I was looking back over my Fitbit stats to see when I worked out last. There were 8 days around the covid vaccine when I didn't do anything but walk the dog. Those are not power walks or anything. It's mostly Cooper sniffing along reading his "pee mail" and me gawking at nature and visiting with various neighbors.
I did a strength workout yesterday. I assumed my pull-up mojo would be compromised from the extended rest but found myself freakishly strong instead. I got curious about my workout frequency. By workout, I'm talking strength or metabolic conditioning. I don't have any set schedule. I do what I want when I feel like it. Going back through the weeks, the days I don't do a formal workout far outnumber the days I do. Other than walking, I never do steady state cardio. I don't own a cardio machine and don't run. I do some body weight intervals, jump some rope, swing some kettlebells, but that's as part of a short metabolic workout. When I look at the days between those strength or metabolic workouts, it's like 2 days, 6, 3, 4, 2, 5. There is no rhyme or reason other than most days I'm not doing it. LOL Most days I rest, then I blast, but I only blast for 15-20 minutes usually, sometimes far less than that. 5 minutes of kettlebell swings, or 7 minutes of body weight intervals. Then it's back to living life. Not convenient to workout today? Don't feel like it? That's fine. There's always tomorrow. Every time I workout it's because I want to and I'm excited about it. It's the exact opposite of the hardcore gym schedule or training programs I used to keep. I would miss someone's funeral if it was going to interfere with my workout. I would drive through blizzards to get to the gym. I'm so not that person anymore.
It occurred to me that this freedom is what happens when you uncouple food from exercise. Part of the reason I was so hellbent on sticking to my workouts is that I felt like I was earning my food. There was never enough food. No way I wanted to eat less, therefore I couldn't workout less, or so went my screwy logic. Food doesn't even enter into it now. When I didn't workout for 8 days, I ate the same way I always eat - what I want, when I'm hungry. I always have an eye toward feeling my best and overall good nutrition, but that still includes Cadbury Creme Eggs. It's that time of year, but there is no, "Oh, you didn't workout today. No chocolate for you.” Diet culture does that to us, fitness magazines, social media, all the little charts showing how long you have to run on a treadmill to burn off a Marshmallow Peep. The whole notion is ridiculous. Your body is so much smarter than that. My weight is completely stable now and has been for years. When I was so carefully trying to manage my intake and expenditure, failing, cheating, starting over, cracking down, OMG, my weight was not stable. It would swing 6-7 pounds in a weekend. Sometimes 15, 20, 40 pounds in the course of a year depending on if I was restricting or rebounding. Now, nothing. I eat to appetite, and my appetite is calm and reasonable since I'm not overdoing exercise.
If you don't have any tendency to overexercise, you could probably use a fitness tracker as intended, with the goal being a bit of a challenge and all the little reminders and badges making it a fun game. You just want to avoid tying steps to food or weight in any way at all.
I’m still always trying to trick myself into moving more without realizing it, you know? If I just do what I want, I would honestly lie in bed all day, or at least that’s what it feels like.
No, I don't do that. How much is enough or too much walking is insanely individual. It's even different for the same person depending on what life is like. I couldn't wear a Fitbit for years because I was too obsessive with it. It only became happy and helpful when I learned to set my step goal at like half of what I normally walk in a day, something I can easily hit every day without a formal workout or any particular effort. I don't know what that is for you.
I maybe do Fitbit backwards, but setting a challenging, unsustainable daily goal will burn you out faster than anything. Set an absurdly low goal. Hit it by being generally active throughout the day. The goal shouldn't require an hour-long power walk. If you set a low goal, you're getting all the stars, fireworks, and woohoos that Fitbit has to offer, even if you're sick in bed that day. If you feel great and want to do active fun things, fantastic. Rack up far more steps than your baseline goal, but that's on days you want to, it's never a must-do. I also feel free to not hit even my easy goal if it's inconvenient or I'm busy or tired. It's really important to not hit your step goal every day. LOL
I can put up huge numbers sometimes. If I'm in a competition, look out. But I never ever hold myself to those higher numbers as a daily thing. That's burnout city.
Skwigg, I remember a few years ago on here you mentioned walking like 20,000 steps a day or something like that, do you still do that?
I'm asking because I'm trying to work more walking into my day and have that as my main form of exercise because it feels good to me, but I don't know how much is enough.