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Old Dec 31, 2012, 12:45 AM   #1
dinggus
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Fitness Tracker

I'm confused on why people are buying Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP, FitOne, etc.

Can someone explain to me the reason for tracking daily activities? I work out almost daily, and try to eat 6 small meals a day, etc. So, I'm just curious if this is just hype or if it's really working for people.

In my eyes, I just see it as an expensive motivator.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 09:59 PM   #2
Pharmscott
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I think it could make the exercise and/or dieting a little more fun and encourage folks to keep at it.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:27 AM   #3
dinggus
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Okay, I'm just wondering. Someone keeps asking me what I want for Christmas even though it passed, so I'm debating on what to get. Nike Fuelband that will track daily activities besides running, or Nike GPS watch that will track running.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 10:25 AM   #4
jetjaguar
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seems like a cool way to monitor your activity .. was thinking of picking up a fuelband .. someone gave me a fitbit as a gift but i think i would lose it
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 12:14 PM   #5
ToomeyND
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If you are trying to improve, the only way to know you are doing so is to measure your performance. I don't own any of these, but I'm also not looking to improve!

Edit: And it is a more fun and interactive approach than just timing yourself.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:47 PM   #6
dacreativeguy
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For people (like me), going to the gym isn't fun in itself. If I can bring a few toys with me to keep me occupied, then it is worth the price.

That being said, I tried the UP Version 2 for a few weeks, and though it was a useful gadget and exercise encourager (maybe not $129 useful), it ultimately started falling apart like the Version 1. So buyer beware on that one.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:06 PM   #7
dinggus
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If you are trying to improve, the only way to know you are doing so is to measure your performance. I don't own any of these, but I'm also not looking to improve!

Edit: And it is a more fun and interactive approach than just timing yourself.
Wouldn't you see improvements in a few months of the gym?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:07 PM   #8
mully1121
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Wouldn't you see improvements in a few months of the gym?
Not always and sometimes people do better seeing the numbers on a daily/weekly basis. I personally use something to track what I eat and my various exercises and it charts my progress. It helps me to be able to look back at the last however many months and see my progress (or where I need to improve). My father on the other hand has no interest in that sort of thing. Everyone's different.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:12 PM   #9
dinggus
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Not always and sometimes people do better seeing the numbers on a daily/weekly basis. I personally use something to track what I eat and my various exercises and it charts my progress. It helps me to be able to look back at the last however many months and see my progress (or where I need to improve). My father on the other hand has no interest in that sort of thing. Everyone's different.
I suppose, I mean, either you lose weight or you don't.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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I suppose, I mean, either you lose weight or you don't.
Historic progress can be tremendously motivating. You see yourself in the mirror every day, but that progress is so slow that you get accustomed to it and don't see the change too clearly. Sometimes just a picture from when you started is enough, but for others, extending that idea to data that can be graphed is great.

I don't train for weight loss, but seeing reps/weight increase, or VO2 increase is very motivating.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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Historic progress can be tremendously motivating. You see yourself in the mirror every day, but that progress is so slow that you get accustomed to it and don't see the change too clearly. Sometimes just a picture from when you started is enough, but for others, extending that idea to data that can be graphed is great.

I don't train for weight loss, but seeing reps/weight increase, or VO2 increase is very motivating.
I don't train for weight loss either. I'm just wondering which one of these should I get?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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Greetings -
I bought in full tilt on Nike+ back in Sept. Here's some observations -

Nike+ ipod = Feature built into iPod's and iPhone and needs a sensor in your shoe to 'log' miles and upload to the Nike+ website when you are done working out. Not an automatic sync, you have to specify 'upload'. If you're not where there is wifi, the run is saved on your iPod and you can 'sync/upload later. This "APP" is also built into Nano and new shuffle (i believe) but you must 'sync' those with a cord to your computer, then upload, as those devices do not have wifi. Kind of a pain.

Nike+ Running = THE App to use if you have an iPhone (I think they also have it now for Android). Logs walking via the GPS function in your phone, or if on a treadmill, put phone in your pocket and it will measure distance as well. It will Sync automatically to Nike website when done with 'Run'.

Nike+ Workout = This is a special pair of shoes that have sensors built in that sync to your iPhone / iTouch via bluetooth, and log your exercise when working out to the APP. The App is close to 600Meg in size and has dozens of seriously excellent workout routine videos built in. It does have a special 'receiver' that plugs into the 30 pin port so you can't be plugged into a charger when using it though. I could never get it to sync properly on my iPad, but it does work well on an iTouch and presumably iPhone.

Nike+ Basketball = Basically the same as workout, but for basketball.

Nike Fuelband = This a little different in that it logs 'general' activity not just walking, per sey. And does not have wifi so again, you have to sync to a computer and then upload to the Nike site to gain the points and other tracking benefits.

All of these log your calories burned and assign 'Nike Points' accordingly. All of this is nicely detailed on their website and you can of course 'share' your accomplishments, etc with your social network sites.

Why you would want to do this? Well, I like the technology so I think it's cool - Although the idea of having to 'link' your shoes to your idevice prior to your workout is a tad ridiculous.. Which is why just doing the Nike+ Running app on your phone is by far the most simple thing to do. No linking, syncing, special sensors, or anything else really. And it is very nice to have the 'history' on your phone of how far / long you worked out by week/month. You know instantly if you've been slacking, and if you do, you can see where you left off with distance, speed etc, and get right back on it.

So it's cool, it helps you 'track' your progress, and has social media 'sharing' if you're into that whole thing. But what it also does, via the Nike Fuel Points, is assign a value to how much you 'exercise', based on what kind you do. So I can see how much energy burned running, OR working out, and of course both in total. So if my arm is aching, I can take a rest on the workout, and make up the 'points' by running more. Or basketball I suppose, but I'm not that young. If you use the Fuel Band, log how many 'point' you get in a day's worth of activity. Then use the running app and see how it compares.

But also but working out / running and seeing how many calories are burned in that 40 minutes you can then equate it to that 6 piece chicken nugget meal. Or that 'energy drink'. With the ultimate goal of learning just how lazy you really are. :-)
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:46 PM   #13
mlblacy
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Happy UP2 user here...

If you are already working out 5-6 days a week, and eating 6 meals, none of those products may interest you. However, if you aren't, or maybe have no real routine, or an accurate idea of exactly how much you are working out (or not), then I think the gadgets work.

I do not use the food tracking, but maybe down the line I will. I do use the activity & sleep tracking and am very happy with the results. For activity, you simply set your goals in the app (ie 10k steps a day). It then provides you with an exact number, and various charts that analyses the data.10k seemed ambitious, but I stuck with the number. I went from hitting the treadmill 3x a week for 35 mins, to doubling the amount of time, and also the days I exercised. I an averaging about 8500 steps a day at this point, which is an improvement. I also have an alert set to vibrate if I am sitting idle for more than 30 mins at a time. As a motivator, so far it is working. I tend to park my car farther away and walk the extra steps. If I am short of my goal, I try and fit in a few more steps.

I also use the sleep tracking. I adjusted the 8 hours down to 7, because it was just depressing me how little sleep I was getting. If I get 7 I am lucky, but at least I am tracking it. I really like the "smart alarm" that wakes you within a small window of time, and at your moment of lightest point within your sleep cycle. It is less jarring than a blaring alarm clock too. You can also quickly set a powernap alarm with a few clicks of the button on the band.

A lot is made about the lack of bluetooth connectivity, and honestly it is not a big deal. Syncing takes maybe 30 secs, and I do it twice a day (or more if I want to see where I am in my activity goal). You have to plug it into a USB to charge it as well. Also not a big deal, the battery lasts about 8 days.

The device is small, and not a big deal to wear all the time. The Fuel bands looked a bit large and clunky, and the Fitbit looked like something sure to end up running through the wash by accident. At $129 I took a chance, given that the first gen was such a spectacular failure. I haven't regretted it at all, and it has indeed spurred on a healthier lifestyle for me.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 PM   #14
dinggus
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Thank you. Do you need a sensor in your shoe for the Fuel band?

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Thank you. I think the Up looks alittle more attractive, more like a wrist band. But, does it have like an iPhone app and all that? As for sleeping I get anywhere between 1-4hrs a sleep out of 5-6 days a week, so I don't think it would be helpful. Are we suppose to start learning our sleep patterns?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:40 PM   #15
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I nada pedometer that was part of a company wellness plan. Paid in $25 per year and got $150 back for moderate activity, $500 for extreme activity. Good motivator to hit those daily targets.

If you're happy with your exercise program and don't need or want metrics then forget it. Handy for people that want them.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:30 AM   #16
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Dinggus, I was drawn to the Up partly on aesthetics, and also by the smaller size. If I was going to be living with this thing 24/7 it had to work as well under a dress shirt as it did with casual dress. I went with basic black. The thing looks way nicer than I expected. I do usually wear it backwards (shiny piece up), as it is easier typing with the larger smooth surface facing down. I am a designer, so I spend a lot of time working on the computer.

The device works in two parts, the band itself, and the iPhone app that aggregates all of your data (hence the need for manual syncing). A lot of fuss has been made of that, and honestly it is no big deal. Bluetooth would probably be a battery killer (I just checked mine and the battery is saying it has 10 days to go, which makes it worth the lack of bluetooth). Bluetooth is also not the greatest protocol either, and is a little buggy. (I have a number of devices, including a Jambox, and sometimes it is a pain to keep the connection alive, especially when the 2 devices get separated or go out of range) The app is free too (or $129, lol). I have had a few sync errors, but I just hit sync again and it always works on the second try. No big deal.

I do not shower with it, although you are supposed to be able to do that.

I bought it to spur activity, not track sleep. I was surprised that I did like the sleep tracking (even if the numbers are depressing). It shows the periods of light & deep sleep and offers some insight into your sleep patterns. PowerNap feature is killer, and you can adjust your nap time through the app.

The app also offers tips and advice based on your numbers & trends (daily, weekly, monthly). I learned that my activity levels place me in the top 25% of Up users (that figure scares me, lol. As I would not place myself in the top 25% of physically active people).

I am happy with the buy, and would buy one again. I hesitated based on the fiasco of the first gen product, but liked that they offered gen2 bands to all first gen owners. For better or worse this is the wave of the future, and for me it has helped make some concrete measurable lifestyle improvements.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:49 AM   #17
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I am trying to decide whether to get the nike fuelband or the UP.. the jawbone has me very interested because it seems to track so much more than the fuelband .. plus it also tracks sleep which i have been curious about .. ahh cant decide.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 11:08 AM   #18
mlblacy
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I am trying to decide whether to get the nike fuelband or the UP.. the jawbone has me very interested because it seems to track so much more than the fuelband .. plus it also tracks sleep which i have been curious about .. ahh cant decide.
The Fuelband gives you a visual idea of where you are, which seems nice. On the other hand if you are a sloth, everyone will know, lol. Any Fuel users want to chime in? I couldn't get over the size & look of the thing. The Up could pass for a piece of odd jewelry, and actually looks nice (I would not be embarrassed wearing it in short sleeves). The LEDs are hidden beneath the covering, and only show when you press the button to initiate and action. Activity is tracked automatically. Sleep is tracked by holding the button down until the moon appears. You shut off the morning alarm by pressing the button once. Powernap is initiated by pressing button twice and then holding it down until the moon flashes. All in all very easy to work. Baffled about anything? The app has a help section (short) that goes over the various settings.

I was on the edge and could not decide either. Online reviews seemed to obsess on little details & flaws that really did not make a difference (like most reviews). There were not a lot of "real" reviews from actual users to be found, so I just took a chance and jumped. After a few months I am pleased. Maybe in 8 months I will change my mind, but it is doubtful. I bought it to track my activity and nudge me to be more active, and that seems to be working out well.

PS: I just noticed derick's comments about the fuelband. Surprised it relies on manual syncing too, but product wise it seems to be the best solution. It is not a big deal, and I have sync'ed when I am out running around to see where I was goalwise...

Last edited by mlblacy; Jan 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM. Reason: missed dericks fuel comments...
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:39 PM   #19
dinggus
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How often do you have to sync it? Also, I don't need my phone on me 24/7 as well right?
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 01:05 PM   #20
mrderik
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Greetings -
No, fuel band does not require a sensor in your shoe or otherwise. It measures 'overall' activity. I have not used the fuel band, but when i looked at the instructions to it, it clearly showed having to connect it to your computer for syncing, and charging. Although presumably you could (just) charge it by using any usb charger and sync whenever you get around to it. It may sync via bluetooth now, so that is something to check. But my experience with Nike+ and bluetooth in general is rather spotty.

I don't want to sound like a Nike ad. There are other 'athletic' brands doing a similar thing. I have always (overpaid) for Nike shoes, not unlike my choice of computers. And their carpet bombing of advertisement during the Olympics made me take the plunge. But the main selling point for me was the RANGE of compatible tie-in products and activities. So not only does it log running like several others, but workouts, basketball, and now XBOX360 Kinect 'games' as well. And their website is not bad. It's not great either, but they are constantly improving it to incorporate additional activities and 'gear'.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:49 PM   #21
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and iPhone and needs a sensor in your shoe to 'log' miles and upload to the Nike+ website when you are done working out. Not an automatic sync, you have to specify 'upload'. If you're not where there is wifi, the run is saved on your iPod and you can 'sync/upload later. This "APP" is also built into Nano and new shuffle (i believe) but you must 'sync' those with a cord to your computer, then upload, as those devices do not have wifi. Kind of a pain.
Quick correction regarding Nike + iPod. The shoe sensor is not required to use Nike+ to track running miles. The iPod nano 6G and 7G have a built-in accelerometer to track running miles. Earlier iPod nanos required the $30 Nike+ kit which includes the footpod and 30-pin receiver. The 6G and 7G can use the footpod for better accuracy (debateable). The 6G requires the 30-pin receiver to use the footpod, but the 7G can connect to the footpod without the receiver.

iPhones (and iPod touches - not sure) can log miles without a footpod as well. I think you need to be on iOS5 or later. It can also connect to a footpod without the need of a receiver.

If you want to use a heart rate strap, make sure you get one that is compatible. If you use the 30-pin receiver, you need the Polar Wearlink+ Nike+ heart rate strap. If you use an iPhone4S/5 or the new 7G nano, then the Polar H7 Bluetooth heart rate strap is the one you want. Unfortunately, they're not cross compatible.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:59 PM   #22
mlblacy
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syncing...

it "recommends" you sync twice a day, although I am sure you could do once a week if you wanted. The downside is you don't get to see your data without the sync. Like you I don't always want to have my phone with me, and the only interface between the two (app & band) is when you sync them. Going on my iffy experiences with Bluetooth products, I would rather have the physical connection than BT.

I usually sync it when I get up (so I can cry about how little sleep I am getting, lol), and after dinner (so I can see how I am doing on my 10k steps). If I hit the treadmill for an hour I usually sync it to see how I did. Like I said, syncing is painless, and many of the online reviews made a bigger deal about it than I found it to be.

When you pull the cap off the one end there is a plug that goes into the headphone to sync. If you want to charge it you plug it into the USB charger cable, and then plug the USB into your keyboard.

One thing I found annoying, manually adding in sleep or activity is a pain (or I haven't figured out how to to it correctly). I think it doesn't add in your manual input to your totals in the database. So, I just try to remember to always keep it on and let it count stuff.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 06:26 PM   #23
dinggus
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Thank you for all the help. I'm pretty sure my friend got me the Fuel band. I will test it out, hopefully I like it as it's expensive.

I did have a question about running, I was under the impression it doesn't track running.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:03 PM   #24
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Best of luck with it, and report back your experiences...

Pretty sure it works to track running, much like the Up does.
I have read some stories that neither work to track biking (but some folks wear them around their ankle).

PS: this is from the Fuel website...
NikeFuel counts all the activities of your athletic life. Running, walking, basketball. Nike+ devices measure your moves and turn them into NikeFuel. And since NikeFuel is calculated the same way for everyone, you can compare and compete with anyone.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:48 PM   #25
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Just a warning--I got an UP yesterday, charged it, synced it a few times to try it out, and now it's completely dead. No indicator lights, no charging, no syncing. Straight up dead.
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