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Fitbit – A high-tech tracker that makes exercise fun…and maybe even addictive!
By Carol LeBeau
3/11/2014 2:34:25 PM


–FULL BIO
 

The trails at Torrey Pines may be beautiful, but after a nearly two-hour trek up and down the scenic paths recently, I needed a nap! Disappointed in my apparent lack of physical prowess, I crawled into my car and drove home only to find an encouraging e-mail from Janine that clearly explained why Torrey Pines had totally wiped me out.

Turns out, my walking partner and “techie” friend had been wearing her “Fitbit” as we trekked the trails that morning.  The tiny tracking device on her wrist had recorded our every step…and more… synching wirelessly with her computer and smart phone.  

The “Fitbit” computer readout justified my exhaustion. Distracted as we hiked, gabbed and enjoyed the scenery, Janine and I took nearly 19,000 steps, covering 7.71 miles – the equivalent of climbing 86 floors during 115 active minutes. (Does the Fitbit really know when we took photos and potty breaks??!!)  

Actually, the tracker uses a three-dimensional accelerometer similar to that found in the Wii Remote, to sense user movement. Simply stated, the device measures steps taken, and combines it with user data to calculate distance walked, calories burned etc.

Speaking of calories, the trendy tracker claims we burned 2,372 calories that morning! (I find that hard to believe…but it sure sounds good!) No wonder I found myself later that day crashed on the couch eating spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar!

These beefed up pedometers are making getting in shape as addictive as checking Facebook and Twitter.  Janine wears her Fitbit “Force” all the time.  She shoots for 10,000 steps a day, but with an added 4-mile run or “walk and talk” with a friend, can easily reach 20,000 steps.

“It keeps me motivated to get out there and get active on days I’m at my desk on the computer,” says Janine. “When I check my Fitbit and realize how few steps I’ve taken, I make it a point to get moving!”

I’m always late to the party when it comes to embracing new technology…but this is just too fun to pass up. Plus, these new-fangled trackers even allow you to compete with your friends.

Waddaya say, Janine?   

Game on?!

Note: The Fitbit “Force” used by Janine has recently been recalled, not for any defect in the device, but because a few users have experienced contact dermatitis (skin rashes) where the tracker comes in contact with their wrists possibly from the nickel used in the band.  Fitbit is replacing the device with one minus the nickel and offering a full refund to their customers.