Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Relieving The Pressure

We've all had it happen, right?! You go out for a long run or finish a hard workout, head home, refuel, jump on the foam roller, hit up the shower, start to rehydrate, and then BAM... you get that pesky notification from your Garmin to MOVE!

"Wait, WHAT?! You mean you forgot about all of that movement I just put in like an hour ago?! Ex-squeeze me?! Because let me be clear, my body is definitely still feeling the after effects... #HomieDontPlayThat"

If you have an activity tracker of some sort you may be all too familiar with this or similar situations (like having your watch tell you not so kindly to MOVE YOUR BOOTY when you are walking through the grocery store but because you are pushing a cart and not swinging your arm it doesn't register that you are in fact getting in your steps...).

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Don't get me wrong, I jumped on the activity tracker bandwagon once they came out (and even went as far as to wear TWO watches on my wrist before the activity tracker was integrated into my GPS watch) and I think it can be an AWESOME motivational tool, but I've gotta tell you, recently I turned off the move alert and I've never felt freer.

My activity tracker counted steps and tracked sleep while my GPS watch
recorded pace, distance, etc while running... I mean, I NEEDED them both! 

I don't know if you're like me (runners tend to be a certain breed, so I'm sure some of you can relate {or at least I hope I'm not the only obsessed one out there}), but I am DEFINITELY a Type A personality. I am a list maker and things on said list MUST BE crossed off or it stresses me out to no end. So when the move alert feature appeared on the activity tracker market I was stoked. Another thing to cross off, something to accomplish, a way for me to know I was measuring up.

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Well, that is until it went a little too far. Now I'm not saying I was neurotic about it, but I did have my fair share of guilt when the little move alert would scold me for not getting in enough steps during the previous hour. I mean, let's be real... I'm a fairly very active person, so it's not like I was ever completely sedentary, but when you are working for an extended period of time there can large chunks of the day where you are inactive. I will admit that it got a bit much for me mentally.

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Like I said, this feature totally has its place in the world. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can trigger undesirable metabolic state changes. The move alert reminds you to keep moving (DUH!). At least on the activity trackers I've had, after an hour of inactivity, the alert would go off and then an inactivity bar would appear (filling up the longer you remain stationary). To reset the alert you needed to get up and move around for a bit (normally a 3-5 minute walk would do the trick). For some folks, this alert works wonders and reminds them to take the necessary break to get in additional steps. For me, I noticed the additional movement was not worth the trade-off of the mental strain and self condemnation associated with "not moving enough" (yet still getting in a decent workout, walking the pup multiple times a day, etc).

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Again, I am not hating on this functionality because in theory it's a great idea, I just know for me it could lead to a slippery slope of disordered thinking, beating myself up mentally, etc. This may sound overly dramatic, but turning off the feature relieved a boat load of pressure (and I actually didn't completely realize it had been piling up until I switched it off).

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All this to say, you gotta do what's right for you! It's probably been two weeks since turning off the feature, and you know what?! The world hasn't stopped spinning, I haven't gained large amounts of weight, I haven't become a couch potato and my health seems to be just as good as it was before (and my mental health might even be slightly better now that it's off).

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Do you have an activity tracker of some sort?

4 comments:

Erika Carter said...

Good for you Carlee. I turned that off the minute I got my watch recently. And you know what? Sometimes I even take my watch off before the day is over and I hit my step goal and Some Sunday’s I don’t wear it at all. I can become obsessive so I’m proud of myself for not falling into the trap of having to beat the watch, lol. Good post, as always. 🌸

Heather Mundwiler said...

I turned off my MOVE notification for exactly the same reasoning. It was a very slippery slope, and while I may not hit my step goal on a daily basis, on the days I do, it's a nice satisfied feeling, rather than being a stressful one!

Sandra Bond said...

I love the little "move" alert on days when I don't run (because I have an office job and even though I do go for walks on my lunch breaks, it's a good reminder to get up and just walk a few steps).

I do get annoyed though when I just ran multiple miles and the thing goes off an hour later. It's like "you gotta be f***ing kidding me" :)
Good for you for turning that feature off. I am pretty sure you're one of the people who really don't need it.

Anne said...

I think you are in my head. Seriously - this has been on my mind SO MUCH recently. It drives me bonkers! And, this is why I find it SO HARD to take rest days. I know I move a lot, but...yeah. That's my current challenge - balancing the benefits of the watch / tracker with my mental block against having it reflect a more laidback day.