I’ve been continuing my workouts and enjoying them – which is a good thing, right? And I consider myself to be a pretty active person on a regular basis. I’m always running all over my house cleaning things up, following after people, heading upstairs to do laundry, or into the kitchen to cook something. That said, I had an interest in verifying my assumption that I’m easily hitting my 10,000 step daily goal.
So first off, yes, I know that 10,000 is a completely made up number that just sounds good and doesn’t have any scientific backing that you’ll be x% healthier if you walk 10,000 steps, but it’s a good goal for a reason. It isn’t an automatic win, and it’s a very memorable number. And I want to hit it anyway, above and beyond the “official” exercise I’m doing.
When I had the chance to hit up Walgreens and use their Steps with Balance Rewards, I jumped all over it. It was another great opportunity to hold myself accountable and track what I’m doing – and with the Steps program, I earn Balance Rewards points that are redeemable for discounts at Walgreens checkouts. So far, I’ve earned over 1,800 points in the Steps program, more than a third of the way to a $5 reward.
As I’m working on that 10,000 step goal, I wanted to get a new tracking device. When I go walking with friends, I use an app on my phone to track how far we’ve gone, but that uses my GPS and wears down the battery quickly. It isn’t practical for the daily steps I take. And I’ve gotten pedometers in the past that I know aren’t very accurate. They miss steps or can be shaken to add steps and aren’t comfortable to wear.
So of course I headed to Walgreens to find a new pedometer that would work better for me. I was impressed with the Omron pedometer I bought for a number of reasons – and the $5 off sale didn’t hurt matters either. I liked that it wasn’t one that can be shaken to uhhh increase your steps. It instead uses a GPS type feature to estimate steps based on how far the device travels while upright. The key from that functionality is that I can clip this inside my purse and carry it there instead of having a pedometer strapped to my clothing all day. Most of the time, I don’t care, but there are certain outfits and certain places where I’d rather have it be less conspicuous.
And you know what I found out? I don’t walk nearly as much as I thought I did. Like… less than a third of what I had estimated in my head. Granted, I’ve yet to remember to put it on when I first wake up in the morning, but I don’t take 7,000 steps before I remember to put it on. This was my big mid-day surprise last week.
I hadn’t even taken 1,000 steps after having worn the pedometer for almost half the day? Yikes! In fact, since I purchased the Omron Go Smart pedometer (which I big puffy heart love), I’ve yet to reach the 10,000 step mark if you don’t count the dance classes I do – and my point was to not count them but to reach 10,000 steps without it. I’ve gotten sort of close, but this was such an eye-opening surprise for me.
Big oops, in fact. But at the same time, if I don’t know I’m not walking 10,000 steps, I can’t do anything to change it. The good news is that it’s finally warming up in Chicago and the rain has ceased for the moment, so I can actually get outside. I have a group of friends that walks with me regularly. When we walk, we usually go for around 5 miles, which will easily hit my 10,000 step goal. But they can’t make it every day, and I don’t have time for a 5 mile hike every day either. So I’m compromising. Instead, I’m walking on my own – earbuds with Pandora in one ear – through my neighborhood for a twenty minute brisk walk. Every day.
I can spare 20 minutes. I waste more than 20 minutes on things all the time, and I bet you do, too. And I gotta tell you… it was awesome to get out walking again. And in that twenty minutes, I walked over a mile, which added almost 4,000 steps to my day’s total. Will I get all the way to 10,000 today? One way or the other – even if I have to walk laps around the house – I will.
And yes, I’m partially doing this because I love the idea of earning rewards. It’s motivating to me to have a goal, to be accountable to that goal, and to have something I get in return. I’ve continued to use my money jar for each time I work out since I wrote about it a couple months ago. And the jar’s getting much more full than it was back then. I’ve used some of the money to go buy new workout gear, especially some fashionable new tank tops for my dance classes. They make me feel good working out when I look good. And yes, I also splurged on a mani/pedi without feeling guilty because I had earned that money and set it aside to do something special for myself.
And by tracking with the Steps with Balance Rewards program, I’m rewarding myself there, too. For every mile I walk or run and track, I earn 20 Walgreens Balance Rewards points. I also get 20 points for each daily weigh in (although this is going so counter to my desire to stay away from the scale – I wish it were a weekly weigh in!) and for logging other healthy activities that I do like my Zumba classes. These points accrue towards discounts at the register at Walgreens, but there’s also the Step Up To Win Daily Sweepstakes where I can win daily prizes for tracking my activities.
I haven’t won yet, but this week there are some great prizes. There are Fiber One coupons, Withings WS-30 Scales, Brita pitchers, Walgreens gift cards, Fitbit Zips, Entertainment Books, and Dr. Scholl’s insoles. There are a total of 265 prizes being given away this week, and I have my fingers crossed. I know which prizes I’d really love to win, but I would certainly be happy with any of them. I love how the prizes are tied into being healthy. Every week (and day) the prizes are different, so it’s great motivation to keep tracking what I’m doing – and it’s so easy to track, too.
I appreciate that I can do it on my phone, my computer, or my iPad. It’s a quick login to the Steps with Balance Rewards site (although I wish it left me logged in for longer before logging me out) and a few keys to enter what I’ve done and earn that 20 points – and another entry into the Step Up To Win Daily Sweepstakes. If you haven’t already signed up, it’s easy. If you already have a Walgreens account, simply log in and follow the prompts. If you don’t, you can register online with just a few pieces of information and either activate your Balance Rewards account online or sign up for a new one if you don’t already have one. From there, simply set some goals and start tracking. I love when programs are easy like this!
As for me, I’m staying motivated. And I’m getting better. It’s not yet noon, and I already have over 6,000 steps. I’d say I’m going to make it to 10,000 today. And I’ll make sure I do tomorrow, too. I would never have known how few steps I was taking had I not headed out to Walgreens to buy my Omron pedometer, and I’m so glad I did. Gaining that knowledge and awareness is so important, and I know it will help me as I continue my steps towards fitness.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Walgreens. That said, all opinions remain my own. #cbias #SocialFabric