It’s January – the start of another new year and that new you that you have always promised yourself to be focusing on! Yes, you heard me right! That means cutting back on the bad food and cutting down on or cutting out totally for a month – alcohol. Oh and getting that booty down to the gym to sweat out all those mince pies consumed over the festive period. So the question that you probably have on your minds is if I am one of those crazy fools that starts off the year with guns blazing and usually caves in the second week in with a large glass of red? In answer to that question, yes I am! The difference being that this year, I’m not going to make a song and dance about it and I intend not to fail. In order to make it to the end of the month with no alcohol and a fairly active lifestyle, I have a plan! Wanting to test my theory out before I committed to this path, I decided to purchase a Fitbit last year. Now a Fitbit is nothing new to the market as it has been around for the while and in a way is a more wearable ‘sexy’ tech resource for the everyday person.
If you’re not familiar with what Fitbit is then keep reading. Fitbit is the name of the company that designs wearable technology. Their mission: To empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life. We design products and experiences that fit seamlessly into your life so you can achieve your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be.
With a vast range of products I (being a total newbie to this type of technology apart from MyFitness Pal that I use to track my calorie intake) opted for the basic Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Wristband.
So what does the Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Wristband do?
Tracks and records steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned!
Tracks your active minutes, hours and quality of your sleep.
Tracks goals online and via mobile. It can also be synced up with many other tracking apps.
Features a silent wake up alarm function.
It is also water resistant.
Mrs J’s verdict
I’ve been using my Fitbit since the beginning of December (quite possibly the worst month to embark on a fitness challenge). However, wanting to ease myself in, I sought to be able to track my steps on something else other than using my iPhone! As even though I do use my phone a lot, I’m not the kind of person that needs to carry it everywhere I go! I also wanted to be able to see how much I was actually walking. The government advice is to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day which may sound a lot to some people but it really isn’t. And if you’re like me who takes the tube to work and spends most of the day sitting behind a desk then moving or walking around, or even going for a little stroll in your lunch break is essential.
The first factor to overcome when you first get your Fitbit is the set up. Now things in boxes that require me to read a manual simply scare me and can be a bit off putting. However, there was no manual but a simple set up instruction pamphlet that did require the use of a laptop or desktop (as you have to set up a Fitbit account). The whole process was simple and easy and within ten minutes I was all set and ready to go. I even managed to sync up My Fitness Pal food tracking app to Fitbit so now my activity is logged automatically onto the My Fitness Pal app. The design of the Fitbit is quite slim and sleek. Some of the more advanced designs are bigger and can show you the exact number of steps you have taken. My Fitbit is really simple. It has a display of 5 dots that represent 20% of each and with a light tap on the top of the band, it will show you how far you are in the day to achieving your steps. Once you complete 10,000 steps, the band lightly vibrates to let you know. One point to note is that you don’t need to stick to 10,000 as you can amend your goals to whatever desired amount you want. The other main Fitbit use for me is the sleep tracker. Wearing a band at night does take a bit of getting used to, but just before I’m about to go to bed, I go into my Fitbit app and press ‘begin sleep’. You can then set an alarm to wake you or just manually turn the sleep tracking off when you wake up. Below is an example of what a sleep log looks like.
Now a Fitbit is not the cheapest of gadgets around at £79 plus. However, if you do your research, you can probably pick up a good bargain like I did in the cyber weekend sales where I bought my Fitbit for around £50 and thought of it as money well spent. I’ve found that by wearing the Fitbit to check my steps percentage through the day by simply tapping the top, I push myself to walk more or take the stairs instead of the lift. I also have managed to improve the quality of my sleep by monitoring what I have been doing or eating on nights when I have a particularly restless or poor quality sleep night. Will I continue to use the Fitbit every day? Well only time will tell, but for now, yes!
To get your hands on a Fitbit or to view the Fitbit range, click here.
Mrs J xx