For me, keeping fit and active is a huge contributor to my wellbeing. When my low mood gets the better of me, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball in my cosy place and read a book, I try to tell myself that being active will have a hugely positive impact on my mood.
And the truth is, it will! Besides, there’s been a huge number of studies assessing the impact of exercise on mental health, and the results are too clear to look past. Don’t get me wrong, getting my trainers on and going for a run is not my scene – not my scene at all! Come to think of it, neither is the gym. The idea of doing exercise for fun is completely beyond me, almost to the point that I can’t believe that people do it because they actually enjoy it, and not just because they want to shift some weight.
So, when I say keeping fit and active, without going for a run or going to the gym, what do I actually mean?
Keeping fit and active doesn’t have to be strenuous. It doesn’t have to include some form of army-regimented routine packed with sit-ups, press-ups and 3 mile jogs. Instead, I mean just getting up off your feet a few times a day and having a gentle walk, or keeping yourself up and about enough throughout each day to ensure that you don’t allow yourself to waste away under your consistent low mood. Although, I’m not trying to deceive you, this can be difficult to do when all you want to do is hide behind your favourite snuggley blanket in front of the TV.
One day, I decided enough was enough with this ridiculous mindset, and I took the plunge and bought a FitBit Alta. I’d read loads of reviews and spoke to a family member that had one, and decided that it could actually help me to be more active in my everyday life. Since buying it, I’ve come to realise that it was one of the best decisions I could have made in terms of improving my overall wellness. Besides, I really needed a new watch!
The FitBit Alta, and how it improved my life.
I don’t know about you, but it takes a hell of a lot of motivation from me to get me up and about. And yet, once I am up and about, I realise that this isn’t so bad at all, why didn’t I do this sooner? My aim isn’t to run marathons or jog around the globe, my goal is simply to make sure that I get at least 10,000 steps a day. To some people, this is probably a pretty simple task to accomplish – if you work in a relatively active job then you’ll complete this each day without much difficulty. However for me, I spend a lot of my time sat to my laptop, with little to no movement (of course, other than food breaks – food is life!)
With this goal in mind, I set my FitBit’s preference of achievement to reaching 10,000 steps each day. Now, every time I achieve this, I have a mini-celebration going on on my wrist ( and yes I’m talking a mini-display of fireworks and confetti!) to remind me how awesome I’ve been today. When it vibrates on my wrist it brings a huge smile to my face, it’s actually quite surprising how it cheers me up to know I’ve accomplished my main goal for the day. Another accomplishment I try to meet each day, is being active every hour. Of course, this isn’t possible every day. Sometimes we’re in the cinema or at work and physically can’t get up and move every hour, but I still find it extremely useful. I’ve set up my FitBit to remind me that if I haven’t taken 250 steps every 50 minutes past the hour, that I have 10 minutes to make sure I do! (For example, at 10:50am, if I haven’t walked at least 250 steps since 10am, I’ll get a subtle reminder to get up and move!) Some may find this kind of irritating, but I find that it really helps to remind me to have a bit of ‘get up and go’, and get the most out of my life while I can!
Another great thing about the FitBit – you can compare each day’s goal with the previous day, the previous week, even the previous year if you wanted. Well, as long as you’ve had your FitBit for that long, and as long as you download the app for your phone! I find that being able to compare when I’m meeting my goals and when I’m not, can show me a pattern of when my low mood takes over, and when I’m able to overcome it. It also gives me a sense of encouragement – I know I can do it, because I have done, and I’m going to do it again! It’s also really great because you can compare with your friends, you can share your progress on Facebook and Twitter, and you can even set challenges for you and your friends! (My favourite is Work Week Hustle: it involves seeing who out of you and your friends can walk the most steps in that work week!)
Alta’s key features.
The FitBit is worn just like a watch – meaning you have instant access to a number of different stats to do with your activity in real-time. By just checking the time, you can tap on the screen for it to show you your steps, your calories burned so far that day, the miles you’ve travelled, and your active minutes for the day. You can distinguish certain goals for each of these settings, all within the FitBit app.
The FitBit Alta also has loads of other really cool features that you can access within the app, that I’ve come to find just as useful with keeping active and maintaining my positive mindset. If you want to, you can log your other exercise (like running, swimming, and any other exercise that’s programmed into the data on the app), your water consumption, how many hours each day you’ve been ‘active’, your weight loss, and even how well you sleep! All of these are shown within the app, all with their own data chart, giving you the opportunity to compare your day with previous days, weeks, months, and so on. There’s also options to do a little more – if you’re one of those people who enjoy exercising, theres a number of workouts programmed into the FitBit app that guide you through the exercise, and of course this adds to your overall steps, active minutes, and calories burned for the day.
My Personal Review.
After buying my FitBit Alta, my activity has improved hugely, and it has genuinely improved my issues I had with low mood and very little desire to do anything. As well as this, I have noticed clear health benefits – since taking walks in the fresh air and being generally active, my skin has cleared up, I feel much fitter, and I also try to keep as hydrated as I can – which can only be a positive in terms of physical health. For me, this product is a win-win, and has already been totally worth the money that I spent on it, considering the positive impact that it has made to me, both mentally and physically.
Name. FitBit Alta
Where to Buy. Amazon
My Personal Rating. 4.8/5.0