Fun with Fitbit

I know that most people tend to make big goals around January, especially with regards to fitness, but for me it’s spring when I actually feel inspired to set goals and make changes.  Nick and I just finished up the main part of the cleansing diet we were doing, so now we have a clean slate and are making our health and fitness a priority.  We realized that if with all our ambitions and goals, we need to take care of our health to keep productive and happy.  One method I find more motivating than almost everything else is seeing numbers, stats, and progress.

Enter Fitbit.  I knew that our metabolisms had been revved up as a result of the diet, so I wanted to have an accurate picture of what I was taking in, and what I was burning, as well as other indicators if possible.  After researching various methods and devices for tracking, we settled upon the Fitbit Flex as being our best option.  It’s a simple wristband that’s easy to wear, charges quickly, and costs about $100.  It tracks throughout the day, lighting up from 1 to 5 lights as I progress closer to my daily goals.  With it comes tracking online and via an app, which shows far more detailed statistics.  Check out a screenshot of my dashboard.

You can see that it tracks, pretty much in real-time my steps taken, distance walked, active time, and even sleep.  Most importantly to me, though, it tracks how many calories I burn throughout the day, which gives me a great guiding number when planning menus.  Under the Log, you can also track your food and water intake.  The Fitbit has a pretty impressive database of foods, though I do need to create my own sometimes, especially with homemade recipes.  It also instantly updates my macronutrient amounts and proportions.  You can also log and track things like weight, measurements, body fat percentage, BMI, heart rate (if you have a monitor), exercise, etc.  Basically it has a little USB chip that needs to be put into a computer, and then it will sync when your wristband tracker is within 20 feet of the chip.  I know I’ve found it very useful, and we’ve set ourselves both up with accounts, so that we can use it intermittently, which works great for finding our baseline metabolism, how much we move in an average day, etc.

I know it’s a fancy little gadget, and I know that simply having it on my wrist won’t make me magically lose weight.  However, I am much more motivated since I can see feedback quicker, and it’s definitely tapped into that human instinct of wanting to see good stats, so I can say that simply having it around has encouraged us to start making healthier choices already.

Have you guys tried these fitness trackers?  Thoughts on them – have they helped you or proved to not really make any difference?

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