Choosing an Activity Tracker Part 2: Fitbit One

If you haven’t read Choosing an Activity Tracker Part 1: Introduction make sure you head there first. By the time I, I mean the washer, destroyed Nate’s pedometer new activity trackers were hitting the market and were “all the rave”.  I will fess up and say that I bought into the hype and purchased my first activity tracker – a Fitbit One.  I looked at the wrist trackers, the clips, all different brands, ones with and without displays, and it all came down to wanting an accurate tracker at the end of the day.  After all, I was coming from using the Omron pedometer that was Accurate with a capital A.  Fitbit is the brand known for accuracy in the activity tracker world. Thank you for noticing the accuracy of the Fitbit. We put a lot of effort into making sure the Fitbit is accurate! – Fitbit executive in a conversation with Nate From everything I read, the trackers that you clip to your waistband, bra, or pocket are more accurate than the wrist trackers so that is what I went with.  The One clips to the waistband, belt, pocket, or bra of the wearer and it has a display so I can just glance down and see my step count, floors climbed, distance, and calories without needing an app or my phone.  The One also came with a nifty wristband to wear at night for tracking sleep and for use as an alarm clock.  I used this for awhile, but realized that I didn’t care as much about sleep tracking as I did activity tracking during the day (and I lost the wristband). Now if you remember from Part 1, I could take a specific number of steps and the Omron pedometer was 100% accurate.  I did the same test with the Fitbit One and it passed with flying colors. Actual Steps Taken Omron Pedometer: Steps Recorded Fitbit One: Steps Recorded 50 50 51 100 (Trial 1) 100 99 100 (Trial 2) 100 101 These results are close enough for me and I have been happily using my Fitbit One since August 2013.  I can honestly say that I love my Fitbit One and would buy another in a heartbeat if I lost mine or broke it somehow.  If I were to hand out ratings on battery life, accuracy, ease of use, and durability this is what the...
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Choosing an Activity Tracker Part 1: Introduction

I have been posting on Facebook for weeks about wearing multiple activity trackers.  This inaugural post in the series will review one of my first “activity trackers”.  As we go through the series, I will introduce you to several common trackers on the market today and explain some of the pros and cons of each.  Obviously I don’t have an unlimited budget so I only tested a few, but this should give you an idea of the pros and cons for several popular brands and types. When I first started exercising I used a regular, inexpensive pedometer like the type you would find at Target or Walmart for $10-$20. After awhile I wanted something that would download data to my computer and Nate and I both purchased the Omron Pocket Pedometer.  The Omron pedometer is fabulous, basic, easy to use and see, and most of all – it is accurate.  I know this because the researcher in me tested the accuracy.  I walked all over counting my steps – flat surfaces, turning around, up and down stairs, walking fast, and walking slow. Check out the results below:   Number of Steps Taken: Omron Pedometer Recorded: 50 steps 50 steps 60 steps 60 steps 100 steps 100 steps As you can see, it was accurate step for step. It is a bit bulky, but it doesn’t need to be charged and takes a standard CR2032 battery that lasts for a very long time.  The pedometer comes with a belt clip, but at some point (recently) I lost the clip so I can’t show you a picture of that here.  The newer versions appear to be less bulky and are compatible with the new Omron app.       I did eventually upgrade to my current tracker, but only because Nate’s Omron pedometer went through the wash more than once and didn’t fare so well (oops). I gave him mine and began the search for a newer activity tracker. Curious what I bought? Read Choosing an Activity Tracker Part 2.   (Affiliate links used in this post)...
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Summer Nights

Without even looking at the calendar, I can confidently tell you that summer has arrived in South Carolina.  Hot temperatures and the bright sun make daily outdoor adventures with small children a little more challenging than usual.  One of the biggest challenges is that little ones are more sensitive to the sun than grownups.  Children get overheated faster than adults and can be more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  This doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors all summer if you live in a hot climate though.  It just means that you need to take some precautions, like taking plenty of water breaks and adjusting the times of day you are outside. In our family, we like to go to shaded parks early in the morning before the heat of the day hits.  The kids can all play for awhile in the cooler temperatures and then take a break for a picnic lunch.  I always make sure to pack plenty of cold water and ask my son to take plenty of breaks before we stop for lunch.  We use a camelbak backpack so he can just run up to me, take a couple of sips, and quickly get back to the business of playing.  After lunch, we usually head home for a homemade popsicle (just his normal green smoothie frozen in a mold), a shower to cool off and erase the grime of park play, more water, and a nap. As the weather gets warmer, these brief mornings outside just aren’t enough, but the afternoons can be too hot to be outside, even if we are playing in the water.  This is when we really try to make sure to get in our after dinner family walk.  We can put our son in the jogging stroller with some water and an after dinner treat (usually some fruit or a carrot) and get a little more outside time as it begins to cool off.  When he was younger, we put him in his Ergo, Moby, or Boba carrier and set off.  As he has grown, he likes these evening strolls in his stroller (probably because this is the only time we ever use a stroller).  The walk helps our son to begin calming down before bedtime and lets the adults get some exercise.  Best of all, the whole family can enjoy some good conversation during the walk....
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Pedometer Challenge

We are coming up on a busy time of year – back to school – when parents often forget to exercise and take care of themselves.  I would like to challenge you to dig out your pedometer, or go buy an inexpensive one (approx. $10). Wear your pedometer for a couple of days and see what your average number of steps are.  Then set a goal to increase that average number by 500 in the following week.  Who wants to join me?  Comment below and check in with your average steps after you track it for a couple of days.  Let everyone know your favorite way to add steps to your day. If you are worried about posting a low number, I can tell you that recently my average has been LOW….really low.  Nowhere near 10,000 steps per day like I used to get pre-toddler, probably something like 1500-2000 steps/day. Don’t forget to drink extra water as you get more active! If you are curious which pedometer I use, here it is at Amazon: Omron HJ-720ITFFP Pocket Pedometer with Advanced Omron Health Management Software   (Disclaimer: Amazon link is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I receive a small percentage of the purchase price with no additional cost to...
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Trying to Conceive

Congratulations on making the decision to start a family.  I remember when we decided that we were ready to start a family.  Or, should I say, I remember when I was ready to start a family.  My husband wasn’t on board for a while.  He really wanted me to get further in my graduate school career before we got pregnant.  Little did he know that I would finish my Ph.D. and get several years of full-time work under my belt before we conceived! If you are just starting on your journey to conception, now is the time to really take a look at your lifestyle and that of your partner’s.  Now is the time to try and become as healthy as possible.  As a woman, being healthy prior to conception will make your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences much easier. Back in 2005 when we started our journey, our OB-GYN advised us to stop using birth control and wait three months before trying to conceive.  She wanted my body and hormones to have time to regulate.  We used this time to re-commit ourselves to an exercise plan and really put more effort into eating a healthy, well-rounded diet. Pregnancy, birth, and the post-partum time period are pretty physically demanding events.  If you can get into shape before tackling the parenthood journey you are setting yourself up for success.  You don’t have to reach your optimum weight or exercise goals, just taking small steps in improving your health will be beneficial. Helpful hints as you start your journey: Make sure you AND your partner are on the same page.  This will probably mean extensive conversations – but better before you get pregnant then during your pregnancy or after baby has arrived.  Respect one another during these conversations.  I remember trying to convince Nate that we were ready.  For a long time I didn’t really listen to his very valid concerns.  The result of these conversations will likely involve some compromises.  Be open to true communication with your partner. Consult your healthcare provider to make sure you are healthy and get any needed advice on conception and early pregnancy. With the help of your healthcare provider set some nutrition and exercise goals for preconception. Enjoy time with your partner.  Enjoy your relationship and the opportunity to get closer. If people ask when you are going to have a baby come up...
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