How To Cheat Using a Pedometer

Ironic Mom FitBit

NOTE: Chewing your pedometer does not add more “steps”

I bought a FitBit Zip, which I tend to call my FitBit “Zit” because it protrudes from my body like acne. If you don’t know what a FitBit is, it’s a small piece of expensive plastic that you clip to your waistband so it can record you how many steps you take on a given day.

Basically, it’s a pedometer that went to college.

I purchased my FitBit Zit because (a) it’s important to have data on how inactive I am, and (b) I’m an idiot who has this habit of buying expensive equipment and then never attempting the sport again, like I did with basketball shoes when I turned 37 and an extra-long yoga mat when I turned 38.

I ordered the lower-end FitBit because I didn’t want the features of the upscale model, which tracks how much sleep you get. Given my scientific proof that “new equipment” equals “never doing it again,” this equation meant that I’d become a perpetual insomniac, something I’ve flirted with before without the help of hard data. Trust me, I don’t need numbers to tell me I’m groggy and grumpy; I just need 92 energetic middle schoolers traipsing into my classroom every week day. Or either of my children.

With the pedometer aspect of the FitBit, you’re supposed to take 10,000 steps a day to achieve an active lifestyle. That works out to five miles or—in Canadian metric math—8000 kilometres across frozen tundra every day.

I am proud to say that I reached 10,000 steps, providing you add the totals of three days together.

When I wasn’t walking, my husband and I spent a lot of time talking about how how I could get 10,000 steps in a single day.

Based on these conversations, here are eight ways to cheat using your pedometer:

  1. Throw it in the dryer and let it dance with the single socks.
  2. Walk to and from the liquor store wearing it.
  3. Get your kids to chase you 45 times around your kitchen island.
  4. Have your husband order you around in order to get “steps”.
  5. Clip it to your bra for the full bounce effect.
  6. Dance while cooking, cleaning, and on the toilet.
  7. Run on the spot while brushing your teeth. Proceed cautiously if flossing.
  8. Give your pedometer to your kids and tell them not to bother you until the number reads 10,000.

Yup. I did all of them except one.

Any other ideas how to clock more steps?
Do you have any stories of fitness failures?


  1. says

    Hook that sucker to the family dog… and play fetch. Also, cute hair. Also, too, I do the same Buy N’ Quit routine. I was really good about lifting weights until I bought a set of fancy ones. Something about being perfectly equipped to exercise kills the appeal.

  2. says

    Oh. My. Word. You have me rolling! My students are looking at me like I’ve lost my mind. That’s what I get for trying to sneak at peek at your blog while they work 😉

    I have a FitBit Zit as well :)

  3. says

    I recently bought a kettle-bell because cross-fit is all the rage and by George I was going to do it in my house. After one arm workout (where I hurt myself) it’s been sitting, gathering dust. I’m contemplating using it as a door stop.

  4. Katie says

    Oh my word, I love it!!! You can also attach it to one of your students (for extra credit of course) and let them wear it to Physical Education class.

    Writing Pad Dad {up there} is my hubby. He told me all about your blog and I am addicted!

    Teacher to the Core Blog

  5. says

    The great thing about kilometers, when you’re used to miles, is it feels like you’re just FLYING.

    As far as the “steps” question, though… hm… What if you walked 70,000 steps in one day, then you’re off the hook for the rest of the week!

  6. says

    I wore my pedometer all day long, including at work, at home, while actually walking, even while sleeping. A few times I woke up with 10-20 more steps on my pedometer than I had on it when I went to bed. So I think sleepwalking steps should count, too…

    By the way, love the title of your book. I’m a teacher, too, and I find myself saying things at my high school that I never thought I’d ever have to say. Today’s was: “Will you stop eating that eraser, please?”

  7. says

    My wife bought a pedometer. We discovered it only registered every other footstep, sometimes less. But the whole exercise jag went a bit out the window anyway when I pointed out that you have to walk about 1,863,000 miles just to burn off the calorific energy obtained by eating half a mintie,,,

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