There are many fitness gadgets on the market today – how do you know which ones will help and which will be a waste money? In my opinion, I believe the gadget must fit your goals. What is good for you may not work for others.
For instance, I find myself sitting more than I like. My job requires a lot of driving for appointments and I also log a lot of computer time writing reports, papers, blogging and keeping up with my facebook page. So I wanted to know if any of the gadgets out on the market could possibly help me – and you – on our journey to better health.
I was intrigued by the Fitbit. It is less expensive than most fitness gadgets, but was it anything more than just a pedometer? I wanted to give it a try, so I contacted them and they were generous enough to supply one for review.
Ok, I have to admit this is a cool little gadget – just clip it on yourself anywhere – jeans pocket, shirt, belt loop – and forget about it. It’s easy to set up – in less than 10 minutes I had logged onto their website and set up my account.
This little gadget gives you a lot of data – steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, activity level and sleep efficiency. Not only that, but it gives you words of motivation as well, such as “High Five Lori”; love that!
The Fitbit seemed accurate on my steps, but I’m a little unsure about the calories burned as it relies on the data you input into the program such as age, height, and gender. But bodies are different – muscle mass and metabolism make a huge difference in calories burned. However, once you start using it, it does provide you with a beginning baseline.
At first, it was a little difficult to get in the habit of putting my Fitbit on first thing in the morning. Then, it became an obsession of sorts. It made me aware of how little I actually move during the day, other than my workouts. On a good day I logged 7000 steps – on a bad day, only 2000. So I started challenging myself to move more. This was made a little easier by an app that you can get to interact with the Fitbit. It’s called FitBolt, and you can put the app on your desktop. It allows you to schedule reminders for yourself to get up and move. It also has stretched and exercises that you can perform in your office, when you finish click the “done” button and it uploads the activity to your Fitbit account so you get credit for it.
Sample of my good day
The Fitbit account also allows you to manually enter activity such as your exercise routine, treadmill run, or a daily activity such as cleaning house. You can also log your food to keep log of calories in and calories burned. It gives you a weekly update and allows you to see your progress on a cool graph. You can even allow your account and activity status to be shared with your friends and family. Achieve a goal and you’ll receive virtual badges, which you can share on Twitter, Facebook and Fitbit.com.
At night you can slip your Fitbit in a sleeve that goes around your forearm and track how much you move during your sleep, giving you a “sleep efficiency” percentage each night you wear it. Although this number really doesn’t tell you much in terms of what’s normal or even recommended, not to mention that your total number of hours asleep doesn’t even factor into your score, it’s a cool feature to see how much you thrash about each night, for sure.
Achieve a goal and you’ll receive virtual badges, which you can share on Twitter, Facebook and Fitbit.com. Admit it, there isn’t anyone that doesn’t like getting a gold star or a blue ribbon.
Overall, for just $99, this little tracker is pretty darn cool. I’ve been wearing mine daily for more than a month now, and I’ll continue to do so because it helps me to remember to move more during the day. And did I mention – the online account is free? I like free.
Even though I was given the product to review, the opinions expressed are strictly my own.