A few years ago when Kevin and I went to California, I really wanted to buy a Nike Fuel band from the huuuuge Nike store in San Francisco. At this point, the band had just come out and I had no idea if it was accurate or not! I decided to wait a while and let the general public do work. After a few years and many read reviews, other similar products were introduced to the market. I kept waiting. While wrapping up college, I realized that I would no longer have access to the rec center and would probably be on the move a lot less since I wouldn’t be walking from class to class, so I decided to do a bit more digging on these fitness bands.
I thought I had my mind set on the Nike version until I realized that I knew quite a few more people who actually owned the FitBit version. I downloaded each app and read reviews comparing the two, from interface to fit. What really sold me though, was the fact that FitBit connects to My Fitness Pal (a nutrition tracking app) and that it is sold at Target, where I had two gift cards.
One of the reasons that I am so big on this product is not only that it counts your steps, but that it counts physical activity. It gives you the option of wearing it on either wrist and lets you know that calibration is different based on which one you choose since you typically use and move your dominant hand more often when doing things like talking, opening doors, etc. I read many reviews that suggested that this product was unreliable because it counted driving, knitting, etc as a small amount activity and in the steps count. I thought this was funny because they weren’t considering that these activities are still using muscles and controlled movement and therefore can be counted toward physical activity. Obviously, not as much as walking, but it is still movement nonetheless.
To test, I did 15 minutes of driving and was only awarded a few steps. This doesn’t bother me too much since I am rarely driving for more than 15 minutes, but if you feel like you’re cheating yourself, you could easily take it off for the duration of the drive. Similarly, I tested the difference between steps taken to the distance of a trail while walking. One lap of the trail was 0.55 miles and according to my fitbit, I had walked 1134 steps or 0.46 miles. In my opinion, this is probably where you can see where the device makes up for random movement, although being 0.09 miles off isn’t too bad! I’ve learned that for running or any other types of activities, it is best to add the activity in by hand to assure that the correct amount of activity/calorie expenditure is given.
Probably my favorite feature of this device is the sleep tracker. It measures time asleep and movement during those hours. As you can see below, I hardly moved this night, but there have been a few times where I have woken up, checked the time and the tracker had accurately measured that amount of time awake. Similarly, you can set the Flex to have silent alarms where the device will vibrate on your wrist. I’ve used this both as a way to wake up in the morning and to remind myself of something that I needed to do during the day. Believe me when I say, this is my new favorite way to wake up. It is so much less intrusive than the phone alarm (which I still set for backup…).
Obviously, I am a HUGE fan. I love that you can compete with friends and previous records to stay motivated and I think it is a great way to get people (including me!) up and moving, even just a little more than normal. It lets you set your own goals and has suggestions for both weight loss and maintenance. As of right now, I am trying to achieve 10,000 steps each day and I would love to see that increase as I am able to work more physical activity into my schedule.
Do you have a fitness band?