Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

New Toy!

I was given a toy for Christmas: it’s a Fitbit and it is so much fun.

My New Toy  Photo by Guillermo Murcia

My New Toy
Photo by Guillermo Murcia

Remember what a pedometer is? It’s a little box you clip on your waistband and it measures how many steps you take in a day. They have been in use since the mid 1980’s with the generally accepted goal of 10,000 steps a day for most adults. I have had a few different ones over the years, simple, effective, but the Fitbit is different. It’s a twenty-first century pedometer, and so much more. For one thing it’s has a sleek little shape and a soft case that clips to my pants pocket, or bra, or waistline as needed. It measures my steps, tells me how many calories I have burned (not just walking, but being alive, based on my age, weight and gender). How many miles I have walked. How many flights of stairs I have climbed with a 10 flight goal, but, as with the step goal, I can also adjust the number up or down and set my own goal for steps and stairs. And it has a cute name.

My Fitbit also says “HELLO LYNNE,” “SMOOCHES LYNNE,” “GO LYNNE,” and “YOU ROCK LYNNE”; it’s encouraging to have a friend cheering me on when I am trying to be active. While lugging the giant boot around I’m still averaging over 5000 steps a day. So not bad, but half the ideal goal of 10,000 steps and more than my goal for resting my foot.

I can track my activity entirely on the Fitbit on each day and for the past days on the home website, where there is also the option of creating or joining groups. Of course, there is an app for it also!  I record my water intake on the app, and can record my food and activity also. The Fitbit syncs to the phone and it’s just a whole lot of fun. Since I am rarely on my computer the phone app is really helpful and necessary. A great toy for an exercise geek!

The Exercise Geek Photo by Guillermo Murcia

The Exercise Geek
Photo by Guillermo Murcia

Oh, I mustn’t forget the best part. This is what all overtired moms would be interested in: the Fitbit records the amount of time you sleep, and the number of times you wake or are “active” in the night. I’m averaging 36 times a night! No wonder I’m still tired even after being in bed for 8 hours. On the website I can see more details about my sleep patterns, in case I forget at what time a kid woke me up for water, or because the other one needed to be close to her mom. I can also see how long it takes to settle back into sleep after those sweet little wake ups by my lovely children.

As this seems to be a review I guess I should point out a negative: for some reason on the days I ride in a car, or especially the city bus the Fitbit seems to think I have walked many flights of stairs even though I haven’t walked any. The car ride to Vermont equaled 6 flights of stairs and a city bus ride 15 blocks equaled 17! I haven’t explored the food log aspect or the weight loss versus maintain weight tools. I will try those after the winter break so look for the follow up.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Fitbit and received no compensation.

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I have a new accessory: a giant boot.

I'm supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

I’m supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

Nothing like a stress fracture to slow an active person down. Actually, I wasn’t letting the fracture slow me down, at least not enough, so it’s a good thing I’m lugging this boot around now. Its impossible to walk really fast in this boot. Slow I go, and now my bone will heal. Meanwhile the boot throws my hips out of alignment and “hello” to back pain. Add a lift to balance the hips. Immediate pain on the bottom of my non-injured foot. Try a lift with arch support. Removed that within five minutes, no sense in creating a new injury.

Solutions:

1) sit and not move for three to six weeks.

2) stretch as much as possible.

3) keep doing other exercises to balance my hips and stabilize my torso.

Solution number one, although ideal in many ways, is completely unrealistic. Solution two is something I can do for a few minutes morning and night, and occasionally in between. Solution three is essential even if the dishes haven’t been washed or the kids are not in bed yet.

Of course, 3 to six weeks of non impact cardio, that is a problem. Bike would be the best thing, but I have children and when can I get down to the gym? It’s so much easier to just do 50 jumping jacks then toss a load of laundry in the wash, do another 50, wash some dishes, do some push-ups, more jumping jacks, referee the kids, more jacks, and then find a few minutes at the end of the day to do a few more. Combined with walking kids to various places that makes for good activity, but 30 minutes straight, in a gym on a bike? Impossible, or at least highly unlikely! Hop on one foot? I’ll have to give that a try.

The good news:

1) The kids will get better at doing things for themselves.

2) I have a dance background and strengthening feet is something I can do! This fracture will not reoccur; my feet will become as strong as they used to be when I danced.

Ah, traveling! What a Pleasure!

Okay, not true, but what a difference it makes when there are no children traveling with me. Traveling with my children isn’t difficult, but it does require a constant focus, constant vigilance, constant monitoring of them and how they affect the people around them. It’s not a walk in the park. But without kids! Wow! I read most of a book before I even got on the airplane. But then I closed it and decided I wanted to walk, I was tired of sitting and again, not on the airplane yet where I would be stuck sitting for over 7 hours plus boarding and debarking. Not how I like to be: stationary. I took a little stroll past the shops, through security, saw my gate and kept on walking. I wasn’t hungry as I began this stroll, still wasn’t hungry at the end, but I was incomprehensibly craving chocolate!

Does the picture or the text make you crave something sweet or chocolaty?

Does the picture or the text make you crave something sweet or chocolaty?

So much food and especially candy to buy in an airport, a giant bag of M&M’s, Hershey’s, Godiva, giant muffins, and pastries, anything a tired girl could possibly want! Hard to find anything that qualified as nutritious, at least that isn’t what jumped out at me as I strolled. It was all those other things and they are conveniently located, not just once but twice, three times, in one wing of the terminal. Just in case you change your mind and decide you really do want that party sized pack of peanut M&M’S before you board your flight. The opportunity to purchase those or any other party sized pack of candy you want will present itself without your need to backtrack. You can eat them while you fly, after all you can’t go running while stuck on an airplane, might as well eat.

Once I arrived at my destination food continued to be of interest, not that the fast food is quite so abundant, or as obvious in a foreign country, but all the different foods to eat, different wines and beer to sample. Both very good wine and beer can be found easily in Prague. I couldn’t cook in my hotel room and well, it was vacation; I didn’t want to cook or wash dishes, or shop for groceries. Eating in restaurants, the temptation to try the new and have an appetizer too, and a desert. Yummy! Just one more bite, after all it is vacation and a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m walking all day exploring the sites.

(Tip: When traveling with a companion or when eating out anywhere, it’s a good idea to split the entrees, the appetizers, and the desert if you really want one. But remember restaurant food tends to be richer than what you would cook for yourself, so go easy and enjoy!)

On one of those walks (by myself, no kids, no husband, just me and my flashbacks to backpacking around Europe when I was 21) I found a walking path, described in the NY Times travel section, definitely something I wouldn’t have been reading when I was 21. The path in Prague, was a former railroad bed, now paved over into an ultra smooth bike and walking path. I finally found the path around 10:00 am, more or less as without my iPhone I had no idea what time it was as I haven’t worn a watch in over six years. The path was rather empty, passed two individuals, then I took a detour up 105 steps, straight up, rather good exercise. I do believe walking stairs is some of the best exercise possible and it can be done on any stairs. I took a look at the view and then walked back down the stairs to continue along the path, where a young mother went zooming past rollerblading pushing a stroller while her white golden retriever loped at her side. What fabulous exercise and so much more fun than running and pushing a stroller. My rollerblades were placed in storage very quickly after arriving in NYC, too many bumps, too much traffic, lets face it too scary and the wrist protectors and knee protectors were just plain ugly. Maybe with the increase in bike paths and in NYC there will be an increase in the activity?