For our deeper dive into Fitness Tracking Devices we take a look at how our 3 devices track our Active Minutes

UP3 -Kim:Today’s focus is on active minutes! I love being able to review my activity and see what time of the day I’ve been most active. This helps me with awareness and goal setting. (And to be honest, I’m surprised at how low that number is some days.) In addition to showing active minutes, the UP3 app also shows the longest stretch of active moments along with longest idle time.  Overall Rating: 5

FitBit Charge HR – Terra: My Fitbit recognizes  active minutes when the activity you’re doing is more strenuous than regular walking. This feature is particular handy for those who have a goal or plan in mind to hit a certain recommended daily exercise amount. Without any clear goals, I didn’t find this feature as one I really used very often but at the end of the day, I am glad the tracker offers this measurement. Overall Rating is:  3.8

Garmin VioFit – Jason:  Not Available on the VioFit

For our deeper dive into Fitness Tracking Devices we take a look at how our 3 devices track our heartrate.

UP3 -Kim: Today’s focus is on heart rate! This is probably where I am most disappointed with the UP3. When I first read the features of the UP3, I didn’t understand the heart rate recording feature was for resting heart only (and I believe this is an average—not real time.) I’ve read reviews that someday the UP3 will be able to pick up heart rate at other times.  (Hopefully this is true.) I really wanted to be able to use my heart rate as a guide when exercising.Overall Rating: 2

FitBit Charge HR – Jen: Not all Fitbits have the heartrate monitor so if you are looking for this feature,  be sure to read the product description so that you purchase the correct one. I have the Fitbit Charge HR so I do have the heartrate tracker and it is a pretty great feature. I have found that you must wear the device tight against your skin for a better result. Additionally, I don’t feel that it tracks 100% accurately even if you do wear it tight, however, the Charge HR does give you a reading that is close to the correct heartrate as I have checked it in comparison with taking my own pulse. Overall Rating is:  4

Garmin VioFit – Jason:  My review will be short on this topic. The vivofit2 doesn’t have a built in heart rate monitor. In order to track my heart rate, I had to buy a strap that goes around my chest.  The heart rate does display on my device, however wearing the strap is not desirable to me. Also, when I do where it and sync my phone to the “connect” app, it doesn’t track my heartrate. I give this a 2 because it does display the heart rate and appears to be accurate when compared to other machines, but the app doesn’t track and the strap is uncomfortable to wear. Overall Rating is:  2

For our deeper dive into Fitness Tracking Devices we take a look at how our 3 devices track our steps.

UP3 -Kim: Today’s focus is on step counting! I love this feature as I find it helpful to keep track of how much I’m moving throughout the day. Many of us know that our goal should be 10,000 steps a day—and it is amazing how often I fall short of this goal. A couple of things I really like with the UP3:

  • I have an activity alert set. After 45 minutes of inactivity, I’m reminded that I need to get up and move. (This setting can be adjusted.)
  • I love the “Smart Coach” goals on the app like this one: Make A Plan—Take 901 more steps to reach your 7-day average. If you have time, plan those moves into the rest of your day.
  • I like being able to see the daily/weekly averages, along with the graph showing where I’m at with meeting my individual step goal.

My downside of the UP3 is that the steps don’t show on the device and I have to check the app to know how many steps I’ve taken.
Overall Rating: 4.7

 

FitBit Charge HR – Trisha: After just having a baby 4 months ago, the fitbit has been a key motivator for me as I work to get into pre-pregnancy shape.  The step count feature has helped me stay accountable and continues to keep me motivated each day.  Here are a few things that I like most:

  • I like that I get “real-time” data on the face of my fitbit to see how many steps I have rather than waiting to have to sync it with my phone/computer.
  • I like that I get an update throughout the day how many more steps I have to reach my daily goal.
  • I liked that I was able to set up my daily and weekly goals from the get go and to receive that instant feedback where I am with reaching those goals.

I truly have nothing that I can think of that I don’t like in regards to the step count and that is why my Overall Rating is:  5

 

Garmin VioFit – Jason: The vivofit2 has an activity tracker that notifies me when I have not completed my activity goal, measured in steps. The notification comes from a red bar that goes across the top of the device.

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If I haven’t been active for an hour that bar will go completely across the screen and a chirping noise will sound. This lets me know I better get moving!

Personally, it has been nice to see how active or inactive I am throughout the day. I use the phone application to view my daily activity, which is also displayed on the device.

At the end of the week, I can review my average and make sure that overall, I am getting my activity in.

Overall Rating: 4

 

 

 

 

* These devices were purchased by Be Well South Dakota. Be Well South Dakota does not endorse any product, we are simply providing our personal opinions on our experiences with these devices.

For our deeper dive into Fitness Tracking Devices we take a look at how our 3 devices track food.

UP3 -Kim: Well, I’m sure glad that today’s blog post was on calorie tracking with our devices. Somehow I didn’t realize that food logging and tracking our calories was an option with the Up3. I played around with this feature this morning—and oh, my I love it!!! There is a UP® barcode scanner, restaurant menu search and food database.  And then, Smart Coach helps guide you to healthy habits and gives your meal a Food Score. I know the key to healthy living is food logging, so I’m excited to track using my Up3.
Overall Rating: 5

FitBit Charge HR – Jen: The Fitbit has an excellent calorie counter! I live a fairly active lifestyle and enjoy getting out and exercising in a number of ways—anything from running outside, to playing basketball, to lifting weights at the gym. So, as I wear my Fitbit every day, I get to see the variations in calorie burning when I am in the office, being more sedentary than I would like, and while I am exercising—such as when I recently wore it for 90 minutes of basketball games. If you are looking for a good way to burn calories, jump on a sports team as soon as possible! I love that by the push of a button on my Fitbit Charge HR I can see how many calories I have burned both during activity and during my sedentary time.
Overall Rating: 5

Garmin VioFit – Jason: No food tracking feature on this device.

* These devices were purchased by Be Well South Dakota. Be Well South Dakota does not endorse any product, we are simply providing our personal opinions on our experiences with these devices.

For our first deeper dive into Fitness Tracking Devices we take a look at how our 3 devices track sleep.

UP3 -Kim: For the wearable challenge, I am trying the Jawbone UP3. According to the Jawbone website, the UP3 uses advanced sensors to track your true sleep stages—REM, Light, and Deep. Keeping track of my sleep has helped me become more aware of my sleep habits. The more I use this feature, the better I like it—and find the information useful. It appears as Jawbone has done some updates recently to their app, as my frustrations regarding the sleep data has been corrected. It is interesting to review the different sleep stages. One of the best features I like about the UP3 is that I have an alarm set for a reminder to head to bed. I do find I have to be careful as I have accidentally clicked on the sleep mode. Prior to the updates, I was unable to figure out how to go in and adjust for inappropriate tracking. Another feature I’m enjoying is the sleep tips by the smart coach.  Now that I can edit the time, I’m finding the sleep feature a nice addition to this wearable device.

Overall Rating: Prior to update a 2, now with the update, 4.5 

 

FitBit Charge HR – Terra: For me, the sleep tracking was one of the most desirable features of the FitBit. As a chronic, tosser and turner, I wanted to quantify how much sleep I was really getting. For that purpose, the band works great and was very easy to set up and learn how to use. After I soothed my curiosity, is there really a need for me to know how much I sleep I get? Not really, but it is pretty fun to know.

As you can see here, the dashboard makes it really easy to see your results. You can even tell how many times I pressed snooze on this day.

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Overall Rating: 5

 

 

Garmin VioFit – Jason: I have the Garmin Vivofit which has a “sleep tracker” built into the device. While this is a feature I don’t use much, mainly because it’s just not clear to me how well they work and what I am supposed to get from it, but for purposes of a review I tried it out.

First, you will set up your profile under the Garmin Connect application on your phone or pc. The Connect application is going to have you set-up a time frame of when you typically go to sleep, ie…10pm -6am and the device will track your movement through the night. Otherwise, you can just hold the button on the device down until it goes past “sync” to “sleep” before you go to bed and then press it again when you wake up.

The next day you will get a report of your movement throughout the night. It’s interesting to see the graph of how you slept that night.

Here is how it looks on the app:
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It appears it took me a while to get to sleep based on my movements in the beginning, through the night a little restless maybe and I was up before 6am. I am not quite sure if this is good sleep or not, but I usually have plenty of energy through the day.

The Garmin also comes with a “nap” feature that you can start at times that are out of your night time patterns. This seems to be a feature unique to sleep tracking, but as you can see…I am not getting any naps in!

 

 

Overall Rating: 3.8

 

* These devices were purchased by Be Well South Dakota. Be Well South Dakota does not endorse any product, we are simply providing our personal opinions on our experiences with these devices.