Monday, May 12, 2014

More fitbit thoughts

So I wore my fitbit all weekend.   I will admit I don't love the rubber type strap.  But I've never been fond of those rubber bracelets that support various causes.  I find them slightly uncomfortable in heat if I sweat at all.   So I knew this going in.  I decided the small strap is the right size.  So if I keep the fitbit I can finally open my 3 pack of straps and swap colors.  I have at tiny 6" wrist, but I thought I might want the extra room from the large strap.  But I realized that the largest setting on the small strap will work just fine for that. 

I was at a graduation ceremony Sat and clapping would throw the fitbit into sleep mode so I took it off. If you didn't know you have to tell the fitbit when you are going to sleep.  You have to rapidly tap the thing till it vibrates and lights up in the sleep pattern.  You have to the same thing in the morning when you wake up.  Or you can use the fitbit app to do these things I think.  You can also apparently enter sleep manually.  I haven't tried either of those last two methods.   I don't love that I have to tell it when I'm sleeping but it's ok.  It works and I think seeing my sleep information is my favorite thing about it. 

I didn't sleep well Saturday night and here are the results.

The other (smaller) info screen says I had 14 mins awake (3x) and 50 mins restlessness (30x).   That's probably very true.   

The fitbit also allows you to set an alarm and it will vibrate at that time.  I did that today, but I'm not sure I know how to turn it off.   I was already awake so it wasn't a good test of whether it would wake me on it's own.   It will only go off twice though, so if you use it you better get up.  I don't think I'll be using it.  Interestingly when I did my research I read that that Jawbone Up will wake you according to your sleep pattern as close to the alarm time as it can.  So basically it won't wake you during REM sleep.   That could be interesting.  I don't pretend to know how long a REM cycle is but I'd be one unhappy person if my alarm went off 20 mins later cause it didn't wake me during REM.  Ha!

So the next photo is a little comparison.  The top is my final information from Sat.  I did not workout that day.  I went to the graduation ceremony. . . then we did photos on campus (which involved a lot of walking to a place that we had a hard time finding). . . then we went to lunch. . . later that afternoon I did a bit of house work, but not much.  So I was more active than a work day for sure, but not a workout day. 

The bottom is yesterday but it is not my final stats.  This was at a random time yesterday evening when I was playing with the app and syncing my data (it's super fast to sync via the bluetooth on my phone!).   So I woke up and did very little for an hour or so. . . I went on a two mile run (after which my total data was over 4K steps and the mileage appeared about right given I accumulated some in the house). . . then I went to the barn to ride my horse. . .   So that's tough cause I realized I got almost the same # of steps as the 2 mile run.  My ride was about 25 mins. . . my run was under 24 mins. . . so it was approx the same amount of time.  I will be the first to say that the idea that I just sit on my horse and he does all the work is false.   So I should get some credit for it.  And again the fitbit has no clue what I did.  Sure I should earn more cals for the run as opposed to the ride. More thoughts on that later.  So then I ran some errands (Target and the grocery store). The fitbit vibrated a crazy happy pattern while I was in Target cause I reached my 10K steps!  *happy dance*   The rest of the day was on and off random things. . . .  

So now let's compare the random moment from yesterday with the final stats from Sat. 

How do I earn more steps, more miles and more "very active" mins and I have about 100 less cals?  IMO that's whacked.   Now my total calories for yesterday were 2,870 so it was "more" than Saturday, but at that moment in time, if my day was over, you mean to tell me I'd burn less cals?  That's a crock of shit!   So I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I posted that photo to fitbit's FB page and am waiting to see what they say.  

Did I mention that you get calories no matter what with fitbit?  It's based on your BMR cause we burn calories just by living.  So you can wake up and have a calorie burn.  I'm totally ok with that. 

Things I need to look into include how to tell the fitbit that I did an activity. Like say you did yoga.  You would want to get cals for that since the step count would be minimal.   I also need to see about syncing MyFitnessPal with fitbit.  Fitbit has it's own way of entering food, but everything I've read says to use MyFitnessPal.  So I will start to do that this week hopefully.  I'm trying to start hardcore being good with my diet later this week.  

Now as for the fitbit not knowing what I did. . . I need to see if I can link a certain time frame of steps to a run for example. But here's what I'm thinking - this is showing me a level of activity. I will not use this as gospel.   I will use it as relative (which is what makes me mad about that last photo above- relatively that's whacked).   I want to use it to make me think about being more active - parking farther away, walking around my office during the day . . .    I think I'm undecided if I'm keeping it simply because of that last photo.  That annoys me more than I can explain I think.   Also I know this counts steps and you can get false data.   Let's say you are talking and moving your hands around.  That will probably give you steps.  Also I've read if you are pushing a stroller or maybe even a shopping cart, that your hand is too still and you won't get steps.  I was conscious of keeping my left hand down and moving while at the store yesterday.  When I was sweeping my kitchen floor yesterday I was sure I was getting steps for each sweep of the broom while I was standing still essentially.  But I'm ok with that because I think that I should get calorie credit for sweeping.  So I think of the steps as more of an ambiguous measurement of activity.   So looking at it that way I'm ok with the flukes in how the fitbit might count a step.  I read that you get a lot of steps for washing your hair!  Well quite frankly I see no need to wear this thing in the shower.  You *can* but I don't see why that's necessary.  I'm not in there for an hour.  I can put it back on when I get out. :)   

So I'm not sure yet whether I'm keeping this thing.  I probably will cause I'm lazy about returning it and I find it kind of fun and addictive to sync throughout the day.  But like I said - that last photo of data just drives me batty.  I hope fitbit replies to my FB post regarding that.    

Happy Monday!  Have a great week. :)   

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