Want to stay fit this Winter? Join the Buffalo Day Hikers Meetup as part of Meetup.com.

Buffalo Day Hikers have a Hike at Reinstein Woods on Friday, December 16 at 7:15am. They will briskly walk 4 miles/1.25 hours through this beautiful location with New York's largest beech tree, deer, ponds, ancient woods, and marshland. 

Walk the Canal in the city of Tonawanda Monday, December 19th at 6:15pm. 

On Wednesday, December 21st at 4;30pm return to Reinstein Woods for the Winter Solstice. This is the longest night of the year (shortest day) so they will tramp around in the dark.  You will need a light of some sort. Headlamps can be purchased at any sporting goods store.

So far, I’ve broken two fitness trackers. The Mio Alpha 2 and the Nike Fuel Band. I still want to track my distance, time, and calories for my nature walks. You can set the activity of Google Fit to Walking for strolls around the city, or to Hiking when doing Nature walks on terrain with greater elevation. Thankfully, Google Fit does the job right from my phone, no fitness tracker band (and no cash) required.  

Google Fit (Free, Google Play Store) is versatile and surprisingly comprehensive in the activities that it tracks. While Walking, Running, and Cycling are its 3 default activities, tracking for 90+ activities are available including surprising categories such as Australian Football, Backcountry Skiing, Badminton, Calisthenics, Fencing, Frisbee, Gardening, Handcycling, Meditating, Waterpolo, Wheelchair, and even Zumba.  Chances are whatever your interest, you’ll be able to generate information about the distance, calories, and time it consumes.

Another unique advantage of Google Fit is that the data you generate can be edited, even when the app tracks when it isn’t necessarily supposed to.  For example, I’ve had various trackers including Mio and Nike mistakenly record my driving distance as part of my walking, running, and biking distance. Obviously, I want to remove that so that it will not reflect on my averages, and taint the other information I am collecting. Thankfully, I was able to change a 2 hour stint that included walking, driving, and sitting at a party as 1 second. While I wish I could completely remove that mistake, it makes my overall average more accurate than the outcome of this error on other trackers.

As a side note, I noticed the step counter is most accurate when your device is placed in the back pocket of your pants or side pocket, as opposed to carrying it or placing it in a bag/purse/backpack for accuracy purposes.

I love that this app gives me full access to YouTube and Tidal, (the audiophile equivalent to Spotify), and VLC, (Android's media center for podcasts), as I frequently get lost in movies/documentaries, music, and lectures while I'm walking or tending to my day to day activities. The app includes a handy feature which briefly interrupts your broadcast or stream stating the status of each mile completed, includes your average pace during the duration of that particular mile, then returns right back to your media. I believe this to be a useful and seamless integration between entertainment and Fitness data.