After my last post about the need to focus beyond physical aspects of fitness, suddenly I’m all excited about it.
Because that’s life. And because I have new gadget.
Enter the new Runtastic Orbit.
The Runtastic Orbit launched in Canada in July. It’s an activity tracker thing. More precisely, the Orbit is a 24-hour tracking device (Bluetooth enabled) that allows users to track their daily movements, fitness activities and sleep cycles.
While the Orbit is a new product, I’ve seen these types of things around. The sleek little bands. And I have always been curious about them. Particularly after a friend of mine showed me her version, and the dashboard on her computer where all her statistics show up. Oooooh, numbers and data! And colourful graphs!
But I’ve hesitated. You see, I can get all wrapped up in the numbers and data. I can spend perhaps too much time on the numbers. Time that could arguably be spent on the gorgeously, simple act of actually moving. So I figured I’m good. I’ve got my heart rate monitor. Let’s not go down another rabbit hole.
But then the good people at Runtastic gave me the opportunity to try the Orbit.
It was an immediate, enthusiastic and instinctive ‘yes please!’ from me. The part of my brain that knows data can be helpful kicked in. Data can motivate me. It can provide personal insights. It can help me make the most of my time. Data is simply a tool. It’s up to me how I use it.
So I’m wearing this little ditty around.
The Orbit counts my steps. It tracks and evaluates my sleep. It tells me how much energy (calories) I’ve expended throughout the day. All the data gets synched to an app (the Runtastic Me app) — so I can see how things are going over time. It also allows me to set goals, and it gives me a buzz and congratulations when I achieve them (it’s very friendly!). It also has time and alarm functions, so in theory you could ditch your watch. And it’s waterproof to 300 feet, so can put it on and keep it on (unless you are going deep sea diving, which – in case you are wondering - I am not).
And if a wristband isn’t your thing (blue and black options), it comes with a holder so the device can be clipped on your waistband or shirt. You could even string it through a band and wear it like a necklace. And – one of my favourite features – you can set the Orbit so it vibrates if you’ve been inactive for 60 minutes. It’s a virtual reminder to get off the proverbial couch and move a little throughout the day. You don’t have to be “working out” to be active.
The Orbit also syncs with the general Runtastic app, where you can log and map your actual miles and keep detailed entries of each work-out. The Runtastic apps don’t offer diet/food tracking, but the Orbit can be synched with MyFitnessPal which has food tracking. I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate these various apps, and how to get the data from the Orbit to flow between them. I have to be careful not to spend my whole workout window trying to figure out my workout device (i.e., the rabbit hole effect)! I’m hoping that part will come with not too much more digging around and some more functional use.
In a few weeks I’ll tell you more about what I think. Is wearing the Orbit affecting my training? Or how I feel about my training? Or my broader activity levels? Have I gone down the rabbit hole? Can the intuitive, chill part of me live with the competitive, data hound? We shall see.
But for now…DATA!