Hello Loves! Today I’m going to share something I’ve recently gotten into. When I started this series I mentioned that I’m a member of sparkpeople. That is a wonderful and supportive community of people just like you or me. Some members are super healthy and marathon runners, others are like me, some just starting the journey. I’ve made many wonderful sparkfriends over the years and still log daily to keep a count on fitness minutes and weigh ins. Plus there is a ton of information from healthy recipes to motivation and fitness inspiration.
Over a week ago I took a plunge and bought a fitness tracker that I wear daily on my wrist and it also serves as a watch. This has been a HUGE motivator for me. There are tons of trackers available that can do so many things but I chose a simple Garmin Vivofit. Partly because my brother has one and I’ve been eyeing his for a month or so and watching how it keeps track for him, and partly because it was on clearance at Sheels! (Always shopping for a bargain!) I’ll get into a more detailed post about the vivofit some time but the main point is finding what works for you. I chose a vivofit because it operates on watch batteries so unlike just about every other fitness tracker, this one does not have to be recharged after a few days. The batteries are supposed to last about a year to a year and a half. I used to belong to a gym…at the end of the day this is still WAY cheaper and is a one time purchase. Plus after an hour of inactivity I get a red bar across it…every 15 minutes after that I get another red mark until I get up and move for a couple minutes. Great for someone in an office job like me…I sit a lot more than I think!
My other favorite part of the tracker is the ability to track sleep. It doesn’t record rem cycles but does use your motion to paint a picture of how often you move during the night. Its been enlightening. I’m using my results to figure out the best way for me to sleep, like when I drink to much caffeine close to bedtime I move a lot more, but when I restricted caffeine too much I also was tossing and turning. I know I’m addicted to caffeine but these little experiments are really helping me figure out my sleep habits. I’m also finding when its cooler in my apt I sleep A LOT better. I’ve always known I need it cool to sleep but this has shined a whole new light on the process. I’m finding sleeping with a couple light blankets and a cat nearby me, my ideal room temperature is around 63-64 degrees.
Lastly – the other huge push in my motivation in addition to the vivofit is My Fitness Pal. The two sync together and allow me to track meals and then when I enter exercise like yoga (one hour = 280ish calories) it gives me a credit on the number of calories I’ve used for the day. So Sunday I had a light breakfast of around 300 calories and then did an hour of yoga before lunch. After entering yoga – myfitnesspal said I’d only used 18 of my recommended calories for that day! Those little forms of motivation work wonders on me. Now granted – this isn’t totally accurate so with anything you have to take it with a grain of salt. However I love that I can make entries from my phone and found myself at applebees last week entering a couple meal choices to see which had better bang for its buck before I ordered. This is helping me think before I eat. Sparkpeople also has a food journal but the food tracking on my fitness pal fits me better and I like that it is able to sync with my vivofit unlike sparkpeople.
I’ve been keeping track daily for over a week now and plan on keeping the momentum up. I’m finding that this really helps me paint a picture of my daily activities and also reminds me…do I really want to waste those calories on crap food or reach for something better?
Bottom Line – as with anything, changing your lifestyle, dieting, exercising, etc – you have to find what works for YOU! I love yoga and did 5 sessions last week! I’ve also been adding little bursts of walking in to reach my daily steps goal that vivofit has given me. I’ve found that one good song is around 350 steps, and 15 minutes of walking burns around 85 calories. I’m all about instant gratification and gaining calories from my fitness pal or reaching my daily goal keeps me interested in improving myself.
Thanks for reading – how do you stay motivated?
Below is a picture of my tracker – I have the purple one but love that you can change out the band, since my brother bought a black one and each tracker comes with a large and small band, I change to a black band when I need to go to meetings or want to look more professional. It blends better than purple! (I offered him my large sized purple band…but he passed!) You can also buy other colored bands or ones with patterns and designs.