Let’s take a walk!

I walk as my primary mode of transportation, which means I walk a lot. Recently I became curious about exactly how much I actually do walk in terms of steps and miles. A friend of mine offered to let me borrow his Fitbit One and I accepted, excited to see how I could utilize wearable tech to gauge distance.

The first thing I noticed with the Fitbit One was how easy it is to use. The interface is simple, with one button to toggle between displays. My favorite feature is how hands off it is. It resets every day, saving up to a week of data, and with the wireless syncing I never had to manually enter my walks into my account on fitbit.com. Another great feature is that you can sync your Fitbit account to other online fitness trackers. With that feature, I don’t have to manually enter in calories burned into my myfitnesspal.com account or into my fitstudio.com account (where workouts are rewarded with Shop Your Way points!).

The first week I used it just for tracking. I used the feature on the Fitbit website to add Facebook friends so I could to see how much they were walking as well. I can appreciate how this might be a motivator for competitive users, and also can provide a sense of having workout buddies. After about a week I started to increase my goals. I already walked around 14,000 steps a day, what would 20,000 look like? As it turns out, adding a walk along Lake Michigan to my morning commute effortlessly added the extra 6,000 and is a relaxing start to my day.

Overall I think that wearable tech for tracking fitness is for me and will be buying my own tracker. What fitness trackers have you used, wearable or online, and what would you recommend? Please leave your experiences in the comments.

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4 Responses to “Let’s take a walk!”

  1. Karol Czyrka →
    June 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    I, too, love to walk. And, I own a fitbit. I find it really motivates me to move more (must speak to my competitive nature). However, I completely under-utilize it. I should take advantage of the online features to track what I eat and other aerobic activities that I do. For instance, I don’t get credit for the extra calories burned when I use the elliptical machine vs. just walking equivalent of steps. I do appreciate that it emails me when the batteries are running low.

    • Jen Stander
      June 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Wow, it emails you when the batteries are running low? What kind do you have?

  2. Karol Czyrka →
    June 18, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    I have the Fitbit One. http://www.fitbit.com/product

  3. Judy
    June 19, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    I like the concept of wearable trackers but I don’t like wearing bracelets. Maybe I could get used to it but they seem so obtrusive and get kind of grungy looking. Also, they don’t track swimming which is key for me, so not helpful there. I use an app on my phone to track my running and biking – Map My Run – which I really like. As I ride or run I can get info on rate, mileage, etc. Of course it can’t track my swimming as I swim, but I add my time and distance and track it that way. Great dashboard that shows my daily, weekly, monthly, yearly totals. If they could make a wearable tracker that was more streamlined and tracked swimming, I’d be very interested, but it would have to have the data dashboards (off device) to back it up. Training plans would be nice too.