#FitReaders Check-In: April 29, 2016

Posted April 29, 2016 by Jen in #FitReaders Tags: ,

Sign up for April!
Sign up for April!

Welcome to #FitReaders!! Felicia the Geeky Blogger and I are super excited to be co-hosting this fitness-oriented group for another year! I’m hosting check-ins from April through June 2016, and you’ll find the check-ins every Friday right here.

I only use the linky for the monthly Commit to Exercise posts, so please use the comment section below for your check-in. You can leave a link to your own weekly check-in blog post or any social media site in the comment section. Or if you prefer, use the comment section as your own weekly check-in space.

Also, if you have any questions about #FitReaders, you can leave them in the comment section or email me at twimom227(at)gmail(dot)com.

Important links:

The April Virtual 5k and 10k Race Series + 1 mile Fun Run finish line (for after you complete the “race”)
#FitReaders information page
#FitReaders 101
Facebook Group

My Week:

April-2016-10K-274x400First the good news… I got in my 10k on Monday, walking/running over 6.2 miles at a 12:30 pace! Woot! How about you? Did you get in a 1 mile, 5k, or 10k this month? Don’t forget to “cross the finish line” (click link) so your race is counting for your year’s total. In not so good news, I’m going to ignore the 3 pounds I’ve gained this week because we’ve been out to breakfast, lunch, and or dinner every day of vacation… My other good news, I have a new Fitbit. Here is my review.

The Alta:

I think you all know that I love using my Fitbit. My goto tracker for the past year has been my Charge HR. I love many things about the HR, but I am also excited about the brand new Alta, which has some great features. So I decided to purchase an Alta to give me choices. Here is my review.

What I love…

  • Better battery life. The Alta goes and goes! I used it over 6 days without a charge, whereas my HR needs charging every 3 days.
  • Notifications. I love that the Alta integrates phone call alerts (which the HR does), but also text messages and calendar alerts. I like the texting feature because I can check real fast if it’s something I need to respond to or if I can hold off.
  • Get up and move reminders. This is one of the primary reasons I purchased the Alta. While it’s far from perfect, I like the quick reminders letting me know that I haven’t moved much during the hour. If I don’t get 250 steps within the hour, at 10 minutes to the hour, I get a little buzz encouraging me to take enough steps to hit 250 for the hour. It’s a great reminder to keep moving throughout the day.
  • Slim design. The Alta is slim and a lot less bulking than my HR. Another reason I wanted the Alta for everyday wear.

But it’s not all perfect. There are features from the HR that I miss.

  • In order to activate the Alta to read the time, steps, and move between screen options, you have to tap the screen. Sometimes it takes a few taps and tries to get the screen to light up. I miss the HR’s push button, which was much easier to use.
  • The Alta does not have an altimeter, therefore it does not have the ability to count floors. While it’s not as important as steps and distance, I like having a total daily floor goal, making sure I worked a little bit for my steps!
  • With the HR, I can enter the “exercise mode,” which helps me track activities that don’t involve a lot of movement, like my weekly Body Flow class. The Alta does not have the “exercise mode,” which means I have to manually enter in my non-stepping exercises.
  • Lastly, the Alta doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. It’s not a huge thing for me, but it is a nice feature.  However, my plan is to wear the HR when working out, which is the most important time to monitor my heart rate.
  • While the Alta does have an automatic sleep mode, I notice a HUGE difference in the monitoring when compared to the HR. The Alta appears to be less sensitive than the HR during the sleep mode. Two nights in a row, I went to bed at the same time and woke up at nearly the same time, yet the Alta had me sleeping soundly for 6 hr 51 min, and the HR had me sleeping for only 5 hr 14 min. In the one week I’ve been wearing the Alta, my sleep record shows an average of nearly 60 minutes more per night. It’s not a huge deal, but I cannot compare sleep records when wearing the two different devices. They just don’t match up.

Finally… there are some issues I’m dealing with that are extremely frustrating. Without going into a ton of detail, basically the HR will overwrite the Alta data in the dashboard if they try to sync at the same time. What does this mean? While I don’t wear the devices at the same time, the idea was to be able to swap between the two as I needed/wanted. Fitbit actually suggests this on their website. BUT, if both devices are within range of my phone when I open the Fitbit app, they will both sync, and the HR will always trump the Alta, regardless if the HR has been sitting stagnant and the Alta has been moving. What that means is gaps in step coverage and missing steps when I’ve been wearing the Alta and the HR syncs instead of the Alta. I’ve tried to address this by moving the Fitbit I’m not using to a drawer in my 2nd floor bedroom, however, even when I’m further than 10-feet away from the HR, it will sometimes still sync with my phone. Needless to say, this does not make me happy AND I’ve had an aggravating go-around with the Fitbit customer service. At this time, I’m still trying to make it work and keep both devices, but I’m not certain.

So there is my review of the new Alta. Overall, I really like it and I would highly recommend it for first time Fitbit users.

My Movement*:
Friday: one walk totaling 30 minutes, 10,097 steps/day
Saturday: one walk totaling 45 minutes, 11,510 steps/day
Sunday: one walk totaling 40 minutes, 11,090 steps/day
Monday: one walk/jog totaling 81 minutes, 17,294 steps/day * 10k walk!
Tuesday: one walk totaling 54 minutes, 14,149 steps/day
Wednesday: one walk totaling 45 minutes, 12,870 steps/day
Thursday: one walk totaling 30 minutes, 10,600+ steps/day

* I track two different goals. The first goal is a timed duration of exercise – moving with the intent to raise my heart rate and get in some cardiovascular work. This is what I’m mean when I say “45 minutes walking.” The second goal is total daily steps. This is from my Fitbit, which measures all steps from 12:00AM – 11:59PM, exercise included.

How was your week? What were you successes? What were your challenges? Be sure to stop over at Felicia the Geeky Blogger blog to check in with her.

Don’t forget to sign up for May – check back on Sunday May 1 to Commit to Exercise for May!


17 responses to “#FitReaders Check-In: April 29, 2016

  1. That syncing problem would frustrate me, I hope you figure out a work around! I’m glad you like your new Alta! I love my Surge – can’t imagine life without it. You rocked the steps this week – great job!!
    I upped my daily step goal, so we’ll see if I can stick with it. I’ve been doing pretty well, but today is a rest day, so I doubt I’ll hit the target. Tomorrow morning I’m doing a practice 10k run before my race next weekend.

    • Good luck with the race next week!!! I am also contemplating uping my steps. On average, I’m going about 83,000-85,000 steps per week, which is about 11.8-12K steps per day. However, I will have one or two big days to get that number. I like hitting my step count EVERY day, not just a weekly average. So I’m chicken to raise it. haha.

      The synchronization issue with the Alta isn’t going away, and Fitbit doesn’t have any help for it. It’s frustrating that they advertise using more than one Fitbit daily, and then this happens. I can’t imagine I’m the only person with these issues.

  2. Gayle Cochrane

    I am still doing stationary bike, as my primary activity, but I added a second small session in the afternoon to increase my overall time. Really liking the SparkPeople app, it just seems to know more than other apps I have use.

    Thanks for the review on the Alta.

    • Glad you are getting you “steps” in via the bike. It’s a great way to get up the heart rate. I used to do the stationary bike when I was in the gym.

  3. gk nelson

    The sync deal would upset me for sure.

    Sunday is only got 5k steps in. I was in the pool for 6 hours with students & just couldn’t get the other 7k of my goal for the day in. The other days have been 25k steps and two trips to the gym, so I made up for it. Vivian and I had an excellent social run & made some new friends. My move is in two weeks and the panic is setting in. In the next 5 weeks, I have 1 free day. I get tired thinking about my schedule.

    • Oh my!! That’s a very busy schedule, but hopefully you can find a way to work in steps. Maybe lower your goal during this time so you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Good luck with your move!!

  4. Shandy Jo

    The syncing would frustrate me as well, I love my Up but was drooling over Garmins this weekend. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to get the 10k in this month, Congrats!, but I did start incorporating weightlifting into my schedule which I’m pretty happy about.

    • Great job on adding weights. I’ve said this time and time again, but I really need to add strength training to my schedule.

  5. Kristin T.

    Yay for getting your 10K in…I got mine in, too – actually ended up doing 5! I’m glad to hear you ended up getting the Alta…I am really liking it, and while I still have my One, I just wear the Alta – I don’t switch back and forth…but something to think about, I guess. I did notice, though, that if you are carrying something in the hand of the arm that you are wearing the Alta (like groceries or pushing a shopping cart, etc), it doesn’t always count steps…kinda annoying! And I do miss the stair count at the end of the day, especially on days when I’m doing laundry 🙂

    Here’s my check-in: http://alwayswithabook.blogspot.com/2016/04/fitreaders-weekly-check-in-april-29.html

    • Yes, pretty much all wrist monitors don’t work when you are moving with a stationary arm, like pushing a shopping cart or baby stroller. However, I will work if you holding your arm up without the “stationary” object. – like talking on the phone, holding a cup of coffee, etc. It’s the slight up and down of your body that counts as a step, I think.