WWW – FitBit & Foam Roller thoughts

I’m preparing to start the 21 Day Fix on Sunday which will hopefully take my health & fitness goals to an entirely new level, but in the meantime I figured I’d post a bit about my running goals and Fitbit thoughts!

Ange is a blogger whom I met on vacation last fall at a mutual blogger friend’s wedding in St. Louis (yay for blog friends!). She is a big runner, and I’ve always WANTED to be a runner, but every time I get into it I end up giving up because of knee pain, so I was really interested to read this article she linked to about foam rollers. I bought one right before I got pregnant with Stella…and surprise surprise, I haven’t really used it in the past 4 years because it hurts dammit. So, yes, it’s supposed to hurt, but I was afraid I was doing something wrong, so this article was a great read for me to renew my commitment to ROLL ROLL ROLL and try to get back into running as the weather warms up.

She also posted about wearable fitness trackers (I have a love/hate relationship with my Fitbit), and I found the quote below from FitKnit Chick to be especially true:

Is it useful to categorize a person’s activity level by simply the number of steps they take in a day? According to the activity categories of the ’10 000 steps a day’ campaign, many very physically fit people would be categorized as ‘sedentary’ or only ‘moderately active’ only because they choose to spend their daily exercise time doing something other than walking. Take me, for example. After an hour of heavy strength training, I’ll typically have racked up only 1000 or so steps. If I had spent the same 60 minutes walking the treadmill (without building muscle or improving bone density), my count would have been pushing my daily 10 000 steps goal. Given the push to share one’s activity tracker data via social media, there’s the potential for feelings of shame or inadequacy. Or even worse, the feeling like one needs to do more to avoid appearing slothful.

I’m torn about my FitBit.

Reasons I love it:

  • It pushes me to move more. (duh)
  • When I’m between 1,000s, I usually move a little extra to hit the next thousand before bed, so if I’m at 5,600, I’ll walk until 6,000 before laying down in bed. Every little bit helps, right?
  • I love the competition. I often partake in work week or weekend competitions with other people who have FitBits, and it’s inspiring to move more when I see I’m close to overtaking someone else. I also love the new “goal day” competition feature they have which allows you to compete based on percentages of your goal, so if you’re a 5k goal person vs. a 10k goal person, you’re not automatically being blown out of the water but you’re still inspired to hit your goal (I do this challenge a lot with my Mom and sister!)

Reasons I’m not in love with it:

  • See the quote above.
  • To expound on that, I know i need to do cardio AND toning exercises at this point in my health and fitness journey, but it’s so tempting to only do cardio (elliptical) vs. a toning DVD (Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred) because I’ll get so many more steps on my FitBit.
  • It also discourages me from doing other awesome workouts that don’t show a lot of “steps” per se – yoga, swimming, etc.

Overall I’m still happy to have it, and I think it encourages me to be a more active person (I park farther away from stores, walk to the post office on my lunch break, etc)… but I’m excited to take this 21 Day Challenge to NOT be focused on my steps and to instead really dial in on my diet and on doing QUALITY exercise.

Wish me luck!

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11 comments

  1. You’re so sweet to link to me 🙂
    I have a major love/hate relationship with rolling. Now that I’m in physio, I’m trying to do it nightly (10 time back and forth…slowly, over each muscle group) to keep healthy.
    I haven’t actually charged my FitBit since November – oops?
    Related to knee pain – it could be due to a number of different things depending on the type and location of the pain. I’ll bee cheering you on your running journey!!

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    1. I actually had an MRI done years ago on it for this issue – no evidence of underlying issue, but the doc and my chiro think its from my hips being out of alignment for so long that the muscle from my hip to knee is pulling and giving me issues with knee pain now.

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      1. That sounds probable. The IT runs from hip to knee and when that gets tight the outside of your knee will hurt. Solutions: rolling and/or physio. Both her like a mother but work 🙂

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing that quote! It’s been so interesting to see the diverse responses to that post. Some people get very OCD when they track, other people need it to stay motivated!

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  3. I keep going back and forth on if I want JJ and I to start the 21 Day Fix or not. I’m just afraid we won’t follow through, but it sounds as good as any program to start. Are you going to do the Shakeology shakes too? I will be interested to hear what you think about it!

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  4. Ha, I JUST thought about maybe starting running again. I LOVE to run. I do not love to run while breast feeding. WORST FEELING EVER!!!! Black eye central. I know that running will help me burn some serious fat.

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  5. mcmissis · · Reply

    This just showed up in my bloglovin feed in the past few hours that I haven’t checked it. Idk why, just an FYI.

    Anyway, I hope you blog the hell out of your 21 day thing bc I am so interested to hear about it but don’t want to ask one of the people I know on fb who do it and feel like I’m going to get sucked in/feel terrible about not actually doing it. So thank you for doing it and telling us about it!

    As for the FitBit, you know I’m not an exerciser at all, but I get 10,000 almost every day. It definitely motivates me on days where we’re not doing much. But it makes me like bizarrely angry when I do a long (for me) walks with the stroller and it gives me fewer steps than if I was wearing Poppy or walking on my own. Especially when I was pushing GRACIE and Lyla in the double stroller and wearing Poppy last summer. That was hard work and my steps would be like nothing. So yeah, it’s totally true that it doesn’t really measure what people would like.

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  6. After this review, I’m thinking a Fitbit would be too much for my OCD personality. It’s probably better that I’m left in the dark about steps etc, as I obsess on mfp, the scale and anything else I can quantify.

    Good luck on your new plan! Awesome to get some help with this stuff and a new perspective on your workouts! Yay for making bloggy connections! Love the support there. I have to roll my it bands when I was running so much after Ever, I just listened to a Killian michaels archive and she was talking about it hurting too! 🙂

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  7. BJB is in a close personal relationship with his foam roller. Particularly on his hamstring on the leg where he has had his ACL replaced – twice. He gives it all the thumbs up.

    As for FitBit, I have never used it as an activity monitor. Steps are just that – steps. The FitBit is a fancy pedometer, in my opinion. I like it because like you said, it reminds me that I need to move more when I need the reminder. I stopped worrying about what “place” I was in last summer because it doesn’t matter. I do like the challenges though. When we do a daily challenge, it really DOES motivate me to move more – I make it a point. I have worn it 24/7 for 2 years though and don’t plan to stop. But I do not view it as an activity monitor because it simply isn’t. (That said, I also do not count calories eaten or calories burned for personal reasons that I am not ready to put out there yet). I *know* I need to do strength/toning exercises and the FB in no way encourages me to do that. Checking in via text does, but those sources eventually slide too.

    Blerg. Thoughts and feelings, man.

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    1. I guess I should clarify something – I do use it to *track* activity because the calendar lets me see at a glance how active I have been in a given week/month. But since I don’t *monitor* calories, I do not worry about the accuracy of those measurements.

      Clearly I have a lot of thoughts swirling on fitness vs wellness and where those things intersect for me. Why am I crying? Sigh.

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      1. Yeah, I really need to start using the foam roller. UGH.

        Fitbit… I totally used it as an activity monitor, which is part of my problem for sure. Working on that 🙂 I do find it helpful overall to realize how much/little I’ve been moving and to encourage me to get off my butt, but I’m trying to separate from getting so fixated on the numbers.

        I know people tend to love or hate calorie counting. I don’t want to calorie count forever, but it really does help me remember portions and recognize how many calories are in that ENTIRE BAG OF PUFFY CHEETOS for example. 😉 I have zero desire to count calories every day of my life though – I just find it helpful to check in from time to time with my perception vs. reality of what I’m eating.

        Tracy and I are starting the 21 Day Fix together on Sunday – the 3 of us should start a group chat to encourage each other to kick butt for the next 3 weeks with our food and exercise! There will probably be some tears of “hurts so good,” right?

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