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SLYSAM's Photo SLYSAM SparkPoints: (39,004)
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6/18/13 3:41 P

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I usually don't use cardio machines, but I recently started using them to mix things up a bit. I noticed my fitbit tracked calorie burn on the elliptical machine was much higher than my heart rate monitor burn. I think for come similar movements like cycling, elliptical, etc wearing the fitbit where it tracks a lot of activity might actually give inflated readings. Fitbit is calibrated more for steps from walking or running or something similar. I can see depending on where it is placed it might actually under estimate as well.

I currently think (though my opinion on this has evolved and may still)... If you are wanting to use the fitbit for calorie burn purposes, you are probably best off logging activities like cycling, elliptical, etc. With cycling you can log the distance so it should give you a decent estimate. If you are just using it for activity tracking, steps to motive you to move, then you can place it somewhere that picks up your activity. Some 10,000 step type programs do have methods to add "steps" for non-step activities like cycling, swimming, yoga, etc. The point of these programs is usually to promote a certain amount of movement in the day--I think peddling a cycle should count towards this. The problem is the energy used per cycle peddle vs. step isn't really equivalent so the calorie burn can be messed up. The best of both might be to wear the fitbit where it tracks the activity and then also log the activity to overwrite the calorie burn. When I logged my elliptical session it resulted in a decrease in calorie burn from what fitbit had estimated.

Since I use the fitbit calorie burn estimate for the day, I would personally log these types of activities on fitbit.com. Taking it off for the activity and logging is also an option that can work. There are different things that can work depending on your goals and how you are using the fitbit.


Edited by: SLYSAM at: 6/18/2013 (15:42)
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JOHNDUPEE SparkPoints: (11,488)
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6/18/13 10:28 A

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From what I have gleaned herre, it probably better for me to manually enter my data (Spinning) manually. FB credited me with steps whilst on the bike. I should probably just take the thing off, spin, put FB back on and record data THAT way? Thoughts?

MARLIZ2's Photo MARLIZ2 SparkPoints: (14,501)
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12/16/12 1:58 A

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I have used my fitbit tracker for a year and I have lost 70 pounds, I love it. I have the older one but not getting a newer one until I have to get and then I want to get the fitbit one because it has a silent wake alarm. Glad they united, I never like putting all my info on sparkpeople, know when I log it, it does it already!

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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
10/25/12 12:10 P

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I agree, and I like your idea for an experiment.. do it and let us know!

~ vicki
PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 2,078
10/25/12 10:50 A

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emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Right, it would be best place for walking and running, since that is all it was intended for.

I just noticed that on rebounder, the RPE that I felt in pumping arms, while basicslly feet not leaving the mat (kind of a reverse of walking, in terms of which limbs did the work), felt pretty close to how I would feel walking a mile on ground outdoors - and so I was somewhat surprised by how close to a mile the FitBit reported. Would be interesting to wear my FitBit AND my personal heart monitor to go for a one mile walk, and then do same on rebounder and then compare the numbers. I don't believe my body itself lies about the work it did. Where I tend to fudge is under or over reporting numbers into the exercise tracker (that mental sense of competition.)...

Who knows - FitBit might later on be able to combine their monitor with a heart rate monitoring capability? That should help bring a more even and accurate tracking of all exercise, whether it is running, walking, household chores, or dancing!!





Edited by: PROVERBS31JULIA at: 10/25/2012 (10:52)
Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
10/25/12 10:13 A

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The fitbit is ultra sensitive to rebounding or any type of bouncing, plus the hand is going to be more sensitive than when worn on the bra. Remember it is meant to be worn on the torso next to the body!
Enjoy~

~ vicki
PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 2,078
10/25/12 12:59 A

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Just got my FB Ultra earlier this month and I haven't yet tried it on my stationery bike. I kinda thought I would try clipping it to my ankle somehow, maybe rubber band or ribbon or some equally unorthodox fashion ( "redneck").

Today I rebounded with it on - started clock as if going to sleep and just did easy steps and arm pumping. I had it on my workout bra-top's built in pocket but then thought maybe I should just carry it in hand since I wasn't really lifting my feet up much (stability issues) - just did what they call "health bounce", with my arms doing most of the cardio pumping. At the end of 18 minutes when I edited the activity tracker, FitBit said I had "walked" the equivalent of just over a mile. I thought, hey! I'll take that!!

Will try the bike tomorrow... Gotta sleep!

Julia

Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/28/12 8:51 A

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I'm relaxing my position on this emoticon

But I do think it gives you extra credit, because even if you are pedaling slowly (fairly active) it will give you Very. And, it's still not really "steps". It's an easy way, I think, to rack up a lot of "steps".

However, if you don't do this, it doesn't track well and I understand the frustration related to that!

~ vicki
TYLERDRANGUET's Photo TYLERDRANGUET SparkPoints: (18,274)
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4/27/12 3:02 P

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I tried wearing my fitbit on my shoe (with the clip adapter) during my last recumbent bike ride and it tracked my pedaling pretty accurately. I wear it on my bra at all other times (minus sleep), but because I can't get my fitbit to track any way else while I'm cycling, it seems to work pretty well for me. :)

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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/26/12 3:47 P

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The middle of the bra works really well. Alternatively you can put it on your waistband, but I am always afraid I'll lose it there. I've had mine since late November, and I love it. Wearing it in the summer (bathing suit time) will be more of a challenge!
Yeah, I did a little experiment this morning and put it on my arm. I waved my arm a few times and got one very active minute! LOL. (I usually have to run to get those.)
Anyway, I do encourage you to get one! It's fun and motivating. The forums at the site are good, too.


~ vicki
FITBITFAN's Photo FITBITFAN SparkPoints: (12,348)
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4/26/12 7:57 A

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Thanks. I don't think I have read that Fitbit 101, yet. I will check it out. I can see where it could track higher if you put it on your arm or leg.

It reminds me of jogging on the Wii. It says I walked /jogged several miles more than I actually did because I hold the wiimote in my hand. Most of my workout clothes don't have pockets. I count the 30 minutes but ignore the 5 mile part because it is definitely not accurate that way. Not even close. Lol.

NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/26/12 6:50 A

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Go the the FB website and scroll down to Fitbit 101. There is a section on where to wear the Fitbit. It should be on the torso except at night.It doesn't track correctly elsewhere, but sure..you can do what you want as long as you understand it won't track correctly!
I usually wear mine on my bra. It is a great device, but it does have it's limitation in that it doesn't track things like weight lifting or yoga, or..I'm sorry to say it again, biking. (These activities can, however, be manually added, which is what I suggest!) If you put it on your wrist before bed (where you are supposed to wear it) and then walk around, you'll see that you get abnormally high readings.
I'm sorry to reply again! But since you don't actually have one yet, just wanted to explain a bit. One thing we agree on..we all love our Fitbits!

Edited by: NHRUNNER at: 4/26/2012 (06:51)
~ vicki
FITBITFAN's Photo FITBITFAN SparkPoints: (12,348)
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4/26/12 3:16 A

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Well...I don't actually have a fitbit, yet. I am considering all the fitness trackers and came here looking for reviews. But, I believe the fitbit is just as much a fitness tracker as it is a step counter. One person may use it differently than another. I used to use a somewhat similar device that tracked my steps, active and sleeping hours with a pedometer type device. I usually kept it hooked on my bra. But, whenever I used my stationary bike I would put it on my leg right above my knee to track that activity. For my purposes, I wanted to track my activity minutes (all of it) not just steps. That is ok if somebody else wants to do it differently. My fitness, my device, my opinion. :)

I wasn't lying to myself or the device or anyone. If I wanted to, I was able to go in and add a note on the activity saying it was biking instead of walking. It wasn't important enough to me to differentiate it. I just wanted to count the activity and minutes.

NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/25/12 8:20 A

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I do agree that whatever motivates is great. However I wish there were another way than to call non-steps "steps". Steps are "weight-bearing".
I can only do so many steps because there IS impact involved. As a (frequently injured) runner, I really need to rest my lower legs on my rest days. Biking, of course, would be another story. I have an exercise bike, I just never thought to wear my fitbit on my shoe or ankle because I know it doesn't work properly there, and it wouldn't feel right.
I always like to compare apples to apples, Since we are comparing step numbers here we should be on the same playing field. As I said, steps are not that high a priority with me.. active minutes are.
I do agree with you that the motivation factor is important, and I wish the Fitbit had a way to better record activities like biking. But to credit yourself with 2200 steps for a 17 minute bike ride is not being honest with yourself, In my opinion.
OK I will try to be quiet now, and also I'll try not to pay attention to anyone else's step numbers. This makes it sad for me, though.. those high step numbers won't motivate me anymore!


Edited by: NHRUNNER at: 4/25/2012 (09:13)
~ vicki
NYHARLEYHUN's Photo NYHARLEYHUN Posts: 3,149
4/25/12 1:09 A

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I personally don't believe there is any right or wrong way to log your "steps" - as long as you are being active and healthy. And whatever keeps you motivated to do more!

While I agree that technically you don't get "steps" while biking- if you wish to wear your fitbit on your shoe, or manually convert that activity to steps, it is all a personal choice.

When I had my Omron pedometer and used my stationary bike: I took my pedometer totally off and for every 3 miles I biked I would credit myself with approx. 2200 steps. I got that #- because biking 3 miles took me approx. 17-20 minutes, the same as walking 1 mile. (1 mile walking equals about 2200 steps for me). I then added those steps to my daily totals and logged them on Walkertracker.

And again- maybe they weren't steps, but it did encourage me to get off my treadmill and daily walks and change up my routine. Whatever works for you is what is important.

Best of luck,
Amy



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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/24/12 7:22 P

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Sorry, but you can't get an accurate STEP reading on a bike because there are no steps!
I just acknowledge that I can't get steps from all my activities. I don't focus solely on steps. (ha ha)
Wearing on your shoe will show activity.. abnormally high activity!

~ vicki
ROCKMAN6797's Photo ROCKMAN6797 Posts: 4,237
4/24/12 6:15 P

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Quite honestly your HRM is probably the best device for an accurate calorie reading. With regards to biking, I sometimes will do cardio work on a stationary bike. When I do I will wear my FB on my shoe (tying it securely with the shoe string). Doing this gives an accurate "step" reading for the actvity. I don't think that I would recommend this if you are riding a bike outside so in this case I would manually log the activity.
BTW, I would be very interested in reading about how the FB calorie counter and your HRM calorie reading compare when performing the same activity.
All in all, the best thing to come out of all this is the fact that you are moving! The FB is truly an awesome motivating device!

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Raϊl
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NHRUNNER's Photo NHRUNNER Posts: 481
4/24/12 8:56 A

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I agree with your last thought that a step is a step.. and you don't step when you bike. A step does have an impact factor. I understand about the knees, but you really can't make a substitution for steps.
Of course, you should get credit for your biking- however that is a limitation of the Fitbit, unless you manually log. I have the same issue when I go to my yoga class- Fitbit has no idea how hard I am working when we hold poses!
I would have to suggest that you do manually track it, and not focus on steps. (I have hurt my knees focusing too much on steps, too!) I don't know about calculating calories but check out what Fitbit has under the manual log..there are probably a few options depending on speed and intensity.
Finally, keep up the biking..it's great..steps or no steps!

~ vicki
WATCHMEGO!'s Photo WATCHMEGO! Posts: 2,780
4/24/12 6:02 A

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Is there any way to count the activity for an exercise bike other than manually logging the data? I've never done that and I'm not sure how accurate it is. If I have a HRM is that a good way to get an accurate calorie reading?

Also, any way to get steps counted for cycling? I'm not trying to "game the system," just trying to find a way to use my Fitbit while exercising on the bike. My knee is bothering me and I don't want my daily steps to go down. I guess that would be gaming it since I'm not actually "stepping", though.

Thoughts?

Emily - Houston, Texas

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