There was a song back in 1983 made popular by the Police titled, “Every Breath You Take,” and that is the inspiration of todays blogpost. For those of you joining that are from a younger generation or worldwide that might not have heard of it, I have included the link here:
The actual song has had many interpretations and uses over the years, from good love to ugly love, breakups, used at weddings, and often referred as the stalker song. My use for today is from more of the stalker aspect (don’t close your browser) and how new devices can help you track YOU!
Since I started this journey what seems like a long time ago, motivation and the ability to easily track things have been difficult at times. I had a pedometer years ago that was very basic and offered little more than the time, steps, and miles. Since that time in 2004 things have changed dramatically with technology advancements. iPhones, GPS trackers, apps, and clip on/wrist devices that track what seems like your every move. For some this may seem like little more than a novelty, but I have found it to be a huge asset to the tools that are helping me succeed!
After much research into what the devices were capable of, I wanted a standalone device and not an app that would choke up my phone and take a toll on the battery power. The device I chose was the FitBit One (www.fitbit.com), a little clip on device that can recharge from a USB port plugged into your computer or wall adapter. Able to track steps, miles, stair climbing, activity time, calories, sleep, and act as a timer, it really is a diverse device.
After opening the package the instructions are very self-explanatory on how to get your FREE online tracking account setup and sync your device. Once the FitBit tracker is fully charged I get several weeks of use before needing to plug in again. A few times daily I visit the iPhone app to have it wirelessly sync my progress between the device and the Internet and show just how much activity I have been doing.
What do I use my device for? Well its clipped on first thing in the morning (if I don’t already have it clipped on overnight to track my sleeping habits, and then I wear it all day. I check it randomly throughout the day to see, have I been active enough? Working full-time in the IT world I can often get stuck behind a screen working on a project, but being able to see that I have not reached my goals or lacking activity encourages me to get out and take a walk or be up and around. For me personally I have a goal of no less than 10,000 steps a day and like to climb at least 20 floors a day before even hitting the gym. Anything less and I will often go up and down my steps at home to meet my goal before hitting the pillow every night.
One of the areas that perhaps I don’t use enough of is the online logging of food and water intake that the application lets you manage. If you have come from the land of awesome food tracking tools online this will look very familiar for you. The ability to search for many foods and items out there to choose from is pretty good. Nutrition tracking is something I have set as a goal for the next year to make even better changes, but for now I use it as a reference.
While many of my stair climbing brothers train together, at my department I don’t have others that have picked up the climbing bug so that leaves me to often challenge me. Having the device lets me try to push myself further and have someone else to compete against even between events. Sure I have others in the climbing and running community that I stay in touch with and we keep tabs on each other, but I compete a lot with myself.
If you’re looking for a solid device that will give you plenty of information, weigh almost nothing, and work with a variety of computers and the iDevices, this is it. If I can think of a downside, it would only be that I sometimes forget its on me. While I try every night to take it off my clothes, it has made a spin through the washer and dryer and still working. I don’t recommend washing your fitbit, but I was lucky!
While some applications out there or devices will track a GPS location of you, this is one that you don’t have to worry about at this point. Check it out, with the holidays ahead, this makes a great gift idea to put an extra tool in your training.