Tuesday, April 22, 2014

FitBit One: Experiment Results

(photo credit: Me)

Ok, so I'm done with my FitBit One experiment. I did have varying results, especially with the Leslie Sansone DVD. What I did with the DVD portion of the experiment is I used the 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk DVD. I did mile 1 three times. I wanted to be sure I did the same movements and steps, so I just replayed the same mile.

The first time I ran through it I wore the FitBit One on my shoe. Next time through, I wore it on the waistband of my workout shorts. The third time through, I wore it on my bra. Here are the results.

On Shoe
Mile 1 - Steps: 1,001
Mile 1 - Mileage .44

On Waist
Mile 1 - Steps - 1449
Mile 1 - Mileage - .69

On Bra
Mile 1 -  Steps 1534
Mile 1 - .73

So, as you can see, no matter where I wore it, her "mile" wasn't exactly a mile. Which I've known for a while because I did the test with my FitBit Force. I found it surprising that I got the least amount of steps with it on my shoe. Which leads me to the question: What counts as a "step"? Is it one step per foot (left foot one, right foot two) or is it one step per revolution of both feet (one step every time the right foot hits the ground)? Does that make sense?

I was pleasantly surprised with the waistband number. Considering my initial test, when it didn't register any steps, it was a nice surprise. The bra result isn't too surprising. 

Now, what about the elliptical? I switched the FitBit's position every .25 mile. I do 400 revolutions every quarter mile. Here are those results.

On Shoe
Steps - 602
Mileage- .27

On Waist
Steps - 844
Mileage - .37

On Bra
Steps - 835
Mileage - .36

Interesting results again. The shoe isn't surprising. Remember, when I take a break, I'm still taking steps to walk to my seat. Although with the shoe results, I don't see how I got an extra 200 steps. 

I think from now on, I'll be wearing my FitBit One on my bra. That way I know it won't get squished or fall out when I'm playing ball with the dog on the floor. I will have to be careful if I lay down on my stomach. That's rare though.

This was a very fun experiment, and I'm pleased with the results. The FitBit One is definitely very motivating and helps me get up and move more.

How about you? How do you define a "step"?

Keep moving everyone!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mileage Monday And Pre-Experiment Thoughts

In my FitBit One review, I told you all about the experiment I was going to do. Well, the Leslie Sansone portion of the experiment is done, and I found it interesting. I'll do the experiment on the elliptical tomorrow and then share all of my findings.

For now though, here are my saved pictures from the virtual walk site. I've now passed through Wisemantown, KY and have about 7.15 miles until I get to Bighill, KY in Estill County.

Mile 749.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 750.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 752 (Leslie for 1.5 miles)

Mile 753 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 754.8 (Leslie for 1.8)

(photo credit: http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html;jsessionid=1F4E2B8269D80C6DF557FB31D1D6D77B)

Stay tuned for my experiment results. It should be up tomorrow sometime. I plan on getting my workouts done early from now on. And of course as soon as I say that, something will happen that will make me postpone. That always seems to happen. As soon as I make plans, or tell my readers I'm going to do something, something always makes me have to postpone. Life happens though, so I try not to make "promises" anymore with my postings here.

Keep moving!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

FitBit One Review

(photo credit: Me)
Pictured from left to write: charger, dime (for size comparison), One tracker, One clip holder

I've had my FitBit One for about two weeks. I love it! It's almost exactly like the Force, only you clip in to your clothing. You can clip it to either your waist band, your shoe, or for the ladies, your bra. I always have it on my shoe. Since I have cerebral palsy, my balance is so much better when I wear shoes. My lack of balance is not only due to my cerebral palsy, but also my lack of confidence and fear of falling. I'm not as bad as I once was, but I still have work to do.

Back to the FitBit One. The tracker itself is a bit larger than the tracker of the FitBit Flex. The FitBit One can be placed in a clip holder during the day, and slipped into a wrist sleeve at night to track your sleep. The clip holder is made from a silicone rubber material and has a very sturdy clip. It's easy to hook it to your clothing, and seems to stay put for the most part. The opening for the holder is fairly secure. I worry about the tracker falling out of the holder when I'm on the floor playing ball with the dog. Since I clip it to my shoe, the tracker is moving against the floor and can pop out. It popped out on my this morning. That was the first time it's done that though, so I'm thinking the opening of the holder loses it's sturdiness after a while. It gets worn out. I'll keep my eye on that. I might have to be creative if it pops out frequently. Rubber band maybe?

(photo credit: Me)
Pictured: One sleep sleeve

The wrist sleeve at night is secure, but it's a bit large. I got used to having something on my wrist at night since I had both the Fitbit Flex and the FitBit Force, so it's not too bothersome for me. It might take some getting used to otherwise. You slip the tracker into a small slit on the wrist sleeve, and it rests in a little pocket for the night. The sleeve closes with velcro, and so far it's holding up. I've only had it a few weeks, so over time it may lose it's stickiness, but so far so good. Like the Force, press and hold the button until you feel it vibrate. It will then be is sleep mode and you'll see a stopwatch start to count upwards. In the morning, press and hold the button again until you feel it vibrate and it will be out of sleep mode.

The tracker has a display screen just like the FitBit Force. You scroll through all of your goals by pressing the button. The one thing the One has on the display screen that the Force doesn't is a flower that grows the closer you get to your main goal. The flower gets more petals the closer you get to your goal.

Overall, my favorite FitBit tracker is the One. My reasoning is this. While I love the aspect of the wrist band, I find they're not accurate for my step tracking. Because I have cerebral palsy, I sit for most of the day. I do my elliptical and my Leslie Sansone workouts, but other than that, I roll around in my computer chair and the old wheel chair (yes still...stupid fear). So, by keeping the tracker on my shoe, I get a better idea of just how many steps I take in a day. On my non-exercise days, I get between 1,000 and 2,000 steps. Not good. On my exercise days, depending on which workout I do, I get between 4,000 and 7,000 a day. Better, but still not the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

I plan on doing some testing with the FitBit One. I'll wear it on different parts of my body and see how accurate it is. I plan to wear it on my shoe (do that already), my waist band, and my bra. I'll see how much my steps vary from one area to the other. I did do a quick test when I first got it, and was a bit perturbed by the waist band. I did 50 steps marching in place. When it was on my shoe, it registered 61 steps. It registered 0 steps on my waist band. On my bra it registered 81. So, quite a difference. I don't know why it didn't register any steps on my waist band. I'll re-do that test and see what happens.

My step tests will be done with the following:
-My elliptical
-Leslie Sansone dvds
-Straight marching in place

I'll work on this experiment over the next week or so, and will have those results. I'm really interested in the results from the elliptical. I can already say that it is fairly accurate on my shoe. It registered about .9 mile on my shoe. Not too bad. I'd rather it be low than be high. That way I can get more exercise in to fill the remaining mileage.

I highly recommend the FitBit One! They did have issues with the Force, but I still believe in their products. So don't be leery of them. And their customer service is wonderful.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mileage Monday

Back at it with the Mileage Monday posts. I'm no longer sick, and I'm done making excuses for not getting my miles in. The elliptical is no problem at all for me, and neither is just marching in place. The adult trike however, I need to be careful on. Last Wednesday I went out for an hour for a bike ride. The weather was fantastic, high was only 75 degrees. Pretty much unheard of for April.

In that hour, I did 7.5 miles (or close enough). Let me first say, anytime I'm on the bike, my neck is sore that evening and the day after. Don't know why, but that's just the way it is. Maybe I'm holding my upper back, arms, and neck in the same position for too long. Who knows. Being on the bike for an hour? I trashed my neck. It's still sore and it's almost been a week. Not sure if it's tendons, or muscles or what, but it's sore. Hurts to turn my head from side to side.

When I do get back on the bike, I need to remember to take it slow. Maybe two times around the block, and not ten. The heating pad is my friend these days. I actually think the elliptical will help my neck loosen up, so I'm on it tomorrow (well today. I'm writing this on Sunday.).

I'm got pictures from the virtual walk to share! Been a few weeks since I've done that. So, here we go. Since my last post, I've passed through Irvine, KY in Estill county. I have about 1.8 miles until I reach Wismantown, KY in Estill county.

Mile 743.6 (1 mile elliptical)

Mile 744.6 (1 mile elliptical)

Mile 745.6 (1 mile elliptical)

Mile 746.6 (1 mile elliptical)

Mile 747.6 (1 mile elliptical)

Mile 748.6 (1 mile elliptical)
(photo credit - http://exercise.lbl.gov/index.html;jsessionid=1F4E2B8269D80C6DF557FB31D1D6D77B)

There ya go! Have a great week everyone. I've got a few posts in mind for this week, so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FitBit Update And Experiment

It has once again been way too long since I've posted. For the last week and a half I've been sick with a cold or maybe it was the flu. Either way, it was rough, and I didn't feel like doing much. Other than, life got in the way of posting and exercising. But, the point is, I'm back!

OK. Update time. Since I heard about the FitBit Force recall, I've thought long and hard about what to do. Yes, I am going to send it back. As a matter of fact, Monday morning I requested one of their return kits. I'm sad, but it's unavoidable. The "Force Rash" is now still appearing even covering the charging port with electrical tape.

(photo credit: Me) Not as bad as it once was

So, I need to remedy the situation. Before I requested my return kit, I sent FitBit an email with a few questions. Their support team and customer service is awesome! I've sent them questions several times, and they've gotten back to me within 24 hours each time. Even on weekends.

So, my questions were:

1. I was first wondering when the recall would end. I do have the "Force rash", but am dealing with it by using electrical tape. Unfortunately, the rash is coming back even with the tape. So, I will be returning it.
2. When are you planning on announcing your new device? The letter from the CEO on February 20 said "To our Force community, rest assured we’re working on our next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon." I would like to know how soon is "soon"? It's been a little over a month now, and I've not heard anything.
3. If I send my Force back now and buy a FitBit One, I was wondering when you do come out with a new product if I could exchange the One for the new device even if the One still works. Would that be possible?

They answered my questions reasonably. They didn't give me an end date for the recall, but my take on their answer is that I have one year from the time I bought my Force to return it. So, I have until the beginning of December. That's fine.

Question number two was not a surprise. They have no ETA on an announcement for a new product. And question number three, all I got was I probably could not return my One when their new product comes out if there's nothing wrong with it. I'm not surprised.

So here's my thinking. I'm sending back my Force and am going to buy a FitBit One. When I'm going to buy the One, I don't know. Soon though I think. I've still got my FitBit Flex and can use that while I wait for my Force refund (4 to 6 weeks I think). But I've gotten so used to having everything on display that I may bite the bullet soon after I send out the Force. The Flex is OK, but it is just has five lights that light up as you reach your chosen goal.

What am I doing in the meantime? I'm treating my Force like a One. And I'll do the same with the Flex. My reasoning is, having a step tracker on your wrist doesn't quite cut it. You want to track your steps, not your arm's movement. I intend on wearing the One on my shoe or my sock. That should get an accurate step count. I tried this out with my Force and was shocked. When I thought more about it, it's not really all that shocking. I strapped my Force to a hair tie and put the hair tie around my ankle. At first, I put the tracker in my sock, but my sock was tight and it was uncomfortable. During the day the tracker was in my sock, my step count was so low. I was sick, yes, so I wasn't up an moving all that much. One day, I had a step count of barely 2,000. Yikes. So having the tracker on your wrist really isn't an accurate way to track your fitness level.

(photo credit: me) Yes, that's my lovely left foot, hehe. The display screen in facing my leg. This is the tighter hair tie.

I'm still experimenting with the hair tie thing. I was using a loose hair tie, and when I did my mile on the elliptical today, my step count was higher than it should have been. My mileage was higher also. When I had my Force on my wrist, I went 1.1 miles on the elliptical. When I had it on my ankle with the hair tie, my mileage was 1.44 miles. Yeah, big difference. However, I was using a loose hair tie, and I think the tracker was bouncing around a lot more because of that. I found a tighter hair tie, and will see what happens the next time I do my mile. I also had 20 or so Very Active Minutes. I normally only register Active Minutes on the elliptical, not Very Active.

There you have it. Things are going to be resolved with the FitBit soon for me. I'm excited actually to get the One. Since discovering just how many more "steps" I achieve by having the tracker on my wrist, it feels like I've been cheating when I have reached 10,000 steps. I'll have a lot more work ahead of me to get 10,000 steps from now on. That's OK though. The more I move the better.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mileage Monday And My Experiment Results

Last week, I mentioned I was a bit bummed to discover I was only gong 1.8 miles instead of 3.1 with Leslie Sansone's 5K With A Twist DVD. I said I would do an experiment with the 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk DVD and my elliptical. I didn't do the DVD, but I did do the elliptical.

I am happy to say it's much closer to being accurate than the DVD. I checked my mileage on my FitBit Force before I got on the elliptical, and checked it again when I was done with my mile. My FitBit said I went 1.1 miles. That's acceptable to me. Even if was one a tenth of a mile less, I would have been pleased. And this result is consistent because I did a mile on the elliptical two days in a row.

I'll see if my body is up for the 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk this week. It most likely will be since I saw the chiropractor on Saturday. It had been way too long. He and I both agreed 7 weeks was longer than I can take. Three to four week is my limit.

Only have two pictures this week. I got kind of bummed out by my mileage findings and learning about the Force recall. Here are the pictures from the virtual walk site!

Mile 741.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Mile 742.6 (elliptical for 1 mile)

Onward to a productive week. Going to get on that elliptical this week. And I made my decision about my dilemma as to follow the mileage on my FitBit or the DVD. I plan to follow my FitBit. I'll still do the DVDs, but I'll go with the mileage that my FitBit is telling me. I'll try and get the 5 Mile Walk DVD done this week and see how accurate that is. I'm guessing I'll only go 2.5 miles at most with that one seeing as the workout is about 75 minutes long. We'll see.

Keep moving!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

FitBit Force Voluntary Recall

(photo credit - blog.matthews.com.au)

Well, I’m a bit bummed. A day after I posted my FitBit Force review, FitBit came out saying they’re conducting a voluntary recall. They’ve already pulled the Force from their store website, and are no longer selling it. Here’s the letter from the CEO. Here's a link to the letter.

As far as I know, the only other product they no longer sell is the FitBit Ultra. However, even though they don’t sell the Ultra anymore, they still support it. They don’t say whether or not they will still support the Force, but my guess is they won’t. So I have a few options.

1. I can send my Force back now, get my refund, and put that money towards a FitBit One right away.
2. I can wait until they announce their new device, decide if it’s something I want, and then send my Force back for a refund.
3. I can send my Force back now and wait for them to announce the new device.
4. I can keep my Force and see what happens.

OK, so obviously option 4 is not going to be what I choose. If they’re no longer going to support the device, why should I keep it? I don’t really want to go with option 3 because if I send back my Force now and they don’t announce the new product for a month or two, then I would be stuck with no tracker. I’ve gotten so used to having a tracker, I’d go nuts without one now.

So, it’s either option 1 or 2. They say they’ll be announcing the new product soon. But how soon is “soon”? A week? A month? Longer? If they keep supporting the Force and will accept returns until then, fine. Otherwise, if I wait until they announce, and they no longer accept returns, I’m stuck.

My guess, and this is only my guess, is that they’ll accept returns for a while after they announce the new device. That would be the smart thing they could do. They didn’t put an end date as to when you could send the Force back, so I’m hoping I’m right in my assumption. I hope they announce it soon.

For now, I’m still wearing and using my Force, and I’m still loving it. I am so bummed that this is happening. Hopefully the new device will be a lot like the Force only with a different metal and material. We shall see.