A few notes about secondhand fitness trackers and the activity they’ve inspired

August 22, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 22, 2019

Here is some information about the two Fitbits that I’ve owned.

Both of my devices were hand-me-downs from my Parental Unit. The first of these was a Flex, which I believe I began using in October 2015. In the following calendar year, 2016, I wrote a number of different posts that revolved around walking and using this device. Sadly, the gadget went kaput either because it got rained on and/or I inundated it with sweat. As best I can tell, this happened toward the end of August 2017.

Sometime this year, I think, my parent gave me what I believe was a Charge 2 after P.U. once again picked up a newer Fitbit. It sat unused for several months before I picked it up about a month ago.

I didn’t want to use the Charge as a watch. Once I determined that the actual device unclipped from its straps, I pried it loose, although not without a struggle. Ultimately, I decided to reattach a single band. I activated Bluetooth on my phone, linked the devices, stuffed the Charge in my pocket and began walking.

This worked pretty great. For nearly two years, I’d only recorded steps during times while using the exercise-tracking feature on the Fitbit app on my phone. I continued using this feature, because the app maps my walk and displays the session’s number of steps, distance covered, calories burned and pace. Moreover, the app shows my pace per each mile of my walk.

However, it was incredibly convenient to have my old-new Charge automatically track all the steps I took throughout the course of a day, even when I was just wandering around the house, down a street, through a mall or along the aisles of a grocery store. I was capturing a lot more steps.

Here’s the tale of the tape. In June, Fitbit credited me with taking 89,555 steps, climbing 19 flights of stairs, covering 41.36 miles and burning 57,192 calories. The following month, those respective numbers shot up to 325,42 steps, 538 flights, 154.16 miles and 81,216 calories.

(I ought to note that Fitbit isn’t strictly recording the number of stairs I’ve ascended; instead, it translates upward vertical motion into the equivalent of amount of flights.)

Through the first three weeks of August, the tracker credited me with 260,865 steps, 430 floors, 126.1 miles and 55,939 calories burned.

The discerning reader may wonder: Why is this blogger mentioning his numbers for the first three weeks of August? All will be revealed, my inquisitive friend, in tomorrow’s post.

To be continued

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