Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

We were seated around the dining table celebrating a family birthday. Shortly after everyone left the table, we noted my daughter and a granddaughter were in the living room walking up and down, and also walking in the nearby hallway.

I asked if they were walking off the effects of our lunch and was shown what my family members called “step trackers.” They looked just like ordinary watches but had other abilities unknown at the time by me.

My daughter informed me they feared inaction was not good for personal health, so they were walking to measure this activity level. They each had on a tracker that told them their heart rate, number of calories consumed, number of steps taken, food intake and the like. They sought to improve their health by building a healthy lifestyle and using the watches to help them monitor their activity. My granddaughter advised me that these watches probably were not Fitbits, considered the best, but served their purpose for around $50 each. Fitbits recorded all the individual’s activity and advised of exercise modes. Battery life was considered good, and the alarm was not loud and noisy but rather a kind of quiet vibration. Actually, the step tracker was considered like a smartphone, and it was waterproof.

Frankly, I was impressed by the desire of these young people to measure their physical activity and to lead a more healthy life. I encouraged them to walk anywhere they chose to walk inside or outside the house. Use it or lose it, and they were determined to stay healthy.

My daughter and granddaughter were making regular exercise part of their routine. And the way they were doing it with step counters and in the living room and hallway made it fun and convenient. Exercise was helping their heart health and probably increasing their energy level, among other benefits.

To me, it looked like something to encourage and to support. I expressed my approval with a thumbs up.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.