For the past year, one of my favorite sports accessories has been the Fitbit Charge2 watch. At least 9 hours of my day are on the move and before I took my watch I was addicted to the Shealth program on my phone. I was excited to see how many miles I had walked/ran, how many calories I had burned, what days of the week I had been the most active, and so on.
Today I am absolutely inseparable with my Fitbit. I use it for a variety of statistics and features, both on the watch itself and on the phone app. Here I am sharing some of the key benefits due to which I recommend it to every physically active person. I start with the things I love about it from the very moment I wake up in the morning.
Discrete alarms and reminders.
I have always been using the alarm on my phone to wake me up. And I have always hated it especially if I had forgotten it on vibration on my night cabinet – I am pretty sure that even the neighbors were waking up then. I never really enjoyed this shocking transition from the dreamland to reality but subject to the lack of a better alternative I was somehow accustomed. Until themoment I set the first alarm on my Fitbit. Now, I wake up with gentle vibrations on my arm. The feeling is like someone caressing me with a feather and the transition from dreams to reality is smooth and pleasant.
Sleep quality analysis.
Each of us is having a busy enough life, and this inevitably affects the quality and duration of sleep. In the Fitbit app I can trace and analyze the dynamics of my sleep. How long was I sleeping for? How long and how many times was I dreaming? How many times was I awaken at night? Once my possibilities of sleeping were endless but now qualitative sleep is more of a privilege and that is why I highly appreciate it. The app data helps me to create or introduce new routines that allow my body to relax and regenerate more efficiently and effectively. I am trying to go to bed earlier – about 23:00 to have time to physically and mentally rest. Easier said than done. Here a big role play my habits. Both my husband and me are from people who go to bed late late, and have difficulty getting up early. Getting rid of this habit takes a lot of effort, I must confess.
Analysis of sports/physical activity.
This was the main reason I bought my Fitbit. The watch measures my pulse, footsteps, kilometers and calories burnt automatically. It is smart enough to recognize different types of activities such as cardio or bike riding. If you want to track how much time you have spent or calories you have burned in a specific workout, you can easily choose the sports activity on the watch and run the timer. I set a target of 10000 steps a day and if I happen to take a longer rest, the watch starts vibrating, reminding me and encouraging me to make some steps. This seems particularly useful to people who are stuck in the office for the whole day. Sometimes we focus on the computer screen so hard and ignore the world around us. The truth is that it’s important every 45-60 minutes to get up, move around, look through the window and drink a glass of water or tea. The watch is a great helper in this aspect. It also stimulates me to achieve and exceed my everyday goal (10000 steps) giving me a variety of awards and badges for extra activity. It seems ridiculous, but it is quite enjoyable in fact, especially given the fact that sometimes we forget to congratulate ourselves for the work done (that applies to all aspects of life).
You can download the Fitbit Coach on the phone and subject to the time and group of muscles you want to work on, watch and do different types of workouts. Personally, I have never used it as I usually run in the mountain, go to the yoga studio or exercise at home following my favorite YouTube workouts. However, the Fitbit Coach seems to be great for people with limited time and desire for quick results.
Food and Calorie Diary.
That’s the other reason I wanted the watch. In the app I enter data about the food and the approximate calories I have consumed during the day (the calorie information from the package can be scanned). This is really wonderful, because you will notice how often we all reach for “small” meals during the day (a candy, a bite of a cake, few nuts, a glass of milk, etc.) and because they are so “small”, we totally ignore them and do not count them as a calorie intake. This log is especially interesting to see how many times, what quantities and what we eat. Believe me, you will surprise yourself (not necessarily nicely). In addition to getting a better understanding of our eaiting habbits and eventually introducing more healthy moderations, this data can also be used to track results achieved especially if we are aiming at losing weight.
For years I have been using the My Days app on my phone to record these dates, but now I started using the Fitbit app for this. Typically for such a calendar, I can enter a start and end date, point to some irregularities such as headaches, acne, pain, etc. The app shows the ovulation days and sends reminders for upcoming period date, which I find very useful. The app also reminds to take your pills, if you use any.
As crazy as it might sound, not everyone likes to drink water. Even I prefered juices and other soft drinks at my early student ages. It was a great challenge to shift to healthy practices and stop all soft drinks. But I am happy I did it and it paid off well especially during my pregnancy when I was easily drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily. If, however, drinking lots of water is not your thing, Fitbit may remind you that it is time for hydration. In the app, you can enter data about how much fluids you need to drink, how much you actually drank, and if you are off track, Fitbit reminds you with a gentle vibration and visualization that it is time to hydrate.
Messages and calls.
Whenever I get a message or call, I get the text and the name of the person on the watch display accompanied by a gentle vibration. I find it of great convenience, especially if my phone is in my bag or jacket and I am waiting for a call that I do not want to miss. It is interesting to note that while I was using a Samsung phone I did not get any indication of sms-es and calls. It is only after I switched to an iPhone that I started being notified on the watch. It is quite comfortable and easy and saves a lot of zipper openings and pocket digging.
One of the features I have never used on the Fitbit is the meditation. If you turn it on, you can “turn off” yourself for a few minutes and practice yoga breathing – inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply in order to relax. Again, it sounds extremely practical if you are an office person under significant pressure. Though it sounds tempting, I have found my meditation long ago – sports, real meditation at my favorite yoga studio (if I am alone at home I usually fall sleep while “meditating”) and a glass of wine in the evening.
I like that the battery holds for a whole week and charges super fast – in about 30 minutes. When the battery starts to end, I get information about it both on the watch itself and via email.
Fitbit has a community where you can share things or reach and communicate with other people and friends. It seems especially useful if you are looking for support and like mindedness, some fresh ideas and cheering.
Last but not least, what I like about my Fitbit is that I can easily change the straps. Hence, in a second I can transform it from a sports accessory into a beautiful bracelet. I am so accustomed to wearing it all the time that even when I take it off to recharge it I feel like I’m missing something. And this is really strange because I am one of those girls who hate to wear jewelry, pendants, and any kind of moving elements on their bodies.If you are just on the verge of choosing a sports watch, I strongly recommend the Fitbit Charge2.