Gadgetry confusion ... advice needed

BlackWidow Member Posts: 268
edited April 2020 in Health and wellbeing

Being in my
late 60s and a bit overweight I am trying to get a bit fitter.  I would like to know how many steps I do when
I go for a walk and how hard my heart is working when I ride my old bike.

I went to
the shops to get some sort of gadget but am now too confused.  I think they see my white hair and think I can
be conned into buying the most expensive item. 
As I do not have a modern phone, nor do I need one, they say nothing
will work without a smart one.  As we could never
have children I have no-one to help me work this out.

I know some
of you lovely ladies are really into getting fit so perhaps you can give me an
idea of something which will do what I need. 
I don’t want to wear it all the time, not do I need to know how badly I
sleep as I know that.  :) 

Any help
would be appreciated.  Thanks so
much.  Anne



  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    I'm not too up on what's available now but unless things have changed, you may not need a phone for a smart watch (fitbit or the like).  The question to ask is whether the gadget can be synced to whatever computer you have.  It's not as immediate as having it sync to your phone but it doesn't sound like that's what you're needing.
  • BlackWidow
    BlackWidow Member Posts: 268
    Hi @Sister
    Thank you.  The terminology is helpful.  I do not have a computer either but use the library ones when they are open or at the home of my friend and you are 100% correct, I do not want or need that sort of thing.  I need basic. I will keep asking at the various stores ... stay tuned.  Fitbit is the name they had, also one starting with G.
  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @BlackWidow you could look at getting a pedometer to document how many steps you take?  
  • Tinks
    Tinks Member Posts: 234
    You can look for a simple pedometer, that counts your steps for you and gives you a readout. You clip it on you, put it in a pocket or wear it on a lanyard. Or there are types that look like a wristband you wear like a watch. Try Amazon best sellers under “pedometers” that gives an idea of what is available and pricing, with reviews- you want one that does not need a smartphone. Should not be expensive. About 30 dollars. Hope this helps! Tinks xx
  • BlackWidow
    BlackWidow Member Posts: 268
    Thank you @Giovanna_BCNA and @Tinks.  Yes, I went in and asked for a 'pedometer' but they all said the ones they have are pedometers anyway.  I also want to check my heart rate when I ride around the lake and I think that is where the problem is.  I am not very computer-literate which is why I don't have one so don't buy except at the shops.  I know I am old-fashioned but I am happy this way.  My friend has loaned me her laptop for a few days and she is trying to teach me to use places to search but I think I might be a bit thick.   :)
  • CRM
    CRM Member Posts: 91
    edited April 2020
    Garmin was probably the one starting with G. 
  • Mira
    Mira Member Posts: 678
    edited April 2020
    You can get a reasonably cheap pedometer that clips to your belt if you want to count steps.   My best heart rate monitor was a $20 one from Aldi that I got years ago.  If you want to track or count something you could count minutes or distance (ie I made it to the tree on X street).

     My best advice.  When you walk, walk with intention.  That is, don't just stroll casually make sure you step it out and swing your arms a bit.  Don't worry about your heartrate just do your best and keep moving, puffing slightly is a good thing. Numbers can be motivating for a while, but they also do your head in when your gadget stops.

    Don't forget to check with your doctor before taking on any new exercise program/workouts.  (I work for an online fitness company and we remind everyone of this).
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,325
    If all else fails, you could try timing 500 steps (you’d have to
    count them). Then you can calculate
    know how many steps you have walked in multiples of minutes. For example, I walk about 900 steps in 10 minutes (as @Mira says, I try and walk fairly briskly on my short legs rather than stroll). For me, 5500 steps is about 3 kms. I tried too to buy a simple pedometer - either you and I are the only demand for them or everyone is much more keen to push the more expensive models! Luckily I do have a smart phone, which does the job simply and well. Best wishes.  
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    You can check your own heart rate. You just need a watch with a second hand. Count and time for 15 seconds and x 4 or count and time for 30 and x 2. You'll just need to stop briefly. Chemist sometimes sell pedometers that are inexpensive. I do have a clip on fitbit. 10 minutes walk can be around 1800 steps. It all depends on your stride. 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,805
    Hi everyone. I had a call from Anne to say she thinks she has killed the laptop so wants me to thank you all for your help.
    She was trying to count steps but kept getting waylaid when looking at ducks and swans around the lake !
    She does not have a watch with a second hand.  She will go and talk to more shop people to see if there are any simple pedometers still around.
  • Mira
    Mira Member Posts: 678
    edited April 2020
    There are still simple pedometers around.  Tell her to check out ebay for some really cheap ones, or pharmacy online has a reasonably priced one.  Most of all, she should enjoy the walk and forget the numbers.  Effort is more important than numbers or gadgetry/fashion.

    Tell her to walk until she's seen 50 swans, then she can stop :sunglasses:
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    @june1952 If you speak to Anne, pass on to her that just keeping a manual record is probably good enough - noting activity type, time started and finished plus distance (it only has to mean something to her) and a heart rate.  That's what I used to do pre-phone apps.  It's all about getting the exercise done and checking your improvement.  She can also include weight and body measurements if she wants to (though I'd only recommend doing that once a week).
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,805
    @Sister - thank you, will do.  It is hard when you live alone so exercise alone during this time of isolation, no-one to keep one on track with encouragement.  She is going to drop the laptop at my door and I will see what I can do for her then she can collect it (not that I am much of a tech person but I will try).  She has a real phobia to technology so is quite seriously terrified of it and now she has 'killed' the laptop she will be even more scared.  As I said, the computer guy will be able to sort it out. Thanks for you advice, will pass it on.
  • Artferret
    Artferret Member Posts: 259
    Hi BlackWidow
    I use a fitbit charge 2 and have done so for 2 years to track my exercise habits. It tracks time, distance as well as your heart rate. The heart rate tracker is pretty accurate as i have checked it with a blood pressure machine we have. It also has a weight tracker as well as heaps of other stuff if you want to get into it in that way. You don't have to, you just load what you want. There is an app you can upload your data to if you wish though it is easier to do that on an ipad, tablet or smartphone rather than a desktop computer. I find mine lasts at least a week if not longer before i have to charge it which is great. I did a whole comparison thing before i bought mine and found this one suited my needs the best. Shop around pricewise. JB Hifi will price match if you find it cheaper somewhere else. You can also get different bands for it online. Hope this helps.
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,805
    Thank you @Artferret, I will let Anne know.  She does not have a smart phone or computer so is pretty limited.  From what I read on-line it looks like you have to use one or the other to actually get one up and running.  I am trying to convince her to come into the technological age but as she has just 'killed' a laptop she will be even more terrified.  I will read up on the Charge 2 and see if that is something which she could manage.  No doubt she will be in contact once she has the borrowed laptop back.