I believe in wearable health devices they do so much to help keep me on the right path helping me to balance my activities so that I can stay healthy. I couldn’t have lost weight, mastered my insomnia or kept track of my food or exercise without them. They are meant to be a tool in helping us get an idea of how we’re doing not a medical device but if used correctly they are very useful.
Recently I bought a Charge 2 Fitbit band and I love it. It gives active (during exercise) and resting heart rate, sleep stages (REM, deep sleep, etc.) it tracks diet, has a Relax (deep breathing) mode, gives you a Cardio Fitness Score and more. It’s put together well and easy to wear while sleeping.
Fitbit has a good community of users behind their products. They have many groups one can join to exchange information and share your ups and downs with on your journey to good health. One such group I joined was Cycling and it was clear that some of these people needed my help.
The first few times I tried tracking my rides on the Fitbit it was a trial and error period for sure. My Fitbit uses my phone’s GPS to track rides, meaning I need to have my phone with me to work and has a feature where it will automatically track cycling after so many minutes of riding. It sounds so simple but it wasn’t.
I was already using Mapmyride and Myfitnesspal so when buying my Fitbit I made sure the app connected and shared data with them. The food data worked flawlessly but the cycling was another story.
The first time I used Mapmyride everything was good until I synced the Fitbit app. The Fitbit mapped my ride, I couldn’t enlarge the map and the info was limited. The info from Mapmyride did not show up. The data had not exchanged and I was stuck with 2 different versions and maps of my bike ride in 2 different places. I wasn’t happy with that.
After some thought, I went into the Fitbit exercise tile and changed the bike ride setting to not track my rides automatically. So the next time I biked my Mapmyride data was right there under my exercise tile on the Fitbit app and I was thrilled.
Looking closer, I noticed something. It said that the data came from Myfitnesspal, not Mapmyride. Just to see I took Myfitnesspal out of the equation and sure enough, I was missing my cycling data again. So, if you don’t have Myfitnesspal connected even if you don’t use it, your data won’t show up like this.
Myfitnesspal is all about nutrition and how many calories you can eat for the day adding and subtracting calories from what you burn (or don’t) changing many times in a day. I think because of this it’s more active in sharing data between Mapmyride and the Fitbit app so I’m thinking that’s why it works this way. It’s just a guess but if it’s not broken I’m not fixing it.
What does all this mean? If you have a Fitbit and cycle outdoors it’s very easy to get your ride turned into steps, see your normal ride stats and have it all show up under your exercise tile on the Fitbit app if you just follow these simple instructions. Also, many people talk about putting their Fitbit bands on their ankle, shoe or other places while biking. I don’t know what started this nonsense but you can keep your band on your wrist.
Get Your Cycling Data Here
- download Mapmyride and Myfitnesspal
- fill out the profiles on these apps
- make sure all 3 apps are connected to each other
- on the Fitbit app press the exercise tile
- under the Exercise Goals settings, tell the Fitbit to IGNORE Outdoor Bike.
When IGNORED it will look like this (above)
Next Time You Bike
- log your ride using Mapmyride
- when finished, sync with the Fitbit app under the exercise tile
- your workout will be on your Fitbit
When finished and synced your ride will show up under your exercise tile like this (above)
Your maps will be stored on the Mapmyride app and site, they’re enlargeable and detailed unlike what the Fitbit offers alone. I can go and look up my past rides, log a ride I forgot, edit my workouts and much more than can be done on the Fitbit. All changes will be on the Fitbit after syncing.
If you want these results you must follow my instructions to the letter including using Myfitnesspal in the loop. I don’t use Strava, or other biking apps so if you do, experiment using them instead of Mapmyride. I’d be interested in the outcome if you do.
After riding my bike I can’t wait to pour over my statistics about my ride and find out how I did. The easier it is the better. Enjoy your rides!
My hope is this helps the many friends I’ve made in the Cycling Group on Fitbit. I have written these instructions too many times in comments on posts asking for help so this is a selfish attempt to save time and my hand from cramping.
For detailed info on what Mapmyride can do for you follow the link and read my post on what the free version can do for you.
You Got To Hit It To Get It!