I've spent a good little while agonising over how to word the title for this post because wow everything I come up with sounds like I'm talking about a new boyfriend or dog or having a child?? But I wanted to chat about my experiences one (and a bit) months in to using a Fitbit because I toyed with the idea of getting one for the longest time before taking the plunge.
Back in November last year I joined a gym (again) because I was stuck in a rut of feeling miserable about having no energy, not having something to do most evenings after work and just generally feeling a bit weak. I'm a stickler for tracking things (the habit tracker in my bullet journal gives me absolute joy, I tick each day off my desk calendar and I'm totally someone who checks the colour of their wee to see if they're hydrated enough) and I really wanted a way to track this.
After looking into a few different options, my sister and I went for the Fitbit Charge 3, which is their newest option that sits sort of in the middle of the range between the Alta and Versa. It comes in at £129.99, which made it a big investment for me, but it's one that I'm definitely glad I went for. The Versa is the highest end Fitbit product, and is more like an Apple watch, and I really didn't need the extra features, whilst the Alta had a few missing that I wanted to use.
What does it track?
On the fitbit itself you have:
- the time
- number of steps for the day
- how many of your active hours you've completed
- heart rate
- the distance you've walked
- the number of flights of stairs you've climbed
- weight (you can choose not to include this)
- calories burnt for the day
- minutes spent active in the day
- period tracking (if you need/want it)
- amount of sleep you've had
- how much water you've drunk
- number of days you've exercised that week
- options to help you relax and track workouts
That's quite a lot within the Fitbit itself, but you need an app on your phone that most things run through, and you can use this to look more in-depth at exactly what's happening. The app includes additional tracking features including:
- logging period/PMT details
- logging food eaten
- a breakdown of exercises you've done
- the ability to challenge friends to daily or weekly step count competitions
- heart rate breakdown over the day
- sleep breakdown (REM, deep and light)
- weight tracker
- workout guidance videos
- cardio fitness levels
My favourite/most used features
I struggle a LOT when trying to get a good night's sleep, and for an upsetting number of years I've napped almost every single day because I'm just so knackered. Since being able to track my sleep I've learnt that, actually, I'm just not getting enough sleep at night and that's partly the cause for the whole issue. I've pushed the time I go to bed back by about half an hour and it's had an incredible effect at helping me to nap less.
We took a trip to Amsterdam a couple of weeks back (more on that to come in a post soon) and tracking how many steps we did each day almost made the blisters seem worth it?! On a real note, it did make the whole wandering around all day more interesting because we were hitting milestones of 20 000 steps and above some days! It even made wandering what felt like miles to reach our gate at the airport seem useful for something other than making you sweaty before boarding. The step tracker has been one of my favourite parts every day, and being able to challenge my sister has kept us both motivated.
The 'active hours' are 9 or so hours of your choosing that you want to make sure you're active during. I've got mine set to go from 9am-6pm and during those hours my Fitbit will buzz to remind me to move if I haven't done 250 steps at ten to the hour. As someone who works in an office this is such a fab feature (if a little scary when you realise you haven't moved at all in an hour).
The period tracker is one of the features on the app that I most often delve into. Although my periods come almost on the same exact day every 28 days due to the pill I'm on, it's a great way of tracking both physical and emotional symptoms of PMT, and would be useful if your periods are a little more irregular. It uses the data you put in (e.g. noting that you had sore boobs/cramps/internal rage) to build up a better picture over time of what to expect in terms of PMT, when you're most fertile and when your period is due.
Would I recommend?
Absolutely. I honestly don't ever want to be without it. I love checking out how high my heart rate has gone during a workout, or how many minutes I was awake during the night, or just how my fitness levels are changing over time. I'm glad I invested in the Charge 3 rather than the cheaper option because I can do things like swim with it, track different types of exercise and use guided breathing to help me relax. It was a big investment for me, but I have no regrets about it.