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Fitness Tracker

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Nov 3, 2008


Last week I was in New York for a new product launch for TIMEX. There were three products displayed at the event, one of which was the Fitness Tracker. (More on the others later.)



Those of you that follow the blog know I'm a gear junkie and I like the techie stuff. That written, I have to say that the Fitness Tracker is one of the coolest non-techie gadgets I've played with in a long time.



(The Fitness Tracker is shown in the wellness category on the TimexTrainer website.)



The unit comes with a pre-set calibration for stride length for walking, jogging or running. If you are taller or shorter than average, there are instructions on how to calibrate the unit for your stride length.



The sensing unit detects the number of steps you take and it wirelessly transmits that information to the watch unit. The watch then estimates the distance, speed (miles per hour), pace (minutes and seconds per mile) and calories burned, among other items. It does have a chronograph so you could log your workout information.



One way to use the Fitness Tracker is to put it on first thing in the morning and leave it on all day. As long as the sensing unit is switched to "on", the watch collects information for you until you shut the sensing unit off. For people attempting to meet the recommendation of some doctors to get in 10,000 steps every day, the unit has a count-down view to let you know the number of steps you have left to meet that goal. (You can also modify the number of goal steps.)



I decided to let the unit track my steps all day long. Sadly, it confirmed that I don't take many steps during a day unless I do an actual "workout". Actually, I was surprised at how little distance I cover in a normal work day. (I have a home office.)  Those of you that work in an office environment outside of your home likely cover much more mileage in a give day than I do.



It is kinda fun to see the steps tally when I make extra effort to get my fanny out of my office chair and take a mental health break by walking around the block. (The dog is appreciative as well.) Additionally, small things like parking the car at the far end of a store lot is rewarded by more steps getting tallied. You can watch the steps get tallied as the numbers change. You can also see a small figure in motion to know the unit is sensing your movement. 



Based on stride rate, the watch senses the difference between walking, jogging and running; giving you the appropriate credit for your stride length and distance covered. Erin, one of the TIMEX athletes, has used the unit for track workouts and said it is very accurate.



My next experiment is a trail run...



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