Monday, August 05, 2013

Less than Sedentary!

Getting ready for work doesn't take an effort, or at least any steps.

I don't get a lot of exercise. I probably don't get enough exercise. But I am active throughout the day. Even though I have a desk job, I'm constantly running back and forth between my office and the volunteers' office, or searching the entire church trying to track down the Pastor. After work, I'll stop at one of the giant department stores just to walk around for an hour in the air conditioning. Several times a week I manage to sneak in a bike ride.

Since my goal is to become half the woman I am,  I've been faithfully using a program called Lose It to track my food and exercise. The program allows me to add in the bike rides and long walks in the store, but not all the "extra" running around that I do throughout the day. This is important, because the more exercise you do, the more calories you can eat. (Or you can choose to ignore the extra exercise calories available and go for the faster weight loss!) I really wanted credit for all that running around I do throughout the day. So I got a Fitbit to track it.

Fitbits are high-tech (I love high-tech gadgets!) pedometers that track how many steps you take in a day and how many miles you've gone. They also track how many flights of stairs you've climbed, calculate how many calories you've expended during the day, and can even tell you how long and how well you sleep at night. Plus they integrate easily into the Lose It program, so all the exercising logging is automatically done for you. I was very excited to have one so that I would finally have a true record of how much I was doing everyday.

I probably should take a moment and explain that Lose It bases all the calorie calculations on the assumption that the user is sedentary. Even a sedentary person needs a certain amount of calories for things such as breathing, eating, commuting to/from work, basic house cleaning, brushing their teeth, etc. As I mentioned earlier, you put any exercise in yourself and it recalculates to include the extra calories you can (theoretically) eat. When you link a Fitbit to your account, Lose It waits until you earn that assumed number of calories expended before it starts calculating extra calories. Which makes sense -- you don't get any extra exercise calories until you actually exercise extra.

Apparently, I am less than sedentary because I have yet to earn extra exercise calories!

I got my Fitbit on Friday, so Saturday was the first full day I wore it. I did my usual activities: knitting in the morning, then I drove up to mom's and we went shopping. At the end of the day I had taken 2532 steps, using up only 87% of the calories-to-just-live that Lose It assumed I would use.

Sunday I was determined to exercise in earnest. I spent a couple of hours walking around the mall. I did three full circuits at a fairly brisk pace, or so I thought. Although I had a much larger number of steps for the day, a total of 6192, I must have been very leisurely because I used up even fewer calories than running around with mom the day before.

And all that running back and forth I thought I did at work, turned out to be minimal. Today I took 1842 steps during the work day. I think I had better head back to the mall and pick up my pace a little bit if I want to be truly "sedentary."

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