leisure walking + activity tracker

I don't do very regular exercise (I know I should, blablabla). I do, however, walk quite a lot through the city as an alternative to getting public transport - I am lucky to live centrally in a big city and often choose to walk to wherever i'm going. These are often 30, 40-minute walks, or longer, but I find it really hard to track this activity properly and find out how many calories I spend with it. I can track the distance easily enough (I map the walk on endomondo), but the time is harder, as it's not a proper uninterrupted fitness walk, and i'm usually not willing to arrive at whatever appointment I have all sweaty! :)
Also, I need to pause for traffic lights, or sometimes stop to look at something or buy something, or sometimes i'm walking leisurely.

I was wondering if buying a fitness tracker could help me track these calories more easily, and if so, whether anybody could recommend a reliable one. I have an iphone 6, if it helps!

Replies

  • jessicapk
    jessicapk Posts: 574 Member
    I have a Fitbit Flex for this very reason. I consider my activity level "sedentary" for MFP standards but am often busier than that and the Fitbit links up to MFP to adjust the calories. I've only had it since Christmas but I think it's going to help a LOT! I read a lot of reviews on different trackers and settled on the Fitbit for ease of use / wear and it's reliability. It links up great via Bluetooth with my Android and I'm sure it would do fine with iPhone.
  • LoulouRuns
    LoulouRuns Posts: 16 Member
    The endomondo app will do all that for you. Just use it as you walk and have auto-pause turned on for the traffic lights.
  • njmark72
    njmark72 Posts: 99 Member
    MapMyWalk - iPhone app tracks how much you walk, how long you walk and how many calories you burn when walking... It's free... I recommend setting up an account online and entering all of your height, weight, gender info so the calorie tracker is closer to being accurate...

    Good Luck!
  • weeziews
    weeziews Posts: 162 Member
    You should get a fitbit. You wear it all day on your writst and it will track your steps. It's very easy to set up and use. It will sync with myfitnesspal too! You are doing a lot of walking and you should be burning a lot of calories, plus a lot of steps per day! They run around $99. I know there are some similar off brand wrist fitness trackers that are probably cheaper, but I don't have any experience with them. https://www.fitbit.com/store?gclid=Cj0KEQiArK6lBRC5-_jv48uxgrgBEiQAuxdZ9aq5IDH1YR0jGjbyPFET3gCVzceK5okRb-zD7C7z_t4aAjP48P8HAQ
    100.
  • eemmerson929
    eemmerson929 Posts: 27 Member
    The iPhone6 has a step counter built into it in the Health app. You can look at this page to set it up to be your activity tracker in MFP. http://myfitnesspal.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1525167-how-does-the-step-tracking-feature-work-

    I still personally use a Fitbit because my company paid for it and we have internal challenges and standings.
  • andielyn
    andielyn Posts: 233 Member
    jessicapk wrote: »
    I have a Fitbit Flex for this very reason. I consider my activity level "sedentary" for MFP standards but am often busier than that and the Fitbit links up to MFP to adjust the calories. I've only had it since Christmas but I think it's going to help a LOT! I read a lot of reviews on different trackers and settled on the Fitbit for ease of use / wear and it's reliability. It links up great via Bluetooth with my Android and I'm sure it would do fine with iPhone.

    I also have a Fitbit flex and it does a great job at this sort of thing. And like Loulou says, you can link it to MFP and it will adjust your calories accordingly.

    If you want to time your walks, you can tap the Flex to record an activity session or use the app on the phone (although I find just tapping the Flex easier. Even without this it will track your daily activity and you will see the spikes on your activity chart when your walking. I've had mine several months a love it.

  • sandrahover
    sandrahover Posts: 33 Member
    App called Pacer. Super easy. And can be linked to MyFitnessPal to automaticallt sync the calories you burn.
  • weeziews
    weeziews Posts: 162 Member
    njmark72 wrote: »
    MapMyWalk - iPhone app tracks how much you walk, how long you walk and how many calories you burn when walking... It's free... I recommend setting up an account online and entering all of your height, weight, gender info so the calorie tracker is closer to being accurate...

    Good Luck!

    Mapmywalk is a great idea and free!! Good idea.
  • Phrick
    Phrick Posts: 2,765 Member
    Question: did you recently add all this walking to your life, or have you been doing it for quite some time?

    I ask because if you've been doing all this walking all along, and you are now deciding that you'd like to lose a few pounds of weight (or maybe more, I don't know your goal), then it seems counterproductive to start counting the walking now. I mean, if it was part of your overweight lifestyle, then clearly it wasn't helping anything then and it seems like counting it toward exercise, in such a way that you'd earn extra calories to eat, would defeat your goal of losing weight.

    On the other hand, if you used to take public transit but have recently started doing the walking everywhere, that's different and I would in that case definitely suggest finding a way to track it (via phone app, pedometer, FitBit or whatever other means floats your boat).
  • luisabaeta
    luisabaeta Posts: 30 Member
    Thanks, guys, for the advice!

    A lot of people seemed to mention apps on the iphone. My phone is quite new (i've only had it since christmas), but do you think it can accurately trace walking and pausing reliably? I used to have an iphone4 and I tried that with the endomondo app, but the gps was not reliable and kept telling me I walked more than I did (it traced me doing little zigzags along the way, which amounted to quite a big difference in the end). Perhaps the fitbit used together with these apps can give me a better result... Especially if it can count the pauses. But if you guys are happy with MapMyWalk/Pacer/Endomondo on the phone alone, maybe I can start with that.

    Phrick, thanks for the advice. I am definitely walking more now, but the reality is that my weight has fluctuated as I have not had much of a steady routine. My activity level is set to sedentary on MFP anyway, but I feel that if I can track these walked calories, it will encourage me to walk more often.

  • luisabaeta
    luisabaeta Posts: 30 Member
    Thanks, PlaydohPants!
    Can a pedometer (say, the fitbit, for instance) tell whether you are going upstairs or just walking in a straight line? Does it track calories as well?
  • Phrick
    Phrick Posts: 2,765 Member
    luisabaeta wrote: »
    Thanks, PlaydohPants!
    Can a pedometer (say, the fitbit, for instance) tell whether you are going upstairs or just walking in a straight line? Does it track calories as well?

    Fitbit does track calories burned, and on the FitBit website and app you have the option to track your food intake as well (or you can link it with your My Fitness Pal account and log in only one place which I found to be easier since they share the info back and forth for you).

    Some FitBit models do count elevation changes/flights of stairs (and some such as the Flex and the Zip do not, so be sure you have double-checked that you're getting the features you want)
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    luisabaeta wrote: »
    I don't do very regular exercise (I know I should, blablabla). I do, however, walk quite a lot through the city as an alternative to getting public transport - I am lucky to live centrally in a big city and often choose to walk to wherever i'm going. These are often 30, 40-minute walks, or longer, but I find it really hard to track this activity properly and find out how many calories I spend with it. I can track the distance easily enough (I map the walk on endomondo), but the time is harder, as it's not a proper uninterrupted fitness walk, and i'm usually not willing to arrive at whatever appointment I have all sweaty! :)
    Also, I need to pause for traffic lights, or sometimes stop to look at something or buy something, or sometimes i'm walking leisurely.

    I was wondering if buying a fitness tracker could help me track these calories more easily, and if so, whether anybody could recommend a reliable one. I have an iphone 6, if it helps!
    The distance is mainly what determines the calorie burn. I wouldn't worry about the pauses. None of this is an exact science. Estimates are all we have and all we need.

  • luisabaeta
    luisabaeta Posts: 30 Member
    The distance is mainly what determines the calorie burn. I wouldn't worry about the pauses. None of this is an exact science. Estimates are all we have and all we need.

    Really? Walking 1km slowly and pausing or running 1km burns the same amount of calories? :o