I’m super pumped! I got a Fitbit Flex!
I’ll be the first to admit, I probably don’t get the exercise I should be getting (not to say I’m “unhealthy,” though). With that in mind, I asked for a Fitbit for my birthday. I thought maybe getting one would motivate me to be, at least, a little more active. I’ve read blogs written by Fitbit users before, and they say reaching your 10K steps on the daily is addicting. And that’s good if you’re looking to get into better shape!
I got my Fitbit in the mail last week (thanks Mom, and Dad!) and have been using it ever since. It’s not the prettiest of things, but I don’t care about that (as is evident if you’ve ever seen a #TBT pic of me. But I digress...). I got the Fitbit Flex, which is perfect for me. For the week that I’ve been using it, I’m beginning to get how people can become addicted to reaching their daily goals.
How it works
If you’ve never used one, or aren’t familiar with how the Flex works, you use it in combination with an app you can download. The Flex syncs with that app, which is where you can see (and track) your steps. It can also track your sleep (if you remember to put it into sleep mode), calories burned, and miles walked/run that day. It’s really easy to use. As long as you keep it on your wrist, it’ll track everything for you.
If you want, you can change your goals from the defaults they have set for you. For example, if you want to start out by taking 5,000 steps instead of 10,000 (which is the default) you can do that.
Something else that’s cool about the app is you can join “challenges” to help motivate you. And if you have friends that also have a Fitbit, you can challenge them.
The battery lasts four to six days. I like that. I like not having to worry about charging it every day, or every other day.
If you’re not interested in getting one because of how it looks, I have bad news. You can’t use that as an excuse anymore. Turns out you can get bracelets that look a bit more stylish, or a necklace you can put the Fitbit into.
Good for travel
I think this kind of product is great for an avid traveler. When you have little, or no access to a gym, using the Fitbit can help you keep track of how much you’ve run, or walked in a day. Not only that, but it also has a vibrating alarm you can set (which works surprisingly well on me) that may be good for your cell phone battery.
What bothers me?
What I don’t like about the pedometer is the inconsistency I am seeing when it tracks my steps. Based on their website, the Fitbit tracks steps by doing the following:
“Fitbit trackers use a 3-axis accelerometer to understand your motions. An accelerometer is a device that turns movement (acceleration) of a body into digital measurements (data) when attached to the body. By analyzing acceleration data, our trackers provide detailed information about frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns of movement to determine your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality. The 3-axis implementation allows the accelerometer to measure your motion in any way that you move, making its activity measurements more precise than older, single-axis pedometers.”
And that sounds all fine-and-dandy, but I’ve noticed if you move your wrist a lot (like the amount you’d move it during happy hour after a hard day at work), you’ll likely get it to count steps you never took. I doubt it’ll be many, but every step counts, right? And they even admit, the “3-axis accelerometer” isn’t perfect:
“Other factors can create enough acceleration to meet our threshold and therefore cause some over counting of steps, such as riding on a bumpy road. Equally, it's possible for the algorithm to undercount (not meet the required acceleration threshold). Examples here include walking on a very soft surface such as a plush carpet.”
The other thing I find slightly annoying is the fact that you have to “turn on/off” (with the Flex model) sleep mode. If you don’t turn it on, you won’t be able to take proper advantage of that “benefit.” If you turn it on, but forget to turn it off, all those steps you’ve taken all day don’t count! At least, that’s my understanding.
Am I being a bit picky? Eh, maybe. But why shouldn’t I be?
No doubt, like many things, this is a fad. But whatever helps me be a little more active is fine by me. I probably sit at a computer 8-9 hours a day. The Fitbit will hopefully help me take a few extra steps a day, and I’m okay with that. Do you have a Fitbit, or something like it? What do you think of it? I’d love to hear from you.
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