Three months after joining the gym and my health and fitness kick is still going strong. So far, I’m pleased to say that I’ve stayed pretty well on track, aside from the odd sneaky treat or take-away, but more recently, I decided to up the ante by investing in a fab piece of kit – my Fitbit.
I had been interested in buying a Fitbit ever since I first saw the advert on TV last year, but took the plunge after finishing my six week course with my personal trainer. Now that I was let loose in the gym on my own, geared up with newfound knowledge to fend for myself in the world of kettlebells and TRX workouts, I was interested to find out if sweating it out at 6.30AM was actually doing me good.
I ordered my Fitbit Charge HR – because it counts steps, calories, stairs AND monitors your sleep and heart rate – from Amazon, and within two days it was at my door and ready to use. But for those of you who haven’t joined the Fitbit club, what’s it all about, and why am I so obsessed?
I’ve never been one for going out running or walking so, unlike my mum who has been pounding the pavements religiously since buying her Fitbit last year, I wasn’t overly concerned with tracking how many steps I take in a day – at least until I started wearing it. Suddenly, the goal of reaching 10,000 steps took over my life – to the point where I thought there was nothing unusual about pacing around my bed at midnight to reach 10,000, and my checking my wrist compulsively for my step count was beginning to drive my friends crazy.
And speaking of friends – the friends feature on the app unleashes a mildly unhealthy layer of competitiveness. I have been known to drag my best friend on a 3 hour walk solely to trump my Fitbit friends; and practically cried when I realised that I had spent an entire day walking around with a fellow Fitbit wearer and a dead Fitbit on my arm… but it’s all in the name of fitness, right?
Recently, Fitbits have received some bad press for their inaccuracies in heart rate tracking but, as expected, it’s my favourite feature. Whereas in previous weeks, I felt like I was cheating by opting for a 10 minute high-intensity circuit over my 40 minute kettlebell routine, my Fitbit has reassured me that I’m burning just as many calories – the fact that I tend to collapse into a sweaty heap on the floor might also have been a giveaway.
It might not be 100% accurate, but in my book, as long as it’s consistent, it’s doing what I need it to do.
The final verdict
Four weeks later, and I’m still wearing my Fitbit – and am devastated when I leave it on the charger – which is a miracle considering I haven’t worn a watch in years. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say it has improved my weight loss, but it has certainly motivated me to stay active on my lazier days, and has definitely encouraged more than a few walks to up that step count.
My only criticism is the battery life – mine only lasts 2 days, or 3 at the most, unlike my mum’s which lasts almost 5. Mum’s doesn’t have an LED screen, nor does it have a heart rate feature, but I still feel a little hard done by when I have to part with it to charge!
There are features – including the app’s food diary feature – that I haven’t even scratched the surface of yet, but there’s plenty of time for that when I need to up my game. For now, I’m happy to keep my steps up, and maybe try to get that heart rate into the red zone for the first time ever. But if you’re into fitness, getting into fitness, or maybe need to get into fitness – GO BUY ONE – you get to be Fitbit buddies with me, and what more could you possibly ask for?