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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 23, 2016

Should You Wear a Fitness Tracker?

By Mark Sisson
68 Comments

Should You Track Your Fitness in-lineFor a nation of supposedly obese, lazy, and sedentary layabouts, American consumers sure are interested in tracking their daily activity levels. In 2015, they bought 13.4 million dedicated activity trackers, up 50% from the previous year, and spent almost $1.5 billion on the devices. That’s in addition to the hundreds of millions of smartphones in circulation that also track your daily steps, sleep quality and duration, and calorie expenditure. From FitBit to Jawbone to Apple Watch to dozens of others, the wearable fitness-tracking gadget industry is growing quickly. Venture capital has responded, pouring billions into the wearable industry.

Are they worth it?

It depends. According to some data, about a third of users stop using their devices within six months of getting them. Then again, “most people” don’t know the difference between polyunsaturated and saturated fat. “Most people” don’t care enough to watch their carb intake, or pay a little extra for grass-fed beef, or eat a Big Ass Salad every day. These statistics collate yet ignore individual data points. If you decided to pick up a FitBit or a Jawbone or an Apple Watch, the only data point that matters is yours. Most people might stop using their wearable after a couple months. You might keep wearing it.

Are they accurate?

According to research from December of last year, they aren’t very accurate at tracking data beyond step count. Researchers analyzed 22 studies exploring the ability of FitBit and Jawbone (the two most popular trackers) to accurately track, sleep, steps, calories burned, distance, and physical activity. They were both good at counting steps, but missed the boat on almost everything else.

They overestimated sleep duration. Overall, accelerometer-based sleep-tracking wearables compared poorly to established medical devices for tracking sleep, like polysomnography (used in sleep studies) and actigraphs.

They underestimated distance traveled at high speeds and overestimated distance traveled at low speeds.

One study found that the FitBit accelerometer was fairly accurate when assessing physical activity; others found that both the Fitbit’s and the Jawbone’s were not.

Both tracker brands underestimated and overestimated calories burnt, depending on the study.

A 2016 study looked at four different brands—FitBit Charge HR, Apple Watch, Mio Alpha, and Samsung Gear S—of wrist trackers and found that while heart rate tracking was accurate, energy expenditure tracking was not.

Another 2016 study found that while most trackers are accurate with step tracking over flat ground, step tracking on stairs is less accurate, and distance tracking on stairs is overestimated by at least 45%.

That said, these aren’t huge hits against wearables. Raw step count and resting HR are the most important features of today’s fitness trackers, as they allow you to track:

Daily activity. Are you moving frequently at a slow pace? Are you hitting the 10k step mark? Walking is the foundation of good physical, mental, and psychological health. It’s fundamental to our species—we’re walkers.

Heart rate zone. If you’re at all interested in becoming a fat-burning beast, spending a lot of time in the aerobic heart rate zone (180 minus age) will get you there, and a HR monitor can help you figure out what it looks and feels like.

The million dollar question: do they encourage more activity?

Surprisingly, few researchers have even explored this fundamental question: whether fitness trackers increase activity. What exists isn’t very encouraging.

A 2015 study gave overweight middle aged women either a standard pedometer (counts steps and distance) or a wearable fitness tracker. Both groups were coached to take 10,000 steps a day and engage in moderate aerobic activity for 150 minutes a week. After four weeks, the pedometer group saw no improvement. The fitness tracker group was little better, only increasing weekly activity by 38 minutes. No one reached 10,000 steps a day.

Anecdotes of how wearing a tracker changed this person’s fitness and helped them lose a dozen pounds and lose that baby weight abound, and I’m hesitant to discount them. If tracking your activity really does encourage you, then it works. For you. And since this thing we call society consists of millions of subjective realities traipsing about, each crafting a separate narrative, “for you” is the only relevant qualifier.

Okay, all that aside, most of the downsides I’ve discussed derive from limitations of the technology. Wearables are still young. Future tech will improve, and I’m confident that within 5-10 years we’ll have consumer-level devices that accurately track sleep, calorie expenditure, metabolic rate, fat-vs-sugar-burning ratio, and dozens of other biomarkers. It’s only a matter of time.

But there’s another potential downside, one that has little to do with the accuracy of the technology or the technology itself. It’s how we silly humans exalt numbers over feelings, objectivity over subjectivity.

This has its advantages. When we can track it, people who otherwise might not put in the effort suddenly care about getting enough steps each day. Put something down on paper/in an app and it becomes real. You care more about what you can quantify. You pay closer attention to your steps per day, and aim for more each day, when you’re getting real time feedback, your friends are getting notifications when you hit your goals, your wrist is buzzing with excitement over your 10,000th step. When you’re wearing a fitness tracker, getting 10,000 steps doesn’t just make you healthier, it makes you happier. And health-seeking behaviors only become second-nature when we can derive intrinsic value—happiness, in this case—from their pursuit.

This all sounds great, Sisson. What’s the downside?

Once you start quantifying your physical activity, activity you don’t track loses value.

If you forget your wearable, you lose your steps. If your exercise session won’t show up on your daily wrap-up, if, God forbid, your FitBit friends won’t see all the walking you did today, you may be less likely to do it. Especially if you’re only walking to pad your stats.

It’s like the tree falling in the forest. Did you really take that walk to the grocery store if your FitBit wasn’t there to record the steps? Did you actually reach the fat-burning aerobic zone in your long easy run if you forgot to wear the heart rate monitor?

Are you walking so much because you like the small hit of dopamine that floods your brain every time you get another thousand, or do you actually enjoy ambling around? Is your motivation truly intrinsic?

Before the trackers, steps taken were lost to the past. You’d step, and shift your weight, and it was over. Gone. You might recall where you walked and what you saw and whom you were with, but you didn’t have any real notion of how many steps you’d taken. The thought to count them never even entered your mind. You could, but it’d be laborious and frankly ridiculous to count your steps in your head.

You know. You know now. But your FitBit friends don’t. And before long—a week or two, maybe—you’ll have forgotten all about it. If that scares you, there may be a problem.

Maybe I’m old school. Maybe I don’t get it. Maybe I’m a Luddite (who just so happens to run a successful online business). But I’m far more interested in fine-tuning my intuition than relying on technology to tell me how healthy I’m being. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use them.

If you want to use one, just do it right:

Wear it on the same spot. You can wear it on your lapel, your hip, your wrist, or your ankle as long as you wear it there every time. The more consistent you are, the more accurate the device will be.

Be accurate when entering your personal data. To give you accurate data, the tracker needs to know your real height and weight. If your weight changes, update it.

Calibrate your step length. Some wearables allow you to calibrate your true step length when you start using the device. Doing so will improve the accuracy of distance tracking.

Stop moving when taking your heart rate. Most consumer wrist-wearables are unable to accurately track heart rate when you’re in motion. To get an accurate reading, stop exercising and rest for 5-10 seconds before checking your HR.

Focus on trends, not absolute numbers. If what the device says about last night’s sleep corresponds to how you feel about last night’s sleep, it has value. If it conflicts—if you feel great despite getting poor marks on your tracker—it’s probably inaccurate. But that makes you wonder: if you’re only using the tracker to confirm your subjective impressions, how valuable is the tracker? Just use your intuition.

Remind yourself every morning that you are a privileged rich person who’s probably already rail-thin. The added weight of your guilt will increase your heart rate and calories burned.

Most importantly, use your fitness tracker to enhance and inform your intuition, not replace it.

This wasn’t intended to be a review of all the available fitness trackers. It was a quick review of the evidence for and against along with my personal take on the technology.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with wearables down below. What worked? What didn’t? What did you gain from wearing a fitness tracker? What have you lost?

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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68 Comments on "Should You Wear a Fitness Tracker?"

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Sheila
Sheila
4 months 26 days ago

I use a pedometer because I’m in a statewide walking challenge. Prior to the challenge, I wore it to make sure I walked at least five miles a day. Not sure I’d want to keep track of my sleep. I would probably look at the data and feel tired.

Dave
Dave
4 months 26 days ago

Great evaluation. I enjoy tracking my mileage on hikes, but don’t use tracking as a cornerstone of my fitness routine

Ashley
Ashley
4 months 26 days ago

Like you said, Mark, it’s a great tool for honing in on that fat burning sweet spot when tracking heart rate. But once that’s dialed in, and you get an idea of what that zone feels like, you can start to go it alone.

Tim
Tim
4 months 26 days ago

Sleep tracking seems relatively fruitless in the wearables context. Sure, you may glean some useful information in a formal sleep study. Diagnose sleep apnea, etc. But I don’t really trust a wrist watch to gauge something as complex as the quality of my sleep. Like you said, it’s basically just confirming or denying your subjective experience, which doesn’t really offer any useful advice/information to work with

Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
4 months 26 days ago

I don’t even get measuring sleep. If there is one thing I think works pretty well “by feel” it’s sleeping. If I don’t wake up naturally, it’s pretty safe to say that sleep was lacking and/or not quality.

Linda
Linda
4 months 26 days ago
I have been tracking my sleep using a smartphone app for a while now and it has really helped me to confirm that I need 8.5 hours of sleep to feel perfectly rested (which is more than most people get), preferrably going to bed and waking up about the same time each night/day. It’s not about knowing whether or not I have slept enough that night, that’s easy to tell. It’s more about noticing trends and how they make me feel in the long run, which in turn helps me to work towards an ideal. Also, tracking it holds me… Read more »
Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
4 months 26 days ago

Fair enough. And I don’t dissuade anyone from doing something that works.

Sleep is my biggest area of weakness too. Between work, exercise, kids, and a house that never seems to share a common schedule it’s a challenge—albeit, one that’s solved through disciple.

Jason Fulgham
4 months 23 days ago

My wife uses the FitBit and monitors here sleep at night. According to the data collected she is getting only about 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I really do not know how it is keeping track of this just from heartrate but it is do some more study for sure.

I personally do not think they are really very useful for tracking your fitness. Just get out there and move.

Shary
Shary
4 months 26 days ago

A fitness tracker is just an “in” gizmo designed to appeal to electronics junkies and those among us who like to track absolutely everything. Nothing wrong with that if it happens to float your boat. For the rest of us, the proof is in the results.

Alex
Alex
4 months 26 days ago

Wise advice as always! Especially “focus on trends, not numbers.” Isolated measurements are usually an incomplete or useless snapshot of information. It takes repeated, long term measurement for many of these fitness variables to get an accurate idea of what’s going on

Dave the Geek
Dave the Geek
4 months 26 days ago

“within 5-10 years we’ll have consumer-level devices that accurately track sleep, calorie expenditure, metabolic rate, fat-vs-sugar-burning ratio, and dozens of other biomarkers.”

If this occurs it won’t be with the current sensors on smart phones and fitness trackers. You are probably talking about electrodes, blood samples, etc. No thanks.

I am perfectly happy with an inexpensive HRM (I paid $40 for mine) rather than an overpriced, inaccurate device.

Rachel
Rachel
4 months 26 days ago

I use my Fitbit as an adjunct to my routine, not a guiding force. It’s just nice to see a record of my accomplishment once I’m done. Ultimately, the real motivation is how the exercise itself makes me feel, not the recording of it. It’s just a nice little perk

Mike
Mike
4 months 26 days ago

I agree. It is very satisfying to look down and see that I made the 10k step mark, but it can also be useful when I’m about to finish my day. If I look down and see that I’m only a couple hundred steps from 10k steps I go take some more steps and get it done. With that said, it’s just an adjunct, but it can be helpful.

Max
Max
4 months 26 days ago

Love the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic value/motivation. The more you focus on the former, the more committed you’ll be in the long term.

Amy
4 months 26 days ago

I’m curious if anyone is concerned about health risks from wearing electronic trackers? Thinking more of the signals sent between tracker and phones.. and the proximity to the wearer?

Dave'sWife
Dave'sWife
4 months 26 days ago

I agree. Something to consider, if wearing one. For some, it is probably a sure way of keeping record and regimen objectives. For myself and friends I workout with not keeping track tends to allow for less stress of completing an exercise.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 months 26 days ago

…or privacy/security concerns–data have been leaked or hacked from these devices transmitting.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
4 months 26 days ago

Meh … I sincerely doubt there are any adverse health affects from the “signals” emanating from said devices. I’m more concerned about how the millions … sorry … billions of devices currently in circulation will be recycled or will they end up in mountains of landfills or in the ocean etc.

Margaret
Margaret
4 months 25 days ago

You don’t have to use your phone at all times.

I only sync my fitbit with my phone at most once a day — and most of the time I don’t sync it at all, I just use it as a pedometer and a watch.

Tom
Tom
4 months 17 days ago
Wi-Fi, bluetooth, cellular, AM/FM, microwaves, etc. are all different forms of electromagnetic radiation. Another word for electromagnetic radiation is light. Electromagnetic radiation exists along a frequency spectrum and all the things I just listed are on the lower end of the frequency spectrum. As you move up in frequency you get to visible light which is emitted by light sources such as lightbulbs and the Sun and is reflected/absorbed by all objects around us. The human eye is tuned to these frequencies. Then as you move to the top of the spectrum you get to ultraviolet which comes from the… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
4 months 26 days ago

The world has gone insane.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 months 26 days ago

The next gen fitness trackers will that

Kelly
Kelly
4 months 26 days ago

I only use my tracker to make sure I hit mileage because I have a tendency to get wrapped up in work and not move for quite a while. It reminds me to get going. Other than that I take it off at night because I can’t stand the feeling of having it against my skin and I figured out fairly early that it doesn’t track sleep well. I also do not use it when I feel like I’m focusing on it too much. Keeps things simple and easy.

Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
4 months 26 days ago
I picked up an Apple Watch about a year ago (not specifically for fitness either) and while I certainly don’t live and die by it from a health perspective there are somethings I really do like about it: 1. Stand-up alerts (which are more like, “go move around alerts”) are nice during the work day. I don’t always need then, but some days when I really get into my work and am sitting it’s nice to get a tap that lets me know it’s been a while and to take a short walk. 2. I’ve recently starting doing more endurance… Read more »
Tim
Tim
4 months 26 days ago
I love the movement reminder. I tend to get focused (ok, obsessed) on projects at work and the hours can disappear. Just the stupid thing vibrating is enough to get me up and out the door for a few minutes. I generally couldn’t care less about the steps, etc, since I almost always far exceed the 10K, but sometimes it’s fun to see how far you went, etc. Also, the sleep function, while imperfect, has resulted in me getting to bed earlier, so I don’t have to look at the frowning face the next day. People get to worked up… Read more »
Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
4 months 26 days ago

Yep. As a programmer it really helps break up sitting blocks when I kind of black out attention to everything around me. I also like that it WON’T remind me if I’ve already done it on my own in a space of time.

I have a standing desk, but for whatever reason, when I’m really hammering out code, I can’t stand. My focus just isn’t the same for whatever reason, so the reminders then are especially beneficial.

Sara
Sara
4 months 26 days ago
I’ve tried numerous activity trackers and ended up returning each and every one of them. Perhaps it’s just me, but they seemed inaccurate on all measures. I had purchased them for the heart rate monitors, but it seems the technology simply is not quite there yet. I’ll be waiting a few years before I even consider purchasing another. I agree it is better to rely on one’s own subjective feelings than what an overpriced piece of plastic says. Somewhat off topic, but I also found it strange that one of the trackers required me to connect to wi-fi and turn… Read more »
Sylvie
Sylvie
4 months 26 days ago
Great post, Mark, I’m glad to see this covered here! I used a pedometer for a decade, and then bought a Fitbit HR in May 2015. I can get self-competitive, so I love seeing the daily miles rack up. I try to beat my weekly record, or at least to maintain a trend of those shiny green stars. And though I know the data are probably somewhat inaccurate, the thing does give me trends; mostly it corroborates my experience. (Tells me my sleep is pretty broken up, for instance. Bah!) Everybody’s different. For me, tracking my workouts the Luddite way… Read more »
Geranium
Geranium
4 months 26 days ago

Luddite here: I find all the plugged-in world disturbing. I agree that to develop my intuition is of great value. Listening to my body, getting into natural settings. I tell my son: “Someone has to remember the old ways.”

Cherry
Cherry
4 months 26 days ago

I am a 66 year-old female. I like building up a body of walking stats. I especially like being told “you have walked the length of Italy”. As a previous commenter said, there is motivation not to spoil your record.
Overall, I am more active with one than without one, so I will continue.
One benefit of the Fitbit no one has mentioned is the ability to show you the time without disturbing your partner, if you wake in the middle of the night!

wildgrok
wildgrok
4 months 26 days ago
I have been using a fitbit hr for a while (almost a year) I have no use for the steps, calories, stairs (stairs I find 100% inaccurate). But it really shines in the heart rate. Also I use it as a glorified chronometer: press the button starting my workout, press it again at the end. and you get the time and how your heart rate did. And it tracks the time you are on the bike with 100% accuracy! It simplifies the tracking of your weight and body fat :easy to add to the phone app just after I weight… Read more »
eatsleepswim
eatsleepswim
4 months 26 days ago

I just signed up for the WHOOP primarily because it will track HRV. It won’t be released until December and it’s pricy. I have to admit, I never thought I would use a wearable since I journal my workouts but I thought this one might help me with my most difficult aspect of training, recovery.

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
4 months 26 days ago

Grok used the sun for a watch and landmarks to inadvertently track steps. Technology is nice but unnecessary. I did buy a device at one point but it’s been bottom of a drawer since the battery quit. I use free smart phone apps if feel the urge to quantify data.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 months 26 days ago
Maybe I’m old school. Maybe I don’t get it. Maybe I’m a Luddite (who just so happens to run a successful online business). But I’m far more interested in fine-tuning my intuition than relying on technology to tell me how healthy I’m being. A question I like to ask Millenials who are gung-ho for anything techy and plug-in: what are you gonna do when the power goes out? Sure, that device runs on batteries, but for how long? How are you gonna recharge them? And while we’re at it, how are you gonna recharge that Kindle/Nook, your cell phone, your… Read more »
Dave'sWife
Dave'sWife
4 months 26 days ago

Very insightful. Great point about surviving without technology.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 months 26 days ago

Makes me ponder if/when cash is banned and e-currencies are the new norm, what happens when the power goes out?

raydawg
raydawg
4 months 26 days ago
When the power goes out the biggest gripe is going to be preventing fresh and frozen food from going bad. If the local supermarket is still working, they’ll have bags of ice. During Sandy, I bought a bags of ice each morning and put them in the deep freezer and the fridge. We have natural gas and so we have no trouble with heat or the stove. The oven, microwave, and heating system won’t work without electricity however. We do have a generator and we do have a bunch of UPS’s and we’ve signed up to install solar. I might… Read more »
Kyle
4 months 26 days ago

Soooo, I guess I shouldn’t get one of these for my girlfriend this Christmas?

Simon L Smith
Simon L Smith
4 months 26 days ago

I recently did a trek at Philmont (a high adventure Boy Scout camp) with a dad who had a FitBit. I don’t normally use one or even check my iPhone Health app, but it was facinating to see what we did in 11 days! Stats below:

Steps = 438,980 (Nearly ½ a million!)
Distance = 176.65 Miles
Floors climbed = 1823
Calories burned = 68,105

Chris
Chris
4 months 26 days ago
I have had the FitBit Charge HR, and here are the pros and cons so far: Pros: I can tell what time it is by looking at an object on my wrist. Cons: The watch is supposed to light up when it detects you are looking at it. There’s a distinctive movement you make as you lift your wrist and turn it for viewing. This only works about 2/3 of the time. When it fails, you end up looking at a blank FitBit. If I really want to see the time, I can hit the button. Yet another thing to… Read more »
Kyle Mikami
4 months 26 days ago
I had a fitbit charge hr that I used for 7 months until i lost it somewhere in New York.i already noticed that it had the tendency to release automatically from its clamp and true enough it fell off from my wrist without me noticing it. Needless to say i was so unhappy about what happened. I liked the mobile app in IOs. Anyway, I was so close to buying the fitbit Surge had it not been for the bulky sides, it felt too big on my wrist. I check apple watch, apart from the cost the big let down… Read more »
Julie
Julie
4 months 26 days ago

I track my walking by blocks. Eaaier and i have actually mentally counted steps before. I used to walk a mile to and from the pool pushing toddler in stroller. There and back roughly 10000 steps. That plus supported pushups in water and various other leg exercises whike she pkayed helped trim me up

raydawg
raydawg
4 months 26 days ago
I started out with a Jawbone Up which was basically just a glorified pedometer and mostly useless for anything else, and it broke easily. I used to have the Basis Peak, which has been killed off by Intel, supposedly because 0.2% of them overheat and could cause burns. But possibly due to a deal by Intel, its parent company, with a high end watch maker, but that’s another story. It had some issues – the screen would start to break up and eventually cause the watch to die. I suspect this is because either the waterproofing seal breaks down after… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
4 months 26 days ago

I must reiterate what I said earlier. The world’s gone insane!

Steve Daniels
4 months 26 days ago
Good article. I’m reminded of inline skating legend Eddy Matzger, winner of over 100 inline skating races, when asked how he knew if he was overtraining: “You lose your motivation to get out there and do what you love! … When your body tells you something, you have to listen. I used to be a slave to a heart-rate monitor, but then I got to know my body. Now I wake up in the morning and do yoga. If my balance is good, then I know I have slept well and can pile on the training. If I am not… Read more »
Heather s
Heather s
4 months 26 days ago

As part of a healthy workplace our group of sitdown workers got wearables and use them to track steps, we each set our own goals and measure our progress (whatever tat means to each person). I really like the visual reminder to move.

Jane
Jane
4 months 26 days ago

If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen.
So say all my athlete friends!

Old Guy in Texas
Old Guy in Texas
4 months 26 days ago
I’ve been laughing at all these high tech data collectors since they came out. Sleep tracker? Sheesh. Tired in the morning? Then go to bed earlier or don’t eat such a large supper or whatever. Been sitting too long and you need a watch to tell you to get up and move around a bit? Holy moly. I’m an old guy. My friends are all old guys. To a man we are all highly amused at all this tech stuff telling people to do–or how to do–activities man has been doing since we appeared on this planet. We are appreciative… Read more »
Mary
Mary
4 months 26 days ago

Fitbit for 5 years very motivating. It doesn’t have to be exact. Now I have a Garmin Vivosmart HR + and I love it. Motivation is what I need most, so I set a walking goal (steps) and try to keep it for a month then up it till I get to 10,000 a day. Love the heart rate for exercises. Style is also important.

Trbobitch
4 months 25 days ago

I’m really surprised you don’t address the issue of EMF exposure and other electrical interference wearing these things. Especially if one is wearing them during sleep.

Elizabeth
4 months 25 days ago
Wow this was a hot topic!!! I do not have any type of tracking device, and have no plans of getting one. To me it’s just another gadget. I know I don’t get enough sleep, I don’t need a device to tell me that. I have used a pedometer in the past out of curiosity and I get way more than 10,000 steps most days. I want to move because I feel like moving, or because my dog wants to walk, rather than because I’m trying to get enough steps in. But this is my opinion. I have friends that… Read more »
Nicole
Nicole
4 months 25 days ago

The biggest thing I gained from my fitbit was the realisation of how little I actually do move during an average work day in the office so from that aspect it was great.

I personally love the heart rate tracking. I don’t take the actual number as gospel but seeing the general downward trend in resting bpm has helped me see my fitness improving, this has been great especially when the scales aren’t moving so you can still see a positive effect from all the hard work at the gym!

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
4 months 25 days ago
Hello, I’ve been running long distance for 40+ years without the aid of gadgets (not even music player) and trusted the signals given by my body. Around 5 years ego I switched to running sprints (on flat terrain and uphill) and a little trail running. And suddenly I got the itch to run a marathon when I turn 60 next year. I intend on applying the MAF method – 180 minus age (thanks Mark for the introduction) and would need a heart monitor. 1. Can anyone recommend one that won’t necessitate carrying a cellphone? 2. What do you think of… Read more »
grace @ the smokin' chemist
4 months 25 days ago

i wear a samsung gear fit2. i enjoy it, mainly because i am just a data junkie dork though. i do not live and die by the numbers this thing tells me. i realize it has limitations and take it with a grain of salt.

Anita Gandolfo
Anita Gandolfo
4 months 25 days ago
I got a FitBit Charge HR as a gift (would not have bought it), and I have a different take. Yes, I like checking my steps, but it’s totally inaccurate. We wear it on our wrists, not ankles. So if I walk through my (enormous) supermarket but am pushing the cart, it records NO steps! But if I am sitting and watching TV and swing my arms around, it will add steps! I am a ‘senior,’ and I find that it i quite accurate for sleep. For example, I get up 2-3 times during the night to use the bathroom,… Read more »
Michael Patrick
4 months 25 days ago

My parents seem to be benefitting with their Fitbits through an increased focus on daily activity and just a general uptick overall in awareness of their wellness. I am appreciative of that.

For me personally, I am not interested in a wearable. I did get an app on my phone, though, to log meals and get percentage splits of carbs, protein, and fats. That was an eye-opening process and the data proved invaluable for my wellness efforts.

Pat Gonzales
Pat Gonzales
4 months 25 days ago
I purchased a Fitbit Alta (at a discount) back in March to participate in a university-sponsored walking challenge. I’d been doing some walking, but obviously not enough — at first I was lucky to get to the minimum 6,000 steps. It not only motivated me to start walking more, but the Alta has the “get up and walk” notification when you haven’t done at least 250 steps every hour. Since I’m at the computer a lot of the time for work, it’s nice to be told to move, because it’s not on my radar when I’m deep into a project.… Read more »
Paul and Karen
Paul and Karen
4 months 25 days ago
Totally agree with Mark. Just started Primal endurance and have bought a simple heart monitor to ensure I stay in the zone. As explained in the book it’s tough to go that slow – 115bpm – so you can tell my age. Took up squash a couple of years ago but now want to lift my aerobic levels as the intensity of the game knocks me for six for the rest of the day. Been Primal for 7 years now and all the time you see people trying to micro manage every aspect of their diet and training…….how many cups… Read more »
Margaret
Margaret
4 months 25 days ago

The one thing that really surprised me after getting my Fitbit was how running errands, parking farther away, shopping, etc, really does add up. I can hit 10,000 just window shopping with my friends.

Kyle
Kyle
4 months 24 days ago

My fiancée used her FitBit as a watch last weekend.

Tanya E
Tanya E
4 months 24 days ago
I think it’s a case of if it works for you… I have a fairly basic Fitbit flex that I got for Christmas, I also track my food and exercise on mfp. It has really helped me get back on track this year, I may or may not continue with it. I usually hit 10,000 steps easily with the school run, but not so easily in the school holidays, so it keeps me going. I also track how I feel on the exercise notes on mfp, so yesterday, we were at the beach and a lot of the walking was… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 months 23 days ago
Ive been wearing a FitBit HR for over a year, which tracks steps, HR, and sleep. Its not perfect, but as someone who loves data, Ive learned a few things: 1. Your heart rate goes way up after a night of drinking. Generally my heart rate is in the 40s-50s when I sleep, but after a night of drinking, it can be in the 60-80 range. It partially explains why Im exhausted the next day. My sleep sucked. 2. My resting heart rate goes up when im not feeling well, and can be somewhat predictive of when i need rest.… Read more »
PBNewby
PBNewby
4 months 23 days ago
I have used the FitbBit Zip since January 2016. I prefer this device because I don’t wear t on my wrist, it goes in my pocket. It only tracks steps, not sleeping or anything else. The best part about FitBit is the web interaction at FitBit Connect. There you can make friends with others and have a bit of a group mentality: seing where you are in the group of friends you have, seeing how everyone is doing, encouraging others and being encouraged. I will say that the accuracy isn’t a big deal for me. It is the relative activity… Read more »
Richie
Richie
4 months 22 days ago

I love my Jawbone, despite what all of the soap-box jumpers think about the devices.

Adrian
4 months 22 days ago
Few years ago, fitness trackers were found in either a triathletes wrist or on the pages of an airline shopping magazine! Now these products have started speaking to the needs of the real people. They have started using the currency, which is relatable to all of us. In addition, the Smartphone unlocks a lot of the richness of what the device is learning about you displaying on its nice intuitive interface or also via web services that let you not only get deep into whats happening but also gamify your performance against the people you know or the broader user… Read more »
Ara
Ara
4 months 22 days ago
“I’m far more interested in fine-tuning my intuition than relying on technology to tell me how healthy I’m being. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use them.” — Me too! If I’m tired, I sleep. If I’m hungry, I eat (primally of course). If I’m tight and achy, I stretch. If I’m stressing, I meditate. I do use and love technology but I’ve found the one device that really does it all (love the Apple iPhone 6+) and I’ve found I don’t need a wrist wearable but I do look at the health app occasionally to see my steps. I put… Read more »
Zach rusk
4 months 19 days ago

I bought a 60beat HRV tracker… But stopped using it because you had to apply water to it and it was too cold in my apartment in ohio where I didn’t turn the heat on…
Also, when I ran, it kept shutting off and wouldn’t read. I don’t recommend it.

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