I’ve had my Fitbit for about 4 months now, so I thought I’d let you know how it was working out. Perhaps you are considering a fitness tracker. Should you bother getting one?
The Charge 2 tracks activities, health and food. You set your own goals and it will remind you to meet them and cheers you on when you do.
Steps Taken- It counts the steps from the time you wake up (or put it on) until you go to bed. Then sends up fireworks or confetti when you’ve reached your goal. Sometimes it has trouble counting your steps when you are holding things, for example a shopping cart. In those cases, I put it on my ankle and it can count the steps with actual walking. You don’t want to keep it on your ankle though, especially if you’re a leg bouncer.
Floors Climbed– Counts flights of stairs. Now, it knows this by altitude. Every time you rise 10 feet it assumes you have gone up a flight of stairs. So, if you are walking up an incline/hill, it may count toward your stair count. Unfortunately, that also means half flights won’t count.
Miles Walked– It uses your step count/ or GPS.
Activities– You can set it to running, interval training, weights, cycling, etc. It also guesses what activity you might be doing based on your movements. Once when I was kneading some dough, it logged it as the elliptical.
Active Minutes– You can set how many minutes per day you want to be active. For example, I expect to walk and be active at least 40 minutes per day. You can also have it remind you to be active every hour. You set the start and end time. You can also set your interval training times. It will buzz you when it’s time to change intensity and runs the set amount of intervals.
Reminders To Move– If you are slacking off, it buzzes you and reminds you to get up and move.
Challenges With Friends– You can have friends join you in challenges. Whether it be the first one to walk through New York, or take the most steps over the weekend. There are other challenges as well.
Sleep Tracker– It monitors your sleep, showing you how often you were awake, or in a deep sleep. I may never reach my sleep goal, ever. But it is fun to see that it was accurate in marking the times I was awake, because those were the times I peeked at the clock.
Heart Rate Monitor– It monitors your heart rate resting, exercising, etc. You can see on the chart when you burned the most calories based on your heart rate. Keep in mind this is a wrist monitor, don’t expect it to be as accurate as a chest strap monitor.
Resting Heart Rate– Your heart rate while resting/sleeping. This is an indicator of overall health.
Cardio Fitness Level– Your fitness level is based on your age, weight and resting heart rate. It then tells you how you’re doing…for your age.
Weight– Set a goal, track your weight. I think there are also some scales that can link with some Fitbits.
Guided Breathing– Helps you relax, although I’ve never used this.
Calories Burned– Estimates your calories burned based on your activities and heart rate. The calories burned also link with My Fitness Pal. Now, if I wear it on my ankle my calories burned are higher throughout the day then when I wear it on my wrist. I’m not sure why that is because my heart should be beating the same, right?
Calories In– Track your calories by logging your meals. It will tell you if you are under or over your goal.
Food Log– It has a food log, which also connects to My Fitness Pal, which is what I actually use.
Meal Plan– I haven’t used this.
Water Consumed– Track your water by setting a consumption goal and logging what you drink. It’s easy to forget to drink enough.
Fashion– Doesn’t look awful. I purchased some cheap bands in different colors to match my clothes. Makes it more fun. If you’re macho, you can just keep it black. They do make leather straps, but they seem a little pricey.
Battery Life– Comes with a battery charger. Battery lasts about 5 days depending on how much you actively look at or use it. It charges pretty quickly.
GPS– Connects to the gps on your phone.
Clock Faces– Gives you some options for the look you like.
Text, Call and Calendar alerts– Tells me who is calling/texting and has the message scroll through. Nice because you don’t have to get your phone unless you want to.
Weekly Fitness Summaries– Emails you a summary of your week.
Bragging Rights– Earn badges for different milestones reached. For example, when you’ve walked the distance of the Serengeti or climbed 500 floors.
Syncs to iphone, android and windows.
Community Board– Where you can ask questions, join groups of like-minded people, etc.
This is a fun ways to monitor your health habits. You can compete against yourself or another person to improve your goals. A little friendly competition never hurt. Use some positive peer pressure.
May provide some motivation to keep you working toward your goals.
It’s relatively inexpensive for what it does….provided you actually use it.
Easy to set up and use.
It is a fun tool to aide in health improvement.
Not waterproof. Don’t wear it in the shower or pool.
It might not register steps when you are holding something, such as a shopping cart or carrying items, making you feel cheated.
Not perfect reading heart rates and such. It’s not going to be super accurate. This is a wrist monitor after all. If you want super accurate buy a chest strap.
Fitbit does not recommend wearing it on your ankle.
Wearing it on your ankle also makes you appear to be under house arrest.
Sometimes it does do weird things like say my heart rate is racing when I’m just standing there, or say it is very low when I am being active.
Keep in mind we’re looking for trends, consistency. Am I improving? Am I meeting my goals? Can I set harder goals?
This costs $149. I bought my husbands for $99 on sale. Don’t expect miracles. However, I find it pretty useful.
Are there better trackers out there? Yes. They also cost more. For the price, this does what I need it to do.