03 May, 2016

If it's not recorded, did it happen?

My Fitbit doesn’t work.
Don’t leave! Please… hear me out!

I’m not a Fitbit user by nature. I eschewed the call of “tracking” my exercise and general fitness in this way, and rolled my eyes with the rest of you when coworkers discussed ad nauseum “getting my steps in” and ranted about “I wasn’t wearing my Fitbit, so it didn’t count!” WHAT? Morons.

A co-worker who I occasionally walk with at lunch-time had her Fitbit break while on vacation, bought an upgraded new one, and found out later that the old one still worked. She offered it to me. Free.

Um, okay. I’ll try it – let me see what the hype is about. I've had it about month now.

I don’t get it. I don’t. Here are my observations:

My Fitbit (Fitbit One) automatically tracks steps, miles and flights of stairs. Sort of. 

1. The coworker advised me that the mileage thing seems to be off. (I can't tell.)
2. My first flight downstairs in the morning doesn’t EVER count. It only tracks beginning with the first flight up. WHY?
3. My primary workout is yoga. This is not tracked. At all.
4. Neither is time on a stationary bike. Presumably, if I had my phone linked up and with me on an actual bike ride, the GPS may provide mileage for a workout.
5. I went into the app on my phone where, allegedly, I can add untracked exercise. Only to find that I can only log “run, walk, or hike”. WHY? How is this beneficial to anyone maintaining a healthy, varied exercise regime?

I would be very interested in the sleep tracking feature available. BUT I need to have the wristband to clip my Fitbit onto in order to even see if it works. I don’t have this, so I don’t even know if it works.

IF this product worked to track all my exercise, I could see the benefit, but when the Fitbit says I’ve had 17 active minutes on a day when I busted my butt and got in over 60 minutes of legitimate exercise (weight training? Fuggedaboutit) I am loathe to put my trust in it. If I have to manually enter it anyway, why not just do what I do now and mark it on my planner?

I'm not sold.
Do you have a Fitbit One? What am I missing? How can I add my hours of cycling, weights and yoga?

(Please don’t try to sell me on an upgrade. I will not pay for a device to track what I could just as easily track in my planner.)


  1. Both my parents have the Jawbone. My mom got it first, and then she got my dad one later. She loves it, but her primary exercise is walking. I definitely think it has made her more active.

    My dad has always been an exerciser, and he's got the same frustration when it doesn't record what he's doing. He likes the info on the steps throughout the day, but overall, he's not really using it to drive activity.

    I tried using the app on my phone for a while, and I still use the step counter when I decide to go for a walk when I want a lower-pace day, but I tried it with aerobics, Zumba, and interval weight training, and all it really does is time the activity. I assume the FitBit does more...but how would you know?!

    I think they're good for people who need to increase their activity, and will do it mainly through walking, but they haven't yet invented a gadget that will tell us if that yoga practice was as grueling as it felt or if the women from the Firm are, in fact, demons.

    1. Demons. Definitely demons!

      I know I could look up how-tos and tips online, and I'll get around to it eventually. If I have to add things in manually, though, it doesn't really seem worth it for me.

      Meh. It was free.

  2. It helps me take more steps in that I don't care if I have to park further away, it's more steps. I use the restroom that's further from my department to get more steps, ect. So it does motivate me to walk more. That's also because I compete against my mom so sometimes I need the steps. She's a walker.

    I will say I have learned that I wake up between 3 and 4 every morning. I don't know why, I don't even realize that I was waking up. I just find it odd but I do like that it tracks my sleep.

    As far as the floors climbed, even an upgrade won't help you there. My boss' office is up a flight of stairs. I go up probably 7 to 10 times a day. It usually records half that.

    You can add activity but like you said, it mainly records the time. I know you can manually add steps as well if that's what you want.

    To be honest, I was really gung ho on walking when I bought mine last fall but into it as much as I was. I still check it but I don't bat an eye anymore if I don't hit 10,000, which I rarely get anymore.

    1. I have heard that the competitions are a great motivator. I'm not too worried about my steps, because I exercise in other ways, but I do feel kind of disappointed when I have a big exercise day and forget to put it on!

  3. I don't get it either. Anyone serious about exercise knows that resistance is as important (if not more so) than cardio and if the fitbit doesn't even recognise this as an exercise form then it is way off. Anyone not particularly serious about exercise is either going to ignore it or be made to feel bad if it tells them they aren't doing enough!

    1. What I get from my friends that use it is that they find it motivational. I find my scale and the fit of my clothes motivational!

  4. I don't have a FitBit! I just can't get myself motivated for exercise of any kind. But I will keep working on that motivation!!

    1. Well, I wouldn't have spent any money on it. That's my view.

  5. Definitely not trying to sell you on it. I got one, and I like it, but I live on a third floor apartment (yay for credit for climbing stairs), and am primarily a walker. I do walking meditation, and the Fitbit helps keep me accountable. When I can finally get a key to the gym at the apartments, not being able to record weight training will definitely make me bonkers. Sounds like your planner works just great for you, so kudos! Paper to pen can be extremely satisfying.

    1. Thanks Jerimi!
      I still wear the fitbit and keep checking it... except morning that I go to the gym first and leave in the dark, in which case, so far, I invariably forget the thing!

  6. I just read an article last week saying that FitBit technology is already on it's way out. It was a fad craze that many jumped on, but they're not making any more. Technology has improved.

    1. I keep seeing pop-up ads for a "leaf" thing - don't know if it's any different.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.