Now, let’s talk about fitness tracking devices. It’s no secret, I’m a little OCD about wearing my Fitbit. Nothing can can ruin my day like discovering my Fitbit battery is dead.
Being able to track my daily steps has been a nice void-filler since giving up running during my year on the exercise detox. But now I’ve started running a wee bit. A mile here, two miles there. I kept my Fitbit on, because if I’m going to walk around with my Fitbit while I brush my teeth so I can get 50 more steps, why would I take my tracker off for a run? I am a step hoarder.
Then my husband told me he doesn’t wear his Fitbit for workouts.
That made me stop walking for no reason and take pause. Yes, he had a point. Workouts are workouts. You know how far you’ve gone, so why do you need to track it?
This made a lot of sense and was equally annoying at the same time. (That happens often in our relationship.)
I remember what my exercise detox guru, Katy Bowman, said about the need to walk above and beyond our workouts (exercise dessert), because walking is necessary for our biology. “Movement is the vehicle for cellular feeding,” or something like that. Our cells, our lymph system, our joints, our organs need us to walk, even if we’ve already run 10 miles that day; maybe especially if we’ve run 10 miles that day, if only to say “hey!” to our hip flexors and glutes before the day is done.
In the past I was that endurance athlete who could go on a long training run then fight for the closest parking space at the grocery store. But now it’s sinking in: I needed to walk 10,000 steps in addition to whatever workout I do. The walking is the meal, the exercise is the dessert.
For back up I turned to the Hot (Sweaty) Mama Facebook Page (you’ve liked the page right?) and there is consensus: either people don’t wear their tracker when they workout OR they increase their daily step goal when they do. Nothing like having a bunch of women back up your husband.
OK, it’s coming off next time I run.
And then, as I read in a fantastic article this morning: "The United States of Metrics," you can fall into two schools of thought about data tracking: "You can optimize everything, or you can do what the ancients did and say, 'Good enough.'" This means that at the end of the day when your Fitbit says 14,976, do not go downstairs one more time, just go to bed.
The article ends with a quote from Albert Einsein, who might have cared about fitness tracking devices not at all: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."