Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fitness Tools

Lots of people make new year's resolutions to get in shape.  I've fallen for that trick almost every year since I turned 30.  That was around the time in my life that I found that I needed to really make an effort to watch what I eat and actually work out on a regular basis.

Most years it's been difficult.  I've joined the ranks of people who hang in there for the first month or two, joining a gym, or resolving to get outdoors and move more.  The best years were 2009 and 2010, when I joined the San Diego Track Club and completed the 6 month program both years and successfully completed the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.  Those two years I ran 10 half marathons and 2 marathons.  The other years, I've fluctuated in my success on keeping the weight off.

It's now been three years since my last race.  In that time, I've been pregnant, had my son, moved two times (to the Bay Area, and most recently, Denver) and I've joined one gym and made several efforts to get back into running.  For now, I've decided that a combination of walking and jogging will do, and as long as I get outside 5-6 times a week for a 5K distance, that's pretty good.  I just want to be active.  I want to get my 10,000 steps in a day.

To help with all that, I'm armed with a bunch of new tools and online applications.  I used to wear a GPS watch to track my miles and my pace while running.  This year, I'm using the following applications/devices:
  • Fitbit (a pedometer that also calculates my calorie burn and number of floors I climb)
  • MyFitnessPal (an application I use to log all the food I eat)
  • MapMyRun (an application I use to track my distance and time when I walk or run)
I'm not trying to promote any of these devices or applications over any of the other choices that are out there.  But I am thankful that these three applications provide me the motivation to keep active every day.  My Fitbit ensures I aim for my daily 10,000 steps (I don't always get there, but it helps).  MyFitnessPal has helped me understand exactly how much 1200 calories is (it's not a lot!) but I'm a petite person (4'11") and if I'm not willing to  get up off the couch and move, I have no business consuming huge meals or eating lots of sweets (my weakness).  Best of all, the Fitbit information gets fed into MyFitnessPal so that I can make sure the number of calories I'm taking in doesn't exceed (most days) the number of calories I"m burning.

I pledge to check in here regularly on this blog and provide updates from my tools: hopefully I'll report improvements in my running (I'm mostly walking these days) and a constancy with my eating (I've been working on improving the quality of what I eat) and I've found that I'm averaging 1300-1500 calories a day.  On a splurge day (3 courses at a nice restaurant), I can easily eat 1800-2200 calories, but I try to space those events out.


  1. Those are all helpful tools! And getting out 5-6 times a week is awesome. Wishing you a great 2014!


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