My sister and dad bought me a FitBit for Christmas, and though I can’t say I understood the popular accessory before I got one, let me tell you. I am hooked!
A trend in recent years, activity trackers can be worn on your wrist or even found as an app on your phone to log various measurements: the number of steps/miles you have walked, heart rate, calories burned, and quality of sleep. I wear my FitBit on my wrist and sync it up with the app on my phone periodically to keep tabs on my overall health. I love how it recognizes my daily exercise and separates out the number of steps I took during my workout and throughout the day, but my favorite part about it is how it is basically its own form of social media. My sister, boyfriend, and even friends from college who live across the country compete with me in different challenges, like seeing who can rack up the most steps during the workweek or over the weekend. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with others while also encouraging each other to be more active in our daily lives.
From November to March, I was training for my second marathon, running an average of 60 miles a week. Some of my friends complained that trying to compete with my ridiculous number of steps was discouraging, but the crazy thing is that nearly all of my steps came from my running! On my rest days when I didn’t run, I was lucky if I even walked 4,000 steps (for some perspective, the default goal for people is 10,000 steps, and a quick Google search told me the average person walks 3,000-4,000 steps per day). I realized that most of my day as a second year med student is spent sitting (listening intently, of course!) in lecture and sitting in the library studying. In reality, aside from my daily workout, I live quite the sedentary life!
I know some students take Netflix or YouTube study breaks, but with the recent realization of the amount of time I spend sitting in one place, I am now more likely to go for a walk outside (some vitamin D doesn’t hurt, either!) or at least down the hallway. As med students in our didactic years, a lot of our day is spent being inactive, but by taking those easy opportunities to move our bodies when we can, we can work towards wellness, just as we encourage our patients towards!