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Eighteen months ago, a bundle of joy arrived on my doorstep.
At the time, I couldn't have anticipated how much such a tiny thing would change my life. I didn't know that it would make me healthier and happier. And more competitive. So much more competitive.
Of course, I'm talking about my FitBit.
We mainly talk about apps and gadget for your legal practice on this blog, but you also (hopefully) have a life outside of your office. And this is where a pedometer -- or, as my parents call it, a "step counter" -- comes in.
Unless you have a treadmill desk, your workday is probably pretty sedentary. A pedometer won't change that, but it can make you more aware of how much you move (or don't move), motivating you to walk more.
If you like buying gadgets, there are plenty of pedometers on the market. Prices start around $10 for a basic model. If you prefer to rely on your phone for everything in life, you can download a pedometer app. (There are free pedometer apps for both iPhone and Android.)
For those of you who like your gadgets to talk to one another, there are even pedometers that can sync with computers and smartphones (through apps, naturally), to produce pretty graphs depicting your movement. Two of the most popular are the Nike FuelBand and (my choice) the FitBit.
The Nike FuelBand ($150) is a wristband that tracks your daily activity including running, walking, sports, dancing, etc. It counts your steps and calories, and it can sync with your iPhone or computer to make the aforementiond pretty graphs. (Sorry, Android users, there's no plan for Android interaction right now, TechCrunch reports.) You can link your FuelBand account with your Facebook, Twitter, and Path accounts to brag about your achievements.
The most unique FuelBand feature is the NikeFuel Missions, a game through which users can earn NikeFuel points during everyday physical activity and advance to higher levels, The Verge explains. It's kind of like entering a real life Mario world, but without the lovable, animated killing machines.
While Nike FuelBand and FitBit offer most of the same step-counting, goal-setting, graph-producing features, FitBit ($70-$100) is iPhone-and-Android-compatible and it has an additional social function: The scoreboard. You can become FitBit friends with fellow FitBit users, and compete for scoreboard dominance.
Sure, it's nice to see that you've met or exceeded your daily step goal, but it's even better to see that you're trouncing your friends in total steps. And if you're not? You walk/run/move more. (Hey, lawyers are competitive. It works.) While you're competing, you're relieving stress and becoming healthier, both of which can have long-term professional benefits.
As Elle Woods said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." Happy people
just don't shoot their husbands make better lawyers. So get yourself a pedometer (or a pedometer app), get moving, and become a better lawyer.