Fitness for Christmas

For Christmas this year I tried convincing my parents that all I wanted was for them to contribute toward my minimum fundraising goals for my stair climbs.

Seriously, it was all I wanted. Stair climbs are expensive.

BUT YOU NEED PRESENTS TO OPEN!

(That was the response from each.)

Fine. Whatever. I came up with a list of tangible things I could open, including the Grand Theft Auto V hardcover limited edition strategy guide and all of the Fast & Furious movies on blu-ray. Basically, essential everyday items I’ve failed myself by not already having purchased on my own. Obviously.

I gave my mom the list, but when I tried to give it to my dad, it was too late.

STOP RIGHT THERE. I’M DONE SHOPPING. I ALREADY GOT YOUR GIFT.

Umm… okay? But you don’t know what I want.

(He didn’t know what I want!)

My mom’s always been good at surprising me when she doesn’t know what I want for Christmas. My dad, on the other hand? Not so much.

He then proceeded to tell me the following:

YEAH. I WAS WATCHING TV AND I SAW SOME DOCTOR TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING. I THOUGHT WITH ALL YOUR RACES AND FITNESSES AND STUFF YOU DO, YOU’D PROBABLY LIKE IT.

Oh. Okay. Great. This sounds promising…

…for disappointment. And/or an awkward reaction when I open this mystery medical gift.

Fast forward to my Christmas get-together with my dad and his wife: he got me a Fitbit Flex.

Not only that, but he got Stephanie one, too.

I was very surprised. In a good way. At this point, I’m fairly familiar with the Fitbit. While I’ve never had one, I’m aware that it’s pretty much the top-of-the-line activity tracker. Stephanie’s been wanting one since the summer, so I know what she’s told me about them and I’ve done plenty of research on them. I almost got her one for her birthday, but they weren’t sold in stores as widely as they are now, and there was a several week backorder for them on the Fitbit website.

I revisited the idea for Stephanie for Christmas, but when I went back to the Fitbit website leading up to the holiday, I’d discovered they’d released the Fitbit Force. The Force seemed a lot like the Flex, so I looked into it further. The key differences are the Force (1) is larger, (2) has an LED display, (3) tracks stairs climbed, (4) can not be worn in the shower, and (5) is more expensive. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.

The stairs climbed feature made me rethink getting her the Flex, which is what she said she wanted. I figured the Force could more accurately track her workouts, considering the stair training we do. I read some reviews of the Fitbit and the thing that made me hesitate on buying it for her was that it didn’t include a heart rate monitor, which I think Stephanie may have thought it did. And I know what she wants — more than to track her activity — is to monitor her heart rate while she’s active. Supposedly the Fitbit’s accompanying smartphone tracking app can be linked to other heart rate monitors, but since I don’t know what kind of heart rate monitor she would want, I couldn’t pull the trigger on it.

While I couldn’t go through with that purchase, I did get Stephanie a couple fitness/health related gifts. She got me a weight vest to stair train in for my birthday earlier in this month, so to go along with that, for Christmas I got her a small women’s-sized pink weight vest she can train on stairs in. Fits her much better than mine does. And, again: it’s pink. That obviously adds cuteness to the toughness.

I also got her a yoga ball chair she can sit on at work. Not just a yoga ball — a yoga ball CHAIR. It’s like a very low chair with wheels and a back, but instead of a seat, there’s a large holster for a yoga ball, plus then the yoga ball, of course. She has a desk job and is very anti-sitting down all day. She’s planning to eventually lobby the owner of her company to bring in standing workstations, but until then she can sit on a yoga ball and work her core.

I was more excited for Stephanie to open these gifts than I think I’ve ever been to open gifts myself. She liked them. Which was awesome. And she liked the Fitbit my dad got her as well. I brought her up to speed on the Fitbit Force, and we briefly considered exchanging our Flexes for some Forces, but ultimately decided to stay with the Flexes.

Tracking my daily activity wasn’t something I’ve even been curious about. However, I finally set my Flex up today, and I’m a little more curious now. I do plan on giving it a shot. My dad’s already been asking me tons of questions about how I like it, but I think it’s going to take some time using it to figure it out and understand everything about it.

This is really my first fitness gadget. I’ve been curious about GPS running watches, but I don’t have one. I don’t even track my runs with my smartphone. The most I do is time runs with a stop watch and then manually enter them into my MapMyRun account.

But now that I’ve been welcomed to the world of fitness gadgetry, it may be time to set my sights to a running watch. And/or an altimeter to track stairs climbed. As it happens, Garmin does make one — only one — GPS running watch with a built-in altimeter…

and it’s $400.

Maybe if I ask for it now, Stephanie, both my parents, my aunt and uncle, all my cousins, and my Secret Santa at work can all go in on it together for me for next Christmas.

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One comment

  1. Loved reading about the lifestyle changes pointing towards health. Might consider a sit/stand desktop from Standingoodhealth to negate the negative effect of sitting

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