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The First Three Weeks with My Fitbit

Sep 23, 2015

I

finally broke down and bought an activity monitor. I was waiting for prices to drop but that isn’t happening. So, as I prepared for a trip to Europe, I decided it was time to make the purchase. I was traveling with friends who use trackers and knew we would be walking more than usual making this a great time to start.

I am not good about researching things like this beyond asking others, which is what I did. I got some great input on what might work, ran into the store, asked an employee for help, and chose the color (black).

I did use a tracker briefly, when I got one for free. I loved seeing my steps but quickly stopped using it. Why? It was red and I almost never wear red!  It also didn’t have a screen on the device so I had to look at my phone to check progress.

The Fitbit was easy to set up with my laptop and a smartphone app. There are options I love to use and others I haven’t started using or won’t. I love seeing the steps, heart rate (which is a feature on the Fitbit Charge and the reason I chose this model), distance covered, floors climbed and time slept (which I really need to work on). I originally put in fluid intake but didn’t use it and haven’t used the calorie/weight monitor features.

During the first few days, I was working, running errands and doing laundry (in the basement) so I got tons of steps. When we were traveling, I was getting anywhere from 18,000 to 30,000 steps per day! This was great because I was eating many more calories than I do at home. I am back to normal life now and have been hitting around 17,000 to 18,000 steps per day with work and home activities. I am pretty active so getting the suggested 10,000 per day isn’t an issue. I still love using the tracker for other reasons. For one, people with diabetes that I see ask about trackers, so it is good to have some exposure. Also, seeing sleep and heart rate is good for me. And, I really should start using the water intake feature (I just re-added it, so I will see how it goes).

I have found that the device isn’t perfect. I definitely got steps while sitting (especially on a particularly bumpy ride in Ireland). I don’t get accurate readings when I run regarding distance (steps are likely correct). I could have gotten the model with the GPS but it was too big. The unit isn’t waterproof and doesn’t pick up activities such as biking which would be a consideration if someone is doing water exercise/swimming or biking (I believe there is a way to manually add information but I haven’t done that yet). Some people might not like having it on all of the time, but I am used to wearing a watch so I don’t mind it.

I would love input on other people’s experiences with this tracker or other brands/models. What are the pros and cons? I think this is similar to the idea of picking out the right insulin pump with consideration of features, size, color, etc.

Please comment! Thanks.
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