On Saturday, the same day I rejoined WW, I also ordered a little device in the mail — the Fitbit.
I was perusing a few other weight loss blogs here on WordPress when I came across a blogger raving about this little item. I was intrigued, and decided to look further into it. I didn’t want to be impulsive, since the Fitbit is $100 and I didn’t want to throw down my debit card on something I’d maybe or maybe not use a few times then cast aside like a kitten bored by its squeaky mouse. The more I read the info Amazon had, as well as user reviews, the more I felt this could be the motivating toy to keep me moving.
So here’s the skinny:
The Fitbit is a little device you clip onto your clothes (waistband, pocket, bra, whatevs) and wear throughout the day. It tracks the amount of steps you’ve taken, distance you’ve traveled, calories burned, and stairs climbed. There are a ton of other little fun features, like little motivational messages that pop up when you’re checking your stats, a little flower graphic that grows as you become more active throughout the day, and a stopwatch feature that can specify your steps/calories/distance for just that time period (like if you’re going for a run). Then all of this info gets synced onto the website which then gives you a more complete visual in terms of graphics and charts and all sorts of other neat things. It helps you create goals that you set and how you’re doing with them for the day or week or beyond. You can even track your sleep. If you wear the device at night (in a little cloth wristband provided) it will tell you how long you’ve actually slept, how many times you’ve woken up, and how effective your sleep it. (I already predict it will tell me I need more sleep, and STAT.)
So that’s the very abbreviated version of what the Fitbit’s about. There are a heck of a lot more things you can track on the website with it, but those are the main ones.
My thoughts on it so far are very positive. Straight out of the package, I was very pleased with the aesthetics. I went with the plum Fitbit, which looks very sleek with the black casing. The device itself looks like a rather fancy money clip, but is definitely inconspicuous, which is nice when you have to wear it clipped to you. There’s only one button on the device, which you can’t really see unless you know to look for it, which is also great, as there’s nothing about the Fitbit that screams “LOOK AT ME! I’M TRACKING THIS PERSON’S EVERY MOVE!” The display itself is a very easy to read blue. I have no problem seeing all the different screens.
The installation was a breeze, which is great because I suck at technology. After typing in all of my physical input, I decided to take it for a whirl. I wanted to see, first and foremost, how accurate the steps counter really was. I’ve had a few pedometers before, and I could never calibrate them right, and my step counts were always way off. You don’t have to calibrate your steps with the Fitbit, but there’s totally an option to do that if you want to measure and input your own stride length. But I decided to see how accurate my default setting was. I walked through my apartment building’s hallways, and physically counted exactly 400 steps. When I synced my Fitbit (it automatically syncs when you’re within 15 feet of your computer. How freaking cool is that?) the count came to 413 steps. Considering that’s only a 3% margin of error, and I may or may not have included a few extraneous steps inside my apartment, I’ll take it. That’s pretty accurate. Then there’s a chart that even breaks down for you, in 5 minute increments, how many calories you’ve burned. In the 5 minutes I was counting my steps, I burned 23 calories. Sweet.
Obviously there’s a lot with my Fitbit that I need to get acquainted with, since there are so many features. But I have the main ones down, and I’ve only owned this thing for 2 hours. I look forward to unlocking its full potential. I already know myself well enough to know that I’m going to want to meet all of my daily steps goals and definitely my calories burned goals. This is just the convenient and fun little thing to keep me on track.
Tomorrow morning is my morning off, which means I am definitely going on a hike. I’m thinking of revisiting Mirror Lake up by Mt. Hood. Mirror Lake was the very first hike I took this year, and was beautiful when it was snow covered. But now I want to see it in summer with Mt. Hood reflected in the lake itself. It’s a pretty tough little climb up to the lake, but the beauty is always worth it. When I hiked it in January, I remember feeling like maybe I should quit because I was wheezing with shortness of breath halfway up to the lake. But I talked myself into keeping on with it, and I was so happy I did. I’ll be interested to see how I do with the hike this time, now that I have 17 hikes behind me so far this year. Plus now I’ll have my Fitbit with me to track all that activity down 😀