Wednesday, October 3, 2012

If a woman exercises, and doesn't log it...does it count?

Seeing that data add up
is a great motivator to
Yesterday as I went out to run, I strapped my Garmin to my wrist and reset the timer. Uh oh. Low battery. Dang it! 

I log my workouts in about fifteen kazillion places. In my Garmin, for one. Then on Daily Mile (look to the left. See? There it is!). And in MyFitnessPal. And in my brain. And of course, on my calendar. Its a little overkill. But hey, tracking data is a proven key for sustainable wellness! So this is all a good thing. Not neurotic at all. Completely, totally normal. Right? :)

But in the spirit of Simple September, which has spilled over into October but hasn't gotten a name yet because I can't think of a synonym for simple that begins with O, I decided to not fret too much about not having a time and distance statistic for my morning run. And then, when I went for a baby-in-a-backpack hike, I left it at home again. And also when I walked the three mile roundtrip to school later in the day. Yep. I went rogue!

Sometimes it seems like if I don't have data at the end of a workout - calories burned, miles ran, minutes exercised - it won't count, like I didn't really do it. Ridiculous, but I really do feel short-changed on those days when I can't log another entry in a digital notebook. I know you know what I mean. I want credit for that workout!

Logging workouts has definite benefits: the instant feeling of success makes us proud, the accountability of online communities helps us stay motivated, and tracking increases in intensity, duration, and capacity helps us avoid plateaus. I encourage families to learn the value of tracking their health data to become more aware of their habits and strive to create healthier ones.

But, there is also something to be said for stripping away all of the technology, structure, and paperwork of healthy living and just exercising for the sheer pleasure of it.I've been so-so on my tracking this week, and it has felt great. I'm still as active as before, but I'm not worrying about the numbers as much as the frequency and the quality of my workouts. It feels really really nice.

  Get out there and get healthy today, even if you don't tell a soul.


1 comment:

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