There are dozens of devices on the market to track fitness, ranging from the simplest step counters to high end smartwatches. To be honest I wanted an Apple watch last year, but even the smaller version was a bit large for my wrist and there were rumors of the next version on the horizon, so I decided to wait and purchased a more reasonably priced Fitbit HR. I’ve worn it consistently for over 6 months now and I do mean consistently, only taking it off to charge or when it may get wet. Many friends ask me what does it do, do I like it, and what about the new Fitbit Alta? So, here’s my 6 months worth of Fitbit HR wear experience.
I knew I wanted a wearable to track my steps, heart rate, and sleep (yes have to wear it while you sleep). I did not realize I would become dependent upon it as my watch with current date. It also tells me floors climbed, calories burned, miles walked, as well as providing me with exercise stats. The big bonus is that as long as my phone is in range, it alerts me to phone calls with a vibration, and caller ID taken from my smartphone’s contact list.
It syncs with the Fitbit app, which will provide all sorts of stats for you, including your sleep patterns. You can also view your stats at fitbit.com. Finally an excuse for crankiness! ”Well of course I’m cranky today honey, I only slept 5 hours 12 minutes, was awake 3 times, restless 19 times, and awake/restless for 37 minutes!” You can create a fitbit.com account online even without the device for a preview 0f available tracking.
Measuring steps like all the Fitbit stats is a guideline – if you walk without moving your arm that it’s attached to, it won’t register. If you move your arm while you are sitting, steps will register, so it should even out. You get a friendly vibration when you’ve reached your 10,000 step goal (which you can change via the app).
What I love is that I also purchased a Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale and once connected to your home WiFi network, it automatically records weight, BMI, % body fat, and lean mass on the Fitbit app keeping weekly averages. These stats are also viewable via fitbit.com.
If you feel like being social, you can do challenges with friends, and see how many steps they’ve done for the week too. The Fitbit app also integrates with the Weight Watchers app automatically allotting you activity points.
The new Fitbit Alta is sleeker, and more stylish and has the added benefit of being able to view text messages and calendar alerts. However it does not track heart rate or floors climbed so choose your Fitbit dependent upon what’s most important to you. You can switch out the Alta wristband. The HR has a watchband closure unlike the Alta, but cannot be switched. Visit fitbit.com/store to compare all Fitbit models as well as view details about the Atria WiFi Smart Scale. These items are also available at Amazon of course.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker, do your research as there is much to choose from. One caution about the Fitbit HR, there are complaints by some that the wristband or the charging port causes a skin rash, especially if worn tightly or in the warmer weather so be mindful of this. You don’t have to wear the wristband tightly for it to work. Try coconut oil on your rash and switch wrists should this happen. Regardless, I’m still a fan. I’d love to hear about your experience with this or other fitness trackers. All these stats can be a bit much. Sometimes it’s good to just relax, get your exercise in, and not worry about tracking too!