When my son Eric bought me a Fitbit Flex for Christmas, I don’t think he could have anticipated the monster he was unleashing in his mom. I think he just recognized the geek in me and figured that I’d love trying out this cool gadget.
In reality, my Fitbit Flex is sort of revolutionizing my physical life.
What makes this different than the simple step-counting pedometers we’ve all worn in the past? For me, it’s the phone’s connection to my smartphone, a Galaxy Note 3, that makes the difference.
Daily steps taken with Fitbit, displayed on the Android App
First, let’s look at the Fitbit as it comes out of the box. The recipe is very simple: two different sized wrist bands (one small and one large), rubber and flexible with a snapping closure. Into the proper sized band, you place a small, rechargeable flex tracker that counts your motion. If you’re a fashion person, you can actually buy a variety of wrist bands and swap out the colors. So far, I’ve stuck with basic black, and while it took me a while to get used to wearing the band, I now feel sort of naked without it.
I’m currently only scratching the surface of Fitbit’s potential by using it solely to track my steps and my sleep patterns. While I’ve configured the Fitbit app to work with the My Fitness Pal app to track my caloric intake, I haven’t really been using it to track calories consistently. Were I doing so, Fitbit would calculate my calories taken in and expended and would give me a relatively detailed look at how I can effectively meet my weight loss goals.
But as I said, I’m taking baby steps here. My primary goals for the month of January have been to track my sleep patterns (Fitbit tells me my times “awake” and “restless” per night) and to make sure that I’m taking at least 10,000 steps per day. For me, working in a sedentary job, this is a challenge. And unlike less accurate pedometers I’ve worn in the past, Fitbit seems to be pretty darn accurate when it comes to counting steps. I did notice on recent bike rides that it inaccurately counted some steps, but when it comes to walking either on the street or on a treadmill, the tracker seems quite accurate. Another major plus for the product is its excellent battery life.
Perhaps for me, a busy 50-year-old wife and mom, the best thing about wearing my Fitbit is the visual reminder it gives me each day to better care for the gift of my physical body. Young moms who are chasing kiddos all day may be surprised to see the number of steps you take! But for us “desk jockeys”, glancing down and seeing that it’s noon and you’ve only taken 2,500 steps can be the kick in the pants you need to get you out the door for a walk.
I hope to be back next month with an update on the calorie tracking features of Fitbit. In the mean time, if you’ve this or another device I’d love to hear what you think!
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Copyright 2014 Lisa M. Hendey