Saturday, 5 January 2013

ME CFS CFIDS and activity monitoring

I've tried a couple of times recently to try tracking my activity levels in more detail.  It's quite a tedious job and if left to the end of the day doesn't tend to be to accurate.  Doing it as you go through the day requires you to be carrying something around to log all the detail with and is quite time consuming so it just hasn't been very successful really.  So, today I have purchased a new little tech gadget (always enjoy one of those).  It's called a Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker.

As you can see from this picture, it's actually quite small and discreet.

Here's what it can do...
Track All Day Activity
Using a 3-D motion sensor, Fitbit Ultra tracks all the details about your daily activity that conventional pedometers would miss. When worn close to the body, this device tracks daily steps, number of stairs climbed, distance traveled, calories burned, and overall intensity of the activity level. Fitbit Ultra also contains an altimeter to track stairs or hills climbed. The compact design of the Tracker makes it easy to wear tucked into your pocket, clipped to a belt or bra all day.
Track Your Sleep
You can also wear the Tracker at night with the included Fitbit wristband to monitor how long and how well you sleep. Fitbit Ultra will monitor when you fall asleep and how many times you woke up throughout the night to provide a sleep efficiency index.
Achieve Real Results With Fitbit
Fitbit Ultra can help you reach your exercise, diet and overall wellness goals. In fact, Fitbit users increase their daily steps by 43 percent and have lost an average of 13 pounds.*
Wirelessly Uploads Data to
To help you gauge your progress, Fitbit Ultra wirelessly uploads your fitness data to automatically whenever you're within 15 feet of your computer--no need to take time out of your busy day to enter stats.
Track Your Fitness Trends and Goals Online
At, you'll enjoy free online tools that show how your activity measures up over time and keep you motivated, with no monthly fee required. Your dashboard quickly shows you how close you are to achieving your weekly goals on calories burned, steps taken, and other fitness goals.
Fitbit makes fitness fun by translating your real accomplishments into real life examples. For instance, tracking that you've climbed 22 floors is the same as climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty. To keep you motivated, you can earn badges for daily and lifetime fitness activities.
Social and Community Tools For Encouragement
Invite friends through email or through Facebook to connect on to build a fitness network. Set collaborative or competitive challenges together, or tap into the growing community to access tips and receive encouragement. With Fitbit, it's like working out with a group of virtual friends every day.
Log Food and Workouts
You can build a complete picture of your overall fitness by logging foods and workouts. The Fitbit database has over a 100,000 specific food items for you to select from. Enter workout specifics from yoga, Pilates, elliptical workouts, boot camp, spinning, kickboxing, and even Wii games from the workout database. Fitbit's Food Goal feature shows you the range of calories you should stick to every day to reach your weight loss goals, and dynamically adjusts based on your day's activities. You can also track your weight and other health indicators like blood pressure, glucose, and heart rate.
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Click each image to view a different Fitbit online tool
Free Mobile Tools
Much more than a pedometer. Click to see how the Fitbit compares to other fitness-tracking devices. 
With our mobile website and our free iPhone App, you'll be able to log workouts, food, water, weight, and much more, plus check your stats while on the go. Log workouts and food even when offline, so no detail gets forgotten.
Integrates with Other Apps
Fitbit can also integrate with many nutrition and fitness apps to make it easy to sync your stats with programs such as LoseIt!, RunKeeper, and Microsoft HealthVault.
The Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Tracker is backed by a manufacturer's limited one-year parts and labor warranty.

I'm really looking forward to trying it out and having a much more accurate log of my activity levels that I can then relate to any symptoms or just how I'm feeling on a day to day basis.  The website has a cool "trainer" feature which will encourage you to increase activity levels very gently day by day and once I get a handle on my current activity levels I hope to move on to using this.  I've been reading a book recently : Coping with Chronic Fatigue by Trudie Chandler and it talks alot about "planning a systematic programme of scheduled rest and activity".  Although I used to do this really well when I first started Pacing, I don't think I do do this so well now, I tend to just go with my current energy levels, which isn't the best way to manage your reserves.  I'm hoping the fitbit is going to help me control this a bit more.

Today I had a difficult morning.  We took down the Christmas decorations and this involved lots of bending down and back up again, it really drained me and I had to rest.  I had a Perrin treatment yesterday which wiped me out for the afternoon and evening and I think todays reaction to putting the decos away was just a continuation of that.  I forget that it used to take me three days to recover from a treatment at the start, now I just expect to carry on as normal the next day.  Sometimes I can and sometimes it has more of an effect.
I have walked down to the village and back four times this week which is a lot compared to before Christmas and yoga has resumed after the Christmas break...Hurrah!...Never thought I would ever say that about a yoga class. 

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