With FitBit- I HAVE BEEN CHEATING MYSELF
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I love my FitBit ONE! REALLY! it tracks all my steps- when I wear it which is over 99% of the time.
Here is how I have been cheating myself. 1-3 with the most import last.
3.Sleep: It tracks my sleep- when I hit the timer- if not I usually don't get it logged. I think I will remember the times and then I don't log them soon enough and I forget. So I am on utilizing all the benefits of the ONE.
2. Floors Climbed: It tracks the 'floors' you climb by the changes in altitude while you are walking- which is fantastic! I don't know how it does it but it does. I can walk up steps and it counts. Even better walking up inclines (NOT ON THE TREADMILL THOUGH because there is no actual difference in your level). This actually has motivated me more because I now consider the route I take while walking and even just getting to a specific destination. I now walk more behind my house because it is exceptionally hilly and I can hit 25 floors while doing a 5k.
How I cheat with this is- by moving around while on the elevator. Walking + changes in altitude. I really don't do this on purpose but it does happen. In the past several years I have tried to make use of my elevator time (at lease when I am by my self) by doing some kind of quick stretch or exercise or just by walking or marching in place in the elevator. I do move some when I am going these. It really affects when I push in my cart in and then walk around to have it 'face' the right way when I exit. Not a big deal either. But still it does change the accurateness of this some. I take the stairs when I can but when I am at work I have to continuously go to the basement to bring up stock - most of which is heavy, bulky and a considerable amount.
1. Fitness minutes: I haven't figured out what they actually consider fitness minutes but I think it is some kind of formula that incorporated how many steps are taken in a minute and if it is over a specific amount then it is counted as fitness. Once I figured out that it did this I knew I would probably take advantage of this- and I did. Because of the type of work I do I am in constant motion. ( I work in a dining hall where the minimum amount of students we serve during the school year is 6-7000 and where the average is about 10,000 meals a day).
At first I didn't notice that my FitBit was counting these. Then I deleted them for a while because I wasn't really working out. Then I started not deleting them everyday. Because it was easier not to plus if fit bit thought it was exercise then it probably was.
I decided I didn't want to cheat myself anymore which I was doing by counting all of the minutes. I But if I didn't count them I was cheating myself by not getting an accurate account of my activity. A different way of cheating myself.
So I tried to come up with alternative. I talked to my chiropractor, who also does nutrition, and he agreed with me that I could count about half of my workday fitness as fitness.
So now when I get off of work I sync my FitBit, calculate what half would be and add that as 'work fitness' then delete the FitBit entry. I have to check this at the end of the day to because the FitBit updates my steps throughout the day. This method takes time to do but I feel it is worth it on the 5 days that I work. My days off I don't do this because I don't walk that much that fast unless I am specifically 'walking'.
So this is how I decided to not cheat myself. What do you think? do you think counting half is a good compromise? If not- what do you suggest.
NOTE: Doing the job I do is great because it keeps me in motion everyday. Depending on what station I am in I easily hit 10,000 foot steps a day and some days it is up to 18,000. This is the days we are open to feed the students during the regular school year. When we are not open and are just cleaning my step count is much lower. Summers because of the diminished hours and guests fed will be somewhere in between I think.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
My understanding is that FitBit and Spark count Moderate and Very active minutes by not light. I would bet somewhere you can modify that so it only counts the "very active" minutes. If I find how I'll post it in the Fitbit Users forum.
I love the sleep setting--it confirms that I don't get enough sleep and I'm working on how to improve that. Good luck!
1715 days ago
I think for your line of work, your solution makes good sense. I actually disconnected my FitBit from SP because I felt I was cheating by counting everything the FitBit counts as fitness. I felt like it was making me much less likely to get actual cardio in every week.
Thanks for the explanation about the floors climbed ... that makes me feel better! I wasn't taking into account that it is counting altitude change. I live in Pittsburgh where there are a lot of inclines and hills. I thought it was being overly generous!
1715 days ago
I think for your line of work it makes sense.
For my FitBit and my lifestyle, if I didn't actually do much throughout the day, I will actually delete the entry and just put in what I actually did for workout (I take my FitBit off when I do intended exercise)
It's all about finding what works for you!
1716 days ago
The exercise minutes is your very active (red) minutes plus your fairly active (yellow) minutes. At least, that's how it comes out with the zip. I feel guilty when people congratulate me on hitting 1,000 fitness minutes by the 11th, but it is motivating me to move more. And I don't want to delete my fit bit entry and put in something else. I just have my weekly exercise calories set to an outrageous number. But if you look at the calorie differential report, you'll see your modified BMR lined up against the total calories as calculated by fitbit. The difference is much less than what shows up on the fitness log.
1716 days ago
I've worried about it counting my everyday steps as fitness points also. However, since I have a desk job, it does motivate me to get up and walk around more than I did wothout it. I have yet to use mine to track my sleep.
1735 days ago
How you view the work activity matters, it seems....
I have days where I know I won't be able to fit in a "real" workout, so I focus more on incidental movement throughout the day--intentionally viewing it as exercise. Like if I walk to meet my ride, I pay attention to the feeling of the movement, the fact that my legs are working, how it feels in my core.... And I feel like I exercised, even if it wasn't very much. But if I do that same distance on a day when I am going to do regular exercise, I don't focus on the same things--and I don't feel the same afterwards.
So I'd say do count the activity (however much you want), but also mentally focus on it as exercise. Can't hurt, might help, right? :-)
1737 days ago
I think that 1/2 is probably ok, but you are still moving. I know when I was teaching I would easily get past 10,000 steps, now I'm struggling to get 5,000. I need to get a better pedometer though, mine keeps resetting! AAARRRH
you cafeteria ladies really hustle, so I wouldn't really worry. Is there a pause on fitbit? You could pause it when you are in an elevator, if not slip it off while you move around.
1737 days ago
You're body accurately calculates the amount of energy you are expending regardless if it agrees with your Fitbit or not. I used to get frustrated with my Fitbit when I saw it counting a slight incline on my driveway as a floor climbed because I wanted it to record everything perfectly. Now I don't worry about the little idiosyncrasies of the Fitbit, but just thankful that it helps me keep moving! My body gets the benefit of the motion even if it isn't recorded accurately.
1737 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
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