Filed under: titles far more dramatic than the post that follows. Although, technically, I think it’s true.
When I started college in September two years ago, I hadn’t exercised regularly since about the 4th grade. I could hardly run a mile, despite being thin enough that no one worried about my health. I was somewhat active and on my feet for a fair portion of most days as I spent most of high school working service industry jobs, but I made a point to change my habits when I moved to Boston.
I spent first semester haphazardly fumbling around the small gym in my dorm room, getting on the elliptical or stationary bike once or twice a day while I watched Netflix or did readings for class. By the end of the semester, my knees were hurting every time I got on a machine—that’s what happens to people who don’t know the basics of stretching or how to adjust a bike to avoid knee injury. I decided that winter break that I needed a new kind of routine.
I used a chunk of my Christmas money to buy a FitBit at Target over winter break. My mom and cousin had them and it looked like a fun way to get moving—tracking my movement was an incredibly compelling concept. Little did I know, the wristband would motivate me to move more through the winter and into the next months and years.
That semester back at school, I started taking group fitness classes at the gym—they taught me about stretching and proper exercise form and combining strength exercises with cardio, but it was the FitBit that actually changed the way I approached my lifestyle in regard to healthy living and exercise.
My FitBit has motivated me to get up and outside even in the brutal cold of winter, to take a walk while I talk to my boyfriend on the phone rather than lounging, and to push myself to double my steps in a day when I had some free time. I don’t have to feel guilty when I can’t get in a long run, hit a cycling class, or practice pushups: I can incorporate physical activity into my life so much more easily.
I’m a firm believer that a huge reason why Americans struggle with lack of exercise and obesity is because it all seems so daunting. Throughout high school, I was terrified of exercise because I didn’t feel like I was athletic—because I was cut from the 7th grade cross country team and because I would have been laughed at if I tried to play a ball sport. The bite-sized device on my left wrist with five little lights to let me know how close I am to my goal has taught me more about lifestyle change than anything I’ve read on the internet about exercise or heard as advice from others.
My advice (although, as I will probably repeat over and over again, I am no expert) to anyone of any size trying to change their lifestyle is to start small. I tried too much too quickly by hitting the gym with no experience, but changing the way I think about things has altered my experience significantly. I’ve slowly upped my goal from 10,000 steps a day to adding running to my routine to registering for a mini marathon in January.
This post is not sponsored in any way by FitBit, but I’m so in love I can’t promise this is the last you’ll hear of the thing 😉
Until next time!