Monday, May 16, 2016

Fitbit Charge HR: a week and a half in

Howdy, friends.

I won't bore you with tons of graphs and screenshots this time. ;)  I still haven't worn my old chest strap heart rate monitor to a class yet at the same time as wearing my Fitbit, so I will try to stop harping on the inconsistent readings. ;)  I'm hoping to do it this week, though!

The biggest "pro" of the Fitbit is the overall tracking ability - I like that it makes a deal about getting 250 steps every hour.  It doesn't seem like it should be hard to do that - and honestly, overall it's not - but some times you can get sucked into a book or playing with your kid at the table and zoooop, an hour is gone by.  I wish the Charge HR had the "reminder to move" feature that they've added to the Alta device - it vibrates at 5 minutes to the hour if you haven't gotten in your steps yet.  Would be REALLY handy to have that on the Charge HR too!

I'm also trying to increase my overall "active minutes" (defined below from Fitbit's web site) -
"All Fitbit trackers calculate active minutes using metabolic equivalents (METs). METs help measure the energy expenditure of various activities. Because they do so in a comparable way among persons of different weights, METs are widely used as indicators for exercise intensity. For example, a MET of 1 indicates a body at rest. Fitbit trackers estimate your MET value in any given minute by calculating the intensity of your activity. You earn active minutes for activities at or above about 3 METs.  To stay in line with the Center for Disease Control's (CDC’s) “10 minutes at a time is fine” concept, minutes are only awarded after 10 minutes of continuous moderate-to-intense activity."
My active minutes are all over the place.  I obviously earn them during my hour-long cardio workouts, but I don't earn them at times when I think I should, and vice versa.  The Fitbit Charge HR has the SmartTrack feature, which auto-creates workout entries for me:
"The SmartTrack™ feature available on Fitbit Alta™, Fitbit Blaze™, Fitbit Surge™, and Fitbit Charge HR™ automatically recognizes and records select exercises to ensure you get credit for your most active moments of the day."
Today it created one for my walking at Costco and the grocery store. ;)  However, it reported it as zero active minutes, even though the activity was 19 minutes.  Weird.  Happens frequently - I think 4 in one day was my highest, and just a handful of active minutes credited.

However, this thing is really uncomfortable to wear. I take it off whenever I'm sitting down, and I don't wear it to bed (negating the whole "sleep tracking" feature of course).  I've tried wearing it at different heights on my forearm and different tightnesses of the strap.  I even have phantom pain on my wrist when not wearing it.  I'm going to have to think about this to decide if it's worth the pain to keep tracking my fitness this way.

OK, I can't resist one screenshot - I smashed my goals yesterday:

woo. :)

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