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April 20 2014

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Step Training With Fitbit

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Current recommendations from the likes of Dr. Oz and the American Medical Association are that we take 10,000 steps a day for optimal health and fitness. That sounds easy enough, but unless you’re severely obsessive-compulsive, keeping track of said steps is a daunting task. Enter Fitbit—a teensy little clip-on that does the counting for you. Unlike a plain old pedometer, Fitbit does more than simply use motion-sensor technology to quantify daily movement. Instead, it monitors what you did, when you did it, for how long, and how hard. And once you’ve set up your onscreen profile via the downloadable software, you can input to your heart’s content. For the first few days of our road test, we slavishly entered every morsel consumed, along with extracurricular activities like swimming and cycling (which the device can’t measure accurately), and voilà—all manner of cheery pastel graphs and analytics appeared onscreen. As if calories eaten and calories burned, distance traveled, and, of course, total number of steps taken weren’t enough to fixate on, Fitbit also calculates your rank compared to other users of like age and gender (anonymously, thank goodness). Let’s just say the experience provides an awakening of sorts—a clarion call to untether yourself from the computer.

Photo: Courtesy of Fitbit

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