Today is all about the Fitbit. Why Fitbit? I like them! And so do a lot of my clients. You can get a number of different brands of wearable activity trackers but Fitbit is the one I have always used and what I know so that’s what I’ve decided the focus of the discussion is about – the benefits and things to be conscious of will remain the same, however, for all types of activity trackers.
So what is a Fitbit and what types can you get? A Fitbit is a wearable activity tracker that will count your steps taken over the course of a day and many will also track an estimate of your energy expenditure over the day as well. Some of the more high tech options also measure your heart rate, your sleep and even use GPS to track your walks/runs. There are a number of Fitbit options ranging from $79.95 to $399.95. These include:
- Fitbit Zip: Wireless Activity Tracker ($79.95)
- Fitbit One: Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker ($129.95)
- Fitbit Flex: Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband ($129.95)
- Fitbit Alta: Fitness Wristband ($199.95)
- Fitbit ChargeHR: Heart Rate and Activity Wristband ($229.95)
- Fitbit Blaze: Smart Fitness Watch ($329.95)
- Fitbit Surge: Fitness Super Watch ($399.95)
(Prices current on Fitbit Australia website at time of publishing)
How can a Fitbit or other wearable activity tracker help you on your fitness journey? It makes you more aware of your activity levels and can most certainly help keep you motivated to move more and it aims to help you increase your activity. As much as anything, it is providing you with knowledge about what you’re able to do now and how you feel when you do different amounts of activity.
Fitbit has a smartphone app so you can sync up your device with your phone and look at your data over different days. You can add your friends and family members as ‘Fitbit Friends’ and set up challenges. I do this with a number of our clients. We become friends on Fitbit and create a ‘Workweek Hustle’ challenge for example and we can check in on each other across the week to see who is taking more steps and cheer each other on when goals are achieved. It can certainly be a real help if you’re trying to increase your activity to have someone in your corner cheering you on (and someone to provide a little friendly competition!).
It is important, as with most things, that you are careful not to become too obsessed about the numbers. What do I mean? Don’t get so hell bent on achieving your target steps that you have to go out for a long walk at 11pm when you’re exhausted just to make goal. There’s no need at all to beat yourself up about not getting your target every single day, some days it just doesn’t happen and that’s okay. One less active day certainly isn’t the end of the world. Just get up the next day and see if you can hit the target.
Fitbit generally defaults to a target of 10,000 steps a day as it is what has been traditionally accepted as what we should be doing each day to maintain a minimum level of fitness. If you’re not at a point where you are getting up to 10,000 on any day, I absolutely recommend revising the step goal on your device so it’s challenging but not impossible to reach. You might often get around 4,500 steps right now. Aim for 5,000. Once you’re achieving that consistently, bump it up to 5,500 as your aim. Just keep building as you get fitter. It’s a much more positive experience doing it that way as opposed to never hitting a target you’re not ready for just yet. It’s all about starting where you are and building up.
Stop by our Facebook page and let us know how you’re going if you’ve got one of these bad boys.