Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Fitbit One

Alright folks. I'm starting several new "series" on my blog for funsies (and in hope that if I stick to a scheduled post that I might stop being lazy...Here's to hoping). First of these series as seen in the title is Tech Tuesday. As the name implies it will cover some sort of "tech", gadget, or gizmo. Now I must warn you before hand that this particular series is going to be more sparse than the others I have planned. My "smarts" lean heavily toward the nerd side of the spectrum and not the geek side. That said, the "tech" to achieve first post status is the Fitbit One.  I got this last Christmas, and I've used it for long enough that I can make an educated reviewc.

To continue reading the review and see more pictures, click the link below.

So you might be scratching your head and wondering what exactly is a Fitbit. Well the way I like to describe is a pedometer on crack. It might literally be one of the best tools (if not the best) to help you get fit.  It encourages you to move and allows you to track your activities. Specifically it tracks the number of steps and floors you take, amount of calories burned, activity level, miles traveled (walk/run), hours slept (including amount of times woken), and the time.  Everything besides the hours slept can be displayed on the screen. If you so desire, it even gives you messages on the screen when you pick it up.  This is the part that it literally encourages you to increase your fitness.  For sxample, on a day I hadn't walked much, my Fitbit One told me to "step it up".  Don't worry the Fitbit isn't always negative.  It tells me it loves me, or that I'm a "rockstar". 

What's even better? It has a "silent" alarm function.  Once you set up your alarm and "sync" it, instead of using a tone for the alarm it vibrates.  In reality a vibration sound is present, but not so loud that if someone sleeps next to you, they shouldn't wake up.  The vibration is also meant to wake you up in a less stressful, more gradual pattern as you notice the vibration.  If you were like me you're thinking there is no way on Earth that some vibration is going to wake you up. I was skeptical enough to still set up a alarm on my phone as back up, but there is no need.  It wakes me up without fail (unless I forget to set it up), and that's saying a lot. I'm literally a person that will sleep through a fire alarm and 6.7 earthquakes that leads to books falling off shelves and minor property damage.  I'm a HEAVY sleeper. 
The product itself is very light, and doesn't get in the way. It's water resistant (you can sweat with it on, just don't jump in the shower/pool). There are currently two available colors. The maroon that I have or black. Included with the Fitbit One is a clip, charging cable, wrist band for when you sleep, and a syncing doggle.

How does it work? No clue, it does it's mumbo jumbo via some technology I can't understand. Luckily the use is rather intuitive (once you read the included material).  It's meant to be attached to your bra or waist, but you can stick it in a pocket too without the clip if you want it streamlined (see below for placement).

How does it track your sleep and pattern? Use the sleeping wrist band on your non-dominant wrist when you sleep. You can actually fit the Fitbit with the clip into the mesh pouch without any issues. Then push and hold the only button until you see the timer start, and the Fitbit will do the rest. You just need to push and hold the button again when you wake up.  Don't worry if you forget to set the sleep tracker. You can manually enter into the free online program.

What else does it offer you say? If you have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy (hopefully the Andriod compatibility will soon improve), you can use the Fitbit Ap to look at your progress via the Bluetooth function in real time.  For all the other Android users you unfortunately have to use a USB doggle to sync. On the free online site or ap (for the aforementioned brands) you can have the luxury of looking at charts of your daily (or longer period) goals. You can connect with friends and "compete" with each other to help achieve goals. You even get badges awarded to you for meeting certain goals, such as a badge for climbing 10 steps in a day. You can earn the same badges multiple times, and the number of times a certain badge is achieved is tracked as well. Last, but not least, there are many aps (many are free) that can be hooked to the fitbit. It makes it simpler so you don't have to enter information in multiple aps.  This works for calorie counting programs such as MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople, and many others (like running aps). There are new programs that can be connected to Fitbit that crop up, so you can check back frequently.

Bottom Line: This has fast become a daily necessity for me. I almost feel naked without my Fitbit One. It tracks so many different aspects important to your fitness that it's worth the investment. Noticing that I haven't met my daily goals, makes me more aware that I need to move around, even it it's just walking.  Awareness is important for keeping fit.  If you prefer a simpler monitor that you can attach to your wrist, you have the Fitbit Flex. Yet another option if you want a cheaper price point (and don't care about tracking sleep), you can try the Fitbit Zip. In any case, I say GO GET IT NOW!

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