Sunday, March 15, 2015

POLAR WATCH vs FITBIT


POLAR WATCH vs FITBIT

Let me say these are all MY opinions and MY experiences with using both gadgets.  Feel free to add your own experience, opinions, agree/disagree over on my INSTAGRAM cause you are only going to add more helpful info to someone looking to purchase one of these.  The more experiences shared the better.

First I will say the Fitbit is trying to kill me (brings out my competitive side) and the Polar is trying to save me (lets me know when my heart is about to explode).  They balance out nicely! LOL.

They each serve their own purpose for me.  The Polar is my go to when I want a good workout.  I find it super motivating because based off past "polar workouts" I know what I am capable of as far as burning calories during a workout.  I know my max heart rate and min. heart rate.  So to have that number staring back at me during a workout lets me know if I need to kick it up a notch when time is running out.  I have better workouts when I wear my Polar.  

I find the Polar is a lot more accurate with calculating calories burned as well.  I never rely on my fitbit or cardio machines to calculate my calories.  A lot more info goes into figuring out calories burned than simply asking for your weight like cardio machines do.  Your heart rate, height, weight, male, female etc., all play a role.  

For example:  A treadmill once told me that I burned 542 cals at the end of my workout and my Polar told me I burned 394.  That's a 148 calorie difference.  That's too big of a difference to let slide when someone is tracking food intake based off calories burned in a workout.  This treadmill didn't know my heart rate once during the workout but I was wearing a heart rate monitor around my chest for the Polar……you decide which one was more accurate.  A person could be a daily runner which made for my run a breeze (low heart rate, minimal effort) OR they could be someone who hasn't ran a day in years (high heart rate, lots of effort) doing the same workout but the treadmill is going to give the same number to both people.  I'm pretty sure the daily runner would have the lower calorie burn.

I also like the Polar for the actual heart rate that is provides.  I like to see when I am at my max heart rate and my minimum which is perfect for how I like to train.  HIIT, Intervals….. spiking the heart rate and letting it come back down.  The Polar lets me see those numbers.  It tells me when to stop and when it's safe to start.

This Polar FT4 that I own, does require you to wear a chest strap.  No, it doesn't bug me.  I can't even tell it is there.  I wear it around the same place that my sport bra band is or slightly higher.  I put the strap on first, snap the battery to the front (this is the actual monitor part.  It snaps on and off.  And a tip I learned is to always take the battery off the strap when you're not using the polar to save battery life) and then I put my sport bra on over.

The FITBIT flex, which is the one I have.  I find the fitbit more for everyday use since it is a pedometer.  Best for walking, running and not so much for cycling, rowing, swimming etc.  I never use the Fitbit for calories or the "active minutes." Once I did a 1-hour/700+ leg day calorie burn according to my Polar and my Fitbit told me I had 23 active minutes….. that bugs me!  I may have been doing seated exercises or in place leg exercises, so it doesn't count as being "active" since I wasn't actually stepping but my heart rate was through the roof!  To me, that was being active.   

The fitbit is great to wear all day to motivate you to stay active.  I tell you what, when bedtime is near and you haven't hit your goal for daily steps you find yourself doing all sorts of crazy last minute stuff to reach it.  The fitbit is more of a fun tool for me.  Like the time I took it to Disneyland to see how many steps I took during a full day at the park, that was fun!  When I put on my Polar, I feel like it's time to get serious.  

The fitbit is also great for people who have behind the desk jobs.  It gives you that little reminder to get up and move around every once in a while.  I once had a client use it for that purpose.  Also, wearing it around the house, it can keep you busy.  If you just need that daily reminder to get moving then the fitbit is great.

The fitbit does get used more since you can wear it all day long and even sleep with it since it has a sleep function to show you your "restless" and "awake" minutes at night.  Which is really cool.  I like that function a lot.  Not that I do anything about it, I just like to see how I slept.  I only use my polar when I am working out.

The only thing that kind of rubbed me the wrong way about my fitbit is: Once I was driving my car and turning the steering wheel, my fitbit alerted me of reaching my 10,000 steps for the day……… Ummmmm, I was sitting on my butt at the moment.  But since my wrist was hitting the steering wheel or being bumped it was logging steps.  When that happened it kind of burst my bubble of fun I was having with the fitbit.  BUT, with my Polar, I have been mid workout and bumped my chest strap which will cause your heart rate to be lost.  Then you have to re-start your workout.  But at least it was being honest with me and not carrying on counting calories burned that weren't earned.  When that happens with my Polar, I just add the calories before to the new.

Another thing I like about the Polar is the battery lasts forever.  I have gone an entire year without having to change the battery but keep in mind I only use it when I workout (the battery can be bought  at any store and replaced yourself).  With the Fitbit, it requires a charge when the battery dies.  So you do take it off and charge it like you would your phone.  The charge usually lasts about 5 days. 

Ultimately, it comes down to your personal goals for which you would like more.  If you are just jumping into an active lifestyle the fitbit might be the motivation to get you going and build up some cardiovascular strength before taking it up another level.  Or if you're looking for something to keep you active throughout your day, the fitbit is good.  OR- go have an awesome workout that totally pushes you and take note of your calorie burn wearing a Polar…..then you know what you are capable of.  The polar will keep you from getting lazy and going through the motions during your workouts.  It also monitors your heart rate during your workouts which is always a good thing.  

SO, based off their uses and my own personal goals…… If I had to choose one over the other, the Polar Watch would be my choice.

Now go share any experiences or advice you may have in the comments on my INSTAGRAM          

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