Have you ever wondered how many steps you take every day? Have you ever been curious about seeing if a Fitness Tracker would be beneficial to you? If you answered yes, then read on. If you answered no, read on anyways and let me know your thoughts 🙂
I have always thought of myself as healthy and thin but somewhere in my mid twenties both of those things took a massive nose dive. For me, working 14+ hour days as a business owner meant that I was barely moving. I seldomly made time to make healthy food or exercise and it was starting to impact my work. It quickly became apparent to me that something needed to change if I wanted to remain healthy and effective. I started working out and made an effort to eat healthy again. So much so that when I ended my business and was unemployed I decided to work at the gym. This allowed me to workout regularly while having a free gym membership. While there, I started noticing so many people with a Fitness Tracker on them and became curious.
Less than one year later, I moved to Colorado and with my observations from my previous job in hand, I decided to buy a fitness tracker. My husband and I both purchased a Fitbit Charge HR and that is when I learned just how little I was walking (on average less than 4,000 steps a day). To give you an idea, I get about 1,600-2,600 steps when I workout or about 2,500 steps when I walk around my neighborhood. Those 4,000 steps I was getting were averaged out throughout my entire day. The American Heart Association correlates that those who walk more have a greater amount of weight loss. This was my big wakeup call that I really needed to get moving.
I chose to buy a Fitbit simply because everyone at the gym had one. At the time, Fitbit had just made an announcement of a new line-up of fitness trackers that had a heart rate monitor and GPS. I didn’t really need a GPS function so I went with the one that just had the heart rate monitor. To be honest, I didn’t research which trackers were the best and most accurate. I simply went with the fitness tracker that I saw everyone wearing. This isn’t a review or plug for Fitbit. You are welcome to leave comments and suggestions on the fitness tracker that you love. However, I kindly ask that you please don’t leave a comment on how much you think Fitbit is not accurate and such.
So let’s get started on why my fitness tracker has changed my life:
Raised awareness for my lack of movement
As I mentioned above, prior to getting my Fitbit I was averaging less than 4,000 of the 10,000 recommended daily steps. Yowzas! I now average between 7,100-9,000 (almost twice as much!)
It made me accountable
Yes. To be honest, no one gadget or product will make you accountable unless you chose to hold yourself accountable. So if you are willing to hold yourself accountable this tool will help you achieve whatever goal you set for yourself.
Made me want to move more/be competitive
When I first got my fitness tracker, all I wanted to do was keep checking it to see how many steps I had. Since my husband and I both have a Fitbit we would constantly text each other asking how many steps we had. Then, we’d go move just to beat each other. We are no longer as competitive on a daily basis but we do try to edge each other out on weekends or whenever we are together.
Secondly, I just wanted to keep beating myself. Could I get 10 more steps than yesterday? Could I increase my weekly average over last week’s? And so on.
Lastly, the phone app for my fitness tracker allows you to add friends. You can see how many steps they get in a seven day period and how many average daily steps they get. You can also do daily, week or weekend challenges with them. All of these features made me want to be more competitive and be in first place every single week! I really appreciate this about the app because I am not sure I would be as motivated to move otherwise.
Great pal at the gym
So, again, this isn’t a review about the Fitbit but I do love that it has a heart rate tracker. I’ve heard rumors that it isn’t accurate and so on. I completely understand that but I still love it. I love it because I get a good range on how hard I am working out when I do cardio or weights. It gives me a calorie count (which I use as a rough estimate to see if I am being consistent when I do the same workout in a week’s period. And not I’m not going to lie, I want to know if I burned up that doughnut I ate 😉 ). The fact that it’s sweat proof is pretty awesome. I also really appreciate that when I turn on the stopwatch feature, it separately tracks all my metrics for that time frame.
I find myself doing “random laps” just to get my steps
This one is hilarious, weird and ingenious (which I have my husband to thank for). We do laps everywhere. What do I mean by that? Well, if I am home and it’s too cold out, I will do a loop through the kitchen, past the living room, upstairs, all the way to the office and back several times. I do this at work too because there isn’t really an outdoor space to go for a walk. It’s always hilarious to see my coworkers faces when I walk past their offices 4 times. Most people already know I am “getting my steps in” and just smile but to the few who don’t it makes me chuckle.
Set an achievable goal that you can attain daily
My fitness tracker allows me to set a daily step goal, which means that I can have a goal that is different from the preset 10,000 daily steps. I currently have mine set to 7,000 because that is what our insurance requires in order to give us money back (so I want to make sure I get at least 7,000 so I can get that bonus!). For example, if you walk on average, 3,000 steps a day then you can maybe set a goal for 4,000 to challenge yourself to move. This is so much better than having a daily goal of 10,000 because who would want to achieve something that can feel unachievable? There is nothing wrong with trying but my point is to set a goal that feels like something you can accomplish and be motivated to accomplish.
Great distance tracker when you run
I find that my steps are pretty accurate on my fitness tracker. Running, isn’t an activity that I frequently do but I wanted to put my Fitbit to the test. I used my RunKeeper app and Fitbit to see if they ended in the same number after my run (my Fitbit was not synced to RunKeeper either). By the end of a couple of test runs, every single one was exactly the same. So, instead of using my phone to track my distance, I use my Fitbit.
Great alarm clock
This one is for those of us who have light sleeping partners. I can usually fall back asleep after anything but my husband can’t. He was sick and tired of my alarm going off at 6:40am when he had to get up at 7:20am and not being able to go back to sleep. He really wanted me to buy a Fitbit for this reason, because it has a silent alarm. What is that you ask? It vibrates on your wrist which definitely gets me up and keeps him sleeping. Because I have gotten in such a habit of using and taking my Fitbit everywhere, it is not really an issue to remember to set my alarm or to not feel it going off.
Nifty Sleep tracker
I honestly didn’t really care about the sleep tracker part because, as I said, I am a pretty sound sleeper. My husband cared. He wanted to know exactly how much sleep he was getting and, on average, when and for how long he was waking up in the middle of the night. I have come to appreciate the tracker because, to my disbelief, I am actually not getting 8 hours of sleep a night. In fact, I learned that I average 7-7.5 hours of sleep. I also like seeing when I am awake and for how long. It is pretty cool that it can track that.
My final thoughts on my fitness tracker are that I love having it. I feel so lost without one and I hate walking around without it. It’s really opened up my eyes to how little I was walking and has now gotten me into the habit of moving more. Working in an office environment is especially tough because you barely move. However, it has given me an opportunity to think creatively on how to still get my steps in small spaces.
My biggest complaint about my Fitbit Charge HR specifically is that it doesn’t have a “get up and move” reminder. I want to be reminded when I haven’t moved in a while because sometimes I get so sucked into work that I forget. Overall, I am glad that I have my tracker and I feel more fit because of it.
Do you have a tracker? If not, why not? Would you get one? If you have one, which tracker do you have?
Tattoo Credit: David Perea
DISCLAIMER: the link in this post to shop for a Fitbit Charge HR is a Target affiliate link. This post was not sponsored by Fitbit or Target. All other links are not affiliates and purely shared by me.