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Confessions of a (Former) FitBit Failure

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Jamie Martin is determined to move more in 2014 — and she’s using her wearable fitness device to motivate her.

For my 31st birthday in October, I received a FitBit One from my husband — I was pumped and tore it out of the package as soon as I had a free moment. I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I was walking a day, how many flights of stairs I was taking, how many calories I was burning, and how many hours of good quality sleep I was getting. I knew I probably wasn’t hitting the gadget’s default target goals (10,000 steps, 10 floors, 8 hours of solid sleep, etc.), but I couldn’t be that far off.

Boy, was I in for a very rude awakening!

As you can see, my stats were less than stellar: Of all the days I remembered to wear my FitBit (that’s half the battle), I only hit 10,000 steps ONE day. And while I was averaging between 5,000 and 7,000 steps most days, there were too many that barely walked 3,000 steps! It was time to get honest with myself …

I’ll admit (yet again) that my workout routine has been less than stellar. I’ve hit snooze many-a-morning when I could have squeezed in even a half hour on the treadmill. I’ve skipped one too many lunch-hour workouts in favor of meetings or catching up on email. I’m just too exhausted from parenting two under three to do a yoga sequence before bed.

Despite all of this, I still wasn’t willing to admit that I’d become sedentary. But sedentary I was (and still am), according to my FitBit: Between my deskbound job as the digital director here at Experience Life, hours a day spent nursing a little one, a decent commute, and a lot of TV time, I’m spending way too much time on my butt.

So my intention for 2014 is basic: JUST MOVE, using my FitBit to inspire me.

I’m not alone. According to a December 2013 study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumer ownership of wearable fitness devices like pedometers, fitness video games, and portable blood-pressure monitors tripled from 2012 to 2013, from 3 percent to 9 percent. The top reasons for purchase and use:

  1. Motivation — CHECK
  2. Monitoring fitness goal progress — CHECK
  3. Monitoring fitness activity levels or intensity — CHECK

One week into the new year, I’m averaging about 6,000 steps per day. My goal is get 10,000 steps at least five days a week by March. It will require a major shift in my lifestyle, but if I can get my family in on the action, I think I can do it. And with my FitBit as a motivator, there’s no reason I shouldn’t reach my goal.

My FitBit weekly report for 12/30–1/5.
My FitBit weekly report for 12/30–1/5.

TELL US: Do you own a wearable fitness device? Which kind? Does it motivate you to move? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @ExperienceLife.

 

Jamie Martin is Experience Life's digital initiatives director.

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