My Fitbit has quickly become an extension of my arm. It lives there. Whether I’m having a slower day, taking it easy, or powering through work, gym, and life admin, it’s there. Watching. Well recording.
I’ve been using mine for well over three months now. At first, I thought I’d use it for a few weeks. See if I can make new habits to ensure I’m hitting my daily quota. See how my heart rate changes during spin. And then the novelty would wear off. It hasn’t.
The Fitbit 2 Charge has been about since 2016 and has had a number of great reviews. I’m lucky enough to get one with the wellbeing plan at work, and so had to try it.
It measures not only my steps, but distance, heart rate, active minutes throughout the day, floors (flights of stairs), calories burned, and exercise through a number of preset exercise settings – I use the spin, workout and weights settings to calculate calories, active minutes and heart rate during each session. It also auto-recognises activity too, and tracks in your log. So if you don’t set your Fitbit off to go, chances are it’ll realise you’re raising your heartbeat and getting that sweat on. It actually auto-tracked my night out dancing for a birthday recently which was great! Didn’t even think how good it’d be. It also auto-tracks all of my runs, as the pre-set exercise option requires your phone to be on you to be able to use GPS.
It’s made me really think about the type of exercise I do, through the way it splits the heart rate into categories – fat burn, cardio and peak. I’ve now started trying to mix it up a bit rather than just doing high intensity workouts. A heart rate at fat burn, means you burn less calories, but more fat – something my Fitbit helped me learn.
You can also set the watch up to give you reminders to move every hour – a great way to keep moving. Mine goes off at 10 minutes to every hour, between 8am and 8pm throughout the week.
There’s a meditation setting for something a little more calming, giving you a 2 min period of time to breath. Once started it can’t be stopped, and I don’t tend to use this function as much. But it’s good to help bring you back to the moment.
If you can wear something comfortably on your wrist at night, it can also track sleep. This includes amount of time in each stage. It’s really interesting to see how much I actually sleep!
Everything automatically syncs to the app on your phone so you can keep track of your activity/sleep, as well as set goals, record weight, and keep track of food and water intake. The app is pretty simple to use with a main dashboard which features everything at a top level – how many hours you hit your step goal, number of days you’ve exercised that week, and the day’s progress. After a little play clicking through to different parts, you soon get the hang of it. And there is always google/the Fitbit website if you’re finding it difficult.
Another thing you can set up via the app is challenges. There are a range from solo missions to group leagues, and from a day to a week. We’ve done a couple of Mon-Fri step leagues at work which certainly got me walking more in the day. It’s just too easy to sit at your desk all day! I actually walked home one night to ensure I was top haha.
You can even allow notifications through your phone app, so your watch can vibrate when you receive texts/whatsapp messages on your phone, when you’re receiving calls or when your alarm is sounding!
As for aesthetics, the strap it comes with is pretty comfy, but not as pretty. But there are plenty of different options on ebay, all at reasonable prices! I’ve got a multicoloured one, which goes with everything!
We all know battery power is important in something like this. Mine lasts for about a week at a time, before needing another charge. It charges pretty quickly too, so you can easily do it at your desk whilst you’re sat getting through everything. You get a notification when it needs charging too, giving enough time to get it sorted so it won’t just cut out and leave you unable to track your activity.
- Price: £139.99. Something I’d definitely pay for one of these. It’s not bad considering everything it does.
- Ease of use: It’s pretty easy to get used to – the app has an easy interface, and there’s only two ways to operate the watch (a button on the side and by tapping the screen), meaning it’s not overly complicated.
- Battery life: It says roughly 5 days but I think mine lasts about a week. I get notifications before it dies, so I’m never left without it.
- Design/aesthetics: The strap it comes with does the job, but there are some gorgeous straps on ebay! I love the metal, magnetic loop ones!
- Recommend?: Yes. If you’re looking to track activity, keep on the move and set new habits this is definitely a great way to start.
Do you use a fitness tracker? Or a smart phone app/smart watch?