Dither for Fitness: May 2023 Newsletter


Hey, Senior Friends!

Do you have trouble meeting your daily goals on your fitness tracker? Well, worry no more. With Dr. Juliet Kincaid’s unique Dithering for Fitness tips, you will meet them all with ease.

dither intr v To walk back and forth without going anywhere.

Inherent Dithering

Your home will provide you with a surprising number of opportunities to dither.

For instance, most daily chores like making your bed and preparing meals inherently give you steps. My mom Susie Willman used to dust around, that is, run a cloth over the tops of chest of drawers, etc. every morning. My dad Homer D. ran a dust mop around the kitchen floor daily. Mom lived to the age of 94, and Dad to 87.

A personal favorite dithering method of mine is doing the wash. My home office where I am writing this advice column is a mere thirty-two steps away from the washing machine in the laundry room. But these steps add up with three loads, especially if I vigorously pump my arms for aerobic benefit.

 Accidental Dithering

Accidental dithering often involves forgetfulness.

Undoubtedly, you know these moments. For example, you walk from your living room to your bedroom. But by the time you arrive at your destination, you’ve forgotten what you wanted to do there. So, you have to retrace your steps in hopes you’ll see some clue that will remind you of what you wanted to do. (Extra benefits if you have to climb stairs!)

Sometimes, you lose things. Now where did I put my  . . . ? you ask yourself. This happens to me very often. I own at least ten pairs of reading glasses. I keep a pair in the living room, a pair in the kitchen, and two pairs on the family room. But about once a day on average, I get up from my computer in the home office and dither through the house, perhaps to answer the buzzing summons of the clothes dryer. When I come back, I realize that I took off my glasses and set them down somewhere. So off again I must go in search of them.

Like the other kinds of dithering, accidental dithering can have health benefits. These dithering steps can be aerobic and add to your active minutes, especially if you pump your arms. And misplacing your mobile phone very well might make your heart pound extra hard.

Another place I often accidentally dither is while shopping at the grocery store. Fairly often, I get as far as the frozen foods department when I realize that I forgot to get the romaine lettuce that I need for the dinner salads. So, all the way back across the store back to the produce department I dither.

But I’ve quit beating myself up for accidental dithering. All steps are good steps. All active minutes are good active minutes. Your fitness tracker doesn’t care where they come from.

And this brings us to the third type of dithering for fitness . . .

Intentional Dithering

I’ll close with a few examples.

Every morning, I dither out to the garage to fill the bird feeders before I dither out to the back yard to hang the feeders up. Every evening, I dither out in the back yard to get the bird feeders and bring them in. (I can’t leave them out at night because the squirrels and racoons destroy them.) 

On Trash Day, I dither back and forth between the house and the recycle bin at the curb with a forgotten item or two at a time.

At least once every day, when prompted by my fitness tracker to get a few more steps, I go out and, enthusiastically pumping my arms, dither up and down the sidewalk to the corner and back.

To your good health, my senior friends, and happy dithering. Best, Juliet

P. S. For listings of Juliet Kincaid’s books and stories, go to her author’s pages on

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/2z9z3b2y

Apple Books: https://tinyurl.com/57k5d6dj

Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/43x5fa7n

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/hpn5dp8b