Tracking fitness

by Lorin Michel Monday, June 6, 2016 10:19 PM

Justin is a gadget guy. He has an iPhone 6S 128 GB, an iPad Air 128 GB, an Android tablet, an Amazon Prime tablet and a laptop computer. He has all kinds of charging stations and cords; he has these nifty bags that fit within his travel bags that compress his clothes. He has cool things for shaving or, when he’s not working, trimming his beard. He has tools that transform into 18 tools in one. He has water bottles that are magical. His watch tells time in different time zones. His fitness tracker tracks his every movement, both on his wrist and via Bluetooth and the app he has on his iPad and iPhone. He has gadgets. 

I’ve always liked bells and whistles. It’s one of the reasons I remain so enamored with my Range Rover. Lots of buttons and computer read-outs on my dashboard. It tells me when the bonnet is open, when the tires are low, when the lights are out, when the lights are on, when the windshield wiper fluid is low, what’s playing on the satellite radio and who’s singing it. When we moved into the house, we had to choose all new appliances (of course), which because they’re all new, they’re gadget heavy. The washer and dryer is particularly heavy on bells. You can dial in any number of settings depending on what’s being washed and then dried. Tap water to hot on the washer, fluff dry to high dry on the dryer, cotton, sheets and towels, mixed loads, bulky items. 

For Christmas this past year, Justin decided he was going to get Kevin and I some gadgets, namely in the form of fitness trackers. Kevin has long had a pedometer but we don’t use it anymore. I don’t know why. I think the battery died and we never got around to replacing it. 

We walk. We ellipticize. Kevin works in the yard; I work in the house. We try to keep ourselves active and healthy. But we no longer have a way of tracking our steps every day. We don’t know what our pulse rate is at any given time, except when we’re on the elliptical. 

There is a website called Lumoid where you can choose five different types of fitness trackers and try them out for two weeks. Justin and I went on the site the other day and I chose five, no easy task when there are seemingly dozens from which to choose. I didn’t particularly know what I was doing; I just knew what I thought I wanted and what I didn’t necessarily care about. Like a sleep tracker. I already know I don’t sleep well; I don’t need something on my wrist to tell me that. Plus, I don’t wear any jewelry at night so it would do me even less good that no good. 

My five came on Friday. Today, I picked out one, with a fairly big face because I thought that’s what I’d like because I can’t see without my glasses so I figured I could track my fitness more easily. It took me an hour to figure out how it worked and to get it set. By the time I strapped it to my wrist, I was a little irritated. It shouldn’t be this hard. I wore it all day. It tracked my steps and my heart rate. I didn’t like it, though. I didn’t like the face. It was too big and yet the info on the screen was too small. I have another one that is even bigger and I’ve decided I probably don’t want it either. It’s clunky and chunky. And I don’t like the look of it. 

When Justin first got into these things, he was using a Jawbone. But he didn’t like it. He switched to a Fitbit and is now on his second or third one. It’s always on his right wrist while his watch is on his left. He loves it. 

Tomorrow I’ll choose another and try it, see if its bells and whistles are any easier to hear and see. And the next day, I’ll try another, and another after that, and another after that. At the end of the week, I’m supposed to make a decision as to what I like and what I don’t. If I don’t, I think we can order more from Lumoid but I don’t really want to do that either. Choosing from five is plenty. Besides it will be Kevin’s turn. He can choose five and have them shipped and then we have all of his new ones to try. 

In the end, we get to have some sort of fitness tracking device, one that fits our lifestyle. I would also like it to be one that looks good as well as tracks good. I want to keep track of my pulse rate, of my footsteps, of my calories burned.

Bells and whistles, and now gadgets. I’m tracking it all out loud.

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live out loud

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