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Review: Fitbit

I’ve already blogged previously about using my Fitbit to encourage me to exercise more, but I thought I would do a more detailed review of why the Fitbit is so useful.

There are two parts to Fitbit. The first, physical, part is the Fitbit tracker, which you wear on your body and which tracks your movements – counting your steps, counting how many floors you go up and down and how intensive your movement is. I have had the Fitbit Ultra* for about a year now, and it is still working perfectly well. I clip the Ultra to the middle of my bra (because I find I get more accurate data there, and it’s pretty well hidden). The Fitbit Ultra syncs and charges via a USB dock that I have connected to my desktop computer, and now costs about £55 since it is an older model. Alex was recently given the Fitbit One* (£80) which is the newer model, which charges via a USB cable, but syncs with your phone via Bluetooth, which gives better statistics as you want them. (Sometimes I don’t use my desktop computer for a few days, so my stats just stay stuck on my Ultra!). The new, basic model is the Fitbit Zip* (£50), which has a replaceable battery and again, syncs via Bluetooth. (There is a third Fitbit tracker that is due to come out in Spring called Flex – this one is a wristband style tracker, much like the Nike Fuelband)

The second part to Fitbit is Fitbit.com, which is where the data starts to get interesting (Well, to me anyway. Remember, stats nerd?) Once the Fitbit tracker has synced with Fitbit.com, it allows you to see how many steps have been taken in the day, and how many floors you’ve travelled up and down. Here’s my stats for yesterday:

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 11.35.24

(yay! I hit the 10,000 step goal for the day!)

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 11.50.52

This is the graph that I like looking at more though. The red lines show that in that five minute period, I did what is counted as very active movement. The yellow is “fairly active”, the blue – “lightly active” and the grey is me sitting on my butt…I mean, sedentary. I find it interesting to see the “very active” parts – usually when I’m rushing to and from work!

Fitbit.com isn’t just about the movements, etc. It can also log your weight automatically (We have the Withings scale* but there is a Fitbit made one* available) but you can also manually log it if you don’t have a wifi enabled set of scales. It can also work out your calorie intake (again, using the built in data or one of their partners)

Something I really like about Fitbit is that there are so many apps that can send data to Fitbit, so you can use the program you prefer. For instance, I find that MyFitnessPal is better for logging UK foods – the iPhone app has a barcode scanner, and it seems to have a lot of UK supermarket branded food already entered in. You can also sync things like Nike+, MapMyRun, sites that will tell you when to go to bed to make sure you get enough sleep, sites that will show you how to do exercises at your desk – basically, anything that helps you get more active!

Finally, Fitbit allows you to be competitive, if that’s a motivator for you. In the weekly summary email you receive  it will tell you how many steps you’ve done, etc, but also how you stack up against your friends. My profile can be found here, and I can’t help feeling a little smug when I see that I’ve done better than a friend that day/week!

That’s all I can say about the Fitbit, but if you have any questions, let me know!

Not a sponsored post, nothing has been received for this post. I just really love my Fitbit, and I think they’re pretty damn awesome!

On Fitness and Body Image

It’s coming up to that time of year, when everyone seems to put the same old resolution on their list. Lose weight (or any other form of that). I’ve been doing the same for a few years, but never really did anything about it, but getting more and more unhappy about how I was looking. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I stopped doing outfit posts earlier this year. Not because I didn’t have anything new to post about, but more that I hated how I looked in photos.

race-for-life-outfit

The turning point I think had to be Sarah’s birthday. I saw the photos from her party and cried. Coincidentally, just before I left for St Albans, Alex had bought a Withings Wifi Scale*, so I reluctantly stepped on before I left, and let it record my weight. Ugh.

The thing that I like about the Withings scales is that it records my weight, and sends it to their site. There’s an app that I can access on my iPhone or iPad, and it’s good to see how my weight has changed over time. (I love a good graph)

Something else that I’ve used during this time to measure what I’m doing is my Fitbit* (the link is for the new Fitbit One, but I have the Fitbit Ultra.) It measures how many steps you do, how you sleep, and other things. I find it useful to tell me how much I’ve done in the day (it has a daily target of 10,000 steps, and I’m always happy to beat that target!) and I like the social aspect where you can compete against friends to get the most steps that week.

With these things, with eating a little better (less snacking at work, etc) and going to the gym on a regular basis, I have lost 30lbs (or if you prefer, thats about 2 stone or 13.5 kg) since the end of July. Slow, yes, but hopefully, it will stay off. Even if I’m eating a Mars ice cream bar as I type this.

Why am I telling you this? Besides the time of year, it’s something that I’ve been vaguely mentioning on Twitter, and thought a post to put everything together might be of interest. Maybe it is, maybe not.

Sensible eating and exercise helps you lose weight. Who knew, right?

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