Do you use fitness trackers?

neilarey

Administrator
DAREBEE Team
Shieldmaiden from Greece
Posts: 160
"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.
 

Mianevem

Well-known member
Sorceress from Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 203
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...
 

Fitato

Well-known member
Mystic from Kansas
Posts: 68
"Hello"
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.
 

TopNotch

Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 395
"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.
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Warrior Monk Posts: 170
"Go Henry - Live, lift, learn and grow - Never quit - Dave Draper"
Back in the 80's I would use a calender's to note what I did on a day then got a calendar/journal book. Nowadays it's maybe making some notes on a piece of paper. Some fitness/nutrition books I bought also published training journals which I bought but never used.

I have a small cheap PC and someone gave me an Xbox 360, my wife carries a flip phone that's it. At home we have a land line that I never use.
 

Kanary

Well-known member
Amazon Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 214
"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.)
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Guardian from Vancouver, BC
Posts: 170
"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

Well-known member
from The Woods. NorCal
Posts: 86
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.
 

KLM

New member
Ranger from North Carolina
Posts: 1
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!
 

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 166
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!
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 133
"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.
 
Last edited:

TakingBabyStepsBack

Well-known member
Posts: 79
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.
 

mavie

Well-known member
from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 216
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.
 

WSMC1

Well-known member
from U.S.
Posts: 54
"Working at it!"
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.
 
Last edited:

mavie

Well-known member
from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 216
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.
 

Mianevem

Well-known member
Sorceress from Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 203
I agree @mavie , the stress tracking seems to be surprisingly accurate. Especially at night: I can always tell when eating too much before bed, having alcohol or an ongoing illness or even one the symptoms of which aren't yet showing affect my sleep negatively.

Sleep tracking itself, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be useful.
 

SlothEnergy

Active member
Posts: 37
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:
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 133
"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:
 

lpf

Well-known member
Rogue Posts: 51
"“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;)
 
Top