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Old 05-29-11, 11:50 AM  
glamgal
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Please recommend an accurate device to track calories burned...Fitbit? BodyBugg?

Now that I've started Zumba, I'm interested in tracking my calories. I was reading on another thread that Zumba exercisers have burned anywhere between 600 - 1000+ calories per hour and I'm curious to know what Zumba is doing for me. I've looked a Fitbit before and like the price ($99). Is it pretty accurate? Can it track calories burned during Zumba or does it just track steps taken?

If you can't recommend the Fitbit, can you recommend a reliable device that can help me determine how many calories I am burning in my workouts?

I am so excited...Despite having been a member on this forum for a while and participating in threads, I've not really had the motivation to really keep a consistent workout schedule. Nor have I had the desire to actually track what I am doing. Now, it's like a whole new world has opened up for me. I've found an exercise that's FUN and that I love doing (Zumba) and I want to do it all the time! Now it's time to start tracking my calories in versus calories out (hey, even though it's fun, I don't want to be doing an hour of hard work and sweat to burn off half a donut!).

Even though I want to track calories burned during Zumba and walking, I am still planning on incorporating my Tracy Anderson Meta although I feel that her muscular structure workouts may not pack a big calorie punch. I want to make sure I am toning while losing weight.

Thanks so much for any guidance you can provide. Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend!
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Old 05-29-11, 12:19 PM  
Nuggie's Auntie
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I have both a Fitbit and a HRM, and the HRM (Polar F7, I think) is def. better at estimating calories burned during a specific activity. Fitbit just estimates calories based on how many steps you are taking during a given period, factoring the stats. you provide (i.e., your weight.)
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Old 05-29-11, 01:01 PM  
slysam
 
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Hi, remember all devices that give calorie burn are giving an estimate as it is not really possible to measure directly outside a lab. I have both fitbit and an hrm (mine is a Polar F11) and like both for different reasons.

I love my fitbit as it is small and discreet so I forget I am wearing it and no one sees it (unless I decide to show them). It is good for tracking activity and steps throughout the day, having an idea where you fall on the sedentary, "moderately active", "very active" scale of things, having an idea how many calories you burn throughout the day, etc. It is pretty good at giving an estimate for calorie burn from walking, running and to a certain extent dancing as you take a lot of steps in a dance activity like Zumba. I like seeing the breakdown by hours/minutes of my activity throughout the day so it is useful if you are wanting to increase your overall activity.

For measuring calorie estimates from specific activities, a hrm might be better. I actually enter in the calorie burn for some exercises into my fitbit site as I think the estimate from my hrm might be more accurate. I really don't know which one is, but when I do this the activity points seem more accurate (it gives me more activity points and more calories burned from a comfortable but brisk walk than an intense dance class or intense workout dvd. But I am certain the other activities are more intense and most likely burning more calories. I think a walker/runner might be happy with just fitbit for the calorie estimate but for some of my activities I need to also use my hrm).

I've been very happy with my progress since I started using the two together (fitbit for daily activity and hrm for aerobic exercise). But for what you want, maybe start with a heart rate monitor?
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Old 05-29-11, 01:05 PM  
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Glamgal, not to conflict with my last post but... Fitbit would probably work for you as well though. The calorie burn it estimates seems a little lower than my hrm but the difference isn't really that great so it might still be good especially if you are motivated by seeing numbers (like activity score, number of steps, distance walked, number of calories, etc). Either one could be useful for you, whatever you prefer.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:28 PM  
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I would have written everything Slysam wrote, almost identically!

I do love my fitbit though and I think it's a good, convenient choice. I trust my HRM just a tad more for the calorie burn. Workouts like rebounding do not work on the fitbit, it shoots the steps sky high and gives a super high calorie burn. That's when I wear my HRM. Floor work, though, step aerobics, etc., comes in pretty darned close to the HRM readings.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:37 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Jo View Post
Floor work, though, step aerobics, etc., comes in pretty darned close to the HRM readings.
I've actually found the Fitbit estimates my calorie burn MUCH higher than my HRM. I once did an hour-long Cathe step workout. My HRM estimated a burn of 400 calorioes, the Fitbit estimated 600! Obviously, I like the Fitbit number better, but I'm not confident it's accurate.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:12 PM  
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Interestingly my Polar (that died of old age not that long ago) estimated my calories much lower than my new Timex. The difference is about 200 cal which is a lot. But either way, Zumba -- if I work really hard and the music is fast all along -- burns as much as running. I hope this helps.
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Old 05-29-11, 04:29 PM  
shortie
 
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Another option for you is the BodyBugg or its cousin, GoWearFit. They use pedometer technology plus skin impedence to get at basically how sweaty you are, so even without a HRM you get a more accurate calorie count than the FitBit. It also tracks sleep better than the FitBit, which I find wildly inaccurate on that front, if that matters to you.

The downside to these are that they're bigger -- the FitBit is much more discreet. The BodyBugg/GWF needs skin contact, and has a strap around your upper arm.

I love the step count on the FitBit, but as others said, it doesn't do so well with non-steppy exercises. So, floorwork counts as almost nothing, because it doesn't have bouncing motions to count.
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Old 05-30-11, 01:05 AM  
psnave
 
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I love my bodymedia (used to be called the gofitwear, I believe). It is not as discreet as the Fitbit though. It's really an eye opener as to how many calories some workouts are.
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Old 05-30-11, 05:18 PM  
glamgal
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Is the BodyBugg really worth the additional cost and subscription? Does anyone use the BodyBugg in conjunction with the FitBit or would that be overkill?
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