I was marinating in traffic, in the middle of the Liberty Tunnel. (Why I continue to travel to and from the South Hills near rush hour is beyond me.)
Normally I wouldn’t allow myself to get tangled in the morass — no, Dad didn’t just cuss; look it up! — but I had a 5 p.m. appointment at Ross Park Mall, as the Apple Watch I’d ordered had arrived for pickup. While waiting for the car ahead of me to JUST %$#&ING MOVE, it occurred to me that I spend too much time sitting for my liking.
If I had only known how right I was.
The motivation behind my rare tech splurge was two-fold. For one, I had some birthday money to play with. For another, I had determined at the start of 2018 to bring more structure to my life, and the thought of tracking my fitness habits with the Apple Watch seemed like a fine way to keep up my resolution as the year grows older.
After accelerating out of the Liberty Tubes, lurching across the Monongahela and Allegheny and climbing the Parkway North, I arrived in the North Hills in enough time for a quick tutorial on my new toy.
Like I said, the bio-tracking abilities of the watch appealed to me the most, but I had no idea how big of a role standing would play in my new aspirations. Yes, standing. Not running, jumping or any other strenuous activity. Just … standing.
It turns out that research has indicated spending at least a few minutes each hour standing has a measurable positive effect on one’s health, much like regular exercise and a clean diet.
And, man, did I find out how sneakily sedentary my life is. The Apple Watch’s activity tracker asks the user to stand at some point during 12 separate hours. Imagine my surprise when I found myself getting a buzz from my digital friend a few times this evening, reminding me that I was about to squander an entire hour on my backside.
I aim to exercise daily and I believe there’s nothing a good sweat can’t fix, but as it turns out, I’m a stealth couch potato. On top of that, I don’t burn nearly as many calories as I thought when I hit the treadmill, the track or the ice … but that’s a story for a different time.
At first blush, I didn’t like learning all this unpleasant information. Which made me a pretty big (temporary) hypocrite, since I frequently critique sports decision-makers all the time for leaning too much on their gut instincts and not enough on the hard data.
Yet, there I was, living one of the most important aspects of my life almost solely by ‘feel.’ I aim to live a life of integrity, especially with you under our roof, but at least in this way I’ve come up short. Since my hope is to show you how to live well, that has to change.
I haven’t completely adjusted to the new certainty surrounding my physical habits, but I’m all in for a better life through better information, so it’s time to accept reality. Let this be the first lesson I try to impart in these journal entries.
All I can promise here is that I’ll do my best to take my own advice! Maybe I could’ve gotten it from you, in fact. From what I’ve gathered watching you, 23-month-olds don’t sit much.
DAILY STATS via Apple Watch (half day)
Calories burned (active): 181
Minutes exercised: 16
Hours stood: 6
Steps taken: 2,558
Physical activity: Buying the watch … duh