The Simple, Yet Counter-intuitive Way I’ll Get More Exercise in 2016
Amid the native applications on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 phone is a little gem called S Health.
The potentiometer inside the phone works as a pedometer to measure your steps and movement each day. This data is recorded on the app. It’s simple and convenient. No strapping on fit bits or clipping on pedometers, simply walk around with your phone. Most people do it anyways.
The stock setting is for 6000 steps. Which is a decent days walk, approx three miles. Once you reach your step goal, a buzzer alerts and a notification pops up on your phone. Pleasure centers of the brain receive the newly introduced dopamine hit and you feel good. It’s a small reward, but you still feel you accomplished something daily.
I have been shooting for that daily goal since I got the phone. Most days, I can exceed it by 4 pm. More sedentary days, I struggle to make it. But, I try to never miss two days in a row.
The meager 6000 steps is attainable each day. I know that. But it does requires some effort.
To challenge myself, this year I upped the goal. I set the reward to 7500. That’s less than an extra mile of walking each day, but
after the holidays, it’s needed. The long math comes out to over 500,000 steps a year or 250 miles. Not bad for a small tweak.
With the new goal in my consciousness, my progress being tracked, and a simple readout every time I look at my phone, it’s now a priority. I now find myself parking further away, getting up from my desk more frequently, hitting up the bathroom on the other side of campus. It was a simple tweak, but with greater expectation comes greater output.