If you're a tech geek who also happens to be a runner, you’ve probably tried many of the running fitness gadgets on the market. From GPS watches to iPhone apps, keeping track of how long, fast and hard you run can add to the enjoyment of heading out the door each morning.
The Fitbit One is part of a growing new market of fitness monitors. These little gadgets track your steps, distance, calories and sleep.
The Fitbit One is a tiny pod that you wear clipped to your belt or bra during the day, and inside of a wrist band at night. The pod then counts your total number of steps, floors climbed, calories burned and your quality of sleep.
When wirelessly synched with the Fitbit app on your smart phone, you can analyze your data, set weight loss goals, make a food plan and track the calories you’ve burned throughout the day.
When it comes to measuring distance, the Fitbit One is nothing more than a high tech pedometer. Although it can be calibrated, I found that it had nowhere near the accuracy of my GPS watch, and was usually off by about a half of a mile over the course of an hour long run.
And while I never track my runs by the total number of steps taken, I still found it interesting to look at this data at the end of each day. I may always log my running closely, but I usually have no idea how active I was during the rest of the day.
The Fitbit One gave me the chance to analyze what I did when I wasn't running, and I have to admit, it did encourage me to take the stairs and park further away to maximize the number of steps I took. Each day I challenged myself to walk more steps than the day before.
But for me, the most interesting part of the Fitbit One was the sleep tracker, probably because it's one thing none of my other running gadgets or apps will do.
I found myself excited to synch it each morning to check how long it took me to get to sleep, how much sleep I had gotten and how many times I woke up during the night.
Unlike some fitness monitors, the Fitbit One doesn’t measure the amount of time you’ve spent in light versus deep sleep. It does, however, give you a general idea of your sleep patterns.
But because it tracks your sleep based on your movement, and not your brain waves or pulse, it’s not always accurate. For example, if you push the button to tell the Fitbit you're in bed and then lie very still, the Fitbit will think you're asleep, even if your mind is racing about all of the things you have to do the next day.
If you’re just starting a weight loss program or are a beginning runner who isn’t quite ready to purchase a GPS watch, the Fitbit One can provide excellent motivation and give you an idea of how much ground you've covered in day.
If you’re an experienced runner, however, you may find the Fitbit One is more of a toy than an essential tool. Still, I loved playing with that toy, and analyzing the bits of data collected during the parts of my day when I wasn’t out out pounding the pavement.