“Roggen, you are such a Geek!”
As all of you who know me know, I am a geek and I do and like geeky things! What does being a geek have to do with eating better and getting healthy? Well let me answer that question with a question, what doesn’t it have to do with getting healthy? I guess that really doesn’t answer the question, but it makes me feel better.
Okay, time for some geek examples:
Fitbit – a fitbit is a pedometer on “Geek”, it will track the steps that you take throughout the day, how many flights of stairs you go up, how far you walk while taking steps and walking up stairs. At night you can put it on your non dominant arm with the included arm band and it will track how well you sleep. If you toss and turn it knows, if you lay there peacefully it knows. It does this by keeping track of how much you move. If you are really asleep you should not move, so don’t and you will get a better nights sleep! One of the cooler motivational parts of the fitbit is that you can challenge your friends that have them and it keeps a tally of who does more of what. Not a bad motivation to try and get more steps than your co-workers or friends. It is a friendly challenge but motivates the lot of you.
I have to give a major shout out to @fitbit for the awesome customer service and support. My fitbit turned up missing a few weeks ago and after searching the house and checking the lost and found at the gym for a number of days, it was no where to be found. Since the fitbit is not exactly cheap at $99 I was not really ready to shell out the cash again. So I contacted their support department and explained my conundrum. The next day I received an email informing me that they were going to send me a new fitbit at no cost! Now that is how to keep a satisfied customer. I have recommended the fitbit to a number of my friends and family and a few of they have bought them, will you?
Next up is my iPhone, the ultimate geek stick! It can do many things! And many of the things it can do are trivial and others are not. Making phone calls….trivial. Getting email…..trivial. Being able to track all of the food and exercise that I do in a day…..not so trivial. Since I have been on my health kick I have been tracking everything that I eat in an app called loseit. It does a great job at tracking my daily doings. I use it to track how much I eat, how much I am exercising and my weight loss goals. It has been a huge help in keeping me motivated in another way. So far I have used it to track my food and exercise over the last 30 lbs and will keep tracking for the next 30!
I have also used my iPhone to track how far I have ridden on my bike or run and which routes I have taken. The tools on the iPhone work well but they tend to eat a lot of battery and since I have a number of longer rides planned this year, I decided that I would need a dedicated device to track my distance workouts.
So I purchased the Garmin Edge 500 gps device, with the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. These have helped my to track my distances and how hard I have been working on the bike. I know that I could train without them and probably would learn how well I am doing, but being the data guy that I am, I want to know the numbers! And the garmin will track the numbers. It keeps many many datapoints. Distance, speed, cadence, heart rate, temperature, elapsed time, grade…..and the list goes on. It is simple to use, you strap it on your bike, hit start and ride. It does the rest. Once you have finished your ride you plug it into a computer and transfer the data to the garmin website and now you have your many points of light! Cool, eh? I know that by the end of this year, I will have a great look into what I have done on the bike. It has already helped me to know that I am improving. I shaved a minute off of one of the hills that I ride in just the last few weeks.
So do these geek items make me fit? No, but they sure help along the way. They help to keep track of how often I am working out, how hard and how long. All great things to know when you are trying to change your life style. I for one could not live without my geekness. I hope that some of you will find some value in the things I have found helpful in my quest to fitness. Thanks for reading and enjoy.