Cycling with a Fitbit

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Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 08 Jan 2015, 08:25

Does anyone here use a Fitbit (or similar) to track activity whilst cycling? I've got a couple of questions which I'll type out if anyone says "yes"!
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 08 Jan 2015, 12:26

Only on a stationary bike.
I don't think it registers. Mine doesn't even register as an "active minute" even though my heart rate is up.
It didn't register the stair master yoke either.
I think it's because my arms aren't moving. :?
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 08 Jan 2015, 12:36

I'm the other way round - only for cycling from A-B. 1.1 miles of city (flat, but stop-start) cycling registered as about 800 steps. Wondering whether that's sensible or not. The other end of my commute is very hilly (down in the morning, thank goodness) so hoping that any over/underestimates wil even themselves out!

It's not loads of cycling, in the grand scheme of things. So I'm thinking I'll just let it do its thing and reassess in a month depending on how much weight I have(n't) lost.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Fozza » 08 Jan 2015, 14:11

I can link mine with another app like map my walk. There's an option in there to register the route as cycling. Would that help?

Someone mentioned they don't work using a pushchair...very similar.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 08 Jan 2015, 14:39

At the moment, all I have to do is remember to put the Fitbit on, step on the (wifi) scales occasionally, and record food in MFP. I'd rather not add to that list if I don't have to. I'm a bit wary of using distance cycled as a metric, because of the vast difference in effort required to slog up the hill vs wearing my brakes out on the way down! I think Fitbit might pick up that difference, at least, as long as the basic number of steps per effort cycled is somewhere in the right ballpark.

I didn't look at my steps before I got on the train, but the combination of getting up, pushing bike to nursery, cycling to station was about 3.5k steps.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 08 Jan 2015, 18:07

What kind of fitbit do you have? I have a charge. It lets me record food.
It also has a thing like fozza's talking about, but it think you need a smartphone or something. It doesn't really work on a stationary bike anyway because it maps where you went.
I brush my teeth with my left hand. That's a couple of hundred steps. :?
I'm beginning to think it's not very accurate.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Treeb » 08 Jan 2015, 18:57

Dh always found that he got a bunch of "steps" from washing the dishes. But since it's on your wrist it wouldn't register things like pushing a stroller or pushing the shopping cart in the store. That's one of the reasons I like having one that goes in my pocket - it definitely seems more accurate to me!

I don't cycle, so no personal experience, but I don't know of any way to make it register more accurately. The website (and I assume the app too) does have a section where you can "log activities". I'm not sure if this somehow gets converted into a step amount, or if it just contributes to calories burned or whatever but it would at least give you a record of it (although you'd have to enter it manually each day.) It looks like for cycling it lets you enter start time and end time and either your distance or the intensity of your ride.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 08 Jan 2015, 20:04

I've got a Charge too. I'm happy to enter my food into MFP - they sync well. I'm not doing long rides - just quick trips across two different city centres as part of my commute - for which I will be wearing the Fitbit anyway, and it appears to be recording something.

Curiosity aside, I guess my real question is "can I eat the calories that I get from cycling"? Given how inaccurate the whole thing is, I think that boils down to "is it vastly overestimating the calories burned when I wear it cycling".

I think I'm just going to see how it goes for a month. But, Treeb, I'm confessing now that some of my steps might be cheating!
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Treeb » 08 Jan 2015, 20:16

And here I just thought you were a super-star stepper. :wink:

Personally I don't think the exact step count really matters completely, but more just the overall picture it gives you. Even if you are getting "steps" from toothbrushing or whatever each day, you'll still be able to see the day-to-day pattern of whether you've been a lot more active or lazier than your usual or whatever. I guess the only time it really makes a difference is if your calorie count is really inaccurate and you are using that to decide how much to eat each day.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby jvnt » 09 Jan 2015, 01:53

Treeb wrote:And here I just thought you were a super-star stepper. :wink:

Personally I don't think the exact step count really matters completely, but more just the overall picture it gives you. Even if you are getting "steps" from toothbrushing or whatever each day, you'll still be able to see the day-to-day pattern of whether you've been a lot more active or lazier than your usual or whatever. I guess the only time it really makes a difference is if your calorie count is really inaccurate and you are using that to decide how much to eat each day.


This, I haven't got one yet but I got DH one for Christmas and will probably get one for myself so we can compete :-) I know you're supposed to do about 10k steps a day and I want to know whether going to pre-school for pick up and drop off plus various other activities get me anywhere near that, I think if I'm way short on a particular day it will help motivate me to do an extra trip somewhere just to get in the right ball park, I think in the scheme of things other activities that aren't actually walking registering as steps isn't too bad. Having said that, no idea about cycling, I imagine one in the pocket would register cycling but a wrist one wouldn't?
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 09 Jan 2015, 09:35

I guess I'm just a bit surprised at the difference in logged steps between a day working from home (~5k) and yesterday, working in the office (~12.5k). It's a desk job, so the difference is entirely in the commute and the short walk to get lunch. I'm aiming for a (nominal, by fitbit's reckoning) calorie deficit of 500+ kcal/day, so I got to eat a little treat yesterday. So I'm hoping that the 5k->12.5k difference is more or less real!
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 10 Jan 2015, 17:50

I'm calling shenanigans on the whole thing.
Yesterday I had a normal day. No actual exercise. Just the school run. 9,000+ steps.
Today I went to the gym. Did 2 miles on the elliptical. 4.5 miles on the bike. 75 minutes of yoga. 4,000 steps. :?
It's still morning, so I'll probably meet my step goal. But I wouldn't have thought the precariously icy (and slow) journeys to school were more arduous than the time I spent at the gym.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby jvnt » 12 Jan 2015, 09:41

I think you're right on how arduous it all is but all that gym stuff and yoga isn't steps, it's a pedometer at the end of the day?
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Marrow » 12 Jan 2015, 09:54

Yeah, I think if you do any sort of actual exercise that isn't walking or running, you need to log it separately.
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Re: Cycling with a Fitbit

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 12 Jan 2015, 23:34

Mine has a heart rate thing though. And logs "active minutes". So the school run is counted that way, but cycling is not. Nor is the elliptical. Or the yoga (which I understand, because it's not raising my heart rate, unless I'm planking).
Today, between the school run and shoveling snow I got 120 active minutes. The gym usually nets me 40. So running time only. Even if I spend two hours working out. It's a pain because I'm more interested in my activity time than I am in my step count.
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