Friday, September 30, 2011

Fitbit – Easy way to track your day

This little Fitbit device gets you motivated to do just a bit more be fit.
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“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Even though I’m a “computer guy” I normally don’t go in for gadgets, It took a long time and a lot of convincing for me to even get a smart phone.  When I do get a new gadget I’m always hesitant to recommend it to others until I’ve had it quite a while.  There’s been too many times I thought something was the ‘next great thing’ and then after using a few weeks – well it wasn’t. 
So I’ve waited this long before blogging anything about the Fitbit.  I’ve had it since December 2010 – but it actually sat in it’s box until May 2011 when I got around to opening it.  I was convinced into getting it by a friend at work that has been using it for a couple of years now.  So what is it?
Essentially it is a solid state electronic pedometer.  It is such a fitbitsimple little device, the design is nearly perfect.  It measures your steps, converts them into miles and calories burned.  It wirelessly sends this information to the website to track your history.  The Fitbit has only one button.  It’s not an off/on switch – the fit bit is always on.  Each day at midnight it resets its self to zero steps (it saves the data for weeks in case for some reason it hasn’t ‘synchronized’ it’s self with the website yet.  When you press the button it tells you how many steps you have taken so far today, press again – how many miles, press again how many calories have burned, again and it shows a flower indicating how active you have been (more petals the better).  Don’t touch it for a second and it goes back to it’s normal state.
The beauty of the Fitbit is that it is so simple.  The battery is recharged when you put it on its’ base which has a USB connection your computer.  The base also acts as it’s wireless connection.  The charge lasts a LONG TIME – weeks.  This is a big advantage over using an “app” on my smartphone for a similar function.  I wear my Fitbit all the time.  It is always on.  Always tracking me.  Tiny and unobtrusive – I don’t even think about it.  It has been a tremendous help in keeping me motivated to reach certain “goals” (in # of steps), partly inspired by friendly competition with a few of my buddies that also have Fitbits.
The website that it feeds can not only be used to see your history but also to track other activities and your diet (which you need to key in what you eat if you want to track calorie intake – this is the one flaw of the Fitbit design – it has no way of knowing automatically what you are eating). 
Alright I’m not going to rehash all the information about the Fitbit that you can get from their web site.  If you are interested take a look at the site:  FitBit.com This little gadget costs $99 and and is well worth it (and BTY: if you buy it through a link on this blog BackPackBaseCamp.com will get a small commission).
While I’m being a bit commercial, I have to put a plug in for my kids (9 & 13 years old).  Last year they did a lemonade stand and it didn’t make to much money so now they got this idea to start making dog treats.  It is off to a good start, we put a simple web site together http://wilbursbiscuits.com/ and they are selling at local craft fairs.  It is top quality all natural stuff if you have a dog and are interested check it out.
One more thing: Backpackbasecamp.com is now an affiliate of Eddie Bauer; There First Ascent line is great stuff.  For the next few days they are having a 50% off sale. In addition until Oct 2nd you can get 20% off of EVERYTHING is you used code: FALL 2011