11-10-2015

Which Fitness Tracker Should I Get?

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Alright, alright…I think I’m ready to jump on the fitness tracker bandwagon. I have been intrigued by FitBit’s for a while, and now Dan has one that his company gave him for inter-office “competition.” 

I have seen many bloggers review various fitness trackers, so I don’t know which to get! I was leaning towards the FitBit wrist tracker (is the the official term? The one that looks like a bracelet?). But I figured I would talk about some of the more popular trackers and their features…perhaps this will help me make a decision!

best-fitness-trackers

FitBit Charge HR - $149.99

455975-fitbit-charge-hrPhoto source

There are different type of FitBits, but this is the one I would want. I love that it has a heartrate monitor – I think I need that when it comes to my running. I would like to track my HR and make sure my easy runs are easy, and hard runs are hard.

Like all FitBit’s and most trackers, it measures your steps too. When I had my Samsung Galaxy, it had a built in step-tracker. I was always waaayyyy off the recommended 10,ooo steps her day. I really want to work at this because I know I sit too much throughout the day. Between blogging and my business, everything is on my computer. Sometimes I don’t want to get up just to fill up my water bottle because I’m in the zone with my work. #truestory I really need to get more steps in. 

The battery is supposed to last 5 days which is impressive. I just worry that it might be too bulky on my wrist? I have bony wrists…hmm…

Garmin VivoSmart - $129.99

garmin-vivosmartPhoto source

I like that this is smaller on your wrist than the FitBit, but am not sold on it due to the fact that you need the chest strap heart rate monitor to get your HR. I’m sure that might be more accurate, but I also don’t know if I want to wear one on runs since I chafe…a lot…

The Garmin VivoSmart allows you to get push notifications from your mobile device which I think is actually pretty cool! You can’t respond to them obviously, but I think it is a nice feature. It also has vibration alarms which is perfect for me. I hate waking up to alarms, it always jars me awake. I feel like a nice vibration on my wrist would be better :)

The battery life lasts about 7 hours, and it also measures steps, sleep, calories burned and active time.

Jawbone UP2 - $99.99

jawbone-up

 

Wow I love the look of the Jawbone UP2! This is exactly what I would want a fitness tracker on my wrist to look like. It is sleek and small, and not obviously a fitness tracker. The only downside is that I want one that displays info on it while you’re wearing it, as opposed to having to plug it in to my computer to get the info or opening an app (there is an app for this one).

It tracks steps, monitors sleep and has a smart alarm feature which wakes you up when it feels you’re most ready to wake up, instead of jarring you awake while you’re still in REM cycle (which can lead to grogginess). From the reviews I’ve read, the Jawbone does a great job of giving you details on your sleep…something I need because I feel like I NEVER get a good night’s sleep.

Interesting…I started writing this paaragraph thinking I wouldn’t be interested in this because of the lack of screen but as I kept typing, I kind of want to try one out now!

Misfit Flash - $24.99

misfit-flashPhoto source

The Misfit Flash is only $24.99! Can you believe that? I honestly might go pick up one of these after work today just to try it out before I dive deeper into the fitness tracking world.

While this one does not have a screen interface, it still tracks steps and sleep AND can running, swimming and cycling. You can tell it what activity you will be doing and it will track accordingly. However, this is mainly just to track what kind of activity you did – it does not provide pace, distance, miles, etc. Also, the circular part seen above actually comes out so you can either put it into the watch strap thing or into the clip. Very cool.

Like the Jawbone, since it doesn’t have a screen, you can track using an app. Since the Misfit uses a watch battery, the battery lasts about 6 months!

Garmin Vivofit 2 – $99.99

garmin-vivofitPhoto source

The Garmin Vivofit 2 comes in different colors BUT also allows you to buy the wristband separately so you can can switch it up. I believe the above photo features a Jonathan Adler wristband.

The Vivofit 2 tracks your steps, goals, distance and calories burned. It can also be paired with a heart rate monitor/strap. You can connect to the Garmin Connect app to get even more details about your day and activity. This tracker also uses watch batteries, so battery life is a year or longer! I like the look of this and it looks slim/not bulky. From what I’ve read, you can also pair it with your MyFitnessPal app.

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Ahhh, decisions, decisions. I like the FitBit Dan has, but I do think I want something more robust (hence why I like the FitBit Surge). BUT I like the look of the Jawbone and Vivofit. Help!

Do you use a fitness tracker? Which one?

Do you get in 10K steps per day? I think I was getting around 3-5K…definitely need to step it up (no pun intended).

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03-27-2014

7 Ways To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

In a study about how inactivity is related to heart disease, it was shown that men who sat for at least 5 hours a day or more had more than double the risk of heart failure than those who were active and sat for 2 hours or less. In fact:

Even if participants exercised regularly, sitting had a negative influence on their health. No matter how much they exercised, men who spent five or more hours a day sitting outside of work were 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure compared to those who sat two hours a day or less, according to the investigation.

Now, we all aren’t in positions to only be sitting for 2 hours of less…the American work day doesn’t work like that (I wish!) :)

How To Walk 10,000 Steps In A Day

Photo Credit: Tractivity via Compfight cc

But there are ways to make sure that you’re active throughout the day. Just 1 hour at the gym isn’t enough anymore. It doesn’t undue the other 8-10 hours you are sitting at your desk. This is part of the reason why tracking devices like FitBit, Nike Fuel bands, and pedometers in general are so popular. I have a Galaxy S4 which came with a step tracker widget, and I was shocked at how little I walked during the day. I would average around 2,000 steps – the recommended amount is 10,000!

Some days it’s really hard for me to get 10,000 steps, but you can certainly do it. It seems like a lot but little steps throughout the day (no pun intended hehe) will help you end the day with 10K steps. Here are a few ways to reach your goal:

1. Take a 5 min. walk break every hour. This was a tip I initially saw somewhere on the twitterverse. If you work 8 hours, and take a 5 min. walk break every hour, that is 40  minutes of walking in one day! That’s great, especially if you can’t make it to the gym after work. 5 minutes of your time is nothing.

2. Use a small water bottle so you have to get up and refill more often. I used to love finding the biggest water bottles so that I could make sure to drink enough at work. But, now I like little bottles, or I just refill a cup at my desk. Why? Because it means I will have to get up to walk to the water fountain more often (at my job it is not in my office, it’s outside down a hallway). Most of the time I really don’t feel like getting up but you gotta do what you gotta do! Plus, you’ll also be getting up more often to go to the bathroom ;)

3. Purposely park further away. Give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning and park further than you usually would. Though I’ll admit, I probably wouldn’t do this in the winter because I’m not about walking in the freezing cold. Otherwise, enjoy the sunshine in the morning!

4. Walk/run as a warm-up before you lift. If you go to the gym after work (or even before), walk or run as a warm-up. Running will obviously rack up more steps but if you’re not a runner then walking is just fine. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up before beginning your workout.

5. Go for a 10 min. walk before work, or during lunch, or after dinner to relax. These are all  great times to get in a short 10 minute walk. I mean, 10 minutes is nothing! Use part of your lunch break to do this. If it’s cold outside and you have a gym at work, then go walk on the treadmill and read a book or listen to a podcast at the same time. In the summer, I like going on evening walks after dinner to wind down before bed.

6. Set reminders to get up out of your desk and walk around, even if only for a few minutes. If you’re like me, you get sucked into your computer and don’t get up enough. Set up alarms so that every hour you’re reminded to go for your 5 minute walk.

7. Have a challenge at work with friends to see who can get the most steps in 1 day. I’m a competitive person, so I love challenges. Team up with friends and coworkers to see who can get the most steps in a day, a week, etc. This will get you extra incentive and motivation to do all of the other 6 tips ;)

Do you have a pedometer or tracking device? Do you regularly get 10,000 steps? Any tips you’d add?

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