25 Mar Get Fit – A Message from Carey Dove
Well, we’re nearly one quarter of the way through 2015. How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up so far? For the first time in my life, I can answer this question honestly by saying: Great! My goal was to get fit, and it’s shocking how easy it’s been for me to make progress with nothing more than motivation and the help of a little modern technology.
At the end of last year, I got a fitbit. For those who don’t know, a fitbit is a tricked-out pedometer that syncs with your smartphone and computer to track your daily steps and monitor your general activity level. Mine is the kind you wear on your wrist (like a watch), but there are many different types; some styles you clip on to your belt or bra, and a bunch of other companies make similar devices. You can set your own personal goals for calorie-burning and whatnot, but they recommend you aim for 10 thousand steps a day… which sounds like an awful lot!
I never thought I could achieve that on a daily basis, but the fitbit makes it so easy track my progress, it gives me that extra kick I need to push myself a little farther. My wristband has little lighted dots that indicate how many steps I’ve taken, so with just a glance, I know exactly how much more I need to reach my goal. Now I rarely finish a day without hitting my 10.
I always walk for a few minutes in the morning before work, and again at the end of the day before dinner, but you’d be surprised how many extra steps you can squeeze in without really trying. When I go to the mall or grocery store, instead of parking close to the entrance, I deliberately go to the back of the lot, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. The fitbit changed my mindset: I now see everything as an opportunity to get more steps. When I reach my goal, the wristband vibrates to alert me. I’ve come to look forward to that at the end of each day, as a reward.
Health and fitness are especially important in our line of work. Most of our employees don’t have desk jobs — they perform skilled labor at a job site. We figure what’s good for our employees is good for us as a company, so we host bi-annual health & safety meetings, and author and fitness expert Rick Bradley visits our office a few times a month to perform blood pressure readings, weight assessments, and talk to us about our diet and exercise habits. By promoting smart dietary choices and exercise habits, we hope to help our employees lead fuller, healthier, and happier lives. In turn, this will increase workplace safety and on-the-job efficiency.
A few of my friends and colleagues have similar devices, and the competition serves as an added incentive — we challenge each other and encourage everyone in the group to succeed. As some of you may know, last year the Washington Business Journal named M&M Welding & Fabricators one of Greater Washington’s “Healthiest Employers.” We’re very proud of what we do for our employees, and are happy to be recognized, but we’re just getting started.
I want to share my success, so I’m challenging everyone at M&M to compete. Whoever beats my monthly numbers three times will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to be awarded at the Winter Safety Meeting. Happy stepping!