After months of inactivity, I've finally gotten back to exercising daily. It was a long haul, especially since I had legitimate reasons for stopping initially (bronchitis...twice, followed by hurting my back). I needed something to motivate me and I got my hint when I suddenly started seeing Nike+ Fuelbands all over the place.
As a notorious early adopter of technology, I couldn't resist getting one. It's really easy to set up with your height, weight and age and then it tracks the number of "steps" you take (you wear it on your wrist, so the accelerometer really only knows when you've moved your arm), estimates the number of calories you've burned, and assigns "fuel" points by some mysterious system that's designed to give all their users equivalent scores for the amount they've moved around during the day.
I don't know how accurate any of the tracking is, but the important thing for me is to be able to compare one day to another and have an incentive to take my 5k walk every morning. It does show you a graph of your entire day and it's easy to see that the spikes are all at times when I was legitimately doing more exercise (morning walk, walk to lunch, evening dog walk, etc.).
My first day with it was last Saturday and I initially set a goal of 2,000 fuel points, which I more than doubled by the end of the day. I bumped my goal to 3,500 and I've managed to exceed it each day since.
Of course, there's no way I could make that goal without walking the 3.2+ miles each morning, so that's my big incentive to roll out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and hit the sidewalks. It's like playing a fitness game with myself.
The other beneficiary of this renewed program is Toby. The poor little guy had to have been getting so bored being inside almost all the time. He gets so excited about each morning's walk that he literally prances out the door with his tail wagging. For the last couple of days he hasn't even wanted to eat his breakfast before the walk because he's too eager to get going.
The first few walks wore him out and he would sprawl onto the couch and pass out almost immediately after we got home. Now they're amping him up, so that he's eager to spend the rest of the morning playing with Dr. Jones, his squeaky toys and me. Unfortunately, I'm busy getting ready for work at that time, but the cat and the squeaky toys will do.
I was pretty worn out by the first few walks myself, but now that I've made it to day six, I feel like I've hit my stride again (no pun intended). In fact, I may start altering my route a bit just to keep it interesting because seven days a week of the same route, even if I alternate directions, can get a little tiresome.
I'm also considering adding in some jogging and seeing if I can work my way up to at least 50/50 on walking and jogging. I have the Color Run coming up at the beginning of July, and anything that will keep me out in the heat for less time will be a good thing!