Yup. I’ve become THAT person. That person with the fitness tracker.
I was pretty apathetic toward the FitBit when it first came out. It was interesting, but it was a gadget that was out of my price range. I also had enough things tracking my movements – RunKeeper, My Fitness Pal – and really didn’t want another one.
I changed my mind when I realized I needed more accountability. I needed more motivation. I needed something that would force me to get off my ass and take the long way to the bathroom.
After some feedback from friends, I actually decided on purchasing a tracker from JawBone*, mainly because it had a neat little alarm that buzzed at you if you’ve been sitting too long. This is absolutely key when you have a desk job and hours could easily fly by without you having moved from your seat.
Cost, however, became the ultimate determining factor. The comparable FitBit was on sale for $84 on Amazon*. Sorry, JawBone. FitBit won out only because it was $13 cheaper.
To pay for this new little gadget, I used a gift card I got from my insurance company. Blue Cross Blue Shield NC gives you the opportunity to fill out a health assessment in exchange for a $50 gift card. Sure, I’ll take $50 just for spending 20 minutes entering my health information.
Thoughts Thus Far
I got the Flex because it was the cheapest wristband and even with the gift card I was still on a budget. Like all trackers, I know it’s not entirely accurate. I think I added 200 steps when I was petting my dog.
Regardless, seeing the numbers in real time does help motivate me to move a bit more. Hitting 10,000 steps is not easy unless you consciously go for a walk or a run, which I don’t do every day. It gives me a bit of a push while I’m work, which is something I desperately need. Now, I use the upstairs bathroom and take the long way back to the office and I take at least a 10-minute walk on my lunch. I’d like to take it a step further and go for a five minute walk around the building at 11 and 4 for fresh air and added steps.
Setting up challenges with your friends is pretty fun and motivating, but it can also be a little discouraging. FitBit will send you little notifications when your friends are catching up to you. Sometimes I look at my phone and think, “Well, OK FitBit, would you like to write up this post about the latest cumin recall?” Generally speaking, the challenges do add a little competition, which is another nice motivator.
The sleep tracker is pretty interesting. I’m not entirely sure what you’re suppose to do with that data, but it’s interesting to see that I’m getting just as little sleep as I thought.
I do really like the silent alarm, which in the morning is far less jarring than the radio. Waking up to the same bad country song starts to just make me angry.
It’s definitely not perfect and there’s been plenty written lately about how the whole fitness tracker fad is just a scam. Truth is, most things related to weight loss and fitness are a scam, but we do them anyway because maybe they work for us. Maybe spending $100 a month on protein shakes helped you drop 20 pounds. Maybe those wrap things everyone talks about actually work. Maybe juicing your meals has helped you eat more vegetables after you started eating solid foods again.
So far, I’m a fan of my FitBit. I don’t LOVE it and I wouldn’t consider it life-changing, but if it helps me stick with a healthier lifestyle then I’m all for it. If it keeps me accountable and keeps me mindful of my actions, then it’s worth it.
I need all the help I can get.
Do you have a fitness tracker? What do you think? Love it? Think it’s overrated?
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