I love a good gadget and I’m a sucker for trying anything new or on trend, so last Christmas I’d asked for a Fitbit to start tracking my steps, heart rate and activity. I previously had the Jawbone but found that after a while the whole plugging into my phone syncing malarky was a bit of a faff.
Features and reminders
With the Fitbit, it’s a lot easier syncing via Bluetooth; results are instant and tracking steps and activity is simpler. The handy app means you can adapt and adjust your step goals, heart rate, weight and so on. It even recognises and logs certain activity such as a walk if it’s longer than 10 minutes or that you’re on an outdoor bike.
If you have signed up for notifications via email, Fitbit sends a weekly track of your activity and will also notify if it needs charging. Can be a great reminder for some but I just check my app and charge it periodically.
There are other features like letting you know when a phone call or text comes in but since I’m not using this to keep track of daily life (in fact I’m escaping from these interruptions by doing exercise!), it’s easy enough to switch this function off.
Since I’ve been using this, I’ve found that it really helps me keep on track, it’s a handy stylish watch and has useful features such as an alarm clock and stopwatch.
At the moment I’m training for a 10k run and the only thing with the Fitbit Charge 2 model is that it needs to be synced with the app so you will need to take your phone with you (not a terrible thing for me seeing as I use it for music too). The GPS tracker shows the km splits and your pace too which is great to check progress later on the app’s dashboard and stick to a training schedule.
Fun with the Fitbit
The app has a number of Challenges to keep you motivated and you can challenge friends to different goals such as who can the most steps within certain days or times. They, in turn, can also challenge their friends making it a fun and collaborative way of meeting step goals. For those who want to rev it up a bit, there are Adventure Challenges such as NYC 10 Miles (NYC landmarks are simulated to tell you how far you’ve reached in the 24,000 step challenge) or similarly you can try the Valley Loop for an epic hike between Yosemite’s mountains (35,800 steps). I haven’t used these features yet but once I do I will post a review here.
Workout Challenges with Fitstar
This is pretty awesome! (I never use this word but this warrants it), the Fitbit app in collaboration with Fitstar offers a number of workouts to suit your needs, whether it’s a warm up, working on core, legs or cardio to optimise your training and fitness. Some are free, some are for Premium subscribers. You’ll need to download the Fitstar app to access these but I think it’s a great way to maximise your workouts and especially if you don’t have time to go to the gym or are away travelling and can only do a workout in the hotel room, these are very handy.
Currently, the subscription is GBP5.99/monthly or GBP29.99/year (check your territory’s rates) which I think is not too bad considering you can easily spend this on a night out if not more!
In conclusion, while there are a plethora of fitness gadgets out there, I’ve found this to be easy to use, great for beginner runners, easy for technophobes to grasp and reasonably priced if you are serious about tracking your fitness and training. The added subscription on Fitstar is a small price to pay and adds a bit of variety to your fitness routine. So far I’m loving this watch and its apps and will post some more reviews once I’ve done a few of the Challenges or workouts.