How to cheat with a Fitbit
So I've got myself one of those electronic tags Â '“ not one of those tags around my ankle to show I'm being monitored for my criminal behaviour but one of those fitness gizmos to make me feel guilty about my inactivity.
While some people get a bizarre kick out of doing demanding fitness challenges such as Metal Man or Iron Man or whatever it’s called, I prefer exercise that masquerades as something else.
In the same way as parents sneakily hide vegetables in their toddlers’ food, I am a fan of exercise in disguise and burning off calories while having fun.
Yes, I know, all you fitness freaks will try to tell me it is “fun” to go for massive runs or bike rides or by pushing your body to its limits in an endurance challenge.
But the sort of fun “exercise” I was thinking was something along the lines of dancing the night away or a day out at a theme park.
It’s quite incredible how much walking or exercise you can do while enjoying yourself and that’s far more my idea of “fitness” than any gruelling contest.
However, although I’m always mentally on the go and my weekends are usually action-packed with activities, during the week, my life is pretty sedentary and involves me being hidden behind a laptop.
Usually, the only physical exercise that takes place is me walking the short distance from home to the car and the car to the office.
Given my lack of physical exertion, I’ve never been keen on one of those Fitbit things that calculate the amount of steps you do each day – even though many of my friends and colleagues love them and use them for friendly competitiveness and bragging.
So it was with some dismay that I opened one of my Christmas presents from Hubby to find one of these monitoring devices.
I think it was a well-intentioned present to encourage me to get fitter and healthier – and he even bought it in purple.
But just because it’s a pretty colour doesn’t detract from the fact it is a band that will grass me up for being inactive.
After leaving it in the box for several weeks, I’ve finally started wearing it – and it’s just as annoying as I feared.
It’s like having a pesky Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder as it constantly buzzes to check I’ve not keeled over as I’ve been so motionless. “Let’s move” it announces like some irritatingly chirpy fitness coach.
However, it has resulted in one part of me becoming overactive and going into overdrive – my imagination which has come up with all sorts of inventive ways to “cheat” a Fitbit.
Just think, I could strap it to a young child and feed them lots of sweets high in E numbers. Or I could put it around a cat or dog and let them rack up the steps for me. Even small pets could come in useful as I could attach it to a hamster wheel.
I might even consider taking up horse-riding as all that jolting about is sure to mean more steps.
I’ve also figured out arm and hand movement increases the number of steps. So going to a concert or awards ceremony and doing a lot of enthusiastic clapping will pay dividends.
Securing a Fitbit to a ceiling fan or power tool could also work... or maybe I could get off my backside and go for a long walk.