EDITED TO ANNOUNCE WINNER: Congratulations to Emily, with comment 195, for winning the Fitbit! I wish I could give one to everyone who entered, but alas, I'm not Bill Gates 🙂
If you know me in person (or have read this blog for a while), you'll know I'm a technophile. I love electronics, and am often an early adopter of new technology. With fitness equipment, however, I'm a little tight fisted. My bare-bones Polar heart rate monitor has served me well since the beginning my regular workouts last year, and it tells me what I need to know when I'm working on my heart-rate based interval training.
About 1 year ago, I had the opportunity to review the BodyMedia FIT, which I had drooled over forever. The activity tracker system worked great, but had some drawbacks as well. All in all, it is a good tool which can be used to help you get more information you need to be accountable in your journey. An essential? No. A nice-to-have? Absolutely.
Recently, I was asked to review the Fitbit, another activity-monitoring device. It has been on my radar for the past several months as people have asked me how it compares to the BodyMedia FIT. So, I agreed to try it out!
Basically, you wear the device – on your waist, a shirt pocket, or in my case, my bra – and it monitors your activity. Steps, calories burned, activity times. You can wear it to sleep on a little wrist strap thingy (which is thankfully super comfortable) and it will track your sleep time. You then log on to fitbit.com (or on the Fitbit mobile site) and enter your food and water consumption, and you can add additional activities or identify those you've done during the day to record the most accurate numbers possible.
The device wirelessly syncs if it's in proximity to your computer with the Fitbit receiver attached. Even during the day if you're not synced, you can see directly on the device what your activity levels are:
Let's look at the online system:
Some things I realized while using the Fitbit:
- Holy cow, I DO NOT take any steps when I'm at work. If I didn't exercise, my average steps per day were UNDER 3000! That's bananas. This means I'm getting up and walking a lot more at work, and trying to walk after work even if it's not a “workout”
- My calories were actually lower than what I thought I was eating. Imagine my surprise when I entered my food and saw how low (for me) my calories were. Tracking is more important than I thought.
- My sleep is still an issue, even though I thought I was getting better at it. I'm an insomniac, and even with new medicine and a concerted effort to get to sleep earlier, there is still a lot more that can be improved.
- Side note: My hubs (a complete technophobe) has been begging me to use it when he goes to work (he's a nurse and is on his feet all day). He has been mildly obsessed. I need to set him a profile up and see about lending it to him for a week.
- Super small, you hook it on and forget it. Wasn't visible under clothes.
- Battery lasts FOREVER (well, not really – but a really long time!) so you don't have to keep remembering to plug it up
- Display on the actual device is GENIUS – no separate device or computer needed to check your progress throughout the day
- Wireless sync means never having to remember to plug it in. As soon as I was in vicinity of my laptop with the charger, it would sync up
- The website is VERY easy to use to both review activity and sleep information and to enter foods
- The mobile website is AWESOME and is really easy to enter foods on the go no without a separate app for the phone
- The sleep tracking was eerily accurate
- No required monthly membership fee to use the service (there is an additional upgrade option for more reporting, but the actual base monitoring is probably thorough enough for most people – me included)
- Um, it's super small, so once you hooked it on, you might forget it – I can see how these might accidentally end up in the washing machine hooked to a bra
- Not all the foods I eat are in their food database, however this is something I find with many food tracking sites. Entry of custom foods was very easy. Still, it requires some patience when you're near your nutrition labels to get things entered.
- If you're forgetful (like me) you might forget to wear it, which pretty much defeats the purpose
- Like other activity trackers, I think the accelerometer isn't quite so friendly to “smooth” activities such as riding a stationary bike or Bikram yoga- not enough bounce to record all the activity. On the flip side, you can go into the online system and add the activity at any time to have those activities more accurately represented in your activity and calories burned.
- I really wish it had a heart rate monitor also (wishful thinking as I don't think any activity trackers have a HRM component to them).
The Fitbit retails for $99.95 and is available at Fitbit.com or at Best Buy, 24 Hour Fitness, REI and Finish Line retail locations. All in all, the Fitbit is a great tool if you need extra accountability with being honest about how much you're moving during the day. The wireless sync with the easy-to-use food entry system and sleep monitoring gives a great snapshot for your entire day.
The great news? I'm giving one away!
To enter to win (1) Fitbit:
- Leave a comment on the post as to what you think you'd like most about the Fitbit (1 entry, required)
For additional entries, you can do ANY or ALL of the following OPTIONAL items, just make sure to come back and leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each item.
- Follow @fitbit on Twitter
- Follow @skinnyemmie on Twitter
- Like FitBit on Facebook
- Like Skinny Emmie on Facebook
Giveaway ends Friday July 1, 2011 at 6pm EST. Open to US Residents only. Winner will be randomly selected using random.org and notified via email. Winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected.
DISCLOSURE: Fitbit provided their product for review at no cost to me. As always, all opinions are unfiltered, honest, and strictly my own. I endorse Blog With Integrity. For my full disclosure policy, click here.