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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mary's Place

    Fitness tracker recommendations?

    My employer is now offering a credit toward the purchase of a fitness tracker, making the most popular ones essentially free. I am considering taking them up on their offer, but I am not quite sure what to do with the gadget. Like many office drones, I need to eat less and exercise more, but it is not obvious to me how a tracker helps me in that effort. My guess is that a wearable device gives a more precise count of calories burned than traditional online estimates or manual activity and intake tracker apps such as MyFitnessPal (which I've tried - meh). So what? There is still the pie-hole / craft beer side of the equation to consider. Not clear how a fitbit helps there.

    I suppose I have some curiosity to compare tracker biometrics with the displays on the elliptical machine or the stationary bike, not to mention some real-time data from the odd yoga class or middle-aged pickup hoops run. But again, so what? What do I do with it? Who cares if the tracker knows the GPS of the local Y or how far off the grid I hit a golf ball into an adjacent cow pasture or McMansion backyard?

    The other bias I have is that I don't wear a watch and prefer not to wear anything on my wrist. (Telling time is what a phone is for, not talking to people! Duh...)

    I am paralyzed by the dozens (hundreds?) of choices and vendors that are out there. I appreciate the chance to tap into the DBR collective for guidance and recommendations. Thanks in advance.

    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, Dad..."
    "Quality is not an option!"

  2. #2
    I used a wrist-based Fit Bit for awhile. My understanding is that it doesn't provide any particular impetus for activity, but does increase your awareness of your more stagnant periods.

    "Gee, I have been at 5,000 steps since lunch, let''s take a lap around the office and stretch our legs."

    There might be some decent phone-based apps you can use, but I am pretty sure that most are based on wearable technology, a.k.a. on your wrist.

  3. #3
    I recently purchased one on my own dime. In looking at them, you will notice several key features:

    Basic time, distance, steps monitoring
    Pulse/heart beat monitoring
    Sleep monitoring
    Move and other notifications(e-mail/weather/music)
    Amount of waterproofedness(yes, I made that up)
    GPS tracking

    I was able to get the first 5 when the Garmin vivosmart HR was available for sale last weekend for $98 at Sam's Club. Getting GPS was available but for $120 more. Other features to consider are size of the display/color of the device and quality of the app. I wanted small on my wrist as I don't wear a watch often, color display of data was available on my iPhone via the app so while not a well reviewed app(CNet) it was adequate for my purposes.

    So far, 1 week in, I'm extremely happy. Not sure I trust the heart rate monitoring, but the sleep monitoring is proving invaluable. And I am wearing it constantly. My employer offers incentives for maintaining certain levels of activity daily and relying on phone based app tracking meant I was missing out on alot.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    anything which motivates people to get moving is a good idea. However, I saw NBC run something a month or so ago (consistent with some articles I've seen) which
    show someone wearing five or six devices at once, and the results they give are wildly different and generally not accurate. I spend a couple of hours on the move outside
    every day, and do just fine with a basic wristwatch...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Sadly, none of the fitness trackers will burn a single calorie. It is all up to you. The trackers merely provide incentive, and to some degree, help optimize workouts.

    By far the most effective device for weightloss is your phone with my fitness pal. IF you log all of your calorie intake, you will quickly find yourself making better food intake decisions - the ONLY way to effectively lose weight.

    Heart rate monitors can be used while exercising to monitor zones in which the body burns more fat or carbs. Slower, steady workouts (with higher intensity intervals) is better for weightloss, while higher intensity workouts are better for conditioning. A chest strap is by far the most accurate and uncomfortable. I use the Polar H7 Bluetooth. All you need is a phone nearby, I can leave my phone on a bench in the gym and it picks up the whole playing floor. Still, its just metrics, and mostly incentive to try harder.

    Wearables are also merely metrics generators to provide incentive. I don't find them to be all that effective. However, I do wear one, the Polar A360. It pairs with the H7 heart monitor, so I don't need to have my phone with me to monitor workouts. I got it primarily to try to monitor swimming - at least that's what I call it. Lifeguards typically label it drowning and pull me out of the pool.

    The A360 has a wrist heart rate monitor that's OK but not nearly as accurate as a chest strap and does not measure as continuously. It can monitor workouts all by itself, which is often useful.

    The A360 also pairs with my phone to push notifications, it will buzz when I get a phone call or a text, and provide the ID info without having to pull out or get to my phone.

    Some people live and die with their daily step counts, I merely find it interesting.

    I'd like to have GPS on my A360 to monitor distance (and elevation) on hikes, runs or bike rides, but I don't mind carrying my phone for that.

    In the last several years I've managed to lose 75 pounds, which is more a testament to how bad I got than to how fit I am currently. The journey continues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    I'm content with my 8 month old iPhone 6S tracking my mileage, flights (as in stairs, not beers ) and steps, on a minute/5 minute/hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/annualized basis than spending another $100-$300 on a FitBit/Garmin device like our children (mostly Dad/me) gave my wife a year ago. Yea, I have to carry my phone with me, which I pretty much do all the time anyway, but my exercise is walking; no gym or pool. Gave up running about 7 years ago after some minor surgery and my wife's meniscus surgery which prompted her to abandon pounding the pavement after about 30 years of running/jogging for both of us. With 60-90 minutes/day walking and lots of pedestrian activity around the house, office and hospital, I've averaged almost 19K steps/day, translating into almost exactly 9 miles/day. I still managed to gain 7-8 pounds over the first 6 months of the year from indiscretionary snacking/desserting and have managed to lose the weight over the last 6-8 weeks simply by cutting waaaay back on the mid-morning/mid-afternoon and evening snacks and limiting desserts to 2-3 per week, or less. Distills down to 1 word: discipline. And Mrs. dd, when she found out I had plumped up a bit, asked the obvious, "are you going to give up beer for a couple months, too?" You can imagine my reply:







    24.gif24.gif
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  7. #7
    I've got a FitBit Alta, which when coupled with the App, is pretty great. The app helps track calories and water and you can log activities. Braclet monitors steps and activity. Pairs with your phone for call and text notifications.

  8. #8
    I have a Fitbit charge and love it. Yes my phone could count how many steps I take each day but I like the ability to track sleep plus I don't always have my phone on me. I also use the app to track my food and water intake for the day. One thing I didn't see mentioned was the social aspect of Fitbit. You can friend people just like on Facebook and then hold competitions or encourage each other to get moving. I coach high school softball and my assistant coach and I did a week long competition with the 8 players on our team who also had Fitbits. We all set personal records that week and it was a ton of fun!

  9. #9
    Had an original fitbit, and a basis band.

    "Gamifying" exercise or steps just has not clicked for me.

    I enjoy having the data, have not found that having a fitness tracker changed my exercise habits for the better.

    Your mileage may vary :-)

  10. #10
    I had a fitbit charge for a while. It provided some motivation to be more active, but not that much. It was a bit bothersome that some activities like swimming or crab fishing I didn't get "credit" for because I had to take it off.

    However, the biggest issue was the darn thing kept failing on me. The first one I had lasted about 6 months before the tracker module started delaminating from the wristband. Fitbit was great in replacing it quickly, even doing so again after another 6 months when the second one did the same thing. Then after another 3 months or so, the battery on the 3rd one failed to be able to make it through a full day so I just took it off and threw it away.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Issaquah, Washington

    this might be more feedback than you care....

    My company decided to join Virgin Pulse. You can't sign up individually; only through setup with your corporate HR. Our company decided they wanted to get their employees moving more. Have walking meetings, go to the bathroom on the other side of the building, walk in from the parking lot from the farthest spot, taking the stairs, etc. Theory is the fitter/healthier the workforce, the less need be shelled out for health insurance premiums, short / long term disability, etc.

    This program gives incentives that is driven primarily by how many steps you take a day. The corporate goal is to get a participant to average 7000 steps a day. Many of our employees could not believe they could get 7000 steps a day - you can tell the sedenary types who watch TV as soon as they get home! You rack up points based on the number of steps (10 points per 1000 steps, max of 140 points a day for steps), reading Daily Cards (20 points each, two a day), tracking Healthy Habits (10 points each, max of 30 a day, to track things like "Did you drink 8 glasses of water today?" or "Did you brush your teeth with your other hand?" or "Did you workout today?" - there's are over a hundred of these things - you pick a habit that you haven't embraced / developed yet and try to make a transition.) There are various bonus points that kick in for things like having over 7000 steps a day for 10 days in a row, or 10000 steps 10/20 days in a row.

    You accumulate points for a quarter (Jan-Feb-Mar, Apr-May-Jun, etc.). During the quarter, if you score 500 points, you get $5. 3000 points, another $5. 7000 points, another $10, and 12,000 points, another $20. For a total of $40 per quarter. This is real money - you can exchange the dollars to buy all sorts of sport fitness gear or accessories at the VP store (head phones, wrist bands, or exchange dollar-for-dollar for any number of gift cards - we always go with Amazon gift cards - or cash to your bank account).

    For people like my wife and me (or is that "myself" or "I"), we are already active in many ways that we didn't need the incentives of Virgin Pulse. I train for Tough Mudder, she does Barre3 4-6 times per week, we take a walk together 3.5 miles after work almost every day (with 600ft elevation gain), we easily clear 12000 points in just under two months and get our $40. But for many folks at work who tend to be sedentary, this is for them. We do it to champion the effort and get other people to move more. Virgin Pulse even has a social network feature where you friend each other and you can see daily step counts of how your friends are doing. Often, we get people who we cross in the hallways and they say things like "I'm going to pass you this weekend!" It's all fun.

    You can use your smart phone to track steps and then upload it to VP. But our program also kicked in $25 to help pay for any tracking device on the VP site, from the lowend VP Max tracker (size of your thumb and maybe two fingers wide; this is what I have) - it's just a pedometer and can also track hours slept during the night - to higher end ($250>) brand name products.

    If all you want to achieve is track how many steps you take in a day, your smartphone already does it, but you could spend as little as $25 to get a really nice pedometer and just toss it in your pocket or around your neck and never have to worry about whether you remember to bring your phone with you - some people hate carrying their phone when out running.

    To me, this VP program is fun for the whole company. Individually, my wife and I don't need it (though the $40 x 2 = $80 per quarter is kinda nice to get).

    Maybe you can talk your company into enlisting programs like Virgin Pulse.

    Okay, so much for a low-end assessment of a tracker device...

    All the other posters have given you some great feedback on various devices.

    What is it you want to do to get exercise (and supplement your efforts with your tracker)? How you answer that question will help you decide which gear(s) to amass.

    When I started training for the Tough Mudder four years ago (I've run 3 so far, doing the 4th in September here), I had to pick up running. Never run before in my life on any regular basis - I hated running. I came to learn how to run via Matt Fitzgerald's "80/20 Running" book and various other sources that running can be tackled in many different ways. I decided on a Garmin 310XT (a huge brick compared to all other wrist devices with GPS) because it can also be used for biking and swimming (intended for triathlete type activities). I biked to/from work for a while so my thinking was I would track my biking efforts as well. I got the generic Garmin heart rate monitor (strap around the chest; you get used to it) to go with it. My goal was to track distance (how many miles am I running each week, etc.) and do heart zone training. Heart zone training is all about keeping your heart rate in a certain window (e.g., 120bpm - 130bpm) for some duration of time. The watch will vibrate/beep at you if you run too hard, or not hard enough. When I do the 80/20 running, you are suppose to run slow enough in the 80 phase that you can actually carry on a conversation without having to take deep breaths - Fitzgerald calls it the Ventilatory Threshold. For me, that's when my heart rate doesn't exceed 120. So, trying to run slow enough to keep your heart from beating too fast is tricky without a heart rate monitor. It's so slow it's almost like walking! But adapting to the 80/20 regimen, I've actually improved my 5K up through half marathon times!

    I also use the heart rate monitor when I do the high-intensity interval training (HIIT). I can see how quickly my heart is recovering. The more fit you are, the more quickly your heart will come down to normal after a particularly high-output effort. Over time, I have seen my recovery improve. And it's because I can see it in the graphs after I upload my workouts to the Garmin Connect site. Plus, even though you can kind of figure it out yourself, I can see which HIIT event really gets my heart going, which weight training exercise gets my heart going. I was very surprised that bicep curls really gets my heart rate up, and so do some of the plank excercises!

    I believe many of the products, Polar, Garmin, etc. have websites that track a lot of details about your workouts. You can track your gear as you run or workout. The pure runners will change out new shoes when they hit a certain number of miles - I do that at 300 miles. There's a social network aspect as well where you can see what your friends/family are doing. A quick little story... My daughter tracks and we compete against each other to see who put up the most miles for a given week. One particular week, we were pretty close to each and towards the end of the week, I was about half a mile in total distance behind. Both of us were averaging somewhere around 4-5 miles a day. On the last day, I thought I would put in 6 miles so that I can pass her. As I'm closing in on 6 miles, I told myself "Do 7 just in case." so I ran another mile. Then I'm not sure what made me do it, but being the competitive Dad that I am, I decided to go 8. Surely my daughter wouldn't be doing 8 today (she is in Boston, I'm in Seattle). My daughter was thinking along a similar line about running a bit farther on this last day. She didn't check to see how far I went on the last day, but she had the same mind set of doing more than the usual 4-5. She decided to blow me away by doing 7. Then after 7 miles, decided to kick in one more mile just to be sure to really "stick it to Dad." Well, even though I put in 8, so did she and she won that week.

    From a really fun aspect, I kept track of where we've been on vacation. For example, we recently did a 3-week trip to London, Paris and Amsterdam. Being a bit of a map nut in the first place, we tracked everywhere we walked while on vacation. We tracked where the taxi drove between Heathrow and our hotels, Charles de Gaulle and the hotel, etc. It's fun to revisit where we were on a given day during our trip and we can see exactly where we walked, what street we turned on, etc. We tracked how fast the Thalys bullet train chugged between Paris and Amsterdam.

    The tracker device with a heart rate monitor is great for helping you figure out how to train more efficiently or alter your training. The calorie count has more advanced calculations based on the inclusion of your heart beat patterns. The tracker device without the heart rate monitor is really only going to track distances and steps and where you've been. And the caloric burn is more of a generic formula - about 100 calories per 1 mile moved no matter how fast or slow you do it. The ellipticals and other machines typically use a generic formula as well. You'll get completely different calorie burns readings on your tracking device (with or without a heart rate monitor). I tend to believe in what my 310XT and heartrate monitor measures and calculates.

    If you're not a numbers geek, then you don't really need a tracking device at all, even if your company is going to help you pay for one.

    But there are plenty of choices as you know if you need something to help you define/alter your training based on your goals (losing weight not being one of them). Maybe walking 7000 steps a day could be your goal!

    If you want to set new personal records in races, having a device helps, but not necessary. In a way, these tracking devices only seem necessary for runners. If you don't run, you probably don't need one of these devices.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I am thrilled with my Vivoactive. I got it a year ago May because I train for sprint triathlons (well, when I'm not injured, that is). It's a wonderful smart watch, sleep monitor, step counter, and GPS/exercise recording device for running, swimming, cycling, walking, and golf.

    If you don't use it for recording your athletic endeavors, it is a terrific smart watch. It passes through your notifications for email, texts, and whatever other apps you set it to pass through the notifications (you can also turn that off -- it's very customizable). When the phone rings, you can silence it from your wrist -- or answer it, though to talk on the phone you need to use your phone's microphone. You can control your audio playback from your wrist, either in mid-run or lounging at home with a Bluetooth speaker, you don't even have to pull the phone out of your pocket to skip a song. It also shows your calendar events and has a weather widget. Best of all, you can download quite a few widgets from the Connect IQ site to give you options to show the number of days to a race, track your stocks, provide a calculator, for example. You can also write your own, for the geeks among us. It also tells time! WOO HOO! And has customizable faces, too. I have grown VERY attached to these features!

    It has a nice step tracker. Because it's a wrist worn device, you get no steps for mowing the lawn, shopping while pushing a cart, or walking while pushing a stroller (pro tip: put the thing in your pocket or attach to a beltloop and it'll count them). It also doesn't start counting steps until you've done 10 consecutive steps, on the 11th, it registers 11 and continues counting. Why? So it doesn't count spurious activity as steps. That also means that when gardening, taking 8 steps and stopping to prune the plant, then another two steps to the next and stop, and six to the next...well, you can garden (shop, cook, do housework) for hours and the thing will nag at you that you haven't exercised! It has a gentle buzz after an hour of inactivity, which appears to be 100 consecutive steps. To clear the bar, take 100 consecutive steps. The move bar has 4 more segments for each additional 15 minutes of inactivity, cleared by 25 consecutive steps. When your bar is full, you get another buzz, and it takes 200 consecutive steps to clear. *IF* you try to keep from getting the bar full OR you move when the bar tells you to, you'll find some benefit to it. If you ignore it, you won't. While it doesn't count every single step you take (it's on your wrist -- it has to guess what your legs are doing!), it might be inaccurate for a single day's effort. However, over time, it is quite accurate at telling you your activity trends...the day you went to the amusement park with the family was several times more than the days spent on the sofa watching the Olympics, for example.

    As far as tracking walking, running, cycling, and swimming -- it's excellent. While some people quibble about a half-marathon being off by .02 miles, I'm going to chalk that up to the race measurement error, running style (weaving or cutting corners), stated watch error, and user error. Meh...close enough is good enough for me. Same goes for my son who is a PhD student in sports and exercise science. Accuracy of this watch is good enough for nearly all athletes. I use it to track my training, and it has great tools to see trends. It does an excellent job of counting swimming laps; it's amazing how I can "forget" which lap I'm on and add a few here and there. It keeps me honest.

    During each activity, you get a fully customizable series of screens to show you the data you want. I don't have the HR version, so I wear the chest strap for exercise (swimming does not track HR or GPS, due to inability of those signals to penetrate water). I can show a plethora of heart rate information, show my speed/pace, average speed/pace, cadence/swim stroke rate, elapsed distance, elapsed time -- pretty much anything I can think of can go there (or I can write my own data field). It does not connect to power meters, though, because they have to have some reason to sell the really expensive watches. I can't afford power, so, that's out.

    I do like the fact that the watch is completely waterproof. I can shower with it, though sometimes the phone notifications are a bit too much in the shower! I can sweat, garden, do dishes, and not worry about what I'm doing to my watch. The battery life is great: 3 weeks without charging if no GPS activities are used; up to 10 hours when tracking by GPS. Garmin Connect also auto-uploads to Strava, MayMyFitness, and a number of other fitness tracking sites.

    I could go on and on about it. Right now, I'm battling an extended injury and sidelined per doctor's orders, so it's telling me I'm a lazy slug (and I'm not happy about it, either). So the smartwatch functions keep me happy. I absolutely love this watch! The smartwatch features plus multi-sport capabilities are incredible. IF you let the watch help you be more active, you'll love it. If you wind up ignoring the move bar and don't use any of the sports features, you may not like it as much. At least track your walks -- the technology is pretty cool!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by kmspeaks View Post
    I have a Fitbit charge and love it. Yes my phone could count how many steps I take each day but I like the ability to track sleep plus I don't always have my phone on me. I also use the app to track my food and water intake for the day. One thing I didn't see mentioned was the social aspect of Fitbit. You can friend people just like on Facebook and then hold competitions or encourage each other to get moving. I coach high school softball and my assistant coach and I did a week long competition with the 8 players on our team who also had Fitbits. We all set personal records that week and it was a ton of fun!
    I also have a FitBit Charge and love it. I have friends that send challenges which are fun. The iPhone App is pretty decent and it will count flights of stairs in addition to steps. I don't know how accurate it is, but after having worn it for a year and half I can say that I think it's consistent, which is a good thing. I've seen a couple of people mention MyFitessPal which is a great iphone App (and website). One thing that I really like is that you and link your FitBit account and your MyFitnessPal account and they share information. For example, MyFitnessPal will give me extra calories based on more steps recorded with my FitBit.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    I also have a FitBit Charge and love it. I have friends that send challenges which are fun. The iPhone App is pretty decent and it will count flights of stairs in addition to steps. I don't know how accurate it is, but after having worn it for a year and half I can say that I think it's consistent, which is a good thing. I've seen a couple of people mention MyFitessPal which is a great iphone App (and website). One thing that I really like is that you and link your FitBit account and your MyFitnessPal account and they share information. For example, MyFitnessPal will give me extra calories based on more steps recorded with my FitBit.
    Ha! I've found the iPhone app to be pretty accurate with steps and mileage and wildly variable with flights. Yesterday, without climbing many stairs, I was credited with 35 flights. Today, with fairly similar activity, including climbing 5 flights to our Sunday school class and descending 5 flights about 45 minutes later, I was credited with an amazing 4 flights . Great thoughts about the FitBit and MyFitnessPal.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Ha! I've found the iPhone app to be pretty accurate with steps and mileage and wildly variable with flights. Yesterday, without climbing many stairs, I was credited with 35 flights. Today, with fairly similar activity, including climbing 5 flights to our Sunday school class and descending 5 flights about 45 minutes later, I was credited with an amazing 4 flights . Great thoughts about the FitBit and MyFitnessPal.
    Yeah, I agree with you there. We had a stair climbing challenge at work. The first day or so, I realized that I couldn't use my Fitbit to count stairs. Every 10 flights, it'd give me credit for about 8.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Washington/Baltimore
    One that I use (and love) that I haven't seen mentioned yet is the Lumo Lift.

    This is a wearable, but instead of a watch, it is a magnetic device that you wear on your clothes. It goes under a shirt (or undershirt) with a magnetic clasp on top. It's main feature is that it monitors posture. (Mine is/was less than ideal; I'm fairly tall and tend to stoop over. Not to mention hunch at the keyboard...)

    You put it on, get yourself in a good posture, and then tap it twice. It then monitors your posture and "buzzes" you if you get to far out of alignment (or for too long). It also tracks steps, etc.

    There is an iPhone app on which you can see the relevant data, such as how many hours you've had good posture, how many steps you've taken, etc.

    Highly recommend!

    Brumby

  17. #17
    I've worn a Fitbit Charge for around a year and am a big fan. It seems to be a more accurate step counter than my phone. I use it to track steps, distance, calories burned, flights and exercise (walking/ running); I think it overestimates how many calories I burn while walking but otherwise I'm very pleased with it.

    The call waiting is a nice bonus, too. That allows me to keep my ringer turned off without worrying about missing a call, which is a nice feature for someone who works in an office.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    I've had the Fibit Surge for a little over a year now. I wanted a GPS watch for running and figured I might as well get a Fitbit with it. It's been great for me. Occasional hiccups with the GPS, but the steps are extremely accurate, and I enjoy looking back at my heart rate during a run. It measures sleep activity which is nice to see and as several other posters have mentioned the ability to see who is calling (and in the case of the Surge to read the text messages) is awesome. I have a Fibit scale that does body fat% and syncs to my phone. The app is extremely user friendly.

    Only downside is that I can no longer where a watch unless I wear two watches.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, NC
    I had a Fitbit Flex which I wore on my wrist for a few years. Its battery (rechargeable) wouldn't hold a charge. GRR!

    Then, my husband's employer (I'm on their medical insurance plan) offered to pay for a Fitbit Zip as a part of their employee wellness plan. I took them up on the offer. They send me new batteries, and I like the idea that I'm not wearing an ugly black band on my wrist. I clip the Zip to my waistband and I've found that it's pretty accurate about keeping track of my steps. The main thing that wearing a fitness tracker does for me is to remind me to get up and move. I sit at a desk a lot, and I need to have some incentive to get up and move around during the day.

    Of course, the best part of wearing the Fitbit Zip for the employee wellness plan is that I get monetary incentives on a quarterly basis for wearing the Fitbit. Last month, I got a $25.00 VISA gift card for wearing the Fitbit Zip.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    What, no love for the Microsoft Band?! Come on, it even has really nice Android and iOS companion apps, all backed up to "The Cloud."

    Regardless of which tracker you get, you'll probably find it changing your habits, even in little ways. I first started wearing my Band for work dogfooding fun, but found it was useful for sleep tracking so I could say things like "could you please handle dinner tonight, as I only got 4.3 hours of sleep and the longest uninterrupted stretch was 50 minutes" to my husband after our second kid arrived.

    But, I also find myself taking 15-20 min walks after lunch whenever possible, trying to get on my bike a bit more, and re-thinking that piece of chocolate from the admin's office, as I aimed to boost my steps and minutes of cardio per month, and recognized my calorie burn was not going to exceed my intake.

    Getting phone call notifications and being able to send texts via Cortana on my wrist are nice bonus as well.

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