Staying in shape one step at a time

Three months ago, I signed up for a gym membership, with the hopeful optimism that I will exercise regularly and stay in shape.

Three days ago, I returned to the same gym, head hanging in shame with a heavy sigh of resignation, as I entered the gym to terminate my membership.

Quite a pity. For the first 6 weeks, I was actively hitting the gym. But after that, work got crazy, and the last thing I wanted to do at the end of a long tiring day was to go back to the gym. It didn’t make sense to renew the quarterly membership.


Right now, I’m toying with the idea of signing up for the staff gym in the university. The only problem – and the sole reason why I’m hesitating so much – is that the gym is so far away, getting there is itself an exercise! It’s about a 30 minutes walk up a hill and down just to get there. So if I were to go during my lunch time, it’d take me an entire hour of going up and down a hill twice!

It’s ironic, but the very thought of having to walk up and down a hill for 30 minutes just to gym is enough to put me off.

Ah well…

Anyway, I thought of getting one of those stationary cycling things to put under my desk so that I can cycle for hours while I work in front of my computer. It seemed like a fantastic idea until I saw the price of those things… $200+++!!! Gosh! I found one that was going for $70 recently (it was a sale), but the size of it wasn’t ideal – my knees would hit the desk were I to cycle with it.

For now, my only means of staying healthy involves using a fitness tracker and trying to walk 10000 steps a day.

My colleague got me started on this several months ago. He carries a pedometer with him and tries to walk 10000 steps each day.

Later, I got myself a FitBit. Well, a friend of mine didn’t want hers anymore, so I bought it from her. The FitBit was amazing! As someone with some level of OCD-ness, I was naturally very very motivated to achieve the daily step requirement of 10000 steps. However, I was forced to abandon the FitBit due to rashes. FitBit claims that it’s the nickel in the buckle that causes the rashes. But I’m pretty sure it’s the rubber strap itself that causes the rashes. Maybe it’s the chemicals they used to treat the strap during manufacturing or something. Well, maybe.

Anyway, so now I’m using this thing called the LifeTrak Zone.

As you can see, I only walked 1098 steps so far today.

It counts steps, monitors sleep, measures heart rate, and best of all, it tells you the time. Which makes a lot more sense when you have something on your wrist. I’m wearing it purely for utilitarian reasons. Aesthetically, it doesn’t look that great. I got it because it was cheap, and it’s more accurate than the other brands out there (though it’s less accurate than the FitBit, if you ask me).

Well, at least it works.

I have to say… 10000 steps is really not easy to achieve, especially when your work involves you sitting in front of a computer most of the time. 10000 steps is about 8 kilometres. On average, I tend to clock about 5000 to 6000 steps. But lately, I’m trying my best to walk around a lot more throughout the day as an alternative to gymming. One thing I must admit is this… After using this for some time, the natural motivation to accomplish the daily step requirement has kinda worn off. I wouldn’t be obsessively walking all over the house just to clock 10000 steps, like I did when I first got the FitBit – well, ok, I still do that if I’ve reached something like 9000 steps for the day (if you’re that close to 10000, why not just go for 10000 steps, right?).

If anything, this has helped me to maintain my weight and waist size. Gymming certainly helped me to lose about 3 inches off my waist in those 6 weeks where I was still very hopeful. I can still afford to lose a little more weight.

Sigh… While I find other better alternatives to gymming, I shall try my best to stay in shape one step at a time, or rather, 10000 steps a day.

Wish me luck!