If there is one thing I love, it’s a competition. Admittedly, I often get overly competitive with certain challenges that don’t particularly matter, such as board games and potato sack races. Most likely this is the explanation as to why I haven’t received any game night invitations from my friends in the past few months. Regardless, I’m always up for a new challenge. Add in a fitness component, and it’s game on.
Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity when I was invited by Men’s Fitness & Shape Magazine to participate in their month long “Active Coast” blogger challenge.
The challenge consists of 10 bloggers from the East Coast vs. 10 bloggers from the West Coast, to see which team can take the most steps and cover the longest distance over the course of a month. (click HERE to see the other bloggers!) Each week we are given a new challenge to keep the competition interesting, as well as maximize our total steps and distance.
In order to keep track of our steps, each of us was given a Fitbit Charge, one of the newest fitness trackers in the Fitbit line. Perhaps it is my fitness professional background, or just a bi-product of being an endurance athlete, but I am a “gadget” addict. I love seeing analytics of my physical activity…or in some cases, lack of activity. It is no secret that with added blogging opportunities comes more time in my chair in front of the computer. Fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit Charge, are an excellent reminder of the fact that I’ve been sitting for the last hour straight and need to get up and move. In this case, the numbers don’t lie.
We’ve all heard the goal of achieving 10,000 steps a day touted across the fitness industry. But why 10,000 steps? Turns out it isn’t just an arbitrary number. Research shows that sedentary people typically average only 1,000-3,000 steps a day. But upping those steps to 10,000 (which equals about 5 miles) can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, prevent weight gain, and decrease BMI. How? Well, unless you have an incredibly active job, chances are high that you aren’t covering 5 miles during your typical day (case in point, I’ve been writing for the last 4 hours, and have only covered 547 measly steps). Thus, you have to add additional physical activity to achieve the 10K steps goal. And as we all know, 150 minutes a week of added moderate physical activity has countless proven health benefits.
The scary truth: According to a study by the American Cancer Society, men who spend more than 6 hours of their daily leisure time sitting have a mortality rate 20% higher than men who sit for half that time or less. Among women who sit for 6 hours or more a day, the mortality rate doubles.
Blogger Challenge #1:
Take your workout outdoors this week and go on a hike or trail run. Soak in the views as you inch closer to the 10K/day goal!
Trails? Well, if I must. (Incase you’re new here: I love trails.)
Despite a rough start (it was pouring…well, ice, on Monday) week 1 has gone well so far. Today I bundled up against the cold weather to put in a nice and easy 6.75 miles and easily rack up my 10,000 steps. Having the FitBit charge on my wrist, and knowing that the West Coast is trying to catch our current lead, is enough to remind me to sit less and MOVE more. It is exactly the motivation I need in this cold weather. (You can keep track of the competition at either shape.com/fitbit or mensfitness.com/fitbit)
ABOUT THE FITBIT CHARGE
The FitBit Charge is the newest advanced activity tracker from Fitbit. Features include:
•Tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed
•Records workouts with exercise mode
•Monitors sleep automatically
•Displays caller ID when your phone is nearby
•Wakes you with a silent vibrating alarm.
While a more in depth review will be coming in the future, for now I’m loving the ease of use of this fitness tracker. My favorite aspect, not mentioned above, is the battery life. I’ve charged it once in the past week, and it is still going strong!
Want a chance to win one of you own? One entrant will be chosen at random WEEKLY and will receive a Fitbit Charge. Enter at http://mensfitness.com/fitbit or http://shape.com/fitbit Check back in weekly (or daily, I’ll be here rambling about something, I’m sure) to see how my FitBit challenge is going. Oh, and….GO EAST COAST!!!
Reader question: Have you ever use a fitness tracking device? How do YOU make sure you reach your 10,000 steps a day?
This post is sponsored by the Shape/Men’s Fitness FitBit Charge Challenge. As always, all opinions stated are my own.