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Any ditched the fitness trackers? Any regrets?

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  • Ann262Ann262 Member Posts: 238 Member Member Posts: 238 Member
    I sometimes think about it. I laugh at myself when I get to the trailhead and am mad that my garmin battery is low and won't be able to capture my whole workout. Then I remind myself that my body will get the workout whether my Garmin keeps record of it or not!! We used to guessitmate our calorie burn from workouts from anecdotal averages and we did just fine. I haven't seen waistlines, including mine, shrink because I have more data.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    I could track my calories with pen and paper but I use MFP because it is faster and easier. The watch is the same way. It helps me in an area in which I have historically struggled so the easier it is the more sustainable it is. If the day comes I find it easier to live without it, then I will ditch it. The same is true of MFP. If I could walk everywhere easier than I could drive there I would ditch the vehicle too.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,874 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,874 Member
    I started with a basic FitBit. I liked the simplicity of the device. The first one died several times on warranty, and was replaced, but eventually died out of warranty (at about 1.5y), so I bought one with HR. It was very good for the basic health monitoring, but not so much for activities (the phone was better for that). Again, I went through a couple on warranty, then it died out of warranty (again at about 1.5y), at which point, I had had enough of these flakey devices. I went back to the phone plus a HRM strap for a long time for running, cycling, etc., which actually works very well.

    Eventually, I bought a lower-end Garmin (VA3) because it offered swim monitoring as well as run and ride. It's been very good, although it died after 2 years, so I bought a re-firb of the same unit to replace it (shows how much I like it). I've also added a Garmin bicycle computer to my kit, mostly for safety (it has incident detection and pairs to a rear-view radar).

    I still want a Garmin HRM for swimming! I think Garmin has me figured out pretty well!
  • vanmepvanmep Member Posts: 382 Member Member Posts: 382 Member
    “I could track my calories with pen and paper”

    You just reminded me of the days in the early 90’s when I had a huge book that gave the calorie info for thousands of different foods. Each day I would track my calories by looking it up and writing it down in a notebook.
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Member Posts: 6,745 Member Member Posts: 6,745 Member
    vanmep wrote: »
    “I could track my calories with pen and paper”

    You just reminded me of the days in the early 90’s when I had a huge book that gave the calorie info for thousands of different foods. Each day I would track my calories by looking it up and writing it down in a notebook.

    That reminds me of this mini book I had when I first started counting calories over 15 years ago. I used to bring it with me everywhere in my purse. pf0nszegxmos.png
    edited May 24
  • gradchica27gradchica27 Member Posts: 770 Member Member Posts: 770 Member
    I did. Haven’t looked back. Well, I did briefly and same issues made me put it in the drawer. My issues with all the ones I’ve tried:

    —calorie counts way off. I ate what MFP synced w what tracker said and I maintained or gained slowly. Went back to manual input and I started losing again. (This partly bc my main activity was lifting and it couldn’t track that as well I think)

    —trackers favor steady state cardio. I lift. That’s what actually makes me look how I want to look (because muscles). But bc I’m competitive and hate that bc my heart rate doesn’t go up enough for long enough to register as a “real “ workout, the tracker makes me look like a couch potato. So I would add more cardio than I needed. And would often obsess over why it wouldn’t count my steps while holding a shopping cart or stroller, etc. sometimes the extra push for more steps/cardio led to some minor overuse injuries and mostly far too much time spent exercising. I was prioritizing what pleased the tracker and not what would directly help my goals. Did the tracker cause this? No, obviously it was my own issue, but I prioritize better without it.

    —I was spending too much time analyzing metrics and results, looking at trends in sleep, exercise minutes, steps, etc. and that got me nowhere, at the end of the day. So now I input into MFP, and get back to life. And get results.
  • steveko89steveko89 Member Posts: 2,076 Member Member Posts: 2,076 Member
    Switching to a TDEE approach (vs. the default MFP method) has been a huge boon to my success. Still wear my apple watch for alerts and things but do not use it for tracking exercise, steps, or calories. If there's anything I would like to measure better it's sleep. The battery makes it such that sleep tracking via apple watch isn't very feasible but I'd like to quantify and work to improve my sleep quantity and quality and I think a tracker may help in that endeavor.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,404 Member Member Posts: 39,404 Member
    I ditched my FitBit, but I like my Garmin. I use it primarily for GPS tracking and I like my exercise and activities to be uploaded to one site. It also provides far more in depth training data than the FitBit did. I also like the breadcrumb trails and compass for hiking and mountain biking. I can check the current weather and temps and days forecast just touching a button (like I just did a moment ago to see if I'd be swimming later this afternoon). I also keep a close eye on my HR, particularly resting and how quickly my HR comes down after exercise as another data point for where my fitness is...

    Steps and stuff are just kind of gravy...I don't have any particular step goals since I walk my dog most mornings and I'm typically somewhere between 10K-15K steps per day...but I like seeing the data. I glance at the calories from time to time and for the most part they seem reasonable relative to years of data I had previous to owning one of these things...but it's not something I pay a lot of attention to. The sleep tracking was pretty interesting when I quit drinking the copious amounts of booze I was drinking throughout the pandemic...sleep was very noticeably improved IRL and as indicated on my watch...so that was kinda cool, but not something I look at a ton.

    I've never had my Garmin or my FitBit synched to MFP...but I don't log, so it wouldn't really be of any particular benefit.
    edited May 24
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,695 Member Member Posts: 1,695 Member
    I've gone through a couple of trackers, an HRM, and even a boring old pedometer. They break, or I lose them, or I forget to charge them. Now I use my phone as a pedometer, and MapMyWalk has been a very valuable surgery recovery tool to keep me from overdoing it. I use the JEFIT app to keep track of my strength training. And of course there's MFP for logging calories. I'm sure some people would consider an all-in-one tracker where it's all on one site to be more streamlined than 3 apps + the phone pedometer, but I'm pretty slovenly and scatterbrained as it is, so one device with a Fitness folder with the relevant apps is a thing I can manage. And it's all free :D
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Member Posts: 1,168 Member Member Posts: 1,168 Member
    I use my Fitbit as a watch and to track my sleep primarily.
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,538 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,538 Member
    I wear my Fitbit constantly and expect to do so for the rest of my life.
    But I don't really wear it to track fitness activity, though seeing my steps is nice.

    I'm 100% sold on 'em because they track my sleep.
  • 33gail3333gail33 Member Posts: 885 Member Member Posts: 885 Member
    dave_in_ni wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    In a way, the question doesn’t even compute, for me. I’ve long used a HRM, GPS tracker, and sometimes specialized devices to collect performance-related metrics. That was before mass-market multi-function fitness trackers were available at all.

    Now that I have a Garmin that integrates all of those, plus automates some estimates I used to do more laboriously (like resting heart rate), plus gives me estimates I didn’t have before at all, I love my Garmin. That’s true even though its all-day calorie estimate is *wildly* inaccurate for me (I don’t synch it to MFP because of that).

    I used to use a Polar HRM, and correlate it with pace/distance/time data from my Concept 2 rowing machine, tracking hoped-for things like lowered HR at the same pace, for example. I also had a Garmin (Forerunner) that would do pace/distance tracking for on-water rowing. I would use that data in junction with the Polar HR data, as well as for evaluating different technical changes or strategies. (Example: If we do 500m max-effort rowing pieces, is our double faster at 25 spm or 30 spm? (If you’re thinking 30 is always faster . . . it isn’t, because technique can degrade at higher spm.)) It took a 3rd device to get the SPM, and there were not apps to integrate all those pieces at the time, so it was ballpark-ish, or spreadsheet analysis with aggregated data streams.

    Now, Garmin gives me reasonable estimates of all that stuff – pace, SPM, HR, distance, duration – time-integrated. That’s pretty useful, and a time-saver. On top of that, it replaces the wristwatch I’ve worn most of my life (for a while in the 1970s, I carried a pocket watch, because my job was destructive to wristwatches of the era). Though I'm not competing any more, performance improvement is still part of the fun, for me.

    I do use Garmin’s calorie estimates for some exercises, where I don’t have an estimating source I consider more likely to be accurate. That’s a handy side-benefit, but not the key reason I appreciate having such a device.
    I understand that we’re all different people with different priorities, but the seeming common idea on MFP that the main point of these devices is calorie estimates and step counts . . . that’s really alien to me.

    I was speaking about myself really. I was never into running, just weights and walking, It was steps I was after and calorie total. Trackers are useless for weights and as you say the calorie total was not accurate and neither were the steps really, so for me it was kind of a pointless device. I was after it more for health I guess that fitness, we'll not even talk about sleep tracking which ended up giving me insomnia.

    How did a watch give you insomnia? I sleep very poorly and track my sleep with mine but I can't imagine how it could cause insomnia.

    I really love my Fitbit and when my first one broke I got a new one. (I like this one even better because it has a huge screen and I can actually see the time with my terrible eyesight without my glasses.) Been using a tracker consistently for about 4 years now and not fed up with it yet - maybe I will be one day for now I love it. But I don't use data that requires a huge amount of accuracy either - just general active minutes, steps, sleep and heart rate trends.
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,237 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,237 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    dave_in_ni wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    In a way, the question doesn’t even compute, for me. I’ve long used a HRM, GPS tracker, and sometimes specialized devices to collect performance-related metrics. That was before mass-market multi-function fitness trackers were available at all.

    Now that I have a Garmin that integrates all of those, plus automates some estimates I used to do more laboriously (like resting heart rate), plus gives me estimates I didn’t have before at all, I love my Garmin. That’s true even though its all-day calorie estimate is *wildly* inaccurate for me (I don’t synch it to MFP because of that).

    I used to use a Polar HRM, and correlate it with pace/distance/time data from my Concept 2 rowing machine, tracking hoped-for things like lowered HR at the same pace, for example. I also had a Garmin (Forerunner) that would do pace/distance tracking for on-water rowing. I would use that data in junction with the Polar HR data, as well as for evaluating different technical changes or strategies. (Example: If we do 500m max-effort rowing pieces, is our double faster at 25 spm or 30 spm? (If you’re thinking 30 is always faster . . . it isn’t, because technique can degrade at higher spm.)) It took a 3rd device to get the SPM, and there were not apps to integrate all those pieces at the time, so it was ballpark-ish, or spreadsheet analysis with aggregated data streams.

    Now, Garmin gives me reasonable estimates of all that stuff – pace, SPM, HR, distance, duration – time-integrated. That’s pretty useful, and a time-saver. On top of that, it replaces the wristwatch I’ve worn most of my life (for a while in the 1970s, I carried a pocket watch, because my job was destructive to wristwatches of the era). Though I'm not competing any more, performance improvement is still part of the fun, for me.

    I do use Garmin’s calorie estimates for some exercises, where I don’t have an estimating source I consider more likely to be accurate. That’s a handy side-benefit, but not the key reason I appreciate having such a device.
    I understand that we’re all different people with different priorities, but the seeming common idea on MFP that the main point of these devices is calorie estimates and step counts . . . that’s really alien to me.

    I was speaking about myself really. I was never into running, just weights and walking, It was steps I was after and calorie total. Trackers are useless for weights and as you say the calorie total was not accurate and neither were the steps really, so for me it was kind of a pointless device. I was after it more for health I guess that fitness, we'll not even talk about sleep tracking which ended up giving me insomnia.

    How did a watch give you insomnia? I sleep very poorly and track my sleep with mine but I can't imagine how it could cause insomnia.

    I've seen multiple reports (featuring medical researchers and other sleep experts) about people in sleep studies often becoming so stressed about "performing well" in their sleep tracking stats that it ends up interfering with their sleep. I'm personally not one of them, but I understand how it can happen. If I have two bad nights in a row, I usually have a third bad night as I'm already stressed about "I'm so tired and really need a good night sleep" and then the stress makes me sleep worse because life has a twisted sense of humor.

    I think this is a similar pattern to the multitudes of people who struggle with performance anxiety in school exams, can't handle daily weigh-ins because the natural ups and downs freak them out, and so on.

    (Edited to correct a sentence that made no sense because my thought trailed off in the middle...)
    edited May 26
  • Sara3vegSara3veg Member Posts: 47 Member Member Posts: 47 Member
    I started using a fitbit last year, as motivation to get out and walk more during the lockdown craziness. In the time I used it I also proceeded to gain almost 25lbs. I blame the fitbit. Ha, actually the weight gain was because I had stopped following my maintenance plan and stopped being mindful of calorie intake. But, I just didn't see any real benefit of wearing it. Overall I walked about the same. I misplaced it a couple months ago and haven't bothered looking for it. I don't feel any need/want to get another one.
    edited May 26
  • gradchica27gradchica27 Member Posts: 770 Member Member Posts: 770 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    dave_in_ni wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    In a way, the question doesn’t even compute, for me. I’ve long used a HRM, GPS tracker, and sometimes specialized devices to collect performance-related metrics. That was before mass-market multi-function fitness trackers were available at all.

    Now that I have a Garmin that integrates all of those, plus automates some estimates I used to do more laboriously (like resting heart rate), plus gives me estimates I didn’t have before at all, I love my Garmin. That’s true even though its all-day calorie estimate is *wildly* inaccurate for me (I don’t synch it to MFP because of that).

    I used to use a Polar HRM, and correlate it with pace/distance/time data from my Concept 2 rowing machine, tracking hoped-for things like lowered HR at the same pace, for example. I also had a Garmin (Forerunner) that would do pace/distance tracking for on-water rowing. I would use that data in junction with the Polar HR data, as well as for evaluating different technical changes or strategies. (Example: If we do 500m max-effort rowing pieces, is our double faster at 25 spm or 30 spm? (If you’re thinking 30 is always faster . . . it isn’t, because technique can degrade at higher spm.)) It took a 3rd device to get the SPM, and there were not apps to integrate all those pieces at the time, so it was ballpark-ish, or spreadsheet analysis with aggregated data streams.

    Now, Garmin gives me reasonable estimates of all that stuff – pace, SPM, HR, distance, duration – time-integrated. That’s pretty useful, and a time-saver. On top of that, it replaces the wristwatch I’ve worn most of my life (for a while in the 1970s, I carried a pocket watch, because my job was destructive to wristwatches of the era). Though I'm not competing any more, performance improvement is still part of the fun, for me.

    I do use Garmin’s calorie estimates for some exercises, where I don’t have an estimating source I consider more likely to be accurate. That’s a handy side-benefit, but not the key reason I appreciate having such a device.
    I understand that we’re all different people with different priorities, but the seeming common idea on MFP that the main point of these devices is calorie estimates and step counts . . . that’s really alien to me.

    I was speaking about myself really. I was never into running, just weights and walking, It was steps I was after and calorie total. Trackers are useless for weights and as you say the calorie total was not accurate and neither were the steps really, so for me it was kind of a pointless device. I was after it more for health I guess that fitness, we'll not even talk about sleep tracking which ended up giving me insomnia.

    How did a watch give you insomnia? I sleep very poorly and track my sleep with mine but I can't imagine how it could cause insomnia.

    I've seen multiple reports (featuring medical researchers and other sleep experts) about people in sleep studies often becoming so stressed about "performing well" in their sleep tracking stats that it ends up interfering with their sleep. I'm personally not one of them, but I understand how it can happen. If I have two bad nights in a row, I usually have a third bad night as I'm already stressed about "I'm so tired and really need a good night sleep" and then the stress makes me sleep worse because life has a twisted sense of humor.

    I think this is a similar pattern to the multitudes of people who struggle with performance anxiety in school exams, can't handle daily weigh-ins because the natural ups and downs freak them out, and so on.

    (Edited to correct a sentence that made no sense because my thought trailed off in the middle...)

    I have heard (on here? From a friend? This was months ago) about someone whose Fitbit said they had poor sleep (constantly waking or in light sleep, no prolonged deep sleep). They got a sleep study done that found no problems, but didn’t believe it bc...FitBit said differently.

    Neither Garmin nor FitBit nor Halo had anything like reliable sleep tracking for me. I lay pretty still on my back when trying to get to sleep and have a low resting heart rate. It would constantly tell me I fell asleep in 5 min when I know I was often looking at the clock and hour or more later, never having dropped off. It would report a night of horrible insomnia as an awesome night of sleep fairly regularly.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,600 Member Member Posts: 1,600 Member

    I have heard (on here? From a friend? This was months ago) about someone whose Fitbit said they had poor sleep (constantly waking or in light sleep, no prolonged deep sleep). They got a sleep study done that found no problems, but didn’t believe it bc...FitBit said differently.

    Neither Garmin nor FitBit nor Halo had anything like reliable sleep tracking for me. I lay pretty still on my back when trying to get to sleep and have a low resting heart rate. It would constantly tell me I fell asleep in 5 min when I know I was often looking at the clock and hour or more later, never having dropped off. It would report a night of horrible insomnia as an awesome night of sleep fairly regularly.

    I have also noticed that my Fitbit thinks I'm sleeping when I'm really staring at the ceiling, wishing I was actually sleeping, but it doesn't seem to translate into a report of awesome sleep for me. I don't pay much attention to the sleep tracking anymore. I think it might be the least accurate report on the entire dashboard, for me.

    But I would miss the silent alarm clock, if I were to give up the device entirely. For that feature alone, I will keep wearing it, even if all the other features stop working for me.

    I have also noticed that although my Fitbit is supposed to track distance when linked with the GPS on my phone, it ALWAYS reads short, even though it's using the same GPS data as Zombies, Run! And the first 10 minutes or so of every run has strange heart rate data. Either my heart does weird things for the first 10 minutes of every run, or the watch takes a little time to start reading properly. It could even potentially be both - most of us runners know that the first mile is the hardest - it could be because our hearts aren't settled into a good rhythm!

  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Member Posts: 8,738 Member Member Posts: 8,738 Member
    My fitbit thinks I sleep way better than I do. It often doesn't record when I wake up several times in the middle of the night unless I physically get out of bed.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,793 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,793 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    dave_in_ni wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    In a way, the question doesn’t even compute, for me. I’ve long used a HRM, GPS tracker, and sometimes specialized devices to collect performance-related metrics. That was before mass-market multi-function fitness trackers were available at all.

    Now that I have a Garmin that integrates all of those, plus automates some estimates I used to do more laboriously (like resting heart rate), plus gives me estimates I didn’t have before at all, I love my Garmin. That’s true even though its all-day calorie estimate is *wildly* inaccurate for me (I don’t synch it to MFP because of that).

    I used to use a Polar HRM, and correlate it with pace/distance/time data from my Concept 2 rowing machine, tracking hoped-for things like lowered HR at the same pace, for example. I also had a Garmin (Forerunner) that would do pace/distance tracking for on-water rowing. I would use that data in junction with the Polar HR data, as well as for evaluating different technical changes or strategies. (Example: If we do 500m max-effort rowing pieces, is our double faster at 25 spm or 30 spm? (If you’re thinking 30 is always faster . . . it isn’t, because technique can degrade at higher spm.)) It took a 3rd device to get the SPM, and there were not apps to integrate all those pieces at the time, so it was ballpark-ish, or spreadsheet analysis with aggregated data streams.

    Now, Garmin gives me reasonable estimates of all that stuff – pace, SPM, HR, distance, duration – time-integrated. That’s pretty useful, and a time-saver. On top of that, it replaces the wristwatch I’ve worn most of my life (for a while in the 1970s, I carried a pocket watch, because my job was destructive to wristwatches of the era). Though I'm not competing any more, performance improvement is still part of the fun, for me.

    I do use Garmin’s calorie estimates for some exercises, where I don’t have an estimating source I consider more likely to be accurate. That’s a handy side-benefit, but not the key reason I appreciate having such a device.
    I understand that we’re all different people with different priorities, but the seeming common idea on MFP that the main point of these devices is calorie estimates and step counts . . . that’s really alien to me.

    I was speaking about myself really. I was never into running, just weights and walking, It was steps I was after and calorie total. Trackers are useless for weights and as you say the calorie total was not accurate and neither were the steps really, so for me it was kind of a pointless device. I was after it more for health I guess that fitness, we'll not even talk about sleep tracking which ended up giving me insomnia.

    How did a watch give you insomnia? I sleep very poorly and track my sleep with mine but I can't imagine how it could cause insomnia.

    I've seen multiple reports (featuring medical researchers and other sleep experts) about people in sleep studies often becoming so stressed about "performing well" in their sleep tracking stats that it ends up interfering with their sleep. I'm personally not one of them, but I understand how it can happen. If I have two bad nights in a row, I usually have a third bad night as I'm already stressed about "I'm so tired and really need a good night sleep" and then the stress makes me sleep worse because life has a twisted sense of humor.

    I think this is a similar pattern to the multitudes of people who struggle with performance anxiety in school exams, can't handle daily weigh-ins because the natural ups and downs freak them out, and so on.

    (Edited to correct a sentence that made no sense because my thought trailed off in the middle...)

    I have heard (on here? From a friend? This was months ago) about someone whose Fitbit said they had poor sleep (constantly waking or in light sleep, no prolonged deep sleep). They got a sleep study done that found no problems, but didn’t believe it bc...FitBit said differently.

    Neither Garmin nor FitBit nor Halo had anything like reliable sleep tracking for me. I lay pretty still on my back when trying to get to sleep and have a low resting heart rate. It would constantly tell me I fell asleep in 5 min when I know I was often looking at the clock and hour or more later, never having dropped off. It would report a night of horrible insomnia as an awesome night of sleep fairly regularly.

    I'm another for whom the tracker's sleep tracking is absurdly wrong (in my case it's Garmin, but I don't think it matters much which, as they're doing similar things). It routinely thinks I'm asleep when I was actually awake, reading or texting on my phone, say - so it's not that phenomenon of me thinking I'm awake when I've actually dozed. Same deal as you, low RHR, tend to be physically still in bed.

    I quoted your post because I did have an in-facility sleep study last year during which I was wearing my Garmin. I always have extra trouble sleeping during those, and spent much of the last few hours meditating, trying to relax and clear my mind, so I'd go back to sleep . . . which mostly didn't work. After the night was over and I was unplugged from the many monitoring devices, I showed the tech (who'd been watching my sleep all night) what Garmin thought had happened. It saw mostly solid sleep, all night. We laughed and laughed . . . . 😉
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