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Monday, 18 April 2016

Healthy Habits .6 - The Fitbit Alta

I've had my FitBit Alta for about two weeks now and I'm obsessed! 

When you receive your FitBit the packaging is very minimal, similar to Apple products, and you sync your FitBit to the app, which is fantastic. The app tracks your calories burned throughout the day, exercise, weight loss, calories eaten (also syncs with My Fitness Pal), water drank, steps taken, 'active hours' (hours with more than 250 steps), kilometres walked, active minutes AND your sleeping pattern - so a fair amount is crammed into the little app! It has preset goals for you to reach, but these are easily adjustable to you, it's so user friendly and will help you with every step (literally)!





I always find it interesting to know the pros and cons of a product, so if that's what you're looking for, here you go...


Pros

1. Definitely makes me walk more

It is recommended that you walk 10,000 steps in a day, and when you have an office job, this can be pretty hard to do. I work out for 30 minutes every morning but usually this still won't allow me to reach my step goal. Since I've had my FitBit I've found myself going for a lunchtime walk around the lake just to meet my step goal and get that little green star! It sounds silly but knowing I only have 800 steps left to meet my goal for the day, I find myself pacing my garden just to meet my goal!  


2. The badges/friends feature is motivational

Every time you hit a big goal, you'll receive a badge; for example 'Sneakers' is 10,000 steps in a day and 'Marathon' is walking 26 miles since you've had your FitBit. You can collect these badges over and over again plus loads of others (that I'm yet to discover!)

You can also add friends on FitBit (my name is Elise McMorrow on there, so feel free to add me!) And you can set challenges such as 'Weekend Warrior' where you'll try to take more steps than a friend from Saturday to Sunday! If you're competitive, this is a great way to get a bit of friendly competition whilst exercising!



3. Sleep Tracking

The FitBit also tracks your sleep, it is recommended that you get 7 hours of sleep a night (something which I rarely get). The FitBit not only tracks when you fall asleep and when you wake up, but also the quality of your sleep, how many times you were awake/restless during the night. There hasn't been a day that I haven't checked this feature, I love tracking how well I sleep and how much sleep I'm getting. It also has a silent alarm which you can set on your app, and it will vibrate to wake you up, I actually didn't think this would work very well at waking me up, but it's great - plus it's a little less intrusive than a loud ringing alarm at 6am!

4. All round keeps you on track

The app is the best thing about FitBit, along with the little buzzes on your wrist to get up and move if you haven't walked 250 steps in an hour (these are optional). The fact that you can sync My Fitness Pal to your app makes it perfect for tracking basically EVERYTHING health and fitness wise. I am obsessed with checking my steps taken/water drank/sleep quality and I've found myself actively doing so much more to reach my goal each day.


CONS

1. Steps not 100% accurate

As with any step tracker, the steps aren't 100% accurate. I was picking something up the other day and noticed my step count climbing when I wasn't actually walking. You could probably take it off your wrist and shake it to add to the step count. However, who actually wants to do that and ruin their own progress? So I don't find this a deal breaker, just take it with a pinch of salt, but it's never going to be more than a few steps out!



2. Doesn't always track active exercise

Sometimes during weightlifting or less cardio intensive workouts (for example if you're doing press ups), I could be working out for 30 minutes but the FitBit will only track 14 minutes. This is because, unless your wrist is obviously moving, the FitBit will not know you are working out, it can't read your mind! However, it does usually show on the exercise feature of the app that I worked out for 30 minutes, but the active minutes on the watch and the app can differ to this. At first I found this a bit disheartening but once I realised what it actually was, I don't mind as much!

3. Calorie counting not accurate

Before I bought the FitBit, I had a Polar FT7 watch which came with a chest strap to track your heart rate. The Polar watch could only track calories burnt and heart rate in an active workout so wasn't as much of an 'all rounder' as the FitBit. But it did track my calories burnt a lot better than the FitBit does. Because the FitBit Alta doesn't have a heart rate feature, the calories burnt cannot be as accurate on it as they are on the Polar watch. I've found myself wearing my Polar watch AND my FitBit to workouts so that I can track my heart beat and reach a calorie goal on my Polar watch, and track everything else on my FitBit - this works pretty well!



Oops, I didn't realise this would be such a long post, hopefully it's helpful to some of you.

Overall I absolutely LOVE my FitBit, obviously it has a few flaws, but doesn't everything? There are other FitBits on the market which do include a heart rate feature etc. but I just love the sleek, minimal design of the new Alta. It's not obviously clunky on my arm and I can wear it to work or with an outfit without it sticking out like a sore thumb. It also has interchangable straps which is fab!

Right I'm going to stop rambling, feel free to ask any more questions in the comments.


Please let me know if you have a FitBit, I'd love to know what you think of it!



Lots of love,

Elise Rose

xxx 
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