Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Getting Fit with FitBit

I have become one of 'those people' friends. It all started innocently enough, but I am now a believer in the FitBit. I mean seriously, who am I?
FitBit Activity Level Chart

One of the downsides to working from home has been a decline in my activity level. I went from walking around the classroom and all over school every day to largely working behind my computer for hours at a time. There are many days I don't even leave the house to go to the mailbox. I've tried the treadmill (boring) and a bike with a lap top desk (still boring) and eventually just gave up on both. Then I started to see more and more of my friends jump on the Fitbit wagon. I figured it couldn't hurt and I'm a pretty competitive person, so I figured the daily progress charts would be encouraging.

I had a hard time deciding between the Flex and the Charge HR. There wasn't a big price difference, so I ultimately decided to go with the Flex because of the color and ability to swap out the bands. The Charge HR was only available in black, so that wasn't nearly fun enough. It arrived on April 23rd, a Thursday. I put in about 2,000 steps by doing my regular activity. The recommendation is 10,000 steps per day so I was way under. I had 0 active minutes, which meant I didn't move for 10 continuous minutes at any time during the day. Friday and Saturday were much the same. I managed to get 11 and 12 active minutes respectively. My little baseline test was over and it was eye-opening for sure. 

Pink FitBit Flex

So then I put myself to work. I shot for 5,000-7,000 steps per day for the next week. I ended at 47,000 steps and 265 active minutes because I was breaking my steps up throughout the day. It was definitely motivating and if I checked my steps and was well under my goal, I made myself go for a walk. I caught up on the DVR while walking in place if that's what it would take and did laps around the living room more than a few times. 
FitBit Activity Level Chart
I also started drinking more water. Most days, I was lucky to get in one 24 ounce bottle. But the FitBit has you log each bottle you drink and I became more aware of that too. Most days I get my little girl full of water now. Hurray! 

Each week I increased my active minutes and worked to get more steps. With just those changes, I started to drop pounds. I've worked my way up to 10,000 steps+ per day by taking walks around our neighborhood. I usually go on my own in the afternoon and then again in the evening with my husband for about 3 miles each time. I ended last week with 85,000 steps and 636 active minutes. 

I also upgraded to the Charge HR when it was available in purple. I like that it displays my exact number of steps and keeps the other stats right on my wrist too so I don't have to check them on my phone. I can quickly see where I'm at on a walk and leave my phone {and the work inside it!} at home. It is a little thicker and not nearly as cute because the bands aren't interchangeable, but the extra data is worth it. 
Plum FitBit Charge HR

I also like the heart rate feature. I can see how hard I'm working, how many minutes per day I'm spending in each zone, and track my heart rate over time. As I've become more active, my resting heart rate has gone from 83 bpm to 68 bpm, which essentially shows that my heart is getting more efficient. I'm also down 7 pounds in less than a month without changing anything other than my activity and water intake. 
FitBit Charge HR Heart Rate Graph


Another nice bonus on the Charge HR is that it keeps track of the stairs I climb. I shoot for 15 flights a day, but my record is 50. It also tracks my sleep automatically without me having to remember to put it in sleep mode, like I had to do with the Flex. I'm such a data nerd, so I love all the different things it's keeping track of.

Overall, LOVE the FitBit experience. I love the social interaction and challenges on there, which help keep me accountable even on days I'm not feeling it. But at the same time, I'm not a slave to my little gadget. I'm under the weather this week and taking it easier, no problem.

If you want to connect on the app, you can find me here: https://www.fitbit.com/user/3D6MR5




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