A lot of my friends have FitBits, and there were a few weeks where seemingly every update I saw on Facebook was someone talking about how much they love their FitBit. But….I was still on the fence. I wasn’t sure I needed it, and I wasn’t sure if I should spend the money.
Then my Mom bought one, and she had it for less than 48hrs before she talked me into buying one too. At the time I originally wrote this post, I had my FitBit One for a week, and was totally in love.
But now, here I am, 18 months later, and I’m on my 3rd FitBit. I upgraded from the FitBit One to the Charge HR in August 2015 because I needed to be able to track my heart rate (I have a heart condition), and then in December 2016 I upgraded to the FitBit Charge 2.
Before I got my Charge 2, I did a lot of research about the other fitness trackers that came onto the market, and after about a week of looking at all the other options, I settled on the Charge 2. I firmly believe it is the best fitness tracker on the market for those who need constant, on-demand heart rate monitoring. (I’m also comforted by the fact that all the nurses in my cardiologist’s office wear the Charge 2.)
But let me rewind a bit for the uninitiated.
A FitBit is a health and fitness tracker that you wear while you go about your daily activities. The FitBit syncs to your smart phone via bluetooth, and computer via USB dongle. I wear it all day long, except when I’m in the shower.
The FitBit One clips in your pocket or on your bra, while most of their other models including the FitBit Flex, Charge, Charge 2, and Surge all go on the wrist.
If you are going to be taking your fitness seriously in 2017, you absolutely need a FitBit, and here’s why.
1. The FitBit Holds You Accountable
When you get a FitBit you set up your health and fitness goals. Your goals are adjustable and you can change them at anytime. The FitBit cheers you on (and tells you when you’re getting close to certain goals for the day.
The reason this works is a matter of psychology. People don’t like leaving things incomplete. We like progress bars. We like checking things off lists. The FitBit uses brightly coloured graphs and progress bars, and as you get closer to achieving a goal, the progress bar changes colour until it is eventually bright green.
I like the psychological motivation that comes from completing my goals. I feel good about myself, and the progress bars reinforces my need to see things through.
It’s one thing to not meet my goals because I’m sick. It’s another thing to not meet my goals because I’m feeling lazy. Not meeting my goals is like letting myself down. It’s leaving something undone.
2. The FitBit comes with a support system
The friends function doesn’t seem like it would be as important as a lot of other functions in the app, but I find it very rewarding. I can see the 7 Day Steps for myself and my friends, and if I were the same competitive person I was 5 years ago, I would be trying really hard to walk more than all my friends.
Through the mobile app you can cheer on or taunt your friends. I love cheering on my Mom, and I love looking at my phone to see I’ve been cheered on too. It sounds frivolous, but being social with it is an important component of keeping up motivation.
3. The FitBit Gets You Moving
I find myself taking extra steps so I can meet my goals. I took multiple trips to bring the trash cans in from the curb Tuesday morning. I had to put some stuff in the barn. Instead of doing it all in 1 trip, I did it in 4. Since I got the FitBit, I’ve started taking a daily mile walk.
I use my FitBit to track my exercise. It has three options to track: walking, running, and hiking. But you can also log exercise. If I do 30 minutes of Ashtanga yoga, I log it, and the app knows exactly how many calories I burned.
The calendar in the exercise view puts a blue check mark on every day you exercise. This is a great way to see at a glance how lazy I’ve been.
4. The FitBit Encourages Better Food Choices
I hate counting calories. It’s tedious, especially if you cook without measuring ingredients like I do. I would rather move more than count calories, so while I don’t use the FitBit to count calories, I do use it as a food log.
I log what I eat, and what time of day I ate it. I pick from the extremely comprehensive list of items for anything prepackaged or bought at a mainstream restaurant. I guess on the calorie count for things I throw together at home (like last week’s Tandoori Tofu Stirfry with Quinoa Pasta).
The result has been healthier choices. I don’t like looking at my food log and seeing I ate a handful of Cheez Its and a baby Butterfinger for dinner. I want to be healthier, and I want to eat less crap. Like most people, it’s hard to know exactly what I eat if I don’t write it down.
5. The FitBit Decreases Dehydration
I’m bad about drinking water. It’s always been a struggle of mine, even though I know I need to drink more water. I just don’t like doing it, and I hate having to pee all the time. But because the FitBit has a water log, it is more difficult to avoid drinking water. I like seeing that progress bar fill up.
6. The FitBit Will Make You Healthier
The FitBit isn’t a magic cure for all your ailments. The FitBit won’t make you kick your carb addiction, and it won’t make you shrink a dress size, but it does arm you with the information you need to make healthier decisions. We are fortunate enough to live in an era where almost everything is trackable. If something can be tracked, it can be improved.
Through the FitBit Web Dashboard you can set up custom trackers. Instead of just tracking your distance walked, number of steps, and calorie intake, you can also track your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood glucose levels.
While these are all good reasons to get a FitBit, there’s one reason I haven’t talked about yet…
7. The FitBit just makes it all seem manageable.
I have a heart problem, so I have struggled with wellness throughout the years. It always seems impossible to achieve health. But not anymore. The FitBit makes me feel like I can actually become a healthier person, even if it’s just one step at a time.
Photo: © FitBit
This post is not endorsed by FitBit in anyway, and I receive nothing from FitBit for writing this post.