Get healthy

Time on my feet

12:28 PM

It took me nearly 4 months of owning a smart phone to finally decide that I could put it to even better use and turn it into a personal trainer…or to even bother checking if YES there were apps out there that keep track of your fitness regimen. Smart phone veterans out there please don’t laugh, I already made good use of it in the past few months, I just never really thought it was possible to have my phone make me want to log in already more steps than I do on an average day.
I got that epiphany last week when I suddenly wondered what distance I was really covering dropping Ishi to school, walking back up the hill home and repeating the routine 2 hours later when it was time to go pick her up. I estimated that it was around 800 meters per way, but was I really right? The only thing I knew was that I spend a total of about 40 minutes a day commuting between home and school and that surely that walk back uphill meant I was burning some calories, but that is a fairly abstract notion and abstract usually don’t really motivate me much. Surely someone out there must have thought of finding a way to quantify all that an put it in a phone right? So I went looking for pedometers apps, and the one that was giving the best review was Cardio Trainer, fine by me, it tracks distance, and it estimate calories, all I need really.
Except it does a little bit more, it keeps a log of my workouts, let me enter other physical activities manually in the log later (house cleaning counts as a workout!), and you can even share all that on Facebook so you can brag (which I do only after I logged in a big workout session, not all the time because I don’t want people to get bored of my updates).

So in the past week alone I learned that even on a bad day I walk 3km (the distance between my home and school is roughly 750 meters). That when I walk with Ishita my pace is around 2km an hour, that when I power walk myself back up the hill I do it at a pace of 9 km an hour. That I burn an approximate of 90 calories per session. That is on a day all I do is my prime mommy duty. Add to this the fact that I log about 45 minutes of low intensity house cleaning and that burns me 130 calories, and that even though I power walk inside the flat while picking up things off the floor and cleaning I still like to log it as low intensity not to bring my hopes too high. On most days however I do go out and walk to another playground in the evening, and cover an additional kilometre, and the app simply can’t track all the time I spend roaming around the playground because the distances are too short, but for each one hour Ishita plays at any playground I am on my feet for about 2/3 of the time, or pacing, or standing, or pushing a swing, or running after her, these are calories my wonder app can’t track but still get burned.
And because I got so super exited and motivated about the app, I now log in some extra walking. After Ishita has been dropped in school I stop by the only park in my area that still has some shade at 11am and hit the walking path, often totalling an extra kilometre at a higher pace. 

The downside though is that since I love walking and am good at it, I am probably far more efficient and probably burn less than what the app is claiming I do. Seriously walking is really the only fitness activity I have no problem getting into as it doesn’t bore me. Back home I would walk all the time, and on days I really needed to clear my mind or get rid of built up frustration and anger I would just hit the road, hack a few kilometres and come back home a serene, happy person. I had to do with less walking in India, simply because it is not safe being a pedestrians in most cities, and I am not talking about women safety, I don’t give much of a hoot to that one and actually never had problems in that department at all, nope the real dangers walking in cities in India comes from the lack of infrastructure designed to keep pedestrians away from traffic’s harm. Less sidewalks, sidewalks so crammed with garbage or hawkers or both, pot holes, open manholes, heavy pollution, all things that will make it hard and rather unpleasant to walk around. Even trying to let it stop me, it has unfortunately reduced the amount of walking I could log in a week back in Geneva. However I am still happy to see I manage to get as much as a distance covered in a day, and here is to hoping things will change and cities will become more pedestrian friendly around here soon so that I’ll feel like walking even more.

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