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FitBit (or some equivalent)--who has one?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have a FitBit Charge HR coming my way soon and have started to use the app to track both my activity level and diet. After almost a year of being away from cycling (getting married does that to you) I'm at the point where if I don't get more active and eat a bit healthier now I'm going to make things much more difficult for me down the road. Compared to some of my friends who've gotten married I've not done too bad, outside of the honeymoon where I ate at way too many micro-breweries (while sampling their beers) and lots of ice cream and put on about 5 pounds in a month, I've only put on about 4 pounds in the first year of being married, but still I'm about ten pounds overweight now and have lost some of the muscle mass I had from two years of regular bike riding. 

 

I'm definitely a numbers/stats guy. I'm much more conscientious about things when I can see numbers to back them up. So I've started using the FitBit app to track my general activity, and after a few days of playing with it, decided to start using the MyFitnessPal app for tracking food (the FitBit food database just didn't have the things I was eating as I eat mostly homemade food whereas the FitBit database is mostly prepared foods or restaurant items). 

 

I'm curious if others are using similar devices or methods for tracking their fitness and/or diet? 

post #2 of 16
I have a FitBit HR and I like it. I was surprised how few steps if take in a day. I now walk the dog everyday and actively seek out my 10k steps. I like the sleep monitor and heart beat tracking. The HR one I have dies faster than the original FitBit so try to juice it up when you're sitting or in the shower.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
How much battery life do you get out of it usually? A couple days? How long does it take you to charge?
post #4 of 16
About three days on a charge and about an hour to charge it up.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

How do you find the Charge does with tracking steps while driving. Until mine arrives I'm using the app and I find that given how bumpy some of the road are here everytime I go for a drive it ends up adding as much as 200 extra steps. 

post #6 of 16

1)  I have one.

 

2)  The data they produce is mostly worthless.  

 

3) If you truly have wildly varied activtiy from day to day, while the data they produce would still be pretty worthless, it might help you figure out if you're feeling wasted from truly spending the day on your feet, or feeling wasted because your sales call at 2:30 stretched until 4:45 and then ultimately didn't go well.  But, for most people, this doesn't apply,

 

4)  Be active, do meaningful aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week to help build the aerobic base that is key for an aerobic sport like recreational skiing, and key physiologically even for alpin ski racing, don't eat too many sweet things, and lift some weights.  If needed make sure to go to bed a little hungry.  You don't need ultra-precise data to figure out whether you're doing those things and track it accurately.

post #7 of 16
I find it as some random steps here or there but generally it gives you a good idea of how active you are. You can definitely cheat the system but when your goal is 10k those steps are a small fraction.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
 

1)  I have one.

 

2)  The data they produce is mostly worthless.  

 

3) If you truly have wildly varied activtiy from day to day, while the data they produce would still be pretty worthless, it might help you figure out if you're feeling wasted from truly spending the day on your feet, or feeling wasted because your sales call at 2:30 stretched until 4:45 and then ultimately didn't go well.  But, for most people, this doesn't apply,

 

4)  Be active, do meaningful aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week to help build the aerobic base that is key for an aerobic sport like recreational skiing, and key physiologically even for alpin ski racing, don't eat too many sweet things, and lift some weights.  If needed make sure to go to bed a little hungry.  You don't need ultra-precise data to figure out whether you're doing those things and track it accurately.

 

The point of the data isn't to have clinical study level accuracy. If it's off by a few percent here and there it's fine, it's more about finding trends. Like @voghan pointed out he didn't realize how little he actually walked until he started tracking it. Likewise I think the value isn't that the data is 100% accurate, it's that it gives you an idea of your activity level and helps keep you aware of things you otherwise might not have paid attention to. 

 

And the whole point of the device in my mind is to help with point 4. It's one thing to say be active and do exercise, it's another thing to actually remember to do it, especially when you're not naturally inclined towards exercising solely for the purpose of getting exercise. I like being active, but I dread the thought of "exercising" so I think a device that will remind me that I've been fairly inactive today will help me to say "I should go for a walk or bike ride". That's the purpose for it in my mind. 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 

 

The point of the data isn't to have clinical study level accuracy. ...

 

Well, you'd asked if someone has one or uses one.  If you wanted to simply explain why you, yourself, have one, fair enough.

 

The only point I was making is that the data they provide is not valuable from a coaching perspective in most circumstances.  If they help someone who's tech-gadget-oriented exercise, who wouldn't exercise if they were instead asked to simply track exercise with a simple calendar entry, then that's a good thing.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 

 

The point of the data isn't to have clinical study level accuracy. ...

 

Well, you'd asked if someone has one or uses one.  If you wanted to simply explain why you, yourself, have one, fair enough.

 

The only point I was making is that the data they provide is not valuable from a coaching perspective in most circumstances.  If they help someone who's tech-gadget-oriented exercise, who wouldn't exercise if they were instead asked to simply track exercise with a simple calendar entry, then that's a good thing.

 

And if you read the OP rather than just the title you'd see that the focus of the thread was for tracking fitness and diet, not for getting hyper-accurate heart rate numbers for advanced coaching. 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

And if you read the OP rather than just the title you'd see that the focus of the thread was for tracking fitness and diet, not for getting hyper-accurate heart rate numbers for advanced coaching. 

They don't track fitness. They are neat gadgets. Glad u like yours.
post #12 of 16

As blunt as CTKook is, he's right.

 

It's a neat gadget but is nowhere near a fitness tracker. It's a good eyeball measurement of "have you done anything today?" but that's about it. It's not as precise as it says to be.

I haven't done the diet tracker because I'm changing my diet for more cost effective reasons (thank you Japan for expensive meats).

 

Do I like mine? Hell yeah, but for me it is that little kick in the butt to run another 3 km. It makes the carrot on the stick for me to stay active and is nowhere near the precision fitness tool it claims to be.

 

Added bonus - My father, brother,  and I actually do the challenges between eachother. The weekly challenges are a nice way to kick your friends with FitBits to keep it up. But, that is the same situation with anyone working out. Friends are always the best motivator. 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

And if you read the OP rather than just the title you'd see that the focus of the thread was for tracking fitness and diet, not for getting hyper-accurate heart rate numbers for advanced coaching. 

They don't track fitness. They are neat gadgets. Glad u like yours.

 

I question if you've even read the thread given that I said I haven't even gotten one yet. 

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuckerpooks View Post
 

As blunt as CTKook is, he's right.

 

It's a neat gadget but is nowhere near a fitness tracker. It's a good eyeball measurement of "have you done anything today?" but that's about it. It's not as precise as it says to be.

I haven't done the diet tracker because I'm changing my diet for more cost effective reasons (thank you Japan for expensive meats).

 

Do I like mine? Hell yeah, but for me it is that little kick in the butt to run another 3 km. It makes the carrot on the stick for me to stay active and is nowhere near the precision fitness tool it claims to be.

 

Added bonus - My father, brother,  and I actually do the challenges between eachother. The weekly challenges are a nice way to kick your friends with FitBits to keep it up. But, that is the same situation with anyone working out. Friends are always the best motivator. 

 

I'm sure that is true. Like any app or such they're very rarely 100% precise. The apps that track your skiing often get speed data that just isn't realistic due to anomolistic data points. Likewise I'm sure that the heart rate monitor is not 100% accurate all the time and the number of steps you take may be off a few % points. Plus tracking food how do I know if the piece of meat I'm eating is 4 or 5 ounces, I'm not weighing/measuring everything I eat. To me the point is making yourself conscious of what you're doing rather than recording to a scientific level of accuracy. Unless you're a professional (or at least amateur competing) athlete having that level of accuracy isn't necessary, however having some data is more beneficial than no data. It seems that in that sense the device has worked out for you and that's what I'm hoping it gives me.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post
 

 

I'm sure that is true. Like any app or such they're very rarely 100% precise. The apps that track your skiing often get speed data that just isn't realistic due to anomolistic data points. Likewise I'm sure that the heart rate monitor is not 100% accurate all the time and the number of steps you take may be off a few % points. Plus tracking food how do I know if the piece of meat I'm eating is 4 or 5 ounces, I'm not weighing/measuring everything I eat. To me the point is making yourself conscious of what you're doing rather than recording to a scientific level of accuracy. Unless you're a professional (or at least amateur competing) athlete having that level of accuracy isn't necessary, however having some data is more beneficial than no data. It seems that in that sense the device has worked out for you and that's what I'm hoping it gives me.

 

It sounds like you're in it with the same mindset as me. I'm confident you'll enjoy the purchase.

 

One comment about the skiing. As you said, most technology can't exactly pick-up what you're doing. FitBit really doesn't know what to do with skiing.

Sometimes it throws a lot of the activity into footsteps and other days into floors. Maybe this deals with the steepness as it records vertical movements as well (ie. flat = walking, steep = floors). There was one day I supposedly had done 340 floors by 11:00 in the morning during race training. Either way, for some reason these are never really counted into calorie counts or exercise time.

post #16 of 16

I've had four free FitBits since last April.     I have never seen people so careless with watches or electronica as with these things.     

One of them has managed to find its way back to the original purchaser. 


I don't actually use them.    The information they give me is neither here nor there (background noise, really) and it's easy enough to keep track of goal-oriented structured workouts through other means (that I'd be using anyway).     I suppose I *could* try to use one to minimise activity during recovery periods.     I'll try that with the next one I find. 


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/31/16 at 5:32am
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