A couple of Spark Buddies and I were briefly chatting about Spark Trackers and FitBits recently. I don't own a Spark Tracker but I am the proud recent owner of a FitBit Zip and I wanted to answer a couple questions that came up in our discussion without taking up the entire thread. Blogging seemed like the best solution.
I'll start by saying I LOVE my FitBIt!
I have a FitBit Zip. It does not track stair climbing or sleep patterns. The reasons I chose this over the Flex or One (which DO track those things) are because A) I sleep like a baby. B) I don't travel up and down stairs much and if I did, I'd be fine with the tracker counting those stairs as plain old steps.
I love that I can interact with "friends" on the device. This feature encourages me to step up my game and does the same for them. We are all racing to get to the top of our friends’ lists. This is great motivation for my competitive nature. I bought the FitBit because I am involved with The Biggest Loser Challenge (Go tangerines!) here on Spark and 75% of those ladies own a FitBit. So I figured I'd give it a whirl. Of course, I have all those gals as my FitBit friends, which is a very supportive benefit. These girls are serious about stepping! And I have them to thank for me becoming an anti-sittist. (What? That's a thing.)
I have my daily goals set in the Zip (steps, calories burned, miles, very active minutes, water consumption, etc.) and I strive to over-achieve these goals daily. It took me about a week to identify what a typical day was for me and then set goals that would challenge that typical day. After 2 days wearing it, I found myself checking my stats at 9 pm or later and if I was short goals, I'd literally walk fast paced around my house for 1500 steps, or .5 miles or whatever it took to see all those happy green faces smiling back at me from my FitBit dashboard. It has been THAT motivating for me. I had no idea it would push my buttons the way it has. When I bought it, I thought it would be another battery-operated toy that I kept in my nightstand drawer. (Inappropriate comments follow me everywhere, this cannot be helped.)
I don't like to walk on the treadmill. We have one in our rec room but I'm just not a fan. I'll use it if I must but it reminds me that I don't like to workout. Since I've recently pulled the wool over on my very own eyes and tricked myself into believing that I do, in fact, like to workout, I don't need anything causing me to relapse. So, I walk and jog outside when I can but I find myself mostly walking around the main floor of my house. Really, that's all there is to it! One rotation of my great room area is 50 steps. I'll do 20 laps (1000 steps) every hour about 5 times a day (5000 steps) and I get the rest of my steps in doing normal daily activity. If I run errands or have plans, I will get most of my steps in with no problem. Golfing always gets me over my goal especially if I walk the course and leave the cart behind. About 4-5 days a week I try to do a 30 or 40 minute cardio workout either by walk/jogging outdoors, hula hooping, or bouncing on my mini trampoline (while pumping my 5 pound dumbbells to get some strength training in too.)
Here are my only issues so far (which are not really issues...)
There are some things that these devices will record as steps even if you are not stepping. Some are legit and I feel they should be counted, others, not so much.
For instance, the FitBit counts each rotation I do with my adult exercise hula hoop as 1 step. This is good for 2 reasons... I am actually burning more calories and working harder at hooping than I do when I'm taking a step. So this becomes a justified step count as far as I'm concerned. Secondly, at the moment, I have an injured foot that throbs when I put pressure on it. (I am going on a hiking trip in a week, so it's imperative that I allow it to heal.) Point is, I can still reach my step goal by hooping, which puts no stress on my injured foot.
On the downside, the FitBit counts every bump I go over in my golf cart as a step. I wear it golfing, because even when I take a cart, I still do quite a bit of walking as the cart cannot go everywhere on the golf course. I'm not sure there is a remedy for this. On those days that I golf this season, I am going to have to make adjustments somehow.
Finally, there are times when my FitBit doesn't like to sync properly. But I log out and log back in and that seems to do the trick. A minor sacrifice to make for a device that gets my @ss off the couch and makes me want to be a healthier person...
...which reminds me of a quote my Spark Friend pointed out this past week. One I had not heard before, but struck me where it counts.... (right in the butt!)
"Sitting is the new smoking."
Yep. Let that one soak in and tell me it doesn't make you want to dance naked ‘til dawn or take stepping breaks from your desk job. (you should keep your clothes on for the latter.)
Bottom line here folks? I adore my FitBit! It is the miniature personal trainer that never leaves my side and never stops cheering for me to reach my goals. It may be the smartest 50 bucks I ever spent.
Keep steppin' and keep Sparklin' my friends!