• I use a motorola motocast watch. It has your itune music, tracks miles, steps, calories burned, and has a heart rate monitor. You can use the GPS feature for outside walks/runs and a wireless headset so there is no cord getting in the way. Then it syncs to your computer and you can look at the data and write in notes about your workout. Love this device!

    From Stacy
    May 21, 2013

  • I purchased a Fitbit while at H3, and loved it immediately for the validation and feedback. It was fun to check online and see what my latest stats were, see my workouts visually represented in graphs and percentages. Unfortunately, I clipped the Fitbit (inside its plastic holster) inside the front of my exercise bra, and sweat shorted out the Fitbit. The company replaced it (took a few days) and I was more careful about keeping the device dry. Then the docking station ceased to work, either via wifi or actually plugged in. At that point I simply purchased a regular pedometer and wore it clipped to my pocket or waistband, and although it doesn’t do all the cool things Fitbit does – stairs/stories, etc (to tell you the truth, I’ve forgotten most of it), my pedometer keeps track of my steps and that’s the main thing I need it for. As a gadget, the Fitbit seems very ambitious but not yet fully functional. I loved it while it worked (even bought one for my son, then a grad student waiting tables at a busy restaurant), but the time and aggravation of replacing parts of it was more hassle than it was worth.

    From Deborah Miranda
    May 23, 2013

  • Love the Fitbit, which I had before going to H3. It keeps me motivated with short term feedback, daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals, and so far it has had no technical problems. The sleep tracker seems far from precise, but the daily food log becomes a habit and really helps me see when I have a need to step up on exercise or go easy on calories.

    Last week’s New Yorker magazine had a great article about the use of the Fitbit and a treadmill desk. I have both, although I really don’t use the treadmill desk much anymore. It works best, I think, if you work at home rather than in a large office setting. The article made me want to get back on it though and see what it, combined with the Fitbit, could do for me.

    While I like the Fitbit One I have, I am waiting for the next version of the newly released Flex wristband to come out so they can work out the bugs. That would be easier to wear and use, although it does not count stairs.

    My biggest suggestion for Fitbit would be that they make a much more robust and broad food database and that they also add a scanning feature for the phone app, so users can scan food information into the database -and it is accurate. Fooducate does that, and it is a good app. Lose it! has an app that will coordinate with Fitbit but you have to use the premium service and according to a friend who does it, it is not as easy as it should be to synch. The Fitbit food database is inadequate, and there are many others that give more and better information.

    So I am using Fitbit daily and Fooducate at the grocery store to scan food before I buy it. I use either the Unified Lifestyle or Zestar Menu Pilot apps for restaurants. They have specific menu items and help with healthful choices from the menus.

    Good luck with whatever works for you. I need lots of prompts and props to stay on track, so this is how I am doing it. It sounds like a lot of work but actually just takes minutes each day.

    These little reminders, whether a pedometer or a food log, have been so helpful to me. I have lost 20% of my long-term weight goal since I bought my Fitbit, but more importantly, feel better and am mindful of what I eat and do.

    From Ellen
    May 24, 2013

  • @ Ellen – Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice! Regarding the food tracker – check out My Fitness Pal app – it’s very convenient and syncs with your Fitbit tracker.

    From Jessica
    May 27, 2013

Coaching Corner: The “Black and White” Truth of Activity Tracking Devices

women power walking

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been a part of a test group for activity trackers like the Nike Fuel Band and Fitbit.  As a coach, I understand the benefits tracking activity and calories – it’s a way to provide accountability, if only unto yourself.  But now, companies like Nike and Fitbit have taken it to a whole new level.  With colored lights that measure your fuel or even a flower that grows the more you move, it’s no longer written in “black and white”.  With dynamic apps, blue tooth capabilities, personal communities, and more, these little devices act as your journal, your training partner, your cheerleader… and even your disciplinarian.  By tracking steps, calories, weight loss, food and water intake, and even sleep, these trackers learn more about your lifestyle than even your doctor might know.  You can see your charted progress at any moment, plotted by day, week, or month.  You can set personal targets and even challenge your friends, have a competition with someone from miles away.  But…. it can’t workout for you.  It can’t make the right food choices for you.  We still have to find it within ourselves to make the right choices for the healthy active life we pursue.  So while the Fitbit or Nike Fuel Band may not be the magic diet pill we all may secretly wish it would be… they certainly can help!  Moving a little more to make your last light show up on your band, or a friendly competition within a private group leader board is certainly more support than we had even 5 years ago… not to mention the convenience of having access to it all right on your smart phone.  I can honestly say, it doesn’t always make me smile when I get messages like “Pick it up, Jess”… but it does increase my awareness, it does push me to go even a little bit further, and it does make me smile when it rewards me for hard work.

Do you use an activity tracking device?  If so, share with us and other readers – what about yours motivates you??

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