Back in August, my boyfriend received some Love to Shop vouchers from his workplace as a “thank you and congrats on hitting your sales target”. Since we were trying to be healthy, we had been looking at heart rate monitors and activity trackers so, being the lovely gem that he is, he bought both of us a Fitbit each.
For those of you who have never heard of a Fitbit before, they are small activity trackers that you can either wear around your wrist or hooked over your trousers, depending on which model you buy. I have the activity + sleep wristband known as the Fitbit Flex, which is the most basic of the wristbands.
The first thing to know about the Flex is that the important part of the device is really quite small and is removable from the wristband for charging. The wristband, of which you are provided with a small size and a large size, clips together by inserting two ‘pins’ into two of the seven holes on the other end of the band, meaning the size is adjustable and you don’t have to worry about buckles!
The Flex wristband comes in an array of different colours (black, blue, pink, tangerine, red, green, etc) and you can buy additional bands which is great, especially since one of the bad aspects about this product is that the band seems quite breakable. I used the small band from my own Flex but I noticed that after a while, part of the band began to tear and eventually, the entire band split into two pieces. Luckily I still had the actual Fitbit device so could easily insert it into my boyfriend’s small band (as he uses the large size) but it is something to be wary of!
The Flex works by measuring the amount of steps you take each day and displaying them in the form of lights on the shiny part of the band: each light is worth 20% of your daily step target (mine is 10,000 – the lights are displayed when you tap the wristband). As good as it is that the Flex tracks steps, sometimes I do question how accurate the steps are since the band is only on my wrist: if I wriggle my wrist by doing my hair, will my step-count increase? However, you can change the settings to alter the sensitivity by saying whether you wear the wristband on your dominant or non-dominant wrist.
Viewing the other data is available either via the app or on the website.
I find the app easy to use and love that it can sync with other apps, such as MyFitnessPal, WeightWatchers, MapMyRun and Sleep Debt. The data from your Fitbit connects to your phone via bluetooth so it can be updated whenever you turn your bluetooth on, allowing you to view your steps, distance walked, active minutes, calories burned (including your base metabolic rate) and sleep.
What’s great is that you can see when you accumulated the most steps, miles, active minutes and calories burned by clicking onto each option on the app, plus you can track how much you sleep and what your quality of sleep was like (i.e. when you woke during the night/how restless you were). The one thing that I don’t like about the options that you are provided with is the active minutes: you have to be moving for at least one minute for it to class as an active minute (obviously) but if you walk for, say, 50 seconds, have a break for 5 seconds and then walk for another 50 seconds, you don’t get any active minutes. I spend the first two hours of each working morning walking around in short bursts. I would say I have two active hours but according to the Fitbit, most days I only accumulate around 4 or 5 active minutes as I rarely walk for 60 seconds+.
Other options for the app include tracking your calorie intake and the amount of water you have drank, as well as your weight and body fat percentage so you can see how far you have progressed, if your aim is to lose weight or bulk up.
The website, on the other hand, is even better than the app. It tells you how far into your daily target you are by way of percentage as well as gives you a more in-depth summary of each of the characteristics the Fitbit measures you on. The entire design of both the app and the website are incredibly user friendly and fun to look at – the red-amber-green design really pushes me to get everything in the green, which ultimately means I am being healthy.
Overall, I love my Flex. It is a very inspiring and motivating way to become healthier. It enables you to track your steps, activities, distance, active minutes, sleep, weight, calories, water intake and sleep. The only thing I feel I am missing from the Flex is the ability to track my heart rate so I am tempted to get an upgrade, though for £119.99 I need to make sure it is something I really want!
Do you have the Fitbit? Do you have any other activity trackers?