building open.  Thus, you mb-2015-10-trackcan walk around and do a ‘lap'.  Each lap is around 350 steps, so simply getting up and taking a lap nets some extra steps
  • Mixing in the aisle ways.  The layout of the building also has aisles that run up and down the building.  Sometimes, instead of walking the perimeter, I'll walk up and down each aisleway.  I think there are 10 of them, so this adds a few hundred bonus steps each time.
  • Going to the restroom on the other side of the building.   The nearest restroom is about 50 steps from my desk.  To get extra steps, I'll often make a point to visit one that's further away.
  • Taking indirect routes.   Our network printers are all located around the ‘racetrack'.  The nearest one is about 100 steps away if I take the direct route.  But, instead of going the shortest distance, I'll often go the other way.  It's a longer route, but instead of a 200 step round trip, it becomes a 500 step round trip.
  • Timing my runs with walking days.  I typically run twice during the week and once on the weekend.  I'll often plan my weekend day around another day where I know I'll be doing some extra walking.  For example, if we have a family trip planned to the museum or zoo, where we do a lot of walking, I'll run on the opposite day.   Or, in the summer, if I know I'm going to cut the grass,  I may plan my runs on opposite days.  This balances out my steps.

Results

During the current winter months, I tend to average around 85,000 steps per week.  During the summer months, I tend to average around 95,000 steps.  The extra moving around that warm weather brings certainly does help.

The Fitbit not only measures my steps, but it adds motivation to actually get out and get more.  Even though I can estimate how many steps I take, having it there to track pushes me to get those extra steps.

This makes it worth it.  So, even though in 10 years I'm sure it'll be seen as a novelty, it's one that I'm glad to participate in.

Readers, have you stepped onto the step tracking device bandwagon?  How do you add extra steps to your day?