Pedometer: Day 1

Did that title strike terror into your heart as you suddenly realized that my blogging life from now on will be nothing but step counts and reflections on step counts? Sorry for the alarm; this will likely be a one-time reflection unless I find some interesting research to validate it, in which case it’ll probably just be a two-time reflection.

In our neverending attempt to trick ourselves to exercise, we bought pedometers yesterday! I’ve read several times that you should try to take at least 10,000 steps every day, and since steps are probably the least intimidating form of exercise, we finally decided that this was a reasonable goal, AND it feels like you’re playing a video game. A very boring video game. Where you get points for not sitting down.

Final score: 11735
Time: 15 hours
— 30 minute morning walk
— regular work comings and goings
— extra trip to the parking garage for lunch
— trip to grocery store
— two.5 hours of cooking dinner and other food items

So, now I’ve answered some questions that I forgot to ask myself before the day started.
Question: Is your normal life active enough to automatically yield 10,000 steps a day?
Answer: No. That 30 minute morning walk earned 4,000 steps, and I haven’t spent more than 5 minutes cooking within the past month. Without those two uncharacteristic activities, I would only have made 4,000 steps. As further proof, my legs really hurt right now, so I’m clearly not used to 11,000 step days.

Question: Do you think you will walk more with a pedometer?
Answer: Yes. I bet I will walk 8,000 steps more. After all, I can’t win the game without walking.

Question: How do you win the game?
Answer: Like all real-life games, this one is most akin to Tetris or Donkey Kong. You never really win; you just get the current high score. 11735 is the current high score. Now I just need to make a high score board, perhaps like the following:

High Scores

SEM      11735

In conclusion, counting steps is fun because it gives you a quantifiable score that, like stickers, motivates some people. Unfortunately, like eating vegetables, it turns out that you have to be kind of intentional about moving so much; it doesn’t happen automatically. That being said, unless you would rather take a 2.5 hour walk around the neighborhood every day, you most likely can use your steps to do something, which improves productivity. Which will make you happy…after you take some Tylenol for your legs.

About Sarah

10 years ago, I was a computer science student. 5 years ago, I taught kindergarten. 2 years ago, I trained teachers. Now, I'm a technical writer. I have thoughts about most of these things, but most likely I'll just write about neuroses and why I love Mr. Gatti's pizza. Which might be a neurosis.
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4 Responses to Pedometer: Day 1

  1. Ryan says:

    I liked the scoreboard! You’re totally winning.

    But on the other hand, how do you spend 2.5 hours cooking? Did you make a turkey? Can I have some?

    • Sarah says:

      No, I didn’t even make a turkey! I made soup that took an hour and a half, and then we ate it, and then I cleaned a bunch of dishes and made my lunch for the next couple of days. I, too, was shocked when I saw that it was 9.

      I might move the scoreboard to its own page (akin to the FAQ). That way, I can keep it up-to-date! Maybe with different colors! I didn’t beat my score today, though I guess there are still some minutes left before bedtime…

  2. Laura M. says:

    For some reason it had never occurred to me until now that having a new last name means that you also have new initials! And you have the same initials as a scanning electron microscope, so that is awesome!!

    Also, while I was in Florida (without dental floss), I thought of a good reason for not flossing in the morning: If you floss at night, you’ll get rid of any food that might be stuck between your teeth. Then you go to sleep, so nothing else could get stuck between your teeth, so flossing in the morning wouldn’t do any good. However, there’s a woman at work who always flosses after lunch, and I can’t argue against that case. ;) Except that it’s weird to floss at work.

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