11 Hacks When You Forget to Wear Your Pedometer

Don't Let Your Streak End When You Forgot to Wear Your Fitbit

Cycle Hack When You Forget Your Pedometer
Cycle Hack When You Forget Your Pedometer. Wendy Bumgardner ©

As I write this, I am pedaling my DeskCycle with my Nike FuelBand and Fitbit attached to my shoelaces. Why am I doing this after I walked a three-hour, 9-mile walk this morning? It isn't for cross-training, it's because I forgot to wear the band during my long walk.

I've ended up with the same problem when I forgot to recharge my Fitbit and it goes dead while I'm out on a walk.

I'm addicted to making my fitness tracker goals each day on the FuelBand and Fitbit.

I have unbroken streaks of achieving 10,000 steps per day or an energy goal and I don't want to break the streak. What can I do when I forget to wear my fitness tracker?

What To Do When You Forget Your Pedometer or Fitness Band

  1. Log the Exercise with the App or Dashboard: Fitbit and some other trackers (but not Nike FuelBand) let you manually log exercise that wasn't tracked with the tracker. This may or may not add into your step count total. It does with Fitbit for some purposes but won't transfer to some third-party applications where you may be engaged in competitions or earning rewards, such as the Pact app. IYou may want to estimate the missing steps by knowing your steps per mile if your app doesn't do that for you.
  2. Just Walk More: Put it on and get moving. A few more miles probably won't kill you. This was not the option I was looking for after already having walked nine miles.
  3. Dance: Tired of walking? Put on your tracker, put on the tunes and dance. Arm and hip motion can rack up the steps fast.
  1. Wave Your Hands in the Air: Many fitness bands can be tricked into recording lots of steps if you use vigorous arm motion, whether you are walking or not. Experiment with your band or pedometer. If you're just too tired for any legwork, this might work.
  2. Cycling: When you've already walked as far as your feet can take you, try sitting and cycling with your device clipped to your shoe. Not all pedometers and fitness bands count cycling motion as steps. Try positioning the pedometer on your sock cuff if you don't get steps with it on your shoe. Cycling tones the opposite leg muscles that walking and running do, and I recommend it as part of your overall fitness program.
  1. Play with the Pooch: Attach your pedometer to your dog's collar and play catch. It won't wear you out if you have your dog return the ball  to you with each throw. Your device may not count doggie steps the same as human, but it might get your closer to your lost step number. Careful, though, or your dog may want his own pet pedometer.
  2. Soccer Mom Solution: Attach your pedometer to your kid as he or she goes to soccer or basketball practice. Offer a reward for logging the most steps while jumping rope, shooting hoops, playing Wii or dancing to DDR. All great things for your kids to be doing for their own physical activity.
  3. Friends and Family Plan: You're tired, but maybe somebody else is ready to get moving. Hand it over to a friend or loved one who is ready to walk, run or treadmill.
  4. Strangers at the Gym or Track: Enlist a random person on the treadmill at the gym to wear it during their workout. You may want to offer a tip when they return it to you.
  5. Robots to the Rescue: Look around you. What gadgets or appliances do you have that might simulate a walking motion so you don't have to? Ceiling fans. Rocking chairs. You'll have to experiment. One friend accidentally dropped hers in the dryer and it recorded a lot of steps. If you try that, wrap it up well with padding in a zippered pouch or pocket and set the dryer to the no-heat air-dry setting.
  1. Steal Somebody Else's Steps: If you have a friend who isn't as goal-obsessed as you are and who also wears your brand of fitness tracker, ask to borrow it for a moment. Link it to your account and steal their steps for the day. Give it back and then link your own tracker. This may not work with every pedometer - some will retroactively credit the steps already achieved for the day, others will only show steps walked after you link it to your account.

Not an Option: Letting It Go

With my 554-day streak at stake, I clipped my trackers to my shoeIaces and pedaled a DeskCycle while writing this list. I made my daily Fuelband goal by the end the article. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Zip logged only 2000 steps, but that's one less mile I'll have to put on it by the end of the day.

It's great to be motivated by your fitness tracker and make your goal each day. I am moving more, sitting less and achieving the minimum recommended amount of exercise each day. While I may have to resort to some kooky hacks every now and then, I'm not going to let it go.

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