Thursday, 7 August 2014

Do Activity Trackers Really Work? Free Argus App vs Fitbit One

ArgusFitbit One Activity Tracker Activity trackers are talked about everywhere; go out running and half the people you pass will be closely examining their wrists/smartphones to see how may steps they've taken, how far they've gone and - this is the dangerous one - how many calories they're worked.  I know this.  I'm one of those.

They've been written about in the New York Times and the British Times because everyone's been jumping on the activity tracking bandwagon, and there are no end of reviews of the 'best' activity trackers on the market, with new ones being launched all the time.  Take your pick.

I don't use them for calorie counting because I agree with today's Times that that can become a dangerous habit, and pretty useless if you count carbs, not calories, and I definitely don't sleep with mine.  I use my Fitbit One to tell me how active I've been, and to motivate me to do more, and it works.

I currently use two (I know) - the Argus activity tracker which is only available on iOS and the Fitbit One and I find both useful and enjoyable.  Because I want to be fitter and more active.  They tell me the same things in different ways and both have added benefits.  And yes from the point of view of motivation in my opinion they work, but they'll only do so if you want to be fit in the first place.

Here’s the run down on Fitbit One and Argus, I particularly like the Fitbit One because you can clip it to a piece of clothing and don't have to wear it on your wrist.

Cost
App
Pedometer
Floors
Activity Log
Link to Heart Rate App
Step log on Home Screen
Calories Burned Counter
GPS Link
Speed Gauge
Distance Gauge
Weather Gauge
Weight Input
Food Input
Sleep Input
Battery Usage
Fitbit One
£69 - £79
Apple and Android
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Medium
Argus App
Free
Apple
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
High

If you’re looking for instant motivation you can see instantly how many steps you’ve taken each day on the home screen with Argus without needing to click on the app.  And using another Azumio app (Azumio created Argus) you can download their Instant Heart Rate Monitor which links in to Argus.

If you’re going on a walk you can start the walk program on Argus which runs in the background and will tell you your distance, pace rate, step cadence and more.  If you start to run Argus will change your walk to a run.

You may think this is all a bit mad, do I really need this stuff?  I can only tell you that it works for me.  And who doesn’t need motivation in this sedentary world?  If you’re in doubt about spending on an activity tracker (and you have an iPhone) try Argus first.

There are loads of other fitness and diet apps, plus other physical activity trackers, however these two do what I am most interested in, which is telling me how much I move and exercise each day and both make you want to do more.