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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-01-14, 10:43 AM   #1
Ekdog
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Fitness Trackers

Do any of you use a fitness tracker? It seems to me it'd be cool to keep up with all of the steps one takes, the kilometers cycled, calories burned, and so on, in the course of a car-free or car-light day.
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Old 05-01-14, 11:38 AM   #2
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Do any of you use a fitness tracker? It seems to me it'd be cool to keep up with all of the steps one takes, the kilometers cycled, calories burned, and so on, in the course of a car-free or car-light day.
I have a speedo with odometer on my bicycle. That's good enough for me.
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Old 05-01-14, 12:27 PM   #3
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I just use a HRM when on the bike, and occasionally check the RHR.
As long as it's beating, I'm still alive and trying to stay relatively fit.
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Old 05-01-14, 12:31 PM   #4
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mapmyride gets it done for me, covers a lot of different activities.
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Old 05-01-14, 12:38 PM   #5
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NSA watches over Me.
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Old 05-01-14, 01:24 PM   #6
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I was thinking of devices like these: The Best Activity Trackers for Fitness | PCMag.com
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Old 05-01-14, 01:24 PM   #7
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I use the Endomondo app on my smartass phone, it works well enough. It then transfers the information to My Fitness Pal app where I track my calorie intake too. The days of being able inhale a large garbage can pizza and a pitcher of beer are loooong gone. I have gone from GIGO to CICO (calories in calories out) still trying to burn more than I take in.

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Old 05-01-14, 01:35 PM   #8
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FYI:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/0...spect-results/
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Old 05-01-14, 02:17 PM   #9
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Oddly enough, I have just started this past week using them on my Nexus 7. I'm still researching, but so far I have used MapMyWalk and Google's My Tracks.

MapMyWalk: Requires you to join their "community", can share straight to Facebook/Twitter, supports/integrates more sensors (HRMs and BPMs), from the same people as MapMyRide (but you can toggle between the activities within one app, so I don't know why multiple apps?). You can have it vocalize when you reach mile/km markers. However, it doesn't look like it stores locally (I may have that option turned off), because I just tried to view my previous 'workouts' with the wifi off and nothing came up.

Standard Stats categories: distance, time, pace, and calories. Note that this has an "auto pause" feature where it will stop recording after a brief period of no movement and resumes when under way again. And you also have the option of using the 'Nutrition tracker" where you can log calories consumed.

My Tracks saves the file locally be default, then you can export (or sync if you want) to Google Drive (and/or Spreadsheet and Fusion Tables if you have them). Then you have the option of making that file public and copy/paste the URL to your favorite social media site. Downside is that it looks like the only info that shows up in your Google Drive account is a map of the route and not the stats. Kinda bummed about that...

Standard Stats categories: distance, calories, total time, moving time, avg. speed, max speed, and avg. moving speed. I imagine it will display current speed as well, but I don't pay attention to the screen while I'm walking.

They both will guesstimate the calories burned based upon the activity you choose.

Edit: I started typing this before the OP clarified that he's looking at devices and not necessarily an app for a phone/tablet that he already has. Also note that Nike is getting out of the hardware business...
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Old 05-01-14, 08:10 PM   #10
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NSA watches over Me.
If they were smart they'd come out about it and offer you value for your tax dollar. Better maps than google, help you organize and sort your email, give you free email, stuff like that.
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Old 05-01-14, 09:59 PM   #11
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If they were smart they'd come out about it and offer you value for your tax dollar. Better maps than google, help you organize and sort your email, give you free email, stuff like that.
They could remember all your passwords for you and remind you to pay your bills. Maybe even fill out your absentee ballot. Their satellite view of your house would be a great burglar alarm.
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Old 05-01-14, 11:03 PM   #12
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I have a speedo with odometer on my bicycle. That's good enough for me.
I don't have those, but I can remember the mile posts I pass and occasionally look at a clock. If I want real-time speed data, I calculate it based on my gearing and a guess at my cadence.
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Old 05-01-14, 11:09 PM   #13
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The best fitness tracker is a full length mirror.
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Old 05-02-14, 12:00 AM   #14
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Old 05-02-14, 02:05 AM   #15
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We use ... computers on our bicycles, pedometers, and heart rate monitors.

We also each have an Excel spreadsheet where we track our information. I have been keeping track of my cycling information since 1990, and once in a while I also keep track of walking and other sports.

Since I've been doing a whole lot more walking lately (37 km last week), I should probably track that more regularly too.

As for calories burned, I figure 400-500 calories per hour while cycling and about half that while walking. The equipment at the gym gives us a vague idea about that too ... and I have to say that the calories burned information is a lot more accurate on this new equipment than it used to be.
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Old 05-02-14, 04:26 AM   #16
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The best fitness tracker is a full length mirror.
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Old 05-02-14, 06:45 PM   #17
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Good article.

I purchased a Fitbit tracker and I actually lost weight! Here what I think about the FitBit, first the good.

1. The tracker's online software uploads data very well -- I found that it was easy to upload the data entered including the number of steps taken easily

2. Fitbit's tracker is suspect --- I was able to increase my steps just moving my arm while sitting in a chair. However, they do have ones that are attached to your belt which should give you a more accurate reading. It’s important to understand that you don’t need 100% accuracy because getting on the scale each day and seeing your progress is more important.

3. Forums help big time --- Very similar to this forum, it's important you join for others to motivate you. (I remained carfree in large part due to this forum and you'll see others do the same) Much like Weight Watchers meetings, every day they get to see your weight gain or loss! (if you buy the FitBit scale) I was doing well for a while and dropped from 186 to 177 in 3 weeks eliminating only sugar from my diet and not really exercising. (I've since gained 2 pounds). However, the forum members are in constant competition in their quest to lose weight and you will too. There are NUMEROUS and incredible success stories but keep in mind that diet is probably more important than the number of steps. In fact, joining the forum and diet control is more important than the device itself.

4. I actually prefer a device on my wrist -- I used to have a fitness tracker that was attached to my belt but I'm not wearing it anymore. It didn't motivate me and stayed hidden all the time. The Fitbit is actually attractive, similar to those Lance Armstrong bands popular not long ago. I like the fact that it reminds me to watch my diet all the time. I'm not too concerned about it's accuracy because this is really a psychological challenge and if it's out of sight, then it's out of mind. This is why cell phone fitness trackers won't work over time.

5. Battery Life is Great -- If the device requires you to dock it each day, you can forget it. I don't dock mine until the end of the week but if battery life was poor, it would be collecting dust by now. Also, there's no way I'm going to walk around with my cell phone at home or work when they need to be in the charger. This is why I didn’t download the fitness App for Android. I think a long battery life is critical.

Now for the bad.

1. FitBit or any tracker requires you to enter alot of data --- It's too bad these devices can't tell you how many calories you’re consuming without having to enter the data manually into the device. Sure they have very effective calorie counters built into their online software but you get tired entering this data. In fact, I stopped entering data and only use the online software to visit the forums, update weight loss and daily foot steps. The software does give you a good idea of how little food you really need each day. Bottom line, if you like to eat rich food, you'll never lose weight. It's too bad there's no device that measure how many calories you're consuming 2 seconds after the food enters your mouth.

I'm starting to see other trackers include GPS, heart monitoring, advanced online statistics in an attempt to surpass the FitBit. Totally unnecessary. Less is more when it comes to Fitness tracking software.

2. The band attachment is crummy -- I wish FitBit had a better attachment.

I think I wrote a lot but weight loss is really a lifestyle change similar to being carfree. (But much harder) ;-)

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Old 05-02-14, 07:50 PM   #18
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The best fitness tracker is a full length mirror.
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Too funny! But true, sort of. It's all I use since my bathroom scales kicked the bucket.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:12 PM   #19
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Too funny! But true, sort of. It's all I use since my bathroom scales kicked the bucket.
Bathroom scale kicking the bucket is better than a heart rate monitor quitting. You might not know if the device stopped or you are dead (credit to Groucho Marx).
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Old 05-02-14, 10:45 PM   #20
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My commutes started being more enjoyable when the battery in my bike speedometer died.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:59 PM   #21
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No worries, I think ILTB was probably referring to a circus mirror.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:16 PM   #22
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I always have fun with my cycling computer. I love cartography and navigation. I'm the guy people always ask when they want to know how far it is from X to Y.

I never tried a heart rate monitor. I did check my pulse from time to time for the first couple years after I had a heart attack.
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Old 05-03-14, 05:36 AM   #23
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I tend to have an obsessive personality at times. I don't get any of the devices listed above because it would change the reason why I ride, from enjoyment to a fitness requirement.

I'm afraid that I would change from a person who feels like a giddy kid each time I hop on a bike to one that is obsessed with distances, calories burned, speed, etc.

I really don't care how many kilometers I cycle (unless of course I do a long distance ride and need to know how long my ride will take). I ride to feel good, to get where I need to go, to not pollute, etc.

I can look in the mirror (a la ILTB) and see that I'm doing pretty good in the fitness department , and the occasional doctor's visit confirms this.

But obviously from these posts other people love these fitness trackers!
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Old 05-03-14, 06:01 AM   #24
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I tend to have an obsessive personality at times. I don't get any of the devices listed above because it would change the reason why I ride, from enjoyment to a fitness requirement.

I'm afraid that I would change from a person who feels like a giddy kid each time I hop on a bike to one that is obsessed with distances, calories burned, speed, etc.

I really don't care how many kilometers I cycle (unless of course I do a long distance ride and need to know how long my ride will take). I ride to feel good, to get where I need to go, to not pollute, etc.

I can look in the mirror (a la ILTB) and see that I'm doing pretty good in the fitness department , and the occasional doctor's visit confirms this.

But obviously from these posts other people love these fitness trackers!
That's because you're not a nerd. If you were, the gadgets and numbers would be part of the fun.

I doubt if I will ever use a fitness tracker. But for many years I kept hand written journals that were about a lot of things, but a big part of them was a record of my bike rides and walks. I recorded distance, time, and speed, and sometimes a rough estimate of calories burned. I also wrote down the weather, conversations, book reports, things I saw, and thoughts I had. The journal helped me to focus and decompress. I love to read them now to remember things that happened years ago.

I stopped my journal in November of 2008 because my right hand was badly injured and I couldn't write. I should start it up again. I think life went better when I kept a good journal almost every day.
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Old 05-03-14, 06:07 AM   #25
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My commutes started being more enjoyable when the battery in my bike speedometer died.
I ditched all but the odometers years ago, don't even pay attention to those anymore. If I want to know how far I rode, I will plug it into milemeter.com (formerly gmaps-pedometer), or guestimate based on the amount of time spent riding. I typically cover 10-12 miles in an hour at my leisurely pace, 15 if I really push it.

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