A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Tuesdays on the Run: Fitness Trackers (aka LOVE my FitBit)

on September 15, 2015

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is “Fitness Trackers” which is well-timed because I’m considering putting a new fitness tracker on my Christmas list. Yes, I’m already working on a Christmas list – I come from a family of early shoppers. I’ve had a FitBit for years and really find it helpful, but I’ve replaced the little clip countless times because it keeps breaking like this:

Those prongs get irritating! There SHOULD be a little black cap on the end.

Those prongs get irritating! There should be a little black cap on the end but it falls off after a few months.

I will say that FitBit customer service is EXCELLENT and in the past, they’ve always sent me a new case whenever this happens. However, I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts today to see if maybe there’s a different product I could try out. Thanks to April, Patty and Erika for hosting so that I can do some Christmas list prep!

Tuesdays-on-the-run1

So why do I want to keep an activity tracker of some kind if I run 25-30 miles a week?

  • I like that it keeps me from being an active coach potato, or at least keeps me honest about that. If I run 3 miles in the morning, but get only a couple of hundred steps for the rest of the day, I’m sitting too much (see more here at Where have all of the steps gone).
  • While I’m running a lot now, that isn’t always going to be the case. I may not be training as intensely or I may get injured. A pedometer helps me keep moving even on days I don’t run, because just getting those steps has value (see more on that here).
  • I’m more than a little competitive with myself and my husband. I love the little FitBit badges I get and I love seeing my little “flower” all happy when I’ve been active. It’s a little thing, but it keeps me motivated and keeps me moving. An activity tracker is also nice for setting goals for yourself, in terms of getting more steps in or getting more flights of stairs in your day. Because I’m working a lot this week and running a little less, I’ve made a goal to take the stairs more often and my FitBit is helping me keep track of that goal.
Still totally in love with FitBit and it's happy little flower!

Still totally in love with FitBit and it’s happy little flower!

 

I wear my FitBit on my bra strap, where I never notice it and it is rarely noticed by other people. I’m not sure how I feel about an activity tracker on my wrist. I already wear a watch and am not sure I want something else. Plus, I just don’t love how most of them look. 😦 I used to carry my FitBit in my pocket, but it kept falling out when I sat down and I’d have to track it down. Even now, I lose it far too often because I’ve taken it out of the little case to put in my pocket for a run and then I forget it somewhere. My husband hates the “hunt for the FitBit” game.

The biggest criticism I see of activity trackers, as a concept, is that they only count certain kinds of movement and you don’t get “credit” for things like strength training. Truthfully, I see these as tools to help you get moving at all (and I LOVE that about them – you can start where you are and improve bit by bit). If you’re doing strength training every day and not getting as many as steps as I do, I think that’s totally fine. It’s just a number – a piece of data, just like your weight. You keep it in perspective and know what YOUR goals are, not some external goal. If you’re a regular weight trainer and know that a good, active day for you is 5000 steps (but an hour of weights), then keep that as your target. The perfectionist in me totally gets the mindset that gets irked by this – I get irritated when I forget mine at home and my steps don’t “count” – but hopefully we can all keep things in a bit of perspective. πŸ™‚ It still counts, even if the FitBit doesn’t see it. Your body sees it. Your FitBit is just a tool, like the scale, that helps you gather more data.

Do you have an activity tracker? I’m definitely open for suggestions as I consider switching from my trusty two year old FitBit.

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11 responses to “Tuesdays on the Run: Fitness Trackers (aka LOVE my FitBit)

  1. I have the 1st edition WW ActiveLink–just a clip, doesn’t have a wristband. A lot of people had gripes about it, but I love it! I clip it on my bra, sort of in the middle–the curve of my boob hides it πŸ™‚ I like it because I get a more accurate reading of my AP’s; before, for example, I’d give myself 4 AP’s for a 30 minute walk. With the ActiveLink, I have to meet an activity baseline before I even start to earn AP’s which requires me to not be an “active couch potato”.

  2. Oh yes, I can definitely be an active couch potato.

    I actually do get a lot of compliments on the vivoactive. I wasn’t wearing a watch at all before. I used to have to sit up in bed, put my glasses on & look at my husband’s alarm clock to see the time if I woke up in the middle of the night — now I just turn on the backlight & he never notices that, either. Win-win.

  3. I got a virgin Pulse Max from my job (they are encouraging employees to Live Well)-it tracks steps and activity. It doesn’t track activities well but you are able to go into the website to add your activity which I like.

  4. I have never tried a fit bit but I think that it great they have good customer service. That always makes me like the product even more when I know I can get any questions asked.

  5. […] Tuesdays on the Run: Fitness Trackers (aka LOVE my FitBit) […]

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