As we all happily kick 2016 to the ground and move onto better things, any of us are being more in touch with ourselves on many different levels. I’m working hard on my mental health to manage the ongoing bouts of anxiety, which are often helped by regular exercise, stretching and movement. I’m not yet ready to train for big races or tackle giant weight loss goals, but I am interested in dabbling with fitness and wellness tracking.
Someday I’d love to try out tracking devices with more complex readings. My husband, for instance, is obsessed with his new TomTom Adventurer watch and will be using it to monitor his recent running efforts. Stay tuned for his in-depth review! However, to begin I need something a little easier I can wrap my head around. Here’s a few ways that you can quickly and simply watch your progress without going overboard.
Know When You Move
My life as a pro blogger mostly started with Pure Wander, which originally was a great blog geared toward family travelers. It’s now evolved into an inclusive place to share tips from all types of group travel lovers, but I still enjoy learning about all the great things out there geared towards kiddos to keep them on the road and healthy.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be at the launch of the world’s first activity tracker for kids. The ReimaGo activity sensor is made in partnership with Suunto, known for their high-end fitness watches and technology. A small, round sensor is snapped inside a pocket on children’s ski jackets, fleeces and more to see how much movement they get in during the day. Parents can monitor this on a smartphone app, which shows intensity, time and if the daily goal has been reached. Kiddos can also use their movement juice to earn prizes and move their avatar along a track in the app.
So, because I don’t have kids of my own, I thought this could be a fantastic way for me to track a week of movement to see where I was at and where I could improve. I used the sensor inside the fleece jacket when outside and tucked the disc in my yoga leggings pocket for classes. I noticed a few things:
- I did manage to hit a goal of at least 75 minutes of movement a day
- My movement was very inconsistent, depending on my work schedule
- My intensity of movement needed work, although I was walking a lot during the day. I rarely reached the top bar for intensity.
- Having the sensor on in the car tracked me at a little movement, so have to remember to factor in jiggling as it doesn’t count!
In a given day I was moving around a lot more than I thought I would, but there’s always room for improvement. I think the ReimaGo is a great way to get kids to start being mindful about their own exercise while having a blast keeping track of their progress. I certainly had fun doing it as a grown up!
Stick to a Routine
It sounds so simple, but might be the hardest step in your lifestyle changes. I knew personally I had to do something active, EVERY SINGLE DAY, to actually stick to a routine. I found taking a day off will let me slip into a rut and skip days. About three times a week I do something challenging, such as a cardio class or power yoga. The other days, I make sure I’ve either hit 10,000 steps, done some gentle hatha yoga at home or found another way to simply get my heart going, even for a few minutes. Working from home does make it difficult to maintain this sometimes, as does being on the road. But the wealth of exercises online and simple stretches you can learn from a gym, then take to your mat at home, can help keep it all together when the rest of your day changes.
Whiteboard Your Weekly Goals
I’m trying to hold onto this idea, because I’m always more productive when I do! Having my goals in front of my face every day hold me accountable. I like to check off the classes in yoga I’ve done to make sure I’m at the studio at least 4-5 times a week. I also put my work goals and deadlines next to these check marks so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off. If a whiteboard isn’t appealing, consider something like the Passion Planner to have on hand. A Google calendar does do wonders, but there’s nothing like actually taking pen to paper to stay organized!
Buddy-Up With a Fitness Friend
Guess how many times I’ve talked myself out of not going to the gym, walking instead of taking the bus or signing up for the extra yoga class? A LOT. Guess how many times I’ve talked myself out of these things when a friend is asking me to join them? Much less.
Having my London neighbor Corey keeping me on my toes had broadened my horizons when it comes to fitness. There are plenty of veterans out there happy to join up with you for classes. When I travel with others, I also announce right away that I will be trying to maintain a routine best I can and anyone’s welcome to join me. This worked great in Germany with my friends Jeanne and Ali, as we hiked down mountains and walked extra miles in Munich to make sure we had a little exercise between slices of Black Forest cake. Otherwise, I might have spent the whole trip on my butt!
And don’t forget – start all this TODAY. Like, right now. Not next week or on a weekend or in the new year. Today. The sooner your habit builds the easier it gets to maintain it! You’ll be head of the game from all the resolution gym-goers and have a great jump-start.
What’s your fitness routine look like? How do you keep track of your goals and progress?