Sunday, August 17, 2014

8/17/14: 1528.3 to 1536.7 miles - Pedestrianism Challenges

While reading "Pedestrianism: When watching people walk was America's Favorite Sport," I learned about people who could seemingly go indefinitely with short periods of sleep during the day. I think they were called poly-sleepers. I've toyed with this idea in the past and have practiced taking 20 minute naps. I'd set a timer for 20 minutes and challenge myself to be asleep when the bell went off. 

I based this concept on a NASA study which showed astronauts were more efficient at difficult tasks if they took a 20 minute nap before accomplishing the task. The efficiency could be boosted by drinking a cup of coffee before the nap.

What I take from this is people shouldn't constrain themselves by other people's sleep habits. In the same vein of thought, people shouldn't constrain themselves by other people's exercise habits. Everyone has different abilities, responsibilities, and levels of interest. This is supposed to be fun and people should do what it takes to make it fun. 

Many pedestrianism wagers were a bet a person could walk from point A to point B in a stated time. Others were a race between two people and they would each get a percentage of the money bet on them with the winner taking a larger share.

Well, I think it would be hard to find someone to compete with. Pedestrianism is no longer a popular sport, so the only person I can bet with is myself. My favorite activity is maintaining a constant pace for as long as possible while using a click track (metronome) while listening to a book. To make this work well, a person needs to walk in an area where they don't have to cross streets. I have a bicycle trail nearby where I can do this. Still, it's hard to get the hours needed all at once to test my limits.

The Fitbit Zip tracks the hours of activity each day. It has three levels, and the minutes are tracked in each level. I can get the lowest level of activity by working around the house and being productive in a way other than walking. Yesterday, I had 293 minutes or 4 hrs and 53 minutes. This can be a target for me to try to beat. I've had higher, but I don't feel like going back and looking at it. 

I'm becoming less enamored with the Fitbit Zip. Yes, it does give lots of information, but the batteries only last about a month on the average. I might be better off using my inexpensive pedometer and tracking each day's distance and steps in a spreadsheet. 

Time to get to work painting the house. I need to get that done this month. Hope my battery lasts long enough to track today.

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