Remix Q&A with Erin Simpson and Zac Franich on FitBit MoveMeant challenge

The MoveMeant Challenge has come to a close for its fifth year. This challenge is as an annual collaboration between Fitbit and diabetes NZ. The MoveMeant Challenge had a diverse group of New Zealand’s brightest stars getting involved and “stepping up to the challenge” – in competition with each other for the past two weeks straight, to get the highest step count. This was all in the name of creating a conversation about diabetes, emphasising the importance of regular exercise.

We were lucky enough to have Erin Simpson and her lovely hubby, Zac Franich involved this year. In the question and answer interview below – Erin and Zac have discussed their participation as MoveMeant challengers and how they have kept active, even in self-isolation.


Over the two weeks of the MoveMeant Challenge, we have raised over $47,000 for diabetes NZ. With everything that is happening in New Zealand, this fundraising is even more important to assist Diabetes NZ as they support people with diabetes who are deemed to be at high risk.  These services are not generally funded by grants, so fundraising from this type of activity is essential to fill the gaps in grant funding.


The winner this year is Maurice Trapp. He reached a staggering 406,000 steps and will not only get a trophy and bragging rights. He will be able to donate Fitbit devices to a Diabetes NZ youth group of his choice, to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

What inspired you to get involved in the MoveMeant Challenge 2020?

Zac; Erin and I get very caught up in our work, it’s our passion and we love it but because of that a lot of day to day things get pushed to the side to save more time to work.

Erin; for example driving to the supermarket instead of walking. 

Zac; When this opportunity presented itself we thought it would be a good way to take stock of what we aren’t doing to take care of ourselves and also a project we could do together.

Erin; And we’re are always looking for more ways in which we get to spend more time with each other.

What are your top tips for self-isolating readers on upping their step count?

Erin; We train 3 mornings a week under the incredible Monty Betham at Boxing Alley and recently he has started keeping us home but pre-recording and sending our sessions to the whole group virally. 

Zac; He makes sure we are all checking in from our homes/backyards/garages at the normal morning time of 7am.

Erin; He’s making sure we are all still training together and keeping our fitness and steps up just from different corners of the city. Online trainers are amazing.

Do you track your fitness and/or steps in your everyday life?

Zac; Neither of us have used a Fitbit before no so this is a first for us. We’re both pretty competitive, so having something which tracks your numbers has been a fun way to keep active.

How are you staying motivated to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle in the current climate?

Zac; I’ve been getting into running recently.

Erin; what he’s about to say is that he even has a running outfit now.

Zac; I do! I literally haven’t run in 3 years and I’ve been running every day to beat Erin! It’s good, it helps me clear my mind, keeps me focused and I get to see my steps go up

Erin; I keep asking him to wear my watch on his other hand while he runs but he won’t.

What does well-being mean to you? 

Erin; I never been into fitness much I’ve only ever worried about energy levels. So I monitor my well-being on energy

Zac; Taking care of yourself on all levels: sleep, diet, mind-space & exercise

What advice do you have for readers that are avoiding the gym or are self-isolating?

Erin; Get a hold of someone like Monty and ask them to train you online

Zac; Start small - baby steps. Find an online routine and just start. The habit comes before the motivation. 

Do you have an indoor work-out you’re loving at the moment?

Zac; I refuse to download TikTok so not that.

Erin; Monty’s sessions include push ups, explodes, crawls, body drops and more.  I wouldn’t say I’m loving them but I’m doing them haha.

How do you think keeping active could help people struggling with the transition into self-isolation?

Erin; Just the same way it does when we are not self-isolation.

Zac; Erin’s right. Exercise is a great release, I’ve never met anyone who feels worse after doing some exercise.