I got my FitBit in May, for my birthday, which means I’ve had it for just about five months. I just got my “Italy Award”, which means I’ve walked the length of Italy since then: 736 miles. I’m averaging a little over 13,000 steps a day. FitBit records steps, although it’s set up as well to register cycling, elliptical, and other exercise modes that are not recorded in steps or by forward momentum. Because of the daily feedback on how many steps I’ve taken, I find myself gravitating toward exercise that involves steps — quite Pavlovian, I must admit. 🙂
The goal of anything that measures exercise or fitness, whether a device like FitBit or an app on your phone, is to remind you to keep moving. I find that it works. If I have 10-15 minutes in between commitments, I get out and walk instead of sitting somewhere reading the news on my phone. And, I’m reminded to get up every hour and take at least 250 steps. Newer research on exercise shows that even if you work out for an hour a day, if you sit for the rest of the day, your cardiovascular system suffers.
Cardiovascular fitness isn’t necessarily about living longer, as we know from runner Jim Fix who died at 52 and my late husband Jerry who was 59. But cardiovascular fitness is about living better, with more energy and balance and endurance as I age. Anything that helps me stick to my regimen, like my FitBit, is good.