Fitness Friday: Gamification

JoggingOne of the things I’ve gotten back to is exercising.  I gained a fair amount of weight from being immobile, though people I say that to say that don’t notice it.  Unfortunately, I have clothes that don’t fit.  So I after I returned from vacation early in the summer, I set things up to begin losing some weight, mostly by upping my activity, but also watching what I ate.  Because my foot’s not totally recovered, it can be difficult to walk longer distances.  Running is out of the question for me right now. Walking is my go to activity, and, before I hurt myself, I was training for a 5K.  But walking longer distances was something I was going to have to work up to.  I had to come up with another plan.

We’re two blocks from a brand new Y.  We haven’t joined because we both have access to gyms at our workplaces.  But I’ve discovered that I don’t really like using my facilities.  After school’s out, there are students there, working out on their own or working with a team.  And I just don’t want to try to get things done surrounded by students.  So, first, I joined the Y, giving me access to equipment I can do non load bearing activity on.

Second, I started to take my Garmin Vivofit more seriously.  Mr. Geeky got it for me for my birthday to replace the Fitbit that got destroyed during my encounter with a car.  When I first got it, I wasn’t sure I liked it as much as my Fitbit.  And there are still a few things about it I don’t like.  But one of its best features is an adjustable goal.  On the Fitbit, you pretty much just set your goal for how ever many steps you want to hit.  The Garmin tracks a typical day and adjusts based on what you actually walk.  So, I started with around 5K steps.  I’m now up to 7500.  I’m also participating in some challenges with others, which also adjusts based on your activity.  The challenges get harder as you do more.

Pokemon GO for PC - Windows/MAC DownloadThird, Pokemon Go came out.  In order to even play the game, you have to go outside and there are parts where you have to walk a certain distance.  So that gave me some further motivation.

Finally, I set up some simple rules.  One, I have to meet my step goals every day.  I’ve set up strategies to achieve this.  I walk to the Y, which gets me steps.  If I work on the elliptical, I also get steps.  And finally, if evening rolls around and I still haven’t met the goal, I head out for a “pokewalk” and play some Pokemon Go.  The thought that I might gain some experience and catch some pokemon adds additional motivation.  Two, alcohol only on the weekends. That glass of wine with dinner every night was empty calories.  Three, aim to workout at the Y every day.  I try to go at a time that would be convenient even during the school year.  There have been days when this hasn’t happened, but it still works out that I’m going to the Y 4 or 5 days out of 7.  Four, I only eat when I’m hungry and eat healthier food.

And that’s it.  So far, I’ve lost about 6 or 7 pounds.  The challenge will be to keep this up when the school year starts.

3 Replies to “Fitness Friday: Gamification”

  1. Good for you! I’ve also lost 6 or 7 pounds this summer (without the added challenge of a still-recovering foot, although my plantar fasciitis has given me trouble), and, like you, I’m seeing the challenge as continuing in this direction once school starts.

  2. Working on it, also 5-6 pounds down, I think.

    Does Pokémon Go “work” in rural areas? Or would I have to walk more downtown, in my small community?

    For me, exercising seems really important in addition to the no sweets and lower carbs diet.

  3. I’ve heard rural areas are tough, though not impossible. A big draw for me is to have an egg to hatch (you get eggs from Pokestops). You have to walk a certain number of kilometers to hatch them. So then it doesn’t matter where you are.

    Yep, I definitely have to have the exercise component.

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