Sunday, April 7, 2013

DigiFit and BeColorado

I work for the University of Colorado.  Out this way, we like to think of ourselves as the most fit place in the country.  It's probably close to true.  Lots of Coloradans are outdoorsy and busy people; they are more likely to be fit than not.

Except for me, of course.  I'm still a lump of potatoes, for the most part.  I'm getting better about getting up and moving, or at least biking.  The ankle/leg still are not up to par and won't be for months, so walking is out of the question.  But so far, biking is going well.

The university has implemented a "Be Colorado" campaign, intended to get those of us who aren't being so good to ourselves to be a bit better about getting exercise, and ultimately, to be healthier.  I already do many of the things that I need to do to stay healthy, at least in the eating department.  I eat decently, not too much junk in my diet, and I recognize that what I put in my body is important.  This doesn't mean I don't occasionally have that piece of cake or package of candy, of course, but I tend to shy away from the junkiest junk (potato chips).  I usually get plenty of sleep, and I am an active person, overall.  I unfortunately work a sedentary job, however, and that's definitely not good for me.

Be Colorado teamed up with DigiFit to provide university employees with a way to monitor and encourage our workouts.  If I work out at least moderately 30 minutes, twelve times a month, I can actually get paid for it.  The DigiFit app for my Android phone helps me to keep track of everything, and it automatically uploads it to the website so I can get my little payment for being good.  I used the app for the first time this past Thursday, when I made a 10-mile bike ride over the course of an hour and 3 minutes.  The app ran while I biked, giving me periodic updates about my speed, my average speed, and how many miles I had gone.  Very cool.  When I was ready to take a break (I usually take a break halfway through and eat a little something and drink plenty of water), I just paused it, then resumed it when I was ready to go again.  When I completed my workout, it calculated my totals and uploaded them right to the Be Colorado sight so I could get credit for it.

The app itself, which I could not get a screen shot of, shows my time, miles, current speed, average speed, and the calories burned.  This information all gets uploaded to the website and I can see it as a graph and a map.  Very cool.

I liked hearing how far I had biked, and it also helped me to determine when I should either take a break, or turn around and go back.  I find that a 10-12 mile bike ride is about right for me for a "heavy" workout, but I can't do that kind of biking every day, at this point.  This past week/weekend I was able to bike four times.  The first was 10 miles, the second 10.5, but the third was only 7.  I was really worn out.  Today's bike ride was only 2 miles.  I just didn't have much left for it today. 

But you know what?  That's okay.  I was out there, I was moving, I was working, I was DOING IT.  Even if others can bike laps around me, I'm still biking laps around the guy sitting home in his easy chair. 

The weekend is over for me, and that means I probably won't ride again until Friday.  Then it will be three rides in three days.  Besides, we're going to get snow again this week.  No biking in the snow!

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