Sunday, January 25, 2015

Not A Paid Ad (I Wish), I Just Like It

Quiet weekend so far.  Basketball Friday night (Thing Two made another free throw!), a cache or two, a nice fire in the fireplace and working on a few puzzles to keep my brain moving.  Funny how my weekends are so much less active than my'd think it would be the opposite with three young kids home, but no.  Not even close.  On weekdays, I'm out and going all day with very little downtime and that's the way I like it.

Got one of these (below) for Christmas.  It's a Fitbit, and it's a pretty cool little contraption.  I've been wearing it pretty much straight since about noon on Christmas Day except for showers and when it needs to charge, which doesn't take long.  It can track all sorts of things, most of which I don't care at all about, or at least not enough to bother logging all the info--how many calories you take in, how much water you drink, how much you weigh every day, etc.  What I *do* care about is how much I many steps and what approximate distance.  The sensor embedded in this wristband keeps track of how many steps you take and somehow calculates distance from that.

I haven't seen a way to calibrate my step length, and regardless, it's going to vary based on whether I am booking it around a flat walking track with my headphones on or hiking up a steep hill, but I figure it will all average out over time for my activities anyway.  I know that I was more active on a 15,000-step day than on a 10,000-step day, for example, no matter how long the steps were.  (The default goal is set by the manufacturer at 10,000 steps per day, which I reach easily on a normally-active day.)  One common complaint about these things is that they are not completely accurate and usually overestimate activity, but a friend of mine has a different brand and if we hike together they usually have similar readouts at the end for distance, so it's good enough for me.  Just wish the thing tracked altitude gained and lost as well as distance for some of those hiking days!  As a side note, you can also put it in sleep mode when you go to bed and it will keep track of how long you sleep and how active (i.e., restless) you are while sleeping, which is interesting info too.

As you can see, this model has no digital readout...if you want to see more info than what the five lights give you, you have to sync it to your computer (easy, but a pain if you're out of the house) or your smartphone (a piece of cake and super convenient.)  Free app; open it and hold the Fitbit within range and the display on the phone shows you whatever metrics you want to see.  

Funny thing is that I almost invariably walk a good mile or so by 8AM, just around my house while getting the kids ready for school.  Who says you can't get some good exercise while still in your pajamas??

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