I am constantly trying to make better choices in my lifestyle – whether it is drinking more water, or being more active. I find that anything that challenges me, really helps me meet my goals. That’s why I wanted to get a Fitbit last summer – to track my steps, and encourage me to increase my physical activity level.
I did some research, and bought a Fitbit Flex, which cost me about $119. At the time, there was no option available that would have a time display on it, so I couldn’t purchase one. The Fitbit Flex is a small device that records your movements, and tracks your activity level and your sleep habits. It fits into a simple bracelet that you wear on your non-dominant hand. There are 5 dots that light up, one for every 20% of your step goal (ie. for a goal of 10,000 steps a day, one light will show for each 2,000 steps). When you meet your goal, the Flex vibrates a few times, and the lights flash a bit, celebrating your goal.
It syncs up to your computer, iphone, or ipad. It collects a lot of data about your activity level, and you can view it all in little charts and tables.
There is also a sleep-tracking feature. When you tap it twice, it goes into sleep-tracking mode. Basically it tracks your movements and graphs them for you, guessing that you are awake or asleep, based on your movements. I found this interesting for a while, but I don’t use it for this anymore.
The first thing I realized when I got my Fitbit was that I do not take nearly enough steps in my average day. I figured that I was doing pretty well most days, but on an average day, I could easily end up with only 5,000 steps, if I wasn’t trying. I like the fact that it is on my wrist, visible all day, too. It reminds me to keep moving – when I’m on the phone, waiting for the bus with the kids, or even watching TV. The nice part, though, is once you know what you need to do, it is easy to get results. Here are some things I do now, to increase my step count:
- Instead of picking up the mail on the way through, the kids and I walk to pick it up.
- When the kids want to go for a bike ride, I’ll walk/run along with them
- I take 15 minutes during my lunch to go for a walk around the block
There are lots of other small choices I make during my day which help me get to my goal. I have my goal set at 13,000 steps, so I can push myself a bit. Most days, I can get to that number.
Another neat feature is that you can do challenges with friends or co-workers. This helped me get my best week of steps ever, because I am so very competitive, and it really helped me step up my game. I walked 20,000 steps every day that week!! I was exhausted by the end of it, but it was fun competing with my co-workers! I had only done 20,000 once before, and then, because of that challenge, I did it every day!
There are also lots of Facebook groups for Fitbit users, for FAQs, tips, and encouragement. And the support and encouragement is what makes the product work so well! Being in contact with other users helps to stay on track and keep moving!
If you are interested in a Fitbit, there are several options available. I like a lot of the features of the more expensive ones, such as the Fitbit Charge (around $150) - like the fact that it tells time, and that it displays all your data right on your Fitbit. If the Charge had been around when I got mine, I would have bought it.
Do you have any experience with an activity tracker? Or step counters? Let us know what you think!
Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this post. I love product, and wanted to share it with you!