I have been looking forward to writing this article for a long time now. I have so much to say about the Fitbit that I have been wearing for a year now and wanted to share it all with you today.
I have been wearing a Fitbit Charge HR for 1 year now. I am a true fit bitter (is that even a name?)
So over the last year I have been through a lot. In June I thought it would be a great idea to get the fitbit to challenge myself as well as tracking some vital stats.
As you are maybe, or maybe not aware the fitbit really is a glorified pedometer, plus a few more things
What Is Fitbit Great for?
My Fitbit will track steps, floors climbed, distance walked or run, calories burned, heart rate, and sleep schedule, all by itself. If you want to do a bit of tracking yourself you can also use it to track water drank, calories (from MyFitnessPal), and weight change
The really great thing about the tracker and the website that it stores the data to is that you can slice and dice that data up with Fitbit’s helps so that you can better track and access how you are doing.
Over the last year I have pulled off some mighty impressive stats. I have stepped 3,960,492 steps, climbed 10,354 floors, and walked 1,874.79 miles.
To me those are some interesting numbers. But even more interesting are these strange but fun stats that are tracked
Number of hours per day with 250+ steps
I really like this stat as it lets me know how well I am doing throughout the day. My goal of course is to get all the circles filled which means that I have been getting up and moving every hour.
As a computer guy I can be really bad for just digging into some code and forgetting about moving which is really critical for health
Resting heart rate trend per day, all the way to per month over a year
I have found over the last year that this number will really range depending on my fitness level, stress level, and amount of sleep. The lower this number is the better I know my health really is.
Even though I try my best to keep myself in great health I sometimes burn the candle at both ends, get stressed about family and work, and stop getting the things done that are important. It always comes back to my resting heart rate.
Number of floors climbed on a daily basis trended over months
I have had a very high variance in this stat. I sometimes get lazy and stop climbing stairs, stop getting harder exercise in and it really gets reflected here.
When I am working hard and not taking any shortcuts I find that over a day my number of floors climbed really increases and conversely when I am feeling lazy I will see a really low number of floors by the end of the day.
Number of miles per day walked over a months time
This number is usually directly related to my number of steps. The fantastic thing though is to see how many miles I have done over the year.
I have actually walked 1803 miles over the first year of owning the Fitbit which seems like a lot, but in counting back each of those days it makes sense to me.
Amount of sleep and quality per night trending over time
I am terrible for sleep. Some people only need about 5-6 hours a night sleep but I feel like I really need closer to 8 hours a back over night, and sadly I don’t tend to get it.
I find that when I am sleeping poorly my concentration really suffers as well as my motivation. This is really common and expected for anyone.
Also, the Fitbit Charge HR does not just measure my sleeping hours but also quality. I can see how well I slept as it will watch back over the last hour and calculate movement and heart rate changes to see if I m awake or restless and shows me on this cool sleep graph.
Calories Burned and Exercise Time
Another feature that I did not screenshot but would like to mention is the tracking of calories burned and exercise times. This is a way to track how much exercise I am really getting and will sync back to My Fitness Pal for calories burned.
What the FitBit Charge HR does is calculate the number of calories I would be burning based on my weight, age, heart rate and the movement. The Fitbit can tell certain exercises based on the type of movement and then tracks that down.
So far my Fitbit has been able to identify a bike, run, elliptical trainer, but had trouble with my Street hockey, in that case it just called it exercise.
As I exercise harder I will get better calories burned numbers. I know that the accuracy is at question here (see below), but I am only in competition with myself and my own health in the end so I love the tracking and numbers for me.
Another great feature of the Fitbit community is that you can become friends with others and have competitions with them. Daily Showdown, Workweek Hustle, and Weekend Warrior are just a few of them.
I am constantly amazed at how much some people can walk or run in a day. My 10,000 steps a day if good and is shown to improve health but I find quite a few people that will hit 30,000 steps in a day! Fantastic output, I can only guess they are mailmen.
I love the competition of these as not only are you following the rest of the group but also you can comment in a chat through the group urging the other guys on, questioning, and even a little trash talk – all a lot of fun and encouraging though.
Problems With Accuracy?
I know that there have been questions over the accuracy of the fitbit but this has not discouraged me at all.
The accuracy over the last 20 minutes or hour is not the critical time frame. The time frame I am looking at is over the week, month, and year to see how my heart rate, exercise output, and sleep habits are improving.
One Problem with Breakage
Apparently I am a bit tough on my fitbit and a week before my one year anniversary of having my Fitbit the worst possible thing happened, it broke and stopped counting anything.
I contacted the company through the website and they opened up a claim and within just a couple of days they sent me a new one that is sitting happily (for me) on my right arm as I type out this post.
I have hear of this being a problem with other people and in every case that I have tracked it seems that Fitbit is more than happy to take care of their customers and send them a new one within the first year.
Year One with My Fitbit Charge HR is Over
So I have to say that over the last year I have been really excited about my Fitbit. I have been through a lot, lots of work, lots of hospital visits for my daughter, a kidney donation and week in the hospital. But really I look back over the last year and I am excited and proud of how well I have done.
The fitbit has worked for me a bit like a diary, a health diary, I can tell when I was not well, when I was excited, and when work was overwhelming and I did not get enough sleep. Most of all though the Fitbit has really worked well as a way for me to push myself a bit. Everyday that I see that me steps are a bit low at lunch inspires me to push myself in the afternoon and evening.