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New Step & Mileage Trackers Plus More Fitness Tracker Enhancements

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Hi everyone!

Our programmers have been working hard to improve the SparkPeople Fitness Tracker. We launched several new updates to the Fitness Tracker today, which you can see and use by selecting the "my Fitness" tab under "My Tools" or by clicking here. Many of these new enhancements were ideas and requests from our members!

Here's a rundown of what's new (and how to use it):

Step Tracker. Many people who use pedometers wanted a quick and easy way to track their steps. This new, optional tracker has to be "turned on" if you want to use it. To add it to your Fitness Tracker, go to my Fitness (your Fitness Tracker). Click the "Change Fitness Goals" button near the top of the page. On that page, click the "Setup" next to the Step Tracker. Set your daily goal, make sure it's checked off (to show up on your tracker) and "Save Your Changes."

Mileage Tracker. Many walkers and runners have requested an easy way to track their mileage. This new tracker is also optional for those who want to use it. You can enter minutes and distance to calculate your pace and also keep track of how far you go over time. To add it to your Fitness Tracker, go to my Fitness (your Fitness Tracker). Click the "Change Fitness Goals" button near the top of the page. On that page, click the "Setup" next to the Mileage Tracker. Set a weekly goal, make sure it's checked off (to show up on your tracker) and "Save Your Changes."

More strength-training options. If you were following SparkPeople's workout plans before, your only option was a full-body workout. Now, you can customize your workouts by choosing from full body, upper body, lower body, or core workouts. To add it to your Fitness Tracker, go to my Fitness (your Fitness Tracker). Click the "Change Fitness Goals" button near the top of the page. On that page, scroll down to Strength Training Setup. Select the top button (that you want SparkPeople to design a workout plan for you), then create your own strength-training schedule using the options below. Be sure to "Save Your Changes" when finished.

"Swap" workouts AND exercises. If you're following SparkPeople's workout plans, you now have the ability to "swap" workouts—just like you can swap foods in your meal plans. When you're ready for a new strength-training workout, simply click the "Swap workout" button near the top/right of your workout that day. If you want to swap a single exercise for another, click on the exercise you don't want to choose another.

Customized Workout Names. If you're creating and following your own strength-training workouts, you can now set up your page with more customization. Now you have the ability to name exercise days to correspond to your fitness plan. To add it to your Fitness Tracker, go to my Fitness (your Fitness Tracker). Click the "Change Fitness Goals" button near the top of the page. On that page, scroll down to the Strength Training Setup. Select the second option (to create and track your own workouts). Next to each day of the week, you can "name" your workout as a reminder. Mondays could be “Back and Biceps Day,” Tuesdays might be “Lower Body" and so on. Click "Save Your Changes" and then your workout "names" will show up on the correct day of the week as a reminder—and for easy tracking.

These updates should make your fitness tracking (and workouts) easier to follow, but like any changes, sometimes it takes some time to get used to. If you have any questions about using this new Fitness Tracking page, please post a message on the Site/Technical Help message boards for help. We hope you enjoy these new upgrades to your free Fitness Tracker!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TISHNICITY 1/21/2011 1:08PM

    I'd like to be able to track my workouts with my personal trainer. I'll try the My fitness option and see how that works but for now, I don't see some of the things we are doing.
Love the ability to track tho, so I'll figure something out.

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DEBM2451 10/13/2010 12:24PM

    emoticon emoticon I see that I have missed out on this feature, the details and options that is, for quite sometime.
I am so glad to know about this and am so glad you sent the link to Jenny. emoticon Nicole, so much. I will use the tracking feature much more now that I can customize it in better detail to reflect my personal plan and goals.

Jenny Thank you for asking such a great question!! emoticon emoticon
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Comment edited on: 10/13/2010 12:29:58 PM

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SLASALLE 9/7/2010 5:31PM

    I am LOVING the step tracker. I was especially delighted that it clearly told me that the step tracker is NOT used in your overall activity tracker as calories burned, because I was thinking it would be more accurate to count things separately (for example, biking is more calories burned than walking).

Thanks for your constant updating to make my life healthier!

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BARB45751 2/8/2010 10:39AM

    I love the feed back I get and love spark. Of course there are improvements that we would love to have in order to suit us individually and my only comment on the next upgrade would be this: I have a personal trainer who does workout routines with me. When I log in the routines I wish that they would stay in the order I put them and even allow me to group them together for my super sets. This way when I'm ready to do the program on my own I'll have it recorded because now I'm having to put this information in a separate place for future reference. But honestly I don't mind.... just a suggestion :)

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CYN_IS_FUN 1/4/2010 9:26AM

  I'd like to see the ability to adjust the "Calories Burned" in the Cardio section. For example, when I do the Elliptical Trainer for X period of time, the machine tells me what my "Calories Burned" is. It has never matched the SparkPeople default for "Calories Burned", so I have to keep track of my actual calories burned outside of SparkPeople.

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ALANOFLINY 11/28/2009 6:59PM

    Just getting around to reading this - thanks to it being today's "Insider" ... I've been enjoying this feature immensely!

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ANGELMANDI 11/18/2009 3:58PM

    Thank you for the step tracker! That helps alot!

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MJSCHUMAN 11/6/2009 8:36AM

    love the step tracker and the ability to save my workout

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SHAWNMARIEMYKE 10/28/2009 5:53PM

    I've been looking looking for a pedometer. Fabulous. emoticon

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ELISADEL 10/27/2009 4:04AM

    I like the new mileage tracker idea. I just wish it had an option to include a value for 'incline' (as in on a treadmill) so that it could translate more correctly over into an entry in the cardio section (and more accurately into a calories burned number).

Still, it's a nice addition either way!

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KINZIEZOO 10/26/2009 5:05PM

  Thanks!

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LOVEPAINTING 10/26/2009 4:00PM

    This sounds good to me. Luckily I wear a pedometer all the time and it tells me my steps that convert into miles.

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COBRATEACHER 10/18/2009 6:25PM

    I've logged in 10.5 miles on my virtual journey of 1,1015. It's just a beginning, but I'm certainly glad to have gotten started!

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KATAGIRL1 10/18/2009 10:05AM

  emoticon

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JOYS300 10/13/2009 5:35PM

    Great idea, Thank you!!

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GRAMMAFROMMT 10/9/2009 10:45AM

    Thank you!!!

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COLUMBINE2 10/8/2009 11:46PM

    You read my mind! I needed a way to track both steps and mileage. I was using a primitive (cave-man era) system, but now SP has met another need. Thanks a lot!

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MICHMOM 10/8/2009 9:17PM

    Doing couch to 5k (c25k) week 8. Like being able to track miles run!

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VOLLMELD 10/8/2009 8:49PM

    Sounds great. Thanks, I'll have to check the changes out.

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2WHEELER 10/8/2009 8:38PM

    Thank you!! The mileage/distance tracker is a great addition.

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COLUMBINE2 10/8/2009 7:44PM

    You read my mind! I needed a way to track both steps and mileage. I was using a primitive (cave-man era) system, but now SP has met another need. Thanks a lot!

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CRISPYTINA 10/8/2009 11:42AM

    Can't wait to track my steps!

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TANNERSMOM7 10/8/2009 8:22AM

    I'm thrilled especially with the step tracker! WHOO HOO!

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BLUSTAR 10/5/2009 10:59PM

    Thank you very much :-)

Glenda

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LOVEPAINTING 10/5/2009 10:44AM

    So happy that there is a tracker since I wear a Pedometer every day!

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JUANITADWALKER 10/5/2009 10:26AM

  GOOD POST

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ELALALA 10/5/2009 6:49AM

  Love the new features, off to try them out now emoticon

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SUZYBGOOD 10/5/2009 2:25AM

    Can't wait to try it out.

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JETTER4 10/4/2009 8:05PM

  This is a great tool but for those of us with the Ipod Nano, we can track our workout, listen to great music and get encouragement all in one little ole Ipod.

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TIME4ANEWME47 10/4/2009 1:22PM

    Love that I can now track mileage!! Thanks!

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MADAGASGAR 10/4/2009 12:56PM

    Excellent! emoticon

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_MAOMAO_ 10/4/2009 3:58AM

  Getting to track steps and mileage is super incentive to rack them up! My new fitness watch / pedometer loves you! Well, it doesn't really cuz now I'm trying to wear it out. But I'm the human and I'm very grateful!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 10/3/2009 10:39PM

    Thanks Spark for continued improvements.

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ACHRISTIANGIRL 10/3/2009 9:29PM

    Great!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 10/3/2009 5:02PM

    Great!!!!!!! emoticon

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AMIEMICHELE 10/3/2009 11:00AM

    Great!

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IRENEAZ 10/3/2009 10:49AM

    It is so AWESOME... emoticon

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ANNA907 10/3/2009 9:49AM

    Terrific!

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FINALLYFIT4 10/3/2009 1:23AM

    Great additions! How about a counter for swimming laps? emoticon

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1960ANN 10/2/2009 11:09PM

    I will definitely use the tracker, one more reason to go further.

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BARBIE66 10/2/2009 8:04PM

    Great now I can really use my step counter and log it in thanks

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KIN59VARA 10/2/2009 7:56PM

    Thanks for the step tracker!

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POSEY440 10/2/2009 7:53PM

    thanks for letting me know emoticon

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ALICOTTER 10/2/2009 7:44PM

    I didn't I could love anything more than the route tracker. But I love being able to track my miles. Love this system.

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CAVALIERLAPDOG 10/2/2009 3:34PM

    I like the new step tracker and mileage tracker added to the fitness page.

I began wearing a pedometer hoping it would encourage me to walk more. Then I learned through a SparkTeam about a Transamerican Trail that starts in York Town, Va. and ends in Oregon. Now I find I'm making a point to walk and be active as much as possible to get further along on the virtual Transamerican trail and enjoying the view at each stop. I can see I'm slowly increasing my steps and mileage every day over time. Now that you've added the step and mileage tracking features onto the fitness page, I have somewhere to document my progress on SparkPeople along the way.

I have a request:

I like your other new feature on the fitness page where I can "map" a trail, but would also like to see trails already mapped/designed so that all I have to do is choose one to walk/run/bicycle. If you do this in the future, I hope you will find a way to arrange it so that after my steps/mileage/etc. information is entered, I can then see a picture of the view of where I stopped similar to the Transamerican Trail I mentioned earlier. You could offer a choice of trails at various locations and distances with many kinds of views along the way. The location of trails I would choose to walk/run/cycle would offer views of oceans, creeks, forests, waterfalls, beaches, mountain views, cities, villages in different coutries as well as in America, or even a trail across Europe or some place. It would even be cool if the trail were season appropriate. I might then walk a trail several times just to enjoy the seasonal changes. You get the idea...Just a suggestion. That would be so motivating and fun! Oh, and while I'm dreaming of this trail you will do one day, I think it would be nice if you could find a way so that we could also enjoy the sounds one would hear on these different trails too! Well, if you don't like these ideas or they are unrealistic, at least I enjoyed dreaming of them while writing about them. :-)

Thanks again for the current improvements to the fitness page!


Thanks! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/2/2009 3:40:35 PM

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SHERM98 10/2/2009 2:09PM

    I like the milage tracker

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YANKEECHICK1 10/2/2009 1:38PM

    I'll use the step tracker. Thanks.

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THERESEMB1 10/2/2009 11:05AM

    This is very cool. I am truly enjoying this sparkpeople thing. I played around with it for a while but now I am really trying to learn how to use it in my daily life. This is great information about the sites. Thank you.

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PATH2FITNESS 10/2/2009 10:22AM

    That great! Thanks for the improvements!

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MILES2GOAL 10/2/2009 10:11AM

    The step tracker sounds really cool---thanks for the heads up!

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