In my experience, March is when your New Years Resolution motivation really begins to diminish. Midterms are coming at you from every direction, you have a million papers due, and the last thing on your mind is getting some exercise! I was really hitting a wall with my New Years Resolution to keep track of and improve my fitness, so I began looking into ways to get back on track.
There is a whole new market out there of these watches that track everything for you, how many steps you take, your sleeping habits, as well as keeping you on track with your eating. After a year and a half of exercising, eating well, and losing fifty pounds, my mom got herself a FitBit, and for my 20th birthday my family got one for me as well. I have had some time to use the FitBit, and to really learn its features and tricks, so I feel like I am able to give a good review now.
There are a few different versions of the FitBit, each personalized to your activity level. There are the ‘ Every Day Fitness’ FitBits (Zip, One, Flex, and Charge), ‘Active Fitness’ (Charge HR), and ‘Performance Fitness’ (Surge). The company also sells the Aria, a Wi-Fi Smart Scale. The Fit Bit I own is the Charge and it retails at about $150.00 before taxes.
The FitBit Charge comes with the option of four different colour bands, Black, Grey, Blue, and Burgundy. You are also given the option of getting a Small or Large Band, and you clip it together when it feels comfortable and secure around your wrist.
The Charge screen is quite small, just a little rectangle. With a click on the side of the screen you can search through the time, steps taken, miles walked, calories burned, and how many floors you’ve climbed. The floors climbed doesn’t transfer your amount of steps into stairs, rather it goes by elevation.
The Fit Bit connects wirelessly by Bluetooth to the FitBit Website, as well as an app on your phone, updating often. The App tracks steps, miles, calories, and floors but it also tracks active minutes, calories eaten, calories left, sleep, and amount of water you’ve had. This menu is completely customizable and you can change what you want to track and what you don’t want to track. You can also set all your goals from the settings menu. Once you reach your goal in steps, your FitBit will vibrate against your wrist to let you know of your accomplishment.
If you choose to log your food and water, it is very easy to do so. For water, the app has set amounts for quick add or you can add the amounts yourself. For food, you can choose from already pre-set food or if it isn’t in their database you can create custom food with nutritional information for quick add later. You can categorize your day’s food into breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or even snacks. The food works with the calories you’ve burned during the day to give you an accurate amount of calories you have left. If you are trying to lose weight, you can also log your weight and desired weight, and it will give you an accurate calorie deficit and a reachable, reasonable amount of time that you can accomplish this in. I found this is a very easy way to log food and water intake. I also didn’t feel restricted at all during the day, as the more I walked and exercised, the app urged me to get back on track by taking in more calories.
One of my favourite features of the FitBit charge is the sleep tracker. When you fall asleep with the FitBit on your wrist, it not only tracks the minute you fall asleep and wake up, but it also tracks the amount of times you were restless or woke up during the night. It doesn’t assume you’re asleep if you’re inactive for a while or lying on the couch either, it tracks the precise time you fall asleep! In the morning it will give you all your stats, on your app, by laying out a map of the night so you can see the exact times you were restless. It keeps track of your sleeping habits over time and allows you to see your sleep habits weekly, or monthly, on average.
You can also track your exercise by holding down the button on the side of the screen or by pressing the Track Exercise button on your app. This allows you to keep track of how much you exercise on your app across time as well as figure out how many calories your workout burned.
Once connected to your phone by Bluetooth, your FitBit also vibrates on incoming calls and the screen acts as a Caller ID.
Another cool feature of the FitBit is the encouragement you can gain through friends. By connecting with other people who have a Fit Bit, you can see stats, encourage them with cheers or even set up challenges to motivate!
The FitBit comes with a small chord to charge that connects into a computer USB drive. The device charges within an hour to two hours, and stays charged for up to a week!
It’s Precise. The FitBit Charge is very precise in its tracking. I’ve already talked about the sleep feature, but the steps feature is very precise as well. It only counts steps, so moving your arm around won’t count; it has to be actual steps. I’m not sure how the Charge knows either of these things, but it’s very impressive!
Food and Water Tracking. The food and water tracking is the most reasonable feature I’ve ever used compare to apps that do the same thing. It doesn’t feel intimidating or impossible. The app allows you to see if you are under target, at target, or above target for the specific time of day and amount of exercise, calorie wise. The more exercise you do, the target goes up, and the app adjusts your calories left to the amount of steps and exercise you’ve done, so you’re properly fueling your body.
Charging. The charging is very quick and lasts a long time.
Bluetooth and App. The Bluetooth feature is excellent, syncs quickly and keeps you up to date. The app is also very positive and easy to use.
Appearance: The FitBit does look quite bulky, so it’s hard to wear without long sleeves on in everyday life.