Do you use fitness trackers?


Shieldmaiden from Greece
Posts: 523
"Trust The Awesomeness"
I am not very big on wearables myself because I do a lot of cooking and housework (I work from home) and things tend to catch here and there, get in the way, get scratched etc. I don't wear jewellery for the same reason. I don't like feeling restricted but I have a severe metal hypersensitivity (belt buckles, earrings, clasps - I'll blister like a vampire).

I do like the idea of getting extra data - like my heart rate, steps, quality of sleep. So I wore a fitbit for a year until it broke. It looked pretty bad towards the end - the screen faded, it was all scratch up and off-color. I had to charge it every 2 days or so, too, so I was on the fence whether I should get another one. I also noticed I got a bit twitchy with one of its functions - it buzzed every day after 30 minutes of vigorous exercises. I found that I started trying to get to 30 minutes, then to 60, then to 90 and 120 and I because obsessive about it. I probably could just turn this function off but I only realized how bad it got when the thing broke. I suddenly felt free. No more buzzing. It was like the chains came off. That relationship was totally broken after that :bored:

While I was wondering what to replace it with I got an Oura ring as a birthday gift. It's mostly designed to track your sleep and tell you how rested you are and how ready you are to face the day but it also tracks your activity, heart rate and even your temperature. I never wore any rings before and I thought it may not work for me but after a month or so I got used to it. I've been wearing it now for 3 years and I am pretty happy with it. It doesn't give you real time data like fitbit, it's more of a passing tracking tool. It's something I can check every now and then or even once every two days just to see how I am recovering, how I am sleeping and if I am being active enough. I found that this approach works much better with my obsessive personality :worry: I need to charge it every 4 days or so and it doesn't get in the way as much as I thought.

I do need to wear gloves when I am using dumbbells or barbell but I think that's generally a good idea.


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Valkyrie from Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 1,095
My job doesn't pay so well that I could spend too much money on such luxury, but when I realised that running had become a hobby that I was likely to stick to, I decided a running watch would be a good investment. I bought Garmin's Forerunner 45 which I have since then replaced with 55, a slightly improved but still affordable model.

I don't use  all the data that my watch provides, but it makes planning and executing my running workouts, especially interval runs much easier. I use many of the general fitness features too, and because I had already been exercising regularly and had a (mostly) healthy lifestyle, its fitness data are mainly just a boost of confidence and a reminder that yes, I'm a fit person, who can still achieve more. :LOL:

Sometimes I think about getting some more gadgets, like a chest strap for more accurate heart rate data or a higher level watch, but I keep reminding myself that I'm not, will never be and wouldn't even want to be a professional athlete, so it's really not necessary to overthink it. I'm already getting annoyed if I can't wear my watch for whatever reason, I really don't need to get dependent on even more devices...


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Mystic from Kansas
Posts: 444
I use the Google Fit app on my phone to track my walks. It helps me to look back at past entries to see what my progress has been like. I like it and find it convenient.
I would like to get a wristwatch with a clicker function on it to keep track of calf raises, if such a thing exists. A fitbit would be neat. But not something I want to spend money on right now as I'm quite poor and can do fine without it.

And while it's not fitness, I love using the app Libra as a weight tracker. Much better than any other weight tracker out there in my opinion. Been using it for years and am very satisfied with it.


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Ranger from Australia
Posts: 1,742
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
I've been using a Fitbit for several years now. Had to buy a new one this year because the old one finally died, but it had lasted about three years, so that's not so bad. I thought being able to see my sleep would be a good thing, but it sometimes tells me that I'm asleep when I am up and watching television - even exciting shows! - so, don't really think it's accurate. Perhaps I'm just too relaxed! I like being able to check my heart rate, but since my cardiologist told me not to worry about the numbers, I'm not so hung up about that any more, though I do still try to keep within a particular range during a particular activity. I like being able to track my outside journeys, map-wise, distance-wise. The only thing that's really changed is that I have it set to remind me if I haven't done 250 steps within an hour, so that I'm moving every hour. Sometimes, when I get stuck into desk-work, it happens that I haven't. Often, I get up and do my steps, but sometimes... :cantwait: Of course, it doesn't count when I'm sitting on the exercise bike, and there isn't an exercise setting for "exercise bike". All in all, I'm quite happy with it. I'm not so obsessed with it that I allow it to interfere with what I'm doing, unless I choose to let it.


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Amazon Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 325
"For the Light! For Victory! For Cake!"
I've been using a Fitbit for most of 9 years now (I had to look up my data to find that out). I've had to replace it twice, though: I have now had three Fitbits of which I have paid for one, so it's worked out for me. The first one was a gift from work, I think? And when it died, I bought a replacement. And when it died, a friend had literally just bought an upgrade that week and I happily accepted the hand-me-down because I am not too good for hand-me-downs.

I use it and the associated app a lot: I track my food and weight in the app. I use the step and sleep trackers (I have to be careful not to pay too much attention to the sleep tracker because I am a light sleeper who tosses and turns a lot). And some of my friends keep a weekly step-count competition going that and... you all may have noticed that I can be hyper-competitive. Usually, I only compete with myself, or I set myself up "against" someone who is just a little better than me. But nothing says I need to go for a walk like seeing that my sorority sister is beating me! How. Dare. She. :muahaha:

On the other hand, it's easy for it to turn into a source of stress. When I went back on chemo, I literally just took my Fitbit off for about a week because I couldn't handle how it made me feel. (I'm doing better now and clearly I made the right choice in stopping myself from feeling sad in that way.)


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Commando from Alberta
Posts: 475
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
I don't. I've become cautious about introducing too many measurements, and tracking into my daily exercise. I know I mentally benefit from being able to observe progress, like in the case of maintaining a check-in log. That works great. But other measures, I find best to avoid. One example is a weight scale; after ours stopped working we didn't replace it, and I'm glad. Having struggled with my weight in the past, I'm too tempted to step on one of those daily and allow whatever number that comes up to decide if my body is good or bad (usually I'd conclude the latter for reasons unclear yet unarguable). Now if I randomly encounter a scale somewhere I get a pleasant surprise, because I really don't know what to expect :)

Anyway, more power to those that enjoy using the trackers, fitbits, and such :)

Lady Celerity

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from The Woods. NorCal
Posts: 702
" thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on.."
I never wore a watch until I got a FitBit a few years ago. Like @neilarey there was a time when I got a little obsessive about it; I wore it exercising, doing yardwork and I wore my first FitBit during water aerobics (it claimed to be water resistant!) and it died after that. I got another one mostly to track my steps. It's helpful when hiking and I like going back a year or two and seeing how my fitness has improved: average steps per day, heart rate, # of days exercised. I don't wear it when I sleep. I no longer wear it when doing yardwork and when I'm on vacation I leave it at home. Who cares how many steps I took on vacation?

The bottom line is that my FitBit forced me to be honest about how much exercise I was (or wasn't) getting and it gave me some stats to measure my progress. I tend to be goal oriented so it helped me to push a little when needed.


New member
Ranger from North Carolina
Posts: 2
Yes, I wear an Apple Watch and use it to track my training and sleep patterns, not obsessively, but I find the analytics interesting and enjoy reviewing the data. I typically just set the watch to track a strength training or HIIT session, letting the clock run until hitting stop at the end of exercising, without ever preprogramming anything in advance. I like the features to look back over history to compare runs or see how many consecutive days I exercised, but don’t really pay attention to heart rate zones or calories burned, focusing more on how I feel during training.

This is a great topic and very interesting to read all the views on fitness wearables!


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Alchemist from France
Posts: 1,570
I started back in the days with a fitbit, loved tracking of exercise and steps. Then the heart issues arrived, and I am even more attached to my trackers, LOL. Nowadays I am wearing a "Withings" watch, with the ECG capability. Love how the battery is definitly way more durable than the fitbits (that was my issue with them).

To make a long story short, the first fitbit had tried to warned me than my HR (heart rate) was going steadier and steadier up, for a few days, before my cardiac decompensation... I thought the tracker was getting unreliable. Guess I can laugh about it today.
A few weeks after, the same fitbit showed clearly that the HR was getting back up, leading me to see the doc the same day for an ECG (this was before my open-heart surgery was scheduled) - and the ECG showed I was again in tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. This time I listened to the thingy ;) as it probably avoided me a second decompensation.
Finally, now I use that Withings, with the ECG ability, saturation measure, and ability to detect atrial fibrilation. In June 2021, a day I was feeling off, it alerted me to a return of atrial fibrilation, confirmed by the emergency room (spent several days in the ER, and that led to my surgery last summer) - and it stopped detecting it just a few hours before the cardiology team told me I was back to normal rythm .

When I caught Covid in June, I was quite glad to be able to monitor my ECG and saturation by myself, so I'd know if things turned south and could react quickly.

So, short answer, yes I use a tracker, love it, and even had its accuracy medically proved, LOL!


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Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 315
"Building good habits"
I had a Garmin vivofit until it died (and I got it replaced once, I think), and I enjoyed tracking steps. Recently, the manufacturer of my phone ran a promo for their fitness trackers and smart watches, which got me tempted again - but I think I missed the promo period, oh well.

I think I might like to get into hiking soon, and it would be useful for that. So that's a decided... maybe! Haha. Might just use a phone app to begin.
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Well-known member
Posts: 283
"Keep fighting. Fortune will favor the patient and persistent."
I used to have first a SparkTracker, and later a Fitbit. Exactly why I bought into the idea is a mystery. I don't drink but I had to have been drunk on something.

I say this because they were more harmful than helpful to me. I do see the point of them for people who are more emotionally stable than I am, but for me all it did was trigger OCD behavior with the times I tried to track food intake (which didn't work either), and could well have contributed to the anorexia I experienced not that long ago (yes, men can have eating disorders too).

So when one of the platforms I was considering before landing here wanted me to buy an Apple Watch as part of their program, I said, "No you don't", and told them to go pound. I'm at a point where I'm just better off not knowing because it's the lesser of two evils.

Those of you who do use them, though, you have my respect.


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from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 658
I used to have a fitbit tracker around 2015-2017 or so. At that time I had quit the gym and just went outside to get moving. It helped to track numbers and food and I lost about 27 kg during that time. I never liked to wear that thing though and gave up on it when the company was acquired by Google or so.

Since then things went south slowly but steady. I gained 17 of the kgs back and fell apart mentally. After finishing chemo therapy I bought a Garmin smartwatch because I really want to have my energy back and I figured it could help to have numbers. I did usually rule the weekly walking challenges but it's also clear that I need way more patience than I ever thought. But I still hope it will help again and things change direction at some point.


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from U.S.
Posts: 84
"Back again…let’s all keep this going!"
I’ve used bicycling based computers/HRM for many years, from early ones in the 80’s, several Polar branded ones late 90’s and 2000 iirc, and from around 2009 or 2010 used a Garmin Edge 500 for a decade or so.

in 2021 received a Garmin Edge 830 (much better feature set then the earlier generations) and am very pleased with it.

Last year started using the associated Garmin Connect program to log my little dumbell workouts in the weight lifting section, so finally have tracking on more then just my cycling. They have sections for walking, running, multi sport and more on Connect, these days at 63yr old, I don‘t have the kind of training variety I did in my twenties and thirties lol, so am not really making great use of all these modern tracking methods.

I like The cycling info generated, and monitoring the HR, sometimes my cycling rides are based simply on HR (“riding the monitor”) as opposed to a speed or distance goal. The Connect also has many user generated sections on hillclimbs for compare against others, or similar age groups, and of course my own ‘records’ are tracked accurately.
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from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 658
I find the monitoring of the stress level at garmin connect quite interesting. During the past really sick days without moving i had a constant high stress level. It's back to normal by now and not moving means it does mostly show Pause/Recreation. Sometimes my watch tells me to calm down while reading the news.
Sleep tracking was another thing i was interested in but that's not reliable at all.


Well-known member
Posts: 221
I've been using tracking for a long time. It's fun to see progress and it keeps me motivated. The first device for that was my phone, with the Samsung and Google Health apps, and then I got fitness bracelets. I had Fitbits, but I changed one every year. In fact, only one lasted for the entire year. So I have a Samsung watch now. Will see how durable this one is :).

What I enjoyed about the Fitbit were the challenges in the app. I did them together with some friends, and that kept me going harder for a while. However, after a while some of us stopped using Fitbit. And also the novelty faded. This is one of my problems: I get bored and that makes me exercise less.

Sleep tracking is probably not very accurate with any of these devices, but I still find it useful because it helps me be more aware about how much I sleep overall.

I also use the watch for heart rate monitoring and I'm wondering how good their VO2 max estimation is. One thing that I would like to do is increase mine.

Another app that I used for tracking was Habitica. I don't know if any of you guys used it. It's a gamified habit tracker and to do list. You can earn coins by checking off habits and tasks, and you lose health points for skipping. With the coins, you can buy rewards. There are some in-app rewards, not particularly exciting, but the nice thing is that you can create your own. One of mine was a major cheat day, when I was allowed to skip all habits without losing health points. I had set quite a high price for it, so I couldn't do it often. It was very useful for a while, but again, I got bored... I started it again in January, but it didn't last for long :crawl:


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Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 315
"Building good habits"
Another app that I used for tracking was Habitica. I don't know if any of you guys used it.
Yeah! I've been on that site for a few years now, both as a subscriber and not. My sister joined too; we have our own party for running quests. It would not work well for me if it were just for checking off my tasks, but with company and a purpose (quest), I can stick with it. I've also rejigged how I allocate my points to make it quite hard to progress.

IMO, the concept works well as a true RPG: played with others and with a story / quest / purpose. It can also be good if you're in a position where you struggle to do good things for yourself, but would not want to hurt a little pixelated avatar if you could help it (this might sound strange, but it can work).

As you say, the straight up game rewards are not that exciting.

Anyway back to fitness trackers :fantastic:


Well-known member
Rogue Posts: 290
"“I am, and always will be, the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” (Eleventh Doctor)"
I have a Polar watch, which is more for tracking runs or walks or going by bike...
You can track other workouts also, but the data is only something like "how long" and the heart rate just basic stuff and not AS detailed as for the runs...

The problem I had while tracking my runs was, that I started to overpace, because you can see how fast you are and I always wanted to bei faster than last time...
I had to learn to not become too influenced by this... Which is working more or less better every day;)


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Posts: 56
"I don’t have a soul. I am a soul. I have a body."
I use Garmin vivosmart on a daily basics and Instinct Solar while biking/ hiking. I enjoy seeing the numbers and sometimes even push myself to go harder. Nevertheless, not to extremes, any more. I hope, I've found some kind of balance not to become a slave of the tracker/ tracking. I keep telling myself, that it's totally ok to have a track-free day. And I try to keep in mind, that I'm exercising for myself, this much, that it feels good and in the way that's appealing to me at this moment. Coz, it's ok to go dancing if it's a cardio day and a hiit workout is the last thing I'm dreaming of, isn't it?


Fae Posts: 9
None. I don't have a smartphone on purpose (I'm afraid I'd check the darn thing every 30 seconds and get stuck forever) and I am really not into gadgets. Also for my current work I can not wear jewellery or watches for they (or I!) may get damaged.
I see other people using smart watches to get in their daily steps and such, if that helps them; good for them. For me I just know that I workout whenever I can in the mornings and take the (non electric) bicycle for anything up to 1:30 hours single way trip. I do not need to keep track of steps taken. Of course I do tick off the boxes of Darebee programs and keep track in my Profile. :-D I'd like to finish them all some day (yes, with new ones being released every now and again) but I am not a runner, so I will probably always miss those checks... or will I?... Also I don't own barbells or dumbbells above 5kg.

I get my blood pressure measured regularly in my job by the life savers in training and I know my average heart rate through my job as well. That and how I look in the mirror are enough measurement for me. :)

Ratio Tile

Active member
Jedi from Poland
Posts: 30
I bought a Fitbit in September. It was a curiosity at first. I chose this particular brand because I was translating/reviewing the app's UI and it looked like fun, with games & challenges and stuff. Also, read positive opinions on Versa models.

What I needed for my running was a handy device where I could set a timer, control music etc. from my wrist, without having to pull out my phone. Data is a good bonus, I check it every evening, but don't let it control my behavior. My core priority is still checking off workouts, not counting my steps (though it feels good when you do meet a goal). Also, I love gamification and getting badges whenever I reach x km :LOL:


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Alchemist from Astral Sea
Posts: 89
"Are you dreaming?"
Do you use any gadgets to track your fitness and/or your progress?
Do you like it?
How long have you been using it?
Did it change anything in how you train?
I got a garmin fenix watch about 5 months ago after tracking my runs with strava app for a long time. I absolutely love it and I particularly like having heart rate graphs, heart rate variability, stress measurements, sleep tracking, and detailed run metrics. The watch indicates when I'm not feeling well (if heart rate/variability are off when resting or during activity). I use my watch for navigation and it's nice to see pace numbers while running if I desire. You get much of the same data using a phone with the strava app but I am all about generating as much data as possible to help me analyze the effects of my behavior on my well-being.


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Guardian from Kavala, Greece
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 104
I am using an Apple Watch as well. I really love the data availability and different profiles for exercising. And the rings feature is really motivating to remain active. However, I'm confused about which kind of profile I should use for Darebee hahaha. Currently, I use the functional fitness one. Dunno if I should use the HIIT instead. What do you think?


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Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 315
"Building good habits"
I had a Garmin vivofit until it died (and I got it replaced once, I think), and I enjoyed tracking steps. Recently, the manufacturer of my phone ran a promo for their fitness trackers and smart watches, which got me tempted again - but I think I missed the promo period, oh well.

I think I might like to get into hiking soon, and it would be useful for that. So that's a decided... maybe! Haha. Might just use a phone app to begin.
So, update on this:
I did indeed use my phone as a pedometer for a bit, but only when I went out for dedicated walks. That turned out to be less than ideal when I started adding data to my Walk to Mordor spreadsheet again, lots of 0 days. And it was a faff remembering to open the app, pause it at the end, and read off the number... so I got myself a little pedometer. You know, the old-fashioned kind that you attach to your waistband and that rattles for each step. Daily step counts are back, yo!

I think about a wrist tracker sometimes but I wear an actual watch these days.


from Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 19
"Warming up the engine"
Shortly after getting back into daily activities, I bought a Xiaomi Band 7 Pro to check if I'm okay with wearing "something" on my wrist, and worked out surprisingly well. Since I tend to overdo it (all-in personality sort-of), I needed some HR tracking to keep myself within reasonable range, and haven't experienced any headaches nor feeling uncomfortable after doing stressful HR-wise workouts anymore :u: But besides HR and being able to pick individual workouts, the tracker has no real influence and my new scale outnumbers it with ease ... but scales are a different story :D

After a few months in, this "simple" tracking doesn't suffice anymore .... MI Fitness is 💩 when it comes to visualize data like HR and SpO2, other apps won't do with the 7 Pro, and syncing data itself is a mess (also unable to get previous day after midnight :vsad:). So decision was made to buy a different tracker with more advanced visualization and connectivity to 3rd-party apps, even if I will miss its huge range of workouts it offers (even knows Tai Chi :LOL:).


from Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 19
"Warming up the engine"
Shortly after getting back into daily activities, I bought a Xiaomi Band 7 Pro ...
... which was replaced with a Garmin Venu 3 by yesterday. Enjoying every bit, a giant leap compared to the previous tracker, crapton of sensors, good sampling resolution and way better sync and visualization options.

Worth a recommendation for sure if one wants to dig deep, Garmin Connect thingy even allows for peeking into fitness data from other devices using a browser :u: