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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Tech - Episode 6 - Fitbit Fit

I will start this post by telling you that I am not, repeat not, a fitness fanatic.

It's been years since I went to the gym, or took part in any organised fitness activity.  I don't run.  I haven't been swimming for ages.  In fact, the only exercise I do is walking.

For a while I've been contemplating losing weight, and thought I'd get myself a pedometer - measure how far I walk, in an effort to concentrate my mind.

You can track various attributes such as steps, stairs,
calories burned and more...
Then I heard about Fitbit.  I did some research.  Thought about it.  Continued my walking and thought some more.  There is a range to choose from, from the small Fitbit Zip, to the top of the range Surge.

Now, that's a little over the top, but the Zip wasn't enough (even though it's exactly what I was looking for in a pedometer).

I opted for the Fitbit One.  It's a small device that can easily fit into a pocket, or clipped onto a waistband using the supplied clip.  It tracks a number of things:

  • Steps (that's the obvious one)
  • Floors climbed
  • Distance walked
  • Calories burned
  • Sleep
There's even a little plant that grows or shrinks based on how active you are!

Used in conjunction with the app (available on iOS or Android) and the web interface, the entire Fitbit philosophy is about getting fit, losing weight and keeping fit.

The website dashboard is where you go to log your food and drink.  There is a database of almost every food type, as well as ranges that can be purchased from supermarkets.  You can also scan the barcode on the packaging and most of the time it finds it.  This is a little hit and miss, there have been a few occasions where my food isn't recognised.  It's not a major issue, but it would be nice if the database was kept up to date.

Fitbit Dashboard
The Fitbit dashboard shows how you're doing
against the targets you've set

At night, slip the Fitbit One into a sleeve and wear it on your wrist. Set it going as you fall asleep and it tracks how soundly (or not) you sleep.

It's an activity monitor in reverse, recording times when you wake or are restless; and giving you an efficiency rating of your sleep.

Should you go running, cycling, roller-skating, play tennis; or any other physical activity, then you can set the timer off again, and it will record it as active time.

As I mentioned right at the start, I am not a fitness fanatic; however, using my Fitbit One is driving me to better my tracking scores each day.  Increasing the number of steps I do, watching what I eat and seeing it all reported on the website.  For the very serious, for a premium, you can get a whole host of reports - the first week is free, to try them out; and they are very detailed.

If you so desire, there's also a whole community to join in with, and compete against!  This isn't something I do, but I can see the benefits.  The website also hosts a great forum, for asking all sorts of questions.

Overall, my Fitbit One has seamlessly become part of my dress code, and I am often joked at for scanning barcodes and capturing my eating habits!

The last laugh will be on me, as I reach my goal.

Do you use a fitness tracker?  How has it helped you?

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