Fabric of my Life.

Do you ever struggle to find motivation to get out of the house, and work those 10,000 recommended steps into your everyday routine?

I never used to have an issue checking off my daily step count when I was working in london and buzzing around town like a blue-arsed fly, but now that I regularly work from home – or simply mosey on down to the local coffee shop when in need of a change of scenery – I’ve realised that hitting that most basic of exercise requirements is becoming a much less frequent occurrence. Many moons ago I had a fitness tracker that helped me keep on top of my daily step count but the charger for it was lost in the house move before last and since I was always so darn busy that those steps were a mere breeze, I just didn’t bother replacing it…

So, fast forward to last week when Nokia Health got in touch to tell me all about their latest fitness campaign. Partnering with Connected Health Cities, Nokia have organised an 8-week step challenge from now until 21 December in city regions across the North of England – including my home city of Manchester – in a bid to get people moving and help advance science’s understanding of how low-intensity exercise can improve heart health.

More activity leads to better heart health so our goal is to motivate citizens to walk more — and ultimately reach 200 million total steps each week. By tracking their daily movement via the Nokia Health Mate app, participants can sign up to join their region's team and add their own step count to the team total, as four Northern region's go head-to-head in the battle to be the most active community in the North.. 

After the 8-week challenge ends, de-personalised data will be sent to the University of Manchester’s Connected Health Cities programme where data analysts will look for changes in heart rate across the study period.

More effective use of data and technology has great potential to deliver health benefits for all of us. The CityMoves study is a great example for people to see the positive impact that their data can have. The aim is to develop a better understanding of the relationship between increased physical exercise and resting heart rate, a key indicator of health. 

I’m taking part and tracking my steps for the challenge on my beautiful new Nokia Steel** Activity Tracker – and my, what a beauty it is! I love the stripped-back minimalist styling of this tracker, which looks far more like a sleek retro-inspired timepiece than a new-fangled smart tech device. The stainless steel case and double domed glass face offer a sleek timeless feel, and with an analog subdial charting your daily activity progress from 0 – 100% (which is 10,000 steps by default but can be set to whatever target you choose), you can see at a glance how you’re getting on without needing to fire up the app on your phone and wait for the device to connect, as my previous tracker did.


There’s also no need to charge the tracker, since it runs on a simple button cell battery that lasts up to 8 months, and all data is collected automatically via patented Connected Movement™ technology, which syncs the info to your app to give provide in-depth metrics, personal coaching and more. Possibly my favourite thing about the watch is the way it syncs with the app to set the time automatically, meaning that if your phone time changes because you’ve moved timezones, the hand on the clock face automatically dials itself forward or back in tandem – neat, huh?

Alongside my Steel activity tracker, I’m also using Nokia’s Body Cardio scales** to get a comprehensive picture of my health in one quick easy step. These smart scales measure not only weight but also calculate your BMI, body fat and water percentage, muscle and bone mass, as well as checking your cardiovascular health via heart rate and pulse wave velocity, all in under 30 seconds!


The idea is that whatever your fitness level, you will be able to see clearly how adopting small lifestyle changes — like a healthier diet and more activity — can have a big impact on your overall health by seeing changes tracked daily in the Health Mate app. If you’re not quite ready to invest in these hi-tech scales though, you can also use the app to measure and track your heart rate by utilising the camera on your phone; simply place your index finger gently over the camera and hold it in place as the app detects your pulse – so clever!


Interested? You can join the programme and help support your local Northern region by visiting nokia.ly/citymoves.

This post is a Paid Partnership with Nokia Health but all thoughts and opinions expressed are, as always, my own. All photography © Kate Baxter. 

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