For a long time I've been interested in trying an activity monitor, but as I get most of my exercise in the water, I wanted a waterproof one and none seemed to fit my requirements. Then I saw the Fitbit Flex. Perfect!
Not only is it waterproof, but I love the discreet bracelet design with the minimalist display of a few tiny lights in the black strip. And even those don't show unless you tap the bracelet. It's really a triumph of design. It's flat and thicker on the display side, which makes it always stay right-side up and not twist around the wrist. Watchmakers could take note. And the clasping device is completely flush with the surface so it never catches or scratches.
The bit itself is a little bug that comes out of the back side to plug into its charger, and it charges very quickly. Mine's charging while I write this blog, and it will probably be done before I am.
I was curious to see how the Flex would handle water exercise. The web site warns that it doesn't convert swimming into steps very well, and I can report that the same is true for water aerobics. That's ok. I'm used to exercise being calibrated for landlubbers rather than mermaids, and I've grown used to ignoring underestimates of calories burned. (You're lucky to burn anything at all when you're all wet, right?
) I can handle it. Everything's different in the water. There still is no better gauge than perceived exertion for intensity of water exercise, because heart rates are different in water. So no surprise that for a half hour of intense interval training in the pool, I am awarded only 9 "very active minutes".
That's all fine, because although I want to wear my monitor in the pool, that's not what I got it for. I wanted motivation and feedback to help me be more active in the rest of my day, and the Flex fills my bill admirably in that department. I need to get up from the computer more often, go up and down stairs more often, park further from my destination, and it definitely helps with that.
I deeply dislike being constantly nagged by numbers, and that's why the 5 little lights on the Flex please me so. I can tap it at any time to find out the proportion of my step goal for the day accomplished so far, but I would hate to get obsessive about how many steps I got walking the dog just now, or which area of the grocery store parking lot gets me the most steps. Nor do I want to share any of my data with anyone. This is just for me. If I want numbers, I can go to the web site and sync, but once or twice a day is enough for me.
I was intrigued by the sleep mode, and it has been interesting to use it and see that my sleep is very regular in quantity and quality. There's a calculation of sleep "efficiency", and I'm happy to note that I'm apparently a very efficient sleeper--96 - 99%! It's great to find out that I've been doing this so well! And even more interesting to let my husband wear it for a night and find out that in spite of his perception that his sleep is lousy and intermittent, he sleeps about as long and efficiently as I do!
So all in all, I'd say that the Flex is the right monitor for me, but it probably wouldn't suit everyone, especially the data-driven. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get my bit out of the charger, strap it on, and get MOVING!