Mar 012013
 
FitBit_Nike_Garmin_Withings

Activity trackers, heart rate monitors, wifi scales, calorie-intake trackers/food diaries, GPS watches, goals, and achievements are just some of the many things we can use to keep track of our fitness.  The trouble is that even though we have all of these great technologies to help us along our path to become better athletes or shed some pounds, it’s difficult to find a single place to store all of that data.  Sure, there are plenty of sites that aggregate a few things into one place, but, unfortunately, nothing seems to be all-inclusive, yet.   That said, Meagan and I have found that the Fitbit interface does the best job at “everything tracking” of the sites/apps we have tried thus far.  So, in this week’s “Hack Your Fitness” I’m going to explain how to use your Fitbit account as a tool to gather data from (most of) your fitness devices into one spot.

Supplies needed:

Fitbit – ranging from $50 to $100 – This is the only device you need to have for this “hack”.  Everything else is up to you.

Level of difficulty: Medium – This one doesn’t take any scripting, but the process of linking everything up can get a little confusing.

Continue reading »

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Feb 082013
 
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This is the first of many “hack” related posts I plan on doing.  Sometimes I’ll be sharing something that we’ve come up with, but I’ll also be bringing in great ideas that I find from other reliable sources.  Some of these hacks will require a deeper understanding of technical procedure than others and I’ll try to alert you when that’s the case. Hopefully, these posts will give you new ways to motivate yourself and use your favorite technical fitness devices.  Today’s post is about a new way to use your Fitbit to help motivate you to reach your step goals from the blog BuildingInternetofThings.com.

Supplies needed:

Level of difficulty: HIGH – This hack is for the technically savvy user, and is probably best executed by those that have had some sort of scripting experience. Continue reading »

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CES 2013 – Activity Tracker Bonanza

 Posted by on January 15, 2013  No Responses »
Jan 152013
 
CES

If you are unfamiliar with CES (Consumer Electronics Show), I’ll start by saying that it is the world’s largest consumer technology trade-show featuring over 3000 exhibitors (and if any reader out there wants to hook us up with an invite for 2014, we would be very interested in going)(and yes, this is basically the same opening paragraph as last year’s CES article, so sue me!).  The 2013 event wrapped up on January 12th and this year’s hot topic was, apparently, activity trackers!  While there were 15+ total trackers featured at CES, I picked out a few of my favorites to share with you and/or ones that I feel will make the biggest impact. So, without further ado, let’s get to the activity tracker parade! Continue reading »

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2012 All Stars

 Posted by on December 24, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 242012
 
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The year is nearing its end and after getting 15 inches of snow in a 24 hour period, the TR Crew is gearing up for another Wisconsin winter. More than that, the world didn’t come to an end on Friday. So, we wanted to make sure we took a moment to share with you some of our favorite products from the year, offer some last minute ideas for the holidays (for those of you who didn’t do your Christmas shopping, yet, because of the impending apocalypse), and give shout outs to some of the other great gear, apps, etc. we’ve gotten to test out. Enjoy! Continue reading »

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Fitbit One Review

 Posted by on December 18, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 182012
 
FitBit One

In November of last year, after a failed trial with the Jawbone Up, Steve and I became Fitbit converts, and for the next 12 months, I diligently used my Fitbit Ultra to record essentially every step I had taken (over 2 million!), every staircase I had climbed (over 4000!), every minute I slept*, and, through their online interface (and LoseIt!), every meal I ate**.  Of course, as you might imagine, a device that is on your person during every waking hour, can start to show some wear and tear, especially when it belongs to someone like me who has a propensity to bump into things (sometimes hard enough to knock the device off of myself).

So, with a Fitbit Ultra that was cracking at the hinge, and starting to act a little weird, I was pretty excited to find out that two new Fitbits were being introduced in October/November, and, as I noted in my earlier post about their release, I set my sights on the Fitbit One. I’ve now spent a month with the device, and, although the Ultra and One are, at their cores, very similar devices in terms of how they work and the data they collect, the One boasts several new and improved features that are worth considering if you are in the market for an upgrade.

*At least, I did, for about the first 3 months, until my armband fell apart, and I got tired of seeing the same data night after night.

**You say I skipped entering that pint of ice cream because I felt guilty about eating it? I admit to nothing… Continue reading »

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Fitbit One and Zip Announced

 Posted by on October 5, 2012  No Responses »
Oct 052012
 
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Welcome to October, readers! Fall has finally arrived and brought with it crunchy leaves to run on, wonderfully cool temperatures, and something else I’m really excited about: new Fitbits! Two new models were announced on September 17, the Fitbit Zip and the Fitbit One, the former of which is available now and the latter which is set to ship out in early November. Both models bring some great new features to the Fitbit line, so, as a current Fitbit Ultra (and former Jawbone Up) owner, I wanted to offer up my thoughts on what’s been added and improved.

First, though, let’s go over the state of my original Fitbit, the Ultra. Purchased last November, my Fitbit Ultra has definitely taken on a well-worn appearance over the past 11 months. It still functions normally, but the finish is showing significant wear and the plastic is cracked and chipped around the hinge. The fabric wristband that came with the device is long gone. It started to rip after a couple months of use and I didn’t really have any great need to continue to track my sleep habits since the data didn’t change much or help me out on a day-to-day basis. Continue reading »

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Mar 222012
 
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A couple exciting things have come down the tubes from Fitbit this week. The most recent, announced today, is for all you Android users out there. The (long-awaited) Fitbit app for Android is now available (for free) here. For all intents and purposes, it looks like this app offers the same features and functions as the iOS version, which, for me, has been easy to use and is one of the better-made fitness-tracking apps I’ve come across. Note that having the app does not mean that you will be able to sync your Fitbit to your phone. You will still have to use the base station attached to a computer to upload/download information to/from your Fitbit, but any info that you do upload will be instantly sent to the app as well as to your account on their website. Continue reading »

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