What do You Wear?

College students have their noses buried in the books most of the time, sometimes at the expense of their health. They stay up all hours of the night and forget to eat. They don’t know when to quit, thinking more is better when it comes to studying. They don’t sleep enough or even get a modicum of exercise. For me, a few extra pounds was the slap in the face I needed to wake up and start a new program. Was it those chips I loved to munch on in the wee hours of the morning when the stomach starts grumbling?

I now wear a fitness tracker that links to my bathroom scale, also new. It is a marvelous technical innovation that I have welcomed into my life. It is a symbol of my new commitment to self-improvement and a way to take mandatory breaks from intense study. The tracker will monitor my fitness level over a given period of time and will also record weight gain or loss most accurately. I can think of no better motivator when you are on a schedule and beginning a new regimen.

Most any exercise works for young people, even long power walks. Their muscles tone up fast and their metabolisms are already fast in most cases. Being overweight is not the norm. My program was modest but effective in intention and results. It combined a bit of the treadmill, weight circuit training, and aerobics. It let in some swimming (indoor pool of course) and diving. I didn’t need a huge weight loss as much as I needed something to help clear my brain and focus better on economics.

Tracking your workout makes you accountable, no matter what else it does in providing data to assess. It helps you stay on your selected program as you will want to beat the numbers and come out ahead. It is a test of wills. A poor set of readings means you are apparently not applying yourself. Ultimately, the digital bathroom scale is the benchmark of progress. Even a half pound can make you cringe. This is the nature of a regimen. When you commit to it, and really embrace it, it starts to become a bit of an obsession and will spur you on.

As a student, I have designated time for walks and workouts. They have to fit into my schedule. Since there is precious little time, and exercise is very compact, my tracking device is my companion and guide. It is there on my wrist as a reminder of my goals and purpose. It tells me if and when I have done enough. While I am in the zone, it does its job of informing me of my progress or lack thereof. When back to studying, it takes a back seat to the books.

I heartily advice any fellow students to buy this device or ask for one as a gift. It is not something you would have put on your wish list a while ago, but take it from me, it belongs there along with a new smart phone and tablet.