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What, in addition to an Android device with GPS, would I need to track fitness effort?

I am thinking of perhaps something like a Fitbit, or can the Android do the same?

Also probably a hearth rate monitor.

I have had a Polar monitors in the past, but I think the way it worked didn't really fit my purpose.

What I want to track is to a great extent daily activities like walking and biking, and fitness activities like Pilates or dancing, which are not primarily aerobic.

One activity is longer walks/hikes, it is also a goal to to even harder ones well.

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If you don't mind me asking, why do need to track so much data? –  Ron Jan 18 '12 at 11:10
    
I dont know exactly what is useful, but I want days that might be overload or training that can cause pain/fatigue after to be effective. –  Olav Jan 19 '12 at 9:58
    
(With overload load I mean training days at an effort level that would be overtraining in the long run) –  Olav Jan 19 '12 at 9:59
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Also I want to track the relationship between effort and results/changes. –  Olav Jan 19 '12 at 10:01
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6 Answers 6

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In order to track I have used Funbeat. The site has an Android app that tracks running but not general motion in the way a Fitbit (and similar does).

I could not find an app that does the Fitbit stuff in the Google Play store, I searched for "android app step counter"

Besides tracking, I think it is useful to have a planning tool. For guidance and variation on intensity, I have use the Athlete software from Firstbeat since 2007, you don't need any pulse meters do use it (pulse can be entered manually for workouts). For me, the Firstbeat software was great from stopping me to train too hard (I was stuck in the "no pain - no gain" loop since my earlier training activities, not good when you become middle aged).

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I personally don't like basing workouts on heart rate. There are too many external factors that can artificially raise or lower your heart rate for it to be reliable enough for me to base my workout around it.

I know there are entire industries based around heart rate zone training, but I've never felt comfortable either doing or assigning an entire workout based on something that might be elevated because you had two cups of coffee and are worried about an exam coming up.

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I think it's still useful to know where your heart rate is at, and how quickly your heart rate lowers back to RHR, but I agree that focusing entirely on heart rate zones probably isn't the best. –  Robin Ashe Jul 14 '12 at 21:22
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http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ has some great tools. Your diet is probably as important as anything, so start there. It also has tracking of exercises by calories burned, and you can save your measurements and update them daily/weekly. Like, how many inches around your neck or waist is. I can link to mine if you want to check it out.

Fitbit would only really track your steps, but if you wanted to know that it would be a good (if not overly fancy) tool for it.

HR monitors will tell you what it is, but more importantly, how fast you recover. Save that data and try for better (faster) recovery to lower heart rates. Some, like Polar, include online heart rate data upload and tracking.

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I find it useful to track things I want to improve. So, when I want to do the workouts my coach set me in a programme then I track that. If I want to get my body fat or mass down then I track that.

There's no point tracking something just to track it.

So, figure out what you want to improve.

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Buy you follow a program, so the effort is given. This is not my case. –  Olav Jan 19 '12 at 8:50
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Are you specifically looking for software to run on an Android?

If not, the handy-dandy notebook never fails.

Instead of spending all your time filling out data, though, I'd suggest picking one day a week to dedicate to making data entries.

There are too many fluctuations from day-to-day for daily measurements. Also, I've found that taking daily measurements causes me, personally, to strive for daily improvements - something that really is not healthy for your body. Dropping 1-lb of weight per day, every day, or running 1-minute faster every day is just asking for something to break.

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I don't think I could keep track of everything "real time" so I image sitting down in the evening with my captured data to figure out when bike-trips started etc. –  Olav Jan 16 '12 at 19:54
    
And again, its about effort, not performance. –  Olav Jan 16 '12 at 19:55
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Perhaps you could word your question a little better. –  jp2code Jan 16 '12 at 22:25
    
What is unclear? I can't think of a better term than "Fitness Effort" (But since everybody misunderstands it has to be something :-) –  Olav Jan 19 '12 at 8:44
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Perhaps (load better than effort), but I still no longer really understand what you are looking for some software to do. –  jp2code Jan 19 '12 at 16:09
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Instead of instrumentation, I would recommend taking a weekly photo to show your progress. Unless you're a top athlete, monitors and tracking tools are more of a distraction than a help and any time spent on them instead of the workout is not helpful UNLESS you're an intermediate or top level athlete.

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The question is about tracking effort, not progress :) –  Olav Jan 16 '12 at 17:06
    
I like numbers so its not a distraction. –  Olav Jan 16 '12 at 17:10
    
Also training can be hard for me, so I want overload (hard) days to be optional. –  Olav Jan 16 '12 at 17:11
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