Well, I'll start out by saying I LOVE this little gadget. The second thing I will say is, I LOVE technology. I am the type of person who thrives on accountability, and the Fitbit provides exactly that. I like to call it my conscience in my pocket (patent pending). Here is a breakdown of the awesome features.
How It Works
The Fitbit is a 2" long, 1/3" thick device <insert "that's what she said" joke here> that you can clip onto your clothing or just put in your pocket . It's primary method of collecting data is the accelerometer. "Its accelerometer constantly measures the acceleration of your body, and algorithms convert this raw data into useful information about your daily life, such as calories burned, steps, distance and sleep quality." (Fitbit Blog) These algorithms were exhaustively tested, and you can read all about it in the blog link here^^.
What It Tracks
- Steps: A classic step counter (pictured above, left). With a daily goal of 10,000 steps, Fitbit counts each and every one.
- Floors Climbed: Fitbit is able to distinguish between when you are just walking and when you are climbing stairs. A daily goal of 10 flights is set for you. I find myself trying to beat my total from the day before.
- Miles: All that walking/biking/running adds up to miles! Fitbit will count them for you.
- Calories Burned: Obviously, this was a huge seller for me. The accuracy of the burned calories is within 10, and when you're monitoring intake and output, accuracy is vital. I love looking at the before number, doing a spin class, and then seeing that, yes, I just burned over 600 calories. It is very gratifying and a stellar self-motivator.
- Active Score: This is a flower that gradually grows the more active you are throughout the day (pictured above, middle). Make that flower grow!
- Sleep Monitor: Another fantastic feature I didn't know I wanted. The Fitbit comes with a soft wrist band that it can clip to while you sleep. After starting the timer, it will monitor your sleep patterns, how long you were in bed, how many times you woke up, and how efficiently you slept. This has actually been a great tool for me in how I prepare for bed; changing some of my bedtime routine so that I fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Recording Your Stats
The Fitbit comes with a charging station you plug directly into your computer using a USB port. This fancy little base syncs with your Fitbit wirelessly whenever you are near it. The device also carries a charge for days. Maybe once a week I am needing to charge, which is so helpful for people constantly on the go.
After you initially sign up on the website, you can download the free (I heart free) app to your smart phone, which will sync with your Fitbit every time you "check in" wirelessly with the base. Through the website and app, you can set weight goals, calories goals, track food intake, and see graphs of all your activities. Did I mention I LOVE technology?!
You can also be Fitbit friends with anyone who also owns one. What's that? My buddy, Rob, out-stepped me this week by 1,000? Well, this week will be different! A little friendly competition is good for the soul.
Another sweet feature I discovered is the calorie tracking app I was already using (MyFitnessPal, also free) has an option to link to the Fitbit. The two apps talk to each other, syncing my activity and intake, making an accurate, efficient tracking system. If you are like me, I must stay on top of my tracking, and these two technological marvels have been key to my success.
I was fortunate enough to receive my Fitbit through work during a promotion, so I didn't have to worry about the $129 price tag. However, if you are in the market for an activity tracker, and this is within your budget, I highly recommend the Fitbit. Small, accurate, easy to use, and so versatile. My next big fitness purchase will be the Fitbit scale, Aria, which goes a step further to measure body fat percentage and BMI, syncing with my Fitbit for pinpoint accuracy of my body composition.
Technology and science, two of my favorite things, working together to get me to my healthiest!
Inspire. Motivate. Move.