Fitness Tracker

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ShiftKicker

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I'm looking into getting some form of fitness tracker to keep record of my heart rate, daily movements and sleep activity. I'm pretty much settled on the FitBit AltaHR as it seems to have all the things I want, and the least number of things I don't want.

My husband uses some fancy Garmin chest strappy thing that monitors everything, including altitude, but I am not really interested in wearing something that involved. He's a road cyclist and can track himself on maps and plan his routes to spell out rude words if he so pleases (people actually do this!). I don't need all the functions this tech offers though and am looking for simple.

Anyone have any tracker like this that they love? Or one they've used that they absolutely thought was a useless piece of plastic or waste of time? Any particular thing that they think is valuable to track?
 

Wilson2009

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I have used two trackers, a Withings (now Nokia) and a Mi Fitness Tracker. I bought the Withings because it had an analog display for the time, which was great for these older eyes. It was great for tracking steps, but that is all it tracked. New models do more.

The Mi Fitness Tracker was provided by the folks running the ALS @ Home study. The ALS @ Home study provided the Mi, a spirometer for measuring FVC, FEV1 and the ratios, a Camry Dynamometer for measuring grip strength and a Sculpt device to measure muscle mass.

The Mi tracked steps, heart rate and sleep hours. The Mi app for iPhone tracks everything and also syncs with the iPhone Health app. The step was easy. It is not fancy, but it works great. It is waterproof and less the $30 USD for Amazon Prime members. It only had to charge it every 14 days.

I believe ALS @ Home is still recruiting. If you are accepted into the study, which lasts nine months or so, you get to keep all the devices they give you. If you just want the fitness tracker search for Mi Fitness Tracker on Amazon.

Dave
 

ShiftKicker

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Oh! Thank you very kindly for that info!

Edited to add- just for American participants at this time. Hopefully someone else reading this will join up.
 

Wilson2009

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Ah, I forgot that they were not recruiting outside the US. Sorry.

And just for grins, my Grandfather and Grandmother on my Dad's side of the family were from Canada. He was born in Campbellton on PEI: not sure where my Grandmother was born. They immigrated to Boston in 1887.

Dave
 

KimT

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I gave away my Fitbit when I got discouraged. I got an Apple Watch for Christmas that does all that but I've been too lazy to set it up other than to coordinate it with my iPhone.

The Fitbit worked great.

Most of my exercise is in the pool but I do manage to walk 1/2 mile every morning on the treadmill. It only takes 10 minutes but it's something.
 

[email protected]

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I'm also part of the [email protected] study. I found the Mi worn on my wrist did not track my walking at all, since most of it is assisted by walkers and rollators and my hands/arms are not moving which seems to be required for the accelerometer to record movement. I began taking the tracker out of the band and putting it in my sock where it did record device-aided movement. Now it's summer I don't always wear socks, so that technique won't work. I've used fitbits in the past and think the lack of arm movement with a rollator would throw them off as well.

Ed

Ed
 

ShiftKicker

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Thanks for the replies. I did end up getting a FitBit and am using it for the sleep and heart-rate functions only- the steps and other activity trackers are not something I can really use. Though, it did calculate a fair number of calories burned and registered it as "exercise" when I tried to dry myself off after a bath!

Ed, that's a good idea, re: step tracking. My arms don't swing normally, and I did wonder about how it would affect results.


I do find I am finding it frustrating for a few different reasons. I have a hard time adapting to new things or not "getting" something quickly- which in turn frustrates me and then I get angry. Another new issue! It seems as though, along with physical rigidity/inflexibility, there is a certain cognitive effect of the same. I am getting the hang of it, but it's slow going.


It is so clearly "fitness" focused, so it's hard to ignore that while accessing the information it records. It does provide some insights into just how much effort now goes into normal daily activities and definitely explains why I feel so tired all the time! I am hoping I can use these patterns to adjust my activities a bit. The sleep tracking function has been pretty accurate. I have no real idea how it knows when I fall asleep, but so far it's been spot on and the stats have reflected my subjective experience with how I feel I've slept. That's been great.


I found I had to place the sensor part of the device on the inside of my wrist. The small sized FitBit is still too big and was not making full contact with the top part of my wrist. It's more comfortable and keeps tracking this way. I am sure the information I am getting from this is usable in some way. I look forward to presenting it to my doctors as well.
 
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