Tracking Devices

If you’re following my blog, you may notice I’m tracking my diet and exercise.  I love data.  Here are the devices I use.

FitBit One: This tracks steps taken, stairs climbed, hours of sleep, and (roughly) calories burned.  Many of my colleagues now wear one of these.  I tell people it’s like a “really fancy pedometer.”  People frequently ask me how it works.  Here’s what the official website says:

MEMS 3-axis accelerometer that measures your motion patterns to determine your calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken, and sleep quality.

That doesn’t help me much either.  I will say that it does seem good about not giving me steps for being on a bumpy car ride, but giving me steps for things like using an elliptical machine.  It encourages you to take at least 10,000 steps a day.  I find I only hit this if I go for a 3+ mile run coupled with a reasonably active day of walking.


LoseIt!: One of many food tracking systems out there.  I’d tried to use SparkPeople in the past and I found its user interface too crowded.  I had used this for about 5 months and when I got the FitBit I upgraded my account from a free one to a paid service that lets me sync my FitBit calorie estimates with my food tracking.  This makes it easier not to wildly overshoot calories on days when I exercise, but also lets me feel comfortable having more fuel on those days if I need it.



Withings Smart Body Analyzer: This is a new tool in the kit, after my previous scale broke.  It measures weight, heart rate, BMI, body fat, temperature and CO2 levels. This also connects to LoseIt! so I no longer have to manually add weigh-in data.  Its body fat composition numbers are higher than my previous scale for both me and my spouse.



Nike+ Sportwatch GPS:   I had been using the NikeRun App on my phone, and this watch lets me continue to add to my accumulated data.  I can see how fast I’m going on my runs and the GPS function produces maps of my runs when I get home and plug the wristband into my computer using a built in USB.  The maps themselves show route, elevation and where on the route I’m running faster or slower.  I complain a lot about how slow the GPS can be to connect, but I really like this gadget!




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