Author Topic: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?  (Read 2725 times)

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Anyone else interested in figuring out a workable loose tracking system for daily activity?  After several years of pedometers and a stint with Fitbit (Fb died after 3 months, a known bug) I'm feeling ready to move tracking to a looser more "organic" approach.

There's no doubt that closely tracking (calories, money,steps) and gamefying the process can be incredibly illuminating and motivating but after a while, I'd like to think it could all become just the natural way we live our lives.  Ha ha - right?  That's why this is a challenge.

But just like the MM's don't track their budget really closely but rather have (mostly) integrated the choices that keep them on track, I'd like to see if I can do the same thing with staying reasonably active.

So here's my commitment for September, measured by time and activities.  I'm taking an incremental approach as I'm a big believer in Caroline Arnolds' Small Move , Big Change approach (book recommendation!).  In other words - not looking for comments or judgements on what I'm doing or whether I'm "doing enough".  :)

M-F I'm going to walk 60 minutes/day and take the stairs twice each day.
S-S I'm going to walk 30 minutes/day and do a 10 min fitness video each day.

Notes:  I have a 20 minute x 2 walk as part of my commute so finding another 20 minute opportunity at lunch or right after work should be possible.  I work on the 7th floor so the stairs add up (could be part of the extra 20 minutes!).  Weekends are weirdly sedentary for me so these will be a challenge as not part of my natural routine.  Also - per Arnold's book, I'm free to do more of any of this, I just don't have to. :)

I'll update my success next week and I'd love to hear from others trying the same thing.

Addendum - my husband and I don't track money regularly anymore because we're on track and have modified most of the things we want to at this point.   We do track from time to time to make sure we're not drifting and sliding in bad habits.  There's nothing like writing "candy - $2" on the daily sheet more than once to see that a bad 4pm habit has crept in!

« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 12:47:44 PM by Moustachienne »

wordnerd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1157
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 01:01:22 PM »
Good luck! This type of approach works well for me. Overly quantified approaches generally make me feel like exercise is a chore and I'm failing. Just building in exercise that makes me feel good works a lot better. Hope it works out for you!

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 04:13:18 PM »
I'd strongly recommend adding some resistance training into that, both for the muscle mass benefit and the bone density gain, if nothing else. My overall fitness raised a ton when I started lifting in addition to an active cardio lifestyle.

I don't track very strictly. I lift M-W-F, with occasional kettlebell sessions Tu-Th-Sat. I usually walk or bike places several times a week as well.

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 06:08:08 PM »
Yes, I'm in. I can track in a detailed way for six months, and then it de-motivates me. This way, it is more likely to just make a habit. Habits I am good at (whether they are good or bad).

I'll start with 30 min per day brisk walking plus 2 45-min aquafitness workouts per week for September.

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2015, 10:45:56 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement wordnerd!

I agree that resistance training is great, The goblinchief, but for September I'm committing to what I will do and not what I should do.  :)

Choppingwood, I'm with you re the motivation/demotivation of close tracking!  I'm kind of pumped re this looser approach but can tell already that my goals are a bit stretch, i.e. they push my usual routine enough to force me to work at meeting the markers. 

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2015, 02:02:24 PM »
I'm kind of pumped re this looser approach but can tell already that my goals are a bit stretch, i.e. they push my usual routine enough to force me to work at meeting the markers.

This month, I am focusing on making this regular again, so I haven't set hugely difficult goals. I've moved the walking to before supper  instead of after, since daylight hours are getting tighter. I'm much more encouraged if its daylight and a little warmer.

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 11:49:24 AM »
So one week in and mixed results:

M-F - did walk 40-45 minutes each day; took stairs at least once  most days
S-S - did walk 30 min yesterday and planning 30 today; no extra tapes

Sept 14-20 plan

M-F - increase length of morning walk; aim for 45 min/day; stairs once /day
S-S - 30 minutes walking outside; one HIIT tape

Heigh ho!

So here's my commitment for September, measured by time and activities.  I'm taking an incremental approach as I'm a big believer in Caroline Arnolds' Small Move , Big Change approach (book recommendation!).  In other words - not looking for comments or judgements on what I'm doing or whether I'm "doing enough".  :)

M-F I'm going to walk 60 minutes/day and take the stairs twice each day.
S-S I'm going to walk 30 minutes/day and do a 10 min fitness video each day.

Notes:  I have a 20 minute x 2 walk as part of my commute so finding another 20 minute opportunity at lunch or right after work should be possible.  I work on the 7th floor so the stairs add up (could be part of the extra 20 minutes!).  Weekends are weirdly sedentary for me so these will be a challenge as not part of my natural routine.  Also - per Arnold's book, I'm free to do more of any of this, I just don't have to. :)



Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2015, 03:24:10 PM »
I know not many are following along with this but posting is helping me keep on track.

Story so far:
* M-F 45 minute walk perday as part of commute; also 7 flights of stairs once a day
* Exceeded S-S walking goals with 45 min on Sat; 30 on Sun; didn't add HIIT routine

Most pleased about increasing weekend activity as don't have a regular weekend routine like commuting. maybe I should get a dog?  Just kidding!!

Week of Sept 21-28 goals
* Maintain M-F level as above
* Meet basic S-S goals of 30 min walking per day; add one HIIT routine

Yep - these are modest goals but I'm pleased with my progress, especially getting out more on weekends.

DollarBill

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 901
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Austin TX
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 10:20:36 AM »
I look at money and fitness about the same way.

For money: In the beginning I tracked everything but not the small pocket money purchases, just the $100 I would get from the ATM. After a while I would just take about 5 mins a month to update my spreadsheet (I still do it manually on my computer) and I still only have about 10-15 entries each month. I think it is necessary to do it in the beginning so you have a good routine and baseline. I'm retired now and have a lot of room to spend but I still enjoy tracking.

For fitness: I still use myfitnesspal to track food/exercise because I'm still trying to hit my goal weight (Lost about 50 lbs since January). I use the tracking to figure out a good baseline for losing weight and stuck with that. Once I reach my goal weight I will switch to a more maintain level and see how I do...hopefully after a while I can stop tracking and it becomes an normal way of life. But once again you need to find that baseline you need to maintain and work that into your schedule.

What if you made a point system. I aim for about 500-800 cals of exercise a day and Most of my workouts I do are broken into 10 mins each but for about 50-90 mins a day. I don't like to just do one thing for to long besides my morning walk for an hour (I always go first thing in the morning before I eat).
From using myfitnesspal I noticed:
Walking/cleaning/cutting grass/strength taining is about 50 cals per 10 mins or call it 1 point
Jogging/elliptical/rowing (anything that gets you sweating) is about 100 cals per 10 mins or call it 2 points
Fast Running/fast biking/climbing (anything vigorous) is about 150 cals per 10 mins or call it 3 points

So to reach a goal of 500 cals it would be about 10 points. I think it would be easy for me to maintain this level after I reach my goal weight and I wouldn't need to even think to much about what I ate.


   

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: September challenge - Beyond "tight" tracking or...fitness without Fitbit?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 08:35:48 AM »
Last update!

I haven't increased my activity as much as I wanted to when I first posted but I've moved the needle on something really important to me - weekend activity.  Previously I could often "hole up" on weekends and do very little - "recovering" from the work week. :)

My current pattern:
M-F - 40 -45 min of walking daily ; stairs once a day
S-S - 40 min of walking daily

My October goal is to add a HIIT workout or weight training once a week.
My meta goal is to get fitness to a good set and forget level by making it part of other enjoyable/worthwhile activities.

I'll be doing a charity walk for a family health condition, hanging out with cousins as we go.