A week ago I traded in my old Motorola Droid Razr and picked up (at Costco believe it or not which has great prices on non-iPhones) a Samsung Galaxy S4. For a number of reasons it feels as if I have moved from the dial up age to the age of broadband – again.
In exploring some of the features of the phone I found the pre-loaded S Health app and decided to give it a try. I do not have a FitBit although I was familiar them and that they were compatible with a host of smartphones. I just could not see myself having to wear a watch 24/7 to monitor my diurnal and nocturnal habits. The S Health app did have a Steps feature (how many steps you walk in a day) as well as a fitness and calorie intake monitor. So I thought I’d give it a try. But it’s the 10,000 steps thing that is making me crazy.
Wayne Curtis wrote for The Smarter Set ‘Ten thousand is also how many steps a day you’re told to take if you want to maintain good health. It’s been prescribed like a multivitamin, or those eight, eight-ounce glasses of water we were once instructed to consume every day to stay hydrated and rosy.’ Even the American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps every day, which ends up being just over five miles for most people.
Here’s the thing about walking 10,000 steps a day. It’s amazingly difficult to accomplish. In the seven days I’ve been measuring my steps, only once did I come within 1,400 steps of 10,000. Though I did give it the old obsessive try. In Thursday the 13th’s twenty degree New York City weather I hiked from midtown to Soho (2 miles) to meet a friend for dinner. I thought that would seal the deal but it was not to be. It became evident to me that the only way I walk 10,000 steps in one day is when I haul my golf clubs on my back and walk 18 holes – something I enjoy doing anyway. I’m sure there’s a hike somewhere in my future without golf clubs but at most hikes will be few and far between.
The 10,000 steps do not include your personal exercise time in terms of measuring fitness and caloric intake. Those numbers are entered separately if you do not actively measure them by strapping your phone to your arm. On the days that I actually got in a workout I easily exceeded my recommended calorie burn. But 10,000 steps alone probably would not be enough to reach that level.
The result however is not without rewards. I am much more aware of how sedentary I am. Let’s just say that commuting during the work week and going regularly to the gym are a challenging pairing and not nearly as fun as wine and cheese after work.
Yet being aware that I am not burning as many calories as I would have expected and being aware of my actual caloric intake (if you write down everything you eat in one week you will be less surprised as to why you are not losing any weight), has me thinking about being more careful of my food choices and more aware of getting up out of my chair and to spend less time staring at a monitor.
10,000 steps a day may not be the answer but it might help kick start your attention to your own health. Have you tried walking 10,000 steps a day?