I’ve had my Fitbit for a year as of August 6, so it’s time for an update!
There have been times in the past when I’ve stayed fit and maintained my weight. It would usually last for about 18 months. At that point I’d get tired of the time and discipline involved. So I can meet my goals with or without a Fitbit, but “with” is more fun!
Above are my best and worst days so far this month. On the 16th I did my usual workout, walked to and from work, and mowed the lawn! On the 12th, I didn’t work out, and I had to take my car to work to drive to a meeting.
I have competed in some daily and weekly challenges, but I always fare best when I set and meet my own goals. This is where the Fitbit universe excels. At a minimum, you use Fitbit’s default goal of 10,000 steps each day. Or you can set goals for everything – weight, calories in and out, exercise minutes, heart rate zones, kilometres walked, and stairs climbed. The basic Fitbit Flex has a row of lights which show progress toward your step goal. Other models have an LED display with readouts for the many goals you’ve set. However, all of them connect with a Fitbit app or website which gives full details of your day, far beyond what the wristband shows you. You can sync your wristband with the app or website any time to see how you’re doing. In my case, it helps me plan the rest of my day. For example, if I work out in the morning, I don’t have to go overboard on steps or activity for the rest of the day, if I don’t want to! Sometimes I wrongly guess that I’ve been somewhat active but I actually need to get moving later in the day to meet my goals.
As I said in my 6-month report, my Fitbit conked out after 3.5 months. I phoned up and they diagnosed the Fitbit by accessing my account, with my permission. They sent out a replacement in overnight delivery. The replacement is the one I still wear. Now that the 1-year warranty has expired, I am worried about the Fitbit dying, since most electronics are not built to last. However, it is still going strong and there are no signs of wear. It still charges fully, has good battery life, and syncs with the app easily. I feel the company supports their products well. It should be noted that problems syncing the Fitbit may be caused by the Fitbit itself and not the app. That’s what happened in my case.
In a perfect world, maybe my Charge HR would have interchangeable wristbands, like the higher-priced Surge smartwatch does. Maybe it would be waterproof and able to track swimming. GPS would be cool but that would be a whole new price point. Also, the screen is hard to read in bright sunlight.
I wear my Fitbit 24/7. I like the sleep tracking and the vibrate-alarm. I use the sleep goal feature: the app reminds me when it’s time to get ready for bed. This has really helped me wind down my evening activities and cut down screen time. I am working toward 7 hours of sleep a night. I can download my own stats into a spreadsheet – they show I really do average 7 hours of sleep a night. But since that includes weekends when I sleep later, it is concerning! In reality, it is more like 6 hours on weeknights and 8.5 on weekend nights. So I am still working on that, but the reminders and tracking help a lot to keep me mindful about it.
I mentioned in my 6-month review that the app underestimated how many calories I needed to take in. Recently I have been putting a higher priority on sleep so I work out 4 mornings a week instead of 5-6 and I just go for a walk on the other days. My weight has gone up just 2 or 3 lbs so I am happy with that.
As a data nerd, I have to say that my Fitbit is one of my favourite electronic toys ever. It is possible that after 18 months, my natural motivation to work out will decline and I’ll stop wearing it. But I doubt it, because I really like the continuous feedback. The only reason I might stop wearing it is because I miss wearing my nice wrist watches, and I prefer not to wear both! It’s more likely that the device itself will pack in. I haven’t been rough with it, so we’ll see what the built-in obsolescence factor is like. I won’t know until it dies what its cost was over its lifetime. I paid $179 for mine, so to date, it has cost me $15 a month!
If you have been thinking about getting a Fitbit but are undecided, I think it is a great motivator, easy to set up, fun to use, and there is a choice of how simple or complex you want your goals and statistics to be. The app and website are well-designed, attractive, and updated often. I highly recommend it.
This is not a sponsored post.
Do you have any fitness tracker stories? If you are fit and you don’t use a tracker, what works for you?