Health, Productivity and “Appiness”

16/6/2016 |

10000 stepsSomeone out there decided we all needed to take 10,000 steps a day. So in the interest of increasing productivity, general health and well-being, this Productivity Ninja started counting her steps.

I had no idea whether I’d get even close to the amount, but I’m fairly active, and with an office on the second floor, I do a lot up running up and down the stairs. So after a week of being monitored by a phone app, I was dismayed that if I did nothing but sit at my desk, with “indoor walking breaks ” stair climbing and chores in the evening, I only reached 3,500 steps. If I purposely included a walk for an hour, I could get to 6,000. But 10,000 were a stretch. Public transit helped, so did a major hike—but it wasn’t so easy.

I soon found myself unnaturally connected to my phone, feeling like a failure, and to be honest, a bit obsessed. (When you start to think at 10 PM, I think I’ll just walk around the garden in circles so I can reach 10,000, you really do need to re-think the overall goal of the exercise).

The perils of counting steps instead of productivity

In the end, the experience proved to me that it’s pretty easy not to move if you don’t have to. I also found out that it’s anti-productive to get hung up on the number. The origins of 10,000 steps started with a pedometer sold in Japan with a name that translates as “10,000 steps”. No one will argue against the idea, but stop beating up on myself if you aren’t quite there yet.

If you’re looking for guidelines. CDC recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, (including brisk walking). So my average day with one walk was pretty good after all! And FYI, to meet the CDC’s recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day.

Can an app help you stay fit and be productive? Quite possibly.  But, a word of caution as you are human after all. Don’t let an app (that is not human even though it has a voice) give you one more reason to feel inadequate. Any effort that gets the oxygen circulating to your brain where it helps you think better, more clearly and more creatively is guaranteed to make you happier, healthier and productive; applause anyone?

Exercise apps that help you work out through the day

A Productivity Ninja recommends that you schedule time to walk, run, jump up and down, strengthen your muscles—that is, do some kind of exercise. Try perhaps 3- gym sessions a week, or a daily walk (1 hr. is great), or exercise breaks during the day, perhaps delivered though a friendly app. Choose from a wide variety that meet any exercise desire:

  • Yoga is great for getting oxygen flowing Yogalo delivers exercises wherever you are. Cute yoga outfit optional.
  • Daily Yoga lets you pick your goal, and then the program, e.g. morning stretch, better sleep, firmer abs, etc.
  • Run Keeper (an ABC news app of the week), lets you tune into audio updates while you run – and we hear it is a cheerful voice.
  • If you promise not to get addicted to the step idea, try Pacer, a straightforward approach to increasing your activity with no judgment.
  • A friend of mine loves Map My Walk, which displays steps, calorie, distance and duration on the dashboard along with a map of where you’ve been (also handy it you’ve dropped something along the way) “It just does what it needs to do”, says Carissa.
  • FIT Radio, named by PC magazine for the top 25 fitness apps for 2016, streams music to match your workout.
  • Seven-minute workout is exactly as it says. All you need is — seven minutes. Hey, that’s not even what I spend looking for my glasses every day

We’ll leave you with a Ninja Nudge: Figure out what exercise you want to do, not what you think you should do and then explore an app to match that makes you, ahem, hAppy …avoid any that do  not.

Explore ” The Best Fitness iPhone and Android Apps of 2015

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