This all started innocently enough. I had a $50. gift certificate for Best Buy along with $15. in Reward Zone certificates, so I headed over to see what I could find. Not having anything in particular to look for, I wandered around the store for awhile before deciding to pick up a FitBit Flex.
If you are not aware of the Flex, it is a band that goes around your wrist and keeps track of your steps. It translates the steps into miles (or kilometers) and whether they are active steps compared to walking from the couch to the fridge and back again. You register your Flex on the FitBit website where you enter your details and watch the steps increase during the day.
You can also log the food you eat and since it has many, many foods in its database, it translates that into calories and gives the other details as far as vitamins, sodium, etc. Fitbit keeps track of your calories burned in relation to the calories eaten and lets you know if you are on the right track to loose, maintain or gain weight.
I did not have a scale in the house, so I soon returned to Best Buy to purchase the FitBit scale, which also is connected to the website. As well as registering my weight, it also measures the percentage of fat.
One more thing this FitBit does is to track your sleep. You tap the band (about 5 quick taps) when you go to bed and tap it again when you wake up. When you check the site in the morning (or whenever you check it), you will see your sleep pattern. It tells you when you are restless, awake or sleeping and gives you your sleep efficiency. This is not 100% accurate though because if you lie quietly while trying to get to sleep, it assumes you are sleeping. It does know when you are tossing and turning though and how much of that you did – or if you got up in the middle of the night.
The FitBit starts you off by expecting 10,000 steps, 30 very active minutes, 5 miles of walking and 2199 calories to burn per day. These are what my settings were anyway – it may vary somewhat according to your initial height, weight, age or gender. When you meet those goals, you can increase them, so you always have something to aim for.
Chester and I always go for a walk in the morning and this walk registers approximately 2,200 steps and gives me 15-20 active minutes. The first couple of days, I had trouble making the 10,000 steps or the active minutes, so we are now walking twice a day on most days. On some days my work schedule interferes with the 2nd walk, but most days we are getting that in now.
I do a fair number of steps at work as my job is not a sit down job at all, so I have gradually increased my steps, miles and active minutes so that I am exceeding the initial settings. I now have them set for 12,000 steps, 6 miles and 50 active minutes, but have already made 15,000 steps the last 2 days, so it might be time to increase that again.
On the FitBit Community page, there are groups formed for a variety of different reasons (age, location, occupation, etc) and by joining these groups, you can compare with others and you can have “friends” to compete against. You can also join another website (Walking4Fun), where the miles are put towards walking somewhere else, with pictures posted often as your progress. This site is connected to the FitBit site so the miles are added automatically. It makes it look like you are walking somewhere other than around in your home, workplace or the block or shopping mall. Right now I am walking the Florida Keys trail. 🙂
The lights all mean something, so with 2 lights showing after I tapped it, this shows that I have done 40% of my steps for the day. I’ve done 40% of the 10,000 steps, but not of the 12,000 steps, I’ve changed it too, so I will have to find out how to change that on the Flex itself. The flex comes in several different colours and you can buy bands separately to change the colour according to what you want each day. You would just move the battery to the one you want to wear.
In the 2 weeks I have had the Flex, I have lost 3 lbs. I plan to continue walking as much as possible and will hopefully soon be able to consider adjusting my foods to healthier choices. Combining the 2 will be a good thing, but I have several addictions to unhealthy foods that will be hard to break.
If you have FitBit, please let me know and we can be friends at the FitBit site and walk together. 🙂