The Fitbit Review…

Almost 1 month ago this pretty box with 2 HR Charge Fitbits came into my mailbox.  I was so excited to pull them out and pass one on to my husband as our joint anniversary gift.  We placed them on, and away we go!
Daily goal is the Vibration party going off on your arm at the end of the day!

As I find myself walking around my house intentionally at 11:24pm to get my steps (this is after I’ve already fallen asleep on the couch, have woken, and am on my way up to my bed and realize I haven’t met my ‘required’ steps for the day), I think to myself, am I crazy or what!  I’ve also done this to reach my 5 mile requirement, stair requirement, or my calorie requirement.
Screenshot_2015-07-02-08-55-09(This was was my finished product of July 1st)

How many of you can raise your hand that you’ve done the same???  Of course you will!
One of my coworkers warned me of this before mine arrived in the mail.  She said that in competitive nature, she noticed another coworker was ahead of her, so she ‘walked the kitchen’ right before bedtime to win the stepcount.

Yes, this is what the fitbit does to you!
During another challenge, a friend was a few steps behind me and she intentionally did chores late in the evening to bump her steps up to beat me in the challenge that night.

So why is everyone wearing this pretty little thing everyone is now wearing on their non-dominant arm around the office, church, school work?

The Fitbit promotes you getting 10,000 steps in a day.  This is a # created in Japan after studies showed that people who were getting 10k steps a day were improving health benefits.  However, the CDC says 8000 steps should do this.  The key is improving from where you were.
10,000 steps is supposed to be the equivalent of 4-5 miles.  The stepcount assumes your stride length is 2.5ft per step.  If you don’t indicate in the fitbit your actual stride-length, it will go by your height and gender or assumed stride-length.  A little trick, make sure you go to the Fitbit dashboard on your desktop and insert your stridelength to make sure your stepcounts are accurate.

Other fitbit benefits, depending on which one you choose:
Keeps track of your heartrate (for those wanting to workout in your target heart rate zones), Some have GPS,
Some track sleep patterns (in case you want to know if you’re sleeping ok at night, how restless you really are)
Calorie and Water intake and output monitoring
Notify you when a phone call comes in with the name or number across your fitbit and a vibration
Dancing party on your arm when you reach your step count for the day!

If you let it, it makes you conscientious of your activity for the day!  This is good and bad (see crazy examples above).
I also find myself choosing to take the dog on long walks in the evening to get my steps in, even if my run that morning didn’t help me meet it!

There are many different types fitbit you can choose.
I chose the Charge HR because they say its good for the active person.  Well, its good if you use the activity monitor on it.  I don’t.  Instead I have Mapmyrun and Myfitnesspal on my phone.  Those are free apps I’ve used for years.  I can’t bring myself to stop logging my workouts into Mapmyrun…
Mapmyrun connects to the fitbit as well!
So I track all my activity with Mapmyrun and it ends up on my Fitbit.
Benefit of using Mapmyrun is I can visually see my workout stats as I’m going- including distance, minutes/mile, and time.
ETA: I still haven’t created an accurate stride calculation for running though. After a 5m run (calculated by mapmyrun) it only adds 4.5miles to my fitbit mileage.

Competitively, I can see all my friends stepcount averages for the last 7 days.  It keeps them in order of highest stepcount and lowest.  I like to stay as high on the list as I can.  It will motivate me if I notice I’m dropping slots!
Also shows you badges for goals  you’ve reached- Things such as
High tops badge (meaning I’ve walked 20k steps in a day)
Penguin March (I’ve reached 70 lifetime miles)
Lighthouse (I’ve walked 50 flights of floors in a day)
Helicopter (I’ve walked 500 lifetime floors thus far)
This is all you can see on your friends info btw.  It keeps everything else hidden unless you choose to go make it open on your desktop dashboard.

There are pedometer apps on many phones though, such as the S Health on the Samsung Galaxy, which embarrassingly I didn’t realize until someone asked me about it the other day, reminding me I could have had a free version on my phone to calculate all this…
Screenshot_2015-07-02-08-13-41 The big negative to using these is that if you’re looking for an accurate count for the day, you will have to carry your phone everywhere.  There is no sitting it down while you do chores around the house, etc… you have to have it with you every time to walk.  That’s why its nice to have the armband that just stays there.
Basic Pedometers won’t allow you to adjust your stride-length, nor do they take into account your height, age, gender.

There are other brands of armband pedometers that measure your heartrate and do all the same things.  Some are cheaper, some are more expensive.  Here’s a Consumer review site for pedometers.
Some workplaces are getting corporate discounts, therefore can end up being cheaper.  I did notice when I searched for alternate pricing, places like Kohls that sold them did not allow coupon codes to be used with.

In the end, do you need a fitbit?  Depends on what you need/want.
It provides motivation and information.
If you are happy getting all that elsewhere, are self-motivated or already have friends or family who motivate you do keep active, then maybe you don’t need this.
It’s Competitive.  Do you want to compete with others who have it?  If your friends or co-workers don’t have one, this isn’t going to work unless you’re good with competing with yourself.
You can also have competitions with your friends- most steps in the weekend, week, etc…
It provides a place for you to document food and water accurately to monitor  your calorie goals.
It talks to other apps, such as MFP and Mapmyrun.

Oh and we can’t forget it has a CLOCK!!  I haven’t worn a watch in years since our cell phones have them.  But now rather than waking up my phone to check time, I just turn my arm up and there it is!

All in all, it’s another weightloss tool, that yes, you could do completely cost-free if you wanted to, but this is fun.
All depends on your needs.

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