10000 Steps Per Day: Yes, I’m One Of Those Crazy Fitbit Walkers

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.


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?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Buying Exercise Equipment Is A Terrible Idea

It’s a New Year, and we’re all ready to get in shape, right?  There are many ways to get moving toward that goal.  One thing I want to recommend that you don’t do is buying exercise equipment.  In short, I think it’s a terrible idea!

Don’t get me wrong.  Getting in shape is a great idea.  It’s a necessary idea if we want to live a long, healthy life to our fullest potential, but I have learned that buying equipment is just a bad idea, and I’m here to give you four reasons why.

It’s Too Expensive (Or Maybe Not Expensive Enough)

One thing I’ve learned is that the cost of buying exercise equipment is unjustified.  One might point out that you can purchase affordable equipment, and while that’s true, when it comes to exercise equipment, the old axiom of “You get what you pay for” is completely true.  If you go out and buy the ‘basic’ treadmill for $400, it’s probably not going to last.  On the other hand, you could go out and get a great treadmill, but it’s probably going to set you back at least $1,500 to get one that’s worthwhile and will be long lasting.  So, either way you look at it, the cost just doesn’t make much sense.mb-2015-01-treadmill

Maintenance: The Dirty Little Secret Nobody (Except Me) Tells You About

Most sexy exercise equipment has some moving parts.  Moving parts break or wear out or need regular work.  This costs money, but they never really tell you about this when you’re in the store or online about to fork over a few hundred bucks.  Only when it breaks the first time (or when you get to page 82 of the instruction manual for the few that actually read the things), might it dawn on you that your shiny piece of equipment is going to cost you a lot more than just the up front charge.  A fitness club can spread out their costs because one service call can address multiple pieces of equipment, but many owners of home equipment will be startled to find that keeping the equipment working can cost just as much or more as it did just to buy the thing.

It Will Get Boring

Most equipment will offer you one thing to do.  While it’s true that many equipment types will let you do different variations, the basic fact is that you’ll be using the same machine over and over again.  Unless you can afford to drop a few grand on a full gym setup, chances are you’ll be bored with your one piece of equipment before the tulips come up.

You Might Fail

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but not everybody keeps their New Years resolutions.  Shocker, right?  In many cases, breaking your resolutions doesn’t cost you much or anything at all. If you find yourself swearing as much as you were last year or still watching too much TV, that’s surely unfortunate, but at least you didn’t drop $1,000 that you’re not going to get back.

I Learned From My Mistakes

Readers, I didn’t write this post based in a vacuum.  I actually have owned three different pieces of equipment at various points.  First I purchased an elliptical machine.  This was great, but I ended up leaving behind when I moved a few years ago.  Why?  I had no interest in trying to take it apart.

I later bought a treadmill, which I used often until it broke down in such a way that it was not repairable.  Thankfully it was under warranty so I got a credit toward a new machine, which I used toward an exercise bike that still sits in my basement today.  There’s nothing really wrong with the bike, at least I assume not because I haven’t used it in over three years.  It simply bores me to tears.

After having gone through all of that, I realized that it’s time to get rid of the bike and to swear off buying equipment for good.  Hopefully my experience and this post keeps you from making the same mistakes.

Readers, what is your experience with owning exercise equipment? Am I the only one that has come to the harsh reality that it’s a complete waste or time, or have you actually found a way to make it work (in a long lasting way)?  Share below!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Starting A Run Is Harder Than The Finish

Have you ever run?  Did you ever notice that starting a run is harder than finishing.  At least it is for me.  Read on!

Getting Back In The Groove

Recently, I was talking to my wife about something I noticed while running.  I’ve recently ramped up my running after having taken a good portion of the summer off to rest my foot, which was having some soreness.  My wife is an outdoor runner where I prefer to run indoors on a treadmill.  So that someone is home with the kids, we rarely get the opportunity to run together, but we always compare stories and work to encourage each other.

mb-2015-10-trackMy wife and I both run in intervals, where you run for a while, then walk for a while.  I typically run for 3-4 minutes, then walk for 1 minute.  During my 1 minute of walking time, I typically do three things: Take a sip of water, measure my heart rate on the treadmill sensors, and wipe sweat off my face or neck.

I noticed that during my first, and sometimes even second walking interval, I would actually have a hard time taking sips of water, because I’d be very out of breath.  I found that as my run progressed, this actually became easier.

She said that the same thing happens to her.

And, I started thinking about why, and really, the answer is pretty simple:

The beginning has the greatest period of change.

When I thought this, it made sense.  After all, when you start a run, you’re going from a low heart rate to a high one, from moving around slowly to going quickly, from slow breathing to fast.

All that is a rather abrupt change, and your body is probably a little bit shocked.

But, after you get going, well, you’re going.  Your body gets used to it.  After running for awhile, your body automatically regulates your breathing.  This means that it should become easier to get those sips of water, which is exactly what happens!

This is pretty cool

Change In Real Life

It occurred to me that this type of situation doesn’t apply just to exercise, but really anything where there’s a big and sudden change.

Think about some of the other examples:

  • Starting a budget
  • Going ninja on your debt
  • Tackling a big cleanup project at home
  • A new diet

And I’m sure that there are many others!

Push Through When It’s Hardest

With all of the examples above, they’re all things that are big changes, and they’re also things that can easily be given up on.  And, let’s face it, they often are!

But they don’t have to be.

I think that many times, when we give up on things, especially right after we get all excited about starting them, is that we’re coming up against that big level of resistance that we feel right as we get started.  It’s easy to give up, and I think many do because they think that it’s always going to be that tough.

But, often it’s not!

Just as my body adjusts after I run awhile, what happens when you get used to the big change in your life is that you adapt. You integrate the change into your life.  You make adjustments.

And eventually, you realize that you can handle it!

If you realize that the initial push might push you back the hardest, you realize that once you get past it, you can keep on going and it won’t be so hard.

Readers, do you agree that often the hardest part of doing something comes at the beginning, when we’re having to try to adjust to the change?  What are some examples you’ve faced where this has come into play, and what is your advice to persist past that first (and often biggest) hurdle?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

10 Things I’ve Been Up To Lately

It’s mid-September already, and that just blows me away.  It doesn’t seem like but a few weeks ago that summer was just starting.  We had dreams of long days at the beach and warm nights.  Now we’re holding onto every last bit we can.  We’ve even had a couple of fall-like stretches here in Michigan.  Boo!  Here are some things I’ve been up to that are keeping me busy.

  1. Slowly re-entering my running routine – I’d been doing really good with running, but noticed some foot and heel pain in early summer.  I decided to shut my running down. Instead I did some other exercises (and admittedly mostly fell out of my routine altogether).  I’ve been doing some running again.  I’m going much shorter distances, slower paces, and with less frequency.  This will be a test ofwhether I can get back into it or should wait. At the time, I was really excited that I’d been increasing my pace at such a rapid rate, but I was probably overdoing it.  If I find my pain levels following the same paths, I will seek a doctor to try to get it straightened out.  Hopefully taking things slow will allow me to get back into doing this activity that I’ve really taken to.
  2. Continuing the basement cleanup project – In August, I started working on a full overhaul of our basement. I needed to restore order to remove clutter that’d gotten out of control.  This was not just a simple straightening up.  It’s my goal to basically touch everything down there and determine if it’s needed and if it’s in the right spot.  Things have slowed down over the past few weeks with some camping and such.  I’d say I’m about halfway done.  I’m hoping to finish up in October.
  3. Camping, lots of camping – We did a week long camping trip in late August, another weekend trip for Labor Day.  Additionally, we snuck in a quick one day trip for my wife and I to celebrate our anniversary.  We figured out that between all that, we’d been camping for four straight weekends.  No wonder the basement project took a backseat!  The weather was kind of a bust for our week long trip.  Still, we had great weather for our weekend trip.  I guess one out of two is pretty good!
  4. Troubleshooting problems – I wrote recently about how we had the fourth door handle break on our Buick, and how I said ‘no way’ to the dealership costs.  So far, we’ve made progress. I have the part and have taken it to a nearby body shop for painting.  I’m hoping to have that wrapped up this week.  Also, on one of our recent camping trips I figured out why our A/C was dripping into the camper.  Turns out that we had a sizeable puddle on the roof after a big rainstorm.  Instead of condensation flowing out, it was allowing water to seep in.  I quickly tipped the camper up and drained off the roof.  Everything went smooth after that.  Hooray for figuring things out on my own!
  5. Avoiding construction – My wife wanted some stuff printed out on good paper and in color.  She had it mb-2015-09-roadworksent to a nearby Staples.  The only problem is that construction on both streets at the intersection made it virtually impossible to get there quickly.  I hopped on my bike and had it back to the house in 20 minutes.  It probably would have taken that long by car.  Instead, I saved on gas, frustration, and got some exercise!
  6. Getting the kids back to school – Our son is in 1st Grade.  Our daughter is in her second year of pre-school.  Getting them ready and excited to go is always a whirlwind.  My wife takes care of most of the details here, which is great.  However, it does create a lot of excitement and a few extra trips out.
  7. I’m juggling multiple projects at work.  I’ve worked on some big projects at work.  This is cool because I often focus on one big thing at a time.  This is much easier to manage my time and work.  Right now, after the costs of a couple of such programs, the organization is taking a break from anything big, so I’m now wor king on multiple smaller projects.  At the moment, I’m juggling six open projects.  None of them are too crazy.  It’s definitely different than I’m used to.  My biggest challenge is not to leave any behind.
  8. Battling hornets – I found out, the hard way, that hornets had built a huge nest in one of the pine trees.  They bit me twice.  Ouch!  They won that battle, but lost the war later that night.  I haven’t seen any activity around the nest since I sprayed.  Still, I plan to knock it down just to make sure.
  9. Reading – I’ve been reading a lot of good books (My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh, Finders Keepers by Stephen King, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng).  I also got the inevitable stinker (The Deep by Nick Cutter).  I love to read, so the camping trips have for sure kept me bus.  This is a good thing!
  10. Blogging – I’ve been coasting a bit with my writing and interacting with other bloggers over the summer.  I haven’t really been all that satisfied with the content and with networking.   I’m really trying to pick up the slack.  I’m working on trying to provide more engaging information. This will include commenting on other blogs and trying to build up my blog and others through networking.  I’ve been doing this for so long that I know lulls are unavoidable.  I’ve also come to accept that I’m not ever going to be a mega-blogger.  I’m fine with that, but overall, I still love the blogging community.  I  am looking forward to re-engaging a bit more.

Readers, what have you been up to lately?  Anything good and exciting?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.