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Steps to Health: Fitbit?

Updated on December 2, 2017
Fitbit devices
Fitbit devices | Source

Making the Choice

When it comes to the word fit, fellow bed-lovers and food-junkies cringe at the sound. That means probably getting up and doing things. But, since I'm on this journey to better health and lifestyle choices, I went ahead and purchased a Fitbit to see if it would motivate and stimulate my goals.

However, there are many to choose from, which may be somewhat overwhelming for people just starting on their journey (I know it was for me). Luckily, there are a few resolutions for this issue. The Fitbit website has a product comparison page with a short survey option that may help with extra research into the product, but most retailers have Fitbit products aligned on the shelves that can help you to compare as well. *You can find them various places in the US; Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Brookstone, etc.

For me, a thrifty and usually broke college student, I went with the product that I could afford - the Fitbit Flex 2 (mine was about $65.00 on Black Friday). I also chose this one because it would do the basic task that I wanted it to do - count steps. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Your phone can do that for you, etc. etc," but I often don't keep my phone on me (in my pocket or hand where it can track steps) when I am cleaning the house, walking around in stores, etc. The Fitbit is on my wrist throughout the day, so it is a bit more accurate in determining how much activity I've been doing.

Another factor that I took into account - rather than it's capabilities and price - was the look and design. I like to consider myself somewhat of a minimalist, so the Fitbit Flex 2 was a good choice for me. It is a simple wristband (I got mine in black) and has 5 lights in the center that help you gauge your activity and battery level. I wasn't keen on something with a huge screen/face such as the Blaze or Ionic. However, those options may be for you if you have trouble seeing or would like a different interface to view your progress. The lights do not remain on all the time, and only show up when you get a text message, call, or alarm alert, tap it twice to see your activity progress, or when you achieve your daily activity goal (which can all be managed in the app you use in addition to the device).

Using the Device

So after I bought the device, I was ecstatic to begin using it, but I finally decided to start using it on a brand new day, so I charged my device overnight (which you need to do before initial use) and put it on the next day. *I prefer to wear it on my non-dominant arm so that it doesn't get in the way when I write or eat.

On a typical day, my walk between classes, between different buildings, or to my apartment and various other places would land me at around 5,000 steps (per the iPhone Health App). So for those of you following the military's advice of 10,000 steps a day, I was regularly doing around half of that. I wasn't happy with this, and when I set up my Fitbit settings in the app, I made my goal 8,000 steps a day, with the idea in mind that I would increase it when I began to regularly meet my new goal. Also, this Fitbit will give me little reminders to move every hour if I have not made 250 steps.

Since using the Fitbit, I am able to just double-tap on my wristband and my goal progress will light up. There are five small lights in total, and one extra light will light up everytime you meet a fifth of your daily step total. Based on my own experience, I believe this has helped me make a more conscientious effort to make extra steps, to use the stairs more, and to go longer routes to class or other places when I have the time. And at the end of my class and work day, if I have not met my goal by a few thousand steps, I may make the choice to go to a store or mall - not necessarily to shop, but just to look around and enjoy myself while getting in those extra steps without really thinking about it. *There are various other alternatives to getting in extra steps if you don't enjoy that option.

This week I am going to bump my goal up to 9,000 steps per day since I have consistently met my 8,000 step goal in the past week and a half, but of course, start wherever you feel is right for you and for what activity levels you are capable of.

Other Benefits

The Fitbit Flex 2, the device that I use, also has the ability to track your sleep habits, water intake, daily exercise, and food consumption, which, aside from tracking sleeping habits, I used to use the MyFitnessPal App for, but now I don't have to! It's great that this app consolidates various lifestyle and fitness factors into one app, which gives me a more rounded view of my current health. Mostly, it makes me more aware of the aspects that I can improve on (all of them, aha).

I've found the sleep tracker especially helpful, as I am diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression, which often don't have any positive influences on my sleeping habits. The tracker will detect when you are asleep, or you can press a button on the app to tell it that you are ready to sleep. As I already knew, my sleeping was not that healthy, and although I was sleeping at a reasonable time (for a college student), much of my night was restless and consisted of lots of tossing and turning. Unfortunately, the app does not tell you what your sleeping quality means, it only records it. Since then, I have searched for other remedies to aid in more restful sleep, but I applaud the wonderful insights that the Fitbit gave me about my overall health habits, and I recommend it to anyone starting a journey to better health, no matter what current shape you are in!

Disclaimer: I am not being paid or supported by Fitbit for this entry. These thoughts are all my own and have no connection to the Fitbit company or its devices.

Overall Rating

4 stars for Fitbit Flex 2

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© 2017 Madison Marie

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