Tag Archives: step counter

Overcoming Parking Karma and Adding More Steps to your Life

Earlier this week, I wrote a post all about using the pedometer to gradually add to  your fitness level.  It’s easy to use.  It’s safe.  And it’s cheap!  All you need is a pedometer.  And this week, you could even be one of five lucky people to win a free pedometer from The Fat Chick!  In that post I gave you a lot of advice about how to calculate your average daily step count, and how to figure out how much to ramp your step count from week to week.  Today, I’d like to give you five steps to quickly and easily work more steps into your life.  Here you go:

1.  Park further away.  Actually, this simple tool can actually allow you to exercise while SAVING TIME.  My husband has terrible, terrible parking karma.  It doesn’t matter where we are going–be it the the mall, the movie theater, the grocery store, but this guy is terrible at finding good parking.  I used to comment on this fact all the time.  And when I would, not so politely ask, “Could you have parked any further away?” my husband would look at me calmly and say, “Yes.”  He would then proceed to park in the spot furthest possible from our end destination.  Over time, he has stopped even trying to find the closest spot.  And you know what?  I’m pretty sure we get where we want to go even faster.  Rather than circling the lot like a brain-dead vulture for endless minutes, we just park and walk a little further.  We get more exercise, we skip the frustration of arguing with people who “steal our spots” and ultimately we get there quicker.  Win. Win. Win.

2.  Stop doing everything online.  When I work freelance in an office, I add a lot of steps to my day and get stuff done faster by simply getting up from my desk and walking over to the person I want to talk to.  They aren’t ignoring me to check out their stats on Facebook or Instagram because I can see them and talk to their faces.  I found that I got people’s attention by talking to them directly and people were a lot less likely to procrastinate on stuff that I asked them to do if they realized I was likely to actually knock on their door and, you know, ask them to do the stuff. While online shopping is extremely convenient, all that gets exercise is  your fingers.  So I get up early and head over to the mall every once and a while to get some holiday shopping and some extra exercise into my  life.

3.  Get off the bus a little sooner.  For those of you who take public transportation, this is easy.  You just get off one stop before your final destination and walk the rest of the way.  But there are opportunities for all of us to use this technique.  How about the shuttle bus at the airport, can you get off one terminal sooner and walk a little further?  Or the bus or tram that takes you to the parking lot, can you get off the shuttle a bit further from your car?

4.  Find opportunities for “Spontaneous Boogie-down Sessions”.  Sure you can get up from your computer and simply stretch or walk towards the coffee machine, but what fun is that?  Why not set a boogie alarm?  Set an alarm on your cell phone or computer to go off every so often and take a “Boogie Break”.  Pick and awesome song, grab your air guitar and just go to it.  Extra points for getting everybody in the office involved in spontaneous flash mob awesomeness.  Extra EXTRA points if you get it on camera and send me a link!

5.  Go walk around somewhere awesome!  Even in the depth of winter there are fabulous places to go walking.  Go walking outside and look at holiday decorations.  Go walking at an amazing museum or park or zoo.  Check out a botanical garden or pumpkin farm.  There are so many fun things you can do while walking around.  Go do some of them!

Also, please let me offer this note for people who don’t walk so well.  All of these suggestions can be tailored for people who are less mobile.  It’s all a matter of scale.  Maybe you can’t walk from the furthest reaches of the parking lot.  That’s okay!  Maybe pick a spot that is one slot further away from the front door.  Maybe park your scooter just a few feet  further away from your destination.  You can totally do a chair boogie if a standing boogie isn’t really in the cards for you.  The point here is to do something a teensy, teeny, weenie bit more than you did yesterday.  But only if you want to.  There’s no rules here–only options and opportunities.  You are in charge of you.  So only do what feels right for you in your body.

Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Do you have a special technique that you use to get extra steps into your day?  How about sharing them in the comments section?  And don’t forget to follow the directions below to become eligible to win a free pedometer.

WIN A PEDOMETER FROM THE FAT CHICK!

All you have to do is click this link The Fat Chick Pedometer Giveaway  and then follow the directions!  Once you get there, you can like my Facebook page or put a comment on the blog or write a tweet.  It’s easy and fun.  Just remember to click this link first: The Fat Chick Pedometer Giveaway 

Good luck!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie

AKA The Fat Chick

Shoppercize

If you’re like me, you’ve got a fair amount of pre-holiday shopping to do.  While I don’t typically participate in the Black Friday shopping insanity, I do have to hit the grocery stores to buy a few supplies for our Thanksgiving day and I will need to shop for baking and craft supplies soon.  Some people love shopping during the holidays–the excitement, the decorations, the crowds and the bargains really appeal to them.  Other people (like me) hate shopping during the holidays–the tension, the incessant holiday music, the noise, and the crowds make me nuts.  But love it or hate it, holiday shopping is a great time to get in a little fitness during a very hectic time of the year.

I have found that if I think of shopping as a sort of annual, extreme sports, fitness project it’s a little easier to get through it.  I call it “shoppercize”.    As with any fitness event or sport, preparation is key.  I make sure to wear the right gear (good sturdy athletic shoes, clothing in layers that breathe well), to warm up (doing some stretches before I get in the car) and and hydrate (with non-alcoholic beverages) before I begin.

I like to put on a pedometer or step counter when I shoppercize.  It helps me deal with the intensely stressed out crowds if I can foster a sense of accomplishment.  I set a goal for distance or number of steps before I head off for my shopping trip.  Then whenever I get to the store, I plan to park as far away as possible.  This way I can properly managing my expectations (since the darn lot will probably be full anyways), manage stress (since I’m not circling around the lot like a wheeled vulture spending thirty minutes to beat the other vultures to the one close parking spot) and I get in a little extra fitness (which is registered and logged on my handy pedometer).  Cool.

If I’m headed off to the mall, I try to shop early in the morning.  I usually arrive before the stores open and get in a mall lap or two and have a nice calm cup of coffee before the stores even open.  Usually the mall is less crowded first thing in the morning.  And if it gets too crowded to deal with, I just leave.  At least I got some exercise and a nice cup of coffee before it all went pear-shaped.  I can still feel a sense of accomplishment.

I doubt I will ever love holiday shopping–at least among LA crowds.  But love it or hate it, shoppercize is a great way to add a little fitness to your holiday while removing just a little of your holiday stress.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy shoppercizing!

Love,

The Fat Chick