Keeping Fit – My New Activity Tracker

 My old Fitbit One --- May it rest in peace... wherever it is!

My old Fitbit One --- May it rest in peace... wherever it is!

I lost my FitBit One back in Massachusetts around Christmastime at Lin’s house. I searched everywhere for it and came up empty, but thought it would eventually show up. It didn’t. I'd used it for over a year and I was pretty ticked at myself for being so careless to lose it. I decided I’d wait before I purchased another tracker to make sure I really needed/wanted a replacement.

A month later, when we got to Las Vegas, Mary was nice enough to let me use hers. She’d upgraded along the way to an Fitbit Alta and liked it and was no longer using the One. I tried it for a few days and decided, yup, I really wanted a new one. I like knowing exactly how many steps I’ve taken and how many more I need to meet my goal of 10,000 steps per day. It’s a motivator. I find myself parking a distance from a store entrance in order to “get some steps”. I go out of my way to get up and move frequently when reminded to do so by my tracker. So I set about finding a new tracker of my own.

 Garmin Vivofit 3

Garmin Vivofit 3

I really don’t need all the bells and whistles offered by many of the trackers … calendar, email/text notifications, sleep time, extra activity tracking. I just needed something that recorded my steps and some other basic activities, like stair flights. I was also interested in one that could be worn on my wrist, not clipped to my jeans. One thing I found inconvenient about the Fitbit was that the battery needed to be charged once a week. The display on the One was minimal. Mary’s provided much more info, but at a higher cost. You know me … always budget-minded!

I set about researching new activity trackers and finally came up with the Garmin VivoFit. It’s a wristwatch showing time and date; it tracks steps, miles, activity levels, flights and syncs with a smart phone. Plus it’s waterproof and it doesn’t need charging. Instead, the standard coin battery is user-replaceable once a year. The Vivofit 4 didn’t provide much improvement in my estimation, except it had a higher price tag. I ordered the Vivofit 3 on Amazon for $55.75 and received it in a few days later, then noticed it for $29.75 elsewhere on Amazon. I complained and got an Amazon credit for the price differential. I was feeling pretty large ... and mighty thrifty.

 GOAL reached when I've walked 10,000 steps per day.

GOAL reached when I've walked 10,000 steps per day.

When I first received it, I used Mary’s Fitbit One and the Vivofit 3 to see how they compared. The step count was a little different, but overall mileage was very comparable. After a week or so, I returned the Fitbit to Mary and I’ve been wearing the Garmin ever since. It allows me to set my own goals … 10,000 steps/day. It does not provide ‘badges’ or clever incentives like the Fitbit … “Congrats … you’ve walked the length of the Great Barrier Reef!” and it doesn’t show all the cumulatives that the Fitbit did, but in general, I like my new acquisition and I’ve been wearing it constantly. I make my 10,000 step goal most every day. We plan to increase that goal as we train for our Thames Path walk in September. In the meantime, a daily walk around the golf course is helping to keep me in shape. Now … if I can manage not to lose it!