Sunday, 23 August 2015

Fitbit is Life

Happy Sunday to you!  Happy Sunday to yoooo!  

I don't have any candles for you to blow out.  Maybe just blow on your fry up to cool it down if you are currently enjoying one?  If you're not, then I would like to know just what the chuff is wrong with you because Sunday is Fry Up day and your lack of greasy meats offends me.

Just kidding.  We're okay, buddy.

I'm in a good mood today, so I'm going to talk about one of my favourite things.  Data.  *Dorky snort*  As you are probably aware if you own a phone or a body (hopefully both if you are not a ghost), activity trackers are everywhere.  If you're interested, there are apps and electronic doohickies in overwhelming abundance that will happily track your every move, bite and snooze.  I'll admit that there is a creepy, Big Brother-esque undertone to the whole business, but personally I'm obsessed with having every little, insignificant thing I do tracked and fed back to me.

There are a bugger-ton of trackers on the market.  I've been into them ever since the  days of rudimentary pedometers the size of bricks that made you sound like you were dislocating your hip every time you take a step.  I even had one of the early health and fitness coach type Nintendo DS games that came with a slightly more subtle, but still pretty massive clicky-hip style step counter. 

I'm now a big, big fan of the Fitbit franchise and have been for a few years now*.  I've recently swapped my Fitbit Flex, which you wear on your wrist and sync with an app your phone for the even niftier Fitbit Charge HR.  Like the Flex, it tracks how well you sleep, steps taken, general activity levels in the day etc, but it also comes with a game changer for me - A heart rate tracker in the wristband itself.  No need to wear a stupid band around your ribs.  I suspect my Charge HR may believe that I'm dead today, as I fully intend to be as sloth-like as humanly possible.  I will move only for the Krispy Kreme I've been fantasizing about since I opened my eyes**.

I love having a fitness tracker for a bazillion reasons.  No time to name them all, so I'll just pop a few up:
  •  Being able to monitor how much/little I've done gives me a feeling of control over my own well being.
  • It makes my day-to-day life feel like a game I can win.  I enjoy victory.  Of course I'm going to pat myself on the back for every little thing I achieve.  You got out of a chair today, Becky?  Well done, champ!  Have a biscuit!
  • I am secretly a huge narcissist, and being able to see my actions broken down into pretty graphs and charts is a whole new, geeky level of vanity. And I LOVE IT!
 I've learned a lot about myself as a Fitbit user, so I'm going to share some that knowledge with you.  Right after I've run up and down the stairs three times to raise my heart rate.

....NOW WE'RE PUMPED!  Woo!  Let's get crackalacking!

Things my Fitbit has taught me

1.  I am a terrible sleeper

I already sort of knew this.  I often wake up feeling like I've been at an all-night rave, and I have punched and elbowed A in the face on more occasions than I care to admit while I'm off partying in the land of nod.  How he doesn't look like he's gone ten rounds with Rhonda Rousey (yes.  I am comparing my sleeping self to Rhonda Rousey.  Unconscious me ain't no do nothing bitch) every morning when he goes to work is beyond me.  Am grateful that he doesn't bruise easily, and that he doesn't ever feel the need to accidentally-on-purpose return the favour while he's "sleeping."

My Fitbit tracks how well I sleep by keeping an eye on how many times I move or get up in the night.  The graphs are easily deciphered.  Dark blue equals sleep/stillness.  Light blue equals movement/disturbed sleep.  Pink equals awake.  I'm just going to leave this image here...

  By day I fall over my own feet.  By night, I'm a freaking gymnast.

2.  I love tracking my heart rate.

I enjoy tracking my heart rate for two main reasons.  It gives me that extra nudge to get my ticker thumping at least once a day, lest it get complacent and stop altogether.  It's also quite amusing watching the kind of stuff that sets it off outside of physical activity.  My job is a sedentary, phone based one.  More often than not, the people I speak with are nice, normal folk who are grateful for my wise, wise wisdoms.  Very occasionally, as is the case with any telephone job, you get the odd person who seemingly enjoys trawling the phone book until they find a suitable conduit for their screaming.  Each to their own.  

I like to think I'm pretty unflappable in my work.  I had one of these calls recently and decided to poke at my Fitbit and have a nose at how my innards were getting on.  It was startling.  My voice was saying "Please thankyou, yes, no, I understand", while my heart was shouting


My heart is such a drama queen.

3.  I walk a LOT, even when I'm sat down.

Because I am a magician.  Actually, it's probably more to do with how much I move my hands.  Fitbits are pretty good it determining what's an actual step and what isn't, but when you talk with your hands (gesticulating.  Not with sock puppets) and fidget like someone's going to remove your fingers with pliers at any given moment, it's going to track a little extra movement.  Or in my case, a lot of extra movement.   

4.  I expect to be rewarded for everything.

Activity trackers allow you to set goals for everything from number of steps taken to number of hours slept.  It gives you a feeling of purpose. It also makes you become so accustomed to getting "well done!" messages for things like simply lying in bed for a given period of time that I now fully expect commendation for everything. 

I put socks on this morning.  Where's my damn medal??  

5.  Having stats for everything I do makes me feel like a cyborg.  

Pretty cool, no?  I don't have to wear a tin foil on my arms and a colander on my head to feel part woman, part robot.  Wearing a snazzy little plastic band with a chip in it is all I need.  Also, a tracker won't land me time in a padded cell.  Winner!
 I heart you, Fitbit (at exactly 81 beats per minute at this exact moment.  Subject to change). <3

* Not sponsored. Just obsessed.
** Still not sponsored. Just hungry. 

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