Steps Count

Cayden Plummer, Staff Writer

Being productive throughout the day and seizing the moment are things that a lot of people struggle to stay motivated to do. To combat this, you can make a variety of lifestyle choices that help to keep you energized and focused. According to Hollis Brookline High School fitness teacher Tracy Gray, “If I am lazy in my body I end up being mentally lazy as well. Everything starts with moving.” while you may not realize it, moving has a lot of benefits that affect us mentally. 


Scientifically, getting exercise, no matter how strenuous, tends to improve mental health. This correlation is important in day-to-day life because a lot of adults and teenagers do not fit workouts into their busy schedules. By keeping track of your step count, it is easy to see and compare your activity levels from day to day.


Last week, I tracked my steps every day using the Apple Health app on my phone. This allowed me to set goals for myself each day and compare my overall mental state between days on which I achieved my goal and days on which I did not. Right out of the gate, the results were obvious. On the first day, I was able to take 10,000 steps, which was the goal I had set for myself on the day prior. I noticed that I was more alert and ready to attack the problems that I faced. Kail Arthur ‘21 uses her apple watch to track her steps every day and she finds that she feels differently on days with less activity saying, “I like being active, so I usually do not feel my best on days where I do not move as much,” said Arthur.


While tracking steps is not the only metric available to track activity, most phones nowadays come equipped with apps and sensors that will do it automatically, making it the most convenient method. Timothy Leclerc ‘21 has also found that tracking steps makes him feel good, “Looking at my step count after finishing a day feels rewarding. I like to look at the number each night before I take my watch off and reflect on whether or not I think I moved enough for that day,” said Leclerc This is another way that utilizing technology to track daily activity can improve mental health. After a very active day, you are rewarded with quantitative data that backs up your already present feeling of success. 


Of course, if you are someone who already takes exercise and working out very seriously, something as trivial as counting steps may not be what you are focused on. “Since I am a sprinter, I do not really worry about how many steps I am getting. My main concern for track is improving form and getting stronger so that I can sprint faster, so I look at my times for different length sprints at practice much more than how many steps I am getting,” said Arthur


At the end of my first week tracking my step count daily, it is hard to dispute the simple fact that increased physical activity leads to more focused mentality and great mental health. Every day in which I had a decrease in steps, my day was less productive overall.


With the summer months around the corner and weather heating up, now is a great time to try it out for yourself. There are many ways to get active and some may be just what you need to help you finish the school year on a high note.