Sunday, June 21, 2015

Activity Trackers

All the rage these days seems to be counting your steps with an activity tracker.  For over a decade I have always used a heart-rate monitor with chest strap when I exercise.  I have one that tracks my heart-rate and calories burned while working out.  I have been very happy with using one of these watches for years.  But back around the holidays I decided to cave in a get a Garmin Vivofit activity tracker.

I liked that it had a heart-rate monitor strap.  The calories burned during a workout were pretty close to what my other heart-rate monitor showed.  But as time passed, I found myself really trying to like the Vivofit, but just didn't.  First of all I did not like wearing the watch 24/7.  I missed wearing my other watches that were prettier and and a lot more comfortable.  Then after a few months, the Vivofit began to reset the steps I had already walked that day mid morning.  At that point I knew that my days of wearing a Vivofit were coming to an end.  I would be walking around at work and then glance down and see that I only had a few hundred steps opposed to a few thousand steps.  It started randomly resetting about once a week.  Then about a month later it began doing it every other day.

Another thing that I had researched was the accuracy of wearing an activity tracker on your arm.  In order to accurately count the steps walked, a device must be centered on your body, for example at your waist or on a bra strap.  To prove this, whenever I dried my hair I would get about a 1,000 steps just by moving my arms about.  Another time I was cooking in the kitchen and I had to mix something by hand.  If I used the hand with the Vivofit to whisk the food, the numbers began to escalate as though I were running a sprint.  I did find that if I wore the watch on my non-dominant hand it wasn't as inaccurate, but I finally got to the point that I had to take it off whenever I moved my arms such as I mentioned above.

So, after some communication to the company, I made the decision to return my Vivofit.  Luckily, I was able to trade it in for a Fitbit One.  I have had my Fitbit One for about a month now and I am 100% satisfied with it!

The Fitbit One is very small and easily attaches to the waist of my pants or on the strap of my bra.  This little gadget has so many cool features!  You can press the button on the top to see your current steps for the day, stairs climbed, miles walked, calories burned, and the current time.  It will also show a flower such as the one above.  If you are very active your flower will grow tall.  But if you are not moving around, your flower will begin to shrink.   
The Fitbit One comes with a wristband that you can slip the device into at night.  You hold the button down until it vibrates and a stopwatch comes on the device.  It will track your sleep.  I was very impressed with the wristband.  I was not sure if I would be comfortable wearing it, but quickly discovered that I hardly even noticed it on my arm.  So far, the Fitbit One seems very accurate with my sleep patterns.  Another cool feature that the Fitbit One offers is an alarm.  Through their website or with the app, you can set the device to vibrate and wake you up.  I found this very useful as I it woke me up without disturbing my husband.  The Fitbit One needs to be charged through a USB cable approximately every 7 to 10 days and takes about 1.5 hours to fully charge.
Everything that comes with the Fitbit One: Wireless Sync Dongle, Fitbit One, Silicone & Metal Clip, Sleep Wristband, Charging Cord
The other cool thing about the Fitbit One is that once you have set up your account on their website you can set weight loss goals and how many calories you should consume daily.  I also love that I can track all of my workouts and anything that you eat.  I am still wearing my heart-rate monitor when I exercise.  After a workout, I get onto the Fitbit website and type in which workout I did and input the calories burned.  It then calculates that into my daily goals.  Another nifty feature found on the app is a bar code to scan what you eat.  For example, I am able to scan a package of lunch meat that I use to make a sandwich and input how many slices I had.  After I submit it, Fitbit tabulates the total calories.  I must say that using the nutrition tracker on the Fitbit website has certainly assisted in keeping me on track with proportions and what I put in my mouth.  I find that using my Fitbit One has become a natural part of my daily routine and I am so glad that I found the Fitbit One.
Here is a snapshot of the dashboard that shows at a glance how I am currently doing for the day.
So if you're thinking of getting an activity tracker I highly recommend getting the Fitbit One!  


No comments: