Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel
With the latest tube strike in London having encouraged – or forced – us to find alternative means to get to work – namely walking – it’s interesting to see and keep track of movements throughout the day. Although we’re encouraged to walk 10,000 steps a day, that’s a hard ask considering long working hours and a need to do everything as fast as possible, so if there’s a shortcut, it’s difficult not to take it. We not try to cram so much more into every 24-hour period that this often comes at the expense of our fitness and weekly exercise count.
Having said that, I’ve been using Fitbit’s Zip, a wireless activity tracker, for a little while. At £49.99 it doesn’t come cheap, but on the other hand it does have some features that your average pedometer could only dream of. In addition to tracking your steps, calories and distance – all of which is tracks rather well – it also comes with a small bluetooth device that you can plug into your computer and use to sync all of your data to your computer and some smartphones. Not only does it help you to see how well – or badly – you’ve done this week, but it also gives you an insight into which days you’re at your best and which days are clearly very lazy. It’s a neat little feature and hasn’t certainly helped to encourage me more so that when I get my weekly update – usually on a Monday – I feel happy with my exercise levels.
The weekly update tells you about your ‘most active’ and ‘least active’ day, it updates you on your total steps, total distance, total cals burned and weight change (if that’s something you’re interested in). What’s more, you get some great badges to keep you interested. I myself have received badges for my daily steps – 20,000 is my best and my next one to achieve is 25,000 – and my lifetime distance – 750km so far and my next badge awaits me at 1,000km. I love this as it feels like I’m literally walking towards my next badge and as competitive as I am that’s definitely a feature that keeps my interested.
You can also keep up-to-date with your progress downloading the app for your phone, which you can also link to other apps, including MyFitness Pal. Of course this is only beneficial when you update MyFitness Pal (or similar apps) with your daily calorie intake as well as any other exercise. I don’t use my Zip to track exercise at the gym, as I keep track of this separately, but I find it useful to give me an indication of my daily steps so I know when I need to be a bit better and when I’ve done well. You can also share this with your friends if you’re so inclined, although I prefer to keep this to myself.
It comes in some nice colours, including blue, pink, green and grey, which is nicer than the colours you tend to get. To find out more, go to http://www.fitbit.com/uk/zip