One Step At A Time
If you haven’t figured it out by now, being a mom is exhausting. Between running to daycare, making baby food, laundry, grocery shopping, bathing, feeding, changing, playing and cuddling. Who really has any significant time to wash your hair, let alone time to exercise? I didn’t think I did. I start my day around 6am and end around 9pm, fall on the sofa and maybe catch 30 minutes of a TV show before passing out.
Then a group of friends from work started a Stepbet challenge. Stepbet is an app that facilitates placing bets (yes, with real money), ensures that everyone sticks to the rules and handles the payout in the end. Yes, they take a cut of the bet (which pained me to see), but at the end of the day, it made it easier for everyone involved. So, I decided to press pause on my thriftiness and give it a try.
Let The Challenge Begin
The way the app works is pretty cool. It looks at your step history from your activity tracker. I happened to have a Fitbit, but it also tracks your Apple Health, Apple watch, Garmin, Google Fit or Android S Health & S Gear steps. It then calculates an “Active” goal and a “Power” goal. Your Active goal is a bit of a stretch goal, but your Power goal is a significant amount more than your norm.
The end goal is just to get you walking more than you have been, on average. For me, I typically walked about 6,000 steps a day before the challenge. So my Active goal was 7,300 and my Power Goal was 9,200. You need 4 Active goal Days and 2 Power goal days a week. The last day is yours to do whatever you want with. If you miss your weekly goals even once, though, you’re out. And your money goes into the pool to be split by whoever is remaining in the end.
We kicked off our 8 week challenge in early June. And I was pumped.
The proof is in the pudding, so they say. So how was this app doing at really keeping me motivated? I would have to say, it’s working pretty well. Amazingly, I’ve hit all of my goals to date and am still alive and kicking. Some days, I’m getting my final 1,000 steps walking around the house for 20 minutes at 9 o’clock at night, but it still counts!
We’ve actually been supporting each other at work and walking during a break or lunch. Getting 20 minutes in here, 15 minutes there, really does add up. Plus, I’m parking further away, going to the restroom further down the hall instead of one close by and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
And here’s the best part – my average daily steps have gone from 6,000 to 8,500 – for those of you who are counting, that’s 17,500 steps a week! I’m 6 weeks in and I’ve lost 3 pounds – without even changing my diet. And, I’m getting some exercise! No it’s not Cross-fit or spinning or even hot yoga. But it’s something. And I’m going to celebrate the small victories.
I honestly don’t know what the next two weeks will bring, but I’m hoping 8 weeks is long enough to start a new habit and stick with it. Right now I’m staying positive and just taking it one step at a time.
Have another creative way you’re getting exercise in your daily schedule? Leave a comment and share your ideas with the group.