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Fitness Gadgets and Apps Simplified

You probably heard that the Apple Watch is on pre-sale. you do know you need and iPhone to make it work?! Most of us who use MFP are aware of the sync-able apps that are available in additon to our beloved MFP. How the heck do we know what to do?

If you run, you know that Garmin is king of the race world. Mostly because it is a wrist wearable device.

Fitness bling and apps are big business. As an ex-fat guy I have a Fitbit One. As a runner, I have a Garmin 305. As 1st world human I have an iPhone and an Galaxy Android. Add to that a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, cadence sensor (for my bike), and now a Pebble watch, you can imagine what it takes to keep it all working.

To solve any problem, you need to decide what you need to know!

Do you walk. run indoors or out, want to count steps, GPS track your various workouts from mowing the lawn to dear I say, calories burned during sex?

Looking at the health and fitness offerings, here is where I stand. There is nothing better for tracking food than MFP. It has gotten better tha last 4 years. I also noticed that it was purchsed by Under Armor. Anyone who makes compressions shorts that will give you an orgasm just putting them on is okay in my book.

- Step counters: They count steps using an AVERAGE stride length. If you are busy and on your feet at work, you can rack up a lot of steps in an 8-hour shift. Fitbit is one of the most popular, and I have the One. Fitbit users who also use GPS apps and watches will notice that they are not always that close in tems of miles (or kilometers). You can adjust your stride length to make it more accurate. Endomondo (also Under Armor now) *sigh* will also sync your Fitbit as will MFP.

- GPS Apps and watches: These use two forms of calculations. One is to triangulate from cell phone towers, while the other connects to GPS satellites. This is the main reason they may have a some discrepancy from each other. Tree and building cover an throw off the GPS and poor cell phone coverage can ruin an indoor run. Some use both. A GPS will map a run, walk, cycle, or snow shoveling workout. They have trouble on treadmills for all the obvious reasons. Your step counter or additional Shoe Pod can help.

- Additional sensors: Bluetooth technology allows you to add specialized sensors to your phone app or SmartWatch. I use a Wahoo heart rate monitor strap, but I have used Polar as well. My Garmin has a HRM strap too. I also have a cadence sensor from Wahoo on one bike (indoor) and a Garmin one for outdoor road riding. There are shoe pods that act as step counters as well.

I know it's a lot to digest if you are not tech savvy.

I wrote this because I have finally got it all simplified. This is what I am doing.
- Endomondo (for iPhone and Android, I use both) It's a paid version, but they have a free one. It will import tracks from Garmin, Nike and MapMyRun and any GPS which exports tracks. It almost perfectly matches my Garmin 305 up to a full marathon. You can edit run times post race to put in your official time. Oh yeah, it syncs with Fitbit and MyFitnessPal too.
- Wahoo cadence sensor (bike) and HRM strap: They are Bluetooth and synch with Endomondo.
- Pebble watch: It will show the Endomondo app on the wrist screen plus it will show every other notification for every app on your phone which is configured including phone calls, texts, Facebook, MFP and PornStars. It is a lot cheaper than the Apple Watch and you can get one today.
- I also have a Mophie battery pack so I get 12-20 hours of phone time.

Just an attempt to share my quest to cut down on apps and gadgets. Looking forward to your feedback.

22 votes + -


suttercm wrote 86 months ago:
Hmmm....apparently I need to purchase Under Armor compression shorts!
dsjohndrow wrote 86 months ago:
you do!!!!!!!!!!!!
sdmarkow wrote 86 months ago:
I have a Garmin 405CX that I use for my walks/runs. I've been considering an activity tracker, but I am not all that sure that its worth buying since I don't like wearing a watch and I'm not sure its going to tell me anything I don't already know. What is the point of the activity trackers? I already know what direction my weight is going and I doubt that I would eat more if I saw that I walked more. What do you use your fitbit for if you have a garmin watch for runs/bikes...?
dsjohndrow wrote 86 months ago:
Getting fit is more than weight loss. Activity trackers help us understand if a shopping trip in the mall, or walking around Walmart, the corporate headquarters or the neighborhood. I used to use a Garmin, not I get it all in one place (phone) and I can display it on the wrist. My Fitbit is not a watch, it's a One.
fleetzz wrote 86 months ago:
Do the compression shorts trigger orgasms for women, or is it just you lucky men?
dsjohndrow wrote 86 months ago:
Let's try it!
jmnicholas wrote 86 months ago:
I used to do everything via my phone (Runtastic app), which syncs with MFP, but got a new phone for my birthday, which I find too big to carry round on my runs and I suffer from the common female problem of having no pockets so my Garmin Forerunner 15 now is used to track my steps and my runs, and I then sync that to other stuff, or manually enter the runs into Runtastic. It is all quite awkward with the size of my phone! Tempted to get one with a smaller screen again on the road to simplification!
cassondraragan wrote 86 months ago:
As a person who is very UN savvy in the tech department, this post overwelms me! haha!
farmboyphotography wrote 86 months ago:

Nicely done, David! The FitBit One is great. I've used one for three years and its still going. I have lots of apps but I don't use very many. As you say, it depends what you want to know. :-)

Keep writing, sir! Kudos!
karrie830 wrote 85 months ago:
I have a question for you. I'am headed to the Grand Canyon this summer with a planned hike to the River and back. What would you recommend for the hike. I want to use a runtastic or a hiking app that I have on my android, but I know that the Grand Canyon has very little to no cell reception so I'am afraid a phone app may not work.

I used to have a runtastic wristband that works the same as the fitbit, I miss placed it and my dogs who love to chew on anything they can get a hold of found it before I could. I don't want another wristband and I alway lose pedometer.

Any suggestions.

Grand Canyon trip is scheduled for mid-August so I have a little time to figure something out. Please help.

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