Being somebody who likes to rise to the challenge, I’ve aimed to do at least 3,500 steps a day. This may not be much to some, but for those who have a desk job and a commute that requires stepping into and out of one’s car, this is not so easy a goal.
Helping me keep track is my new Fitbit One, which I received from my brother for Christmas. I think he was trying to subliminally say something about my inactive lifestyle as of late.
It’s been a welcome gift. A small unit, just a bit larger than a peanut shell, it keeps track of my steps, flights of stairs I’ve taken, miles I’ve walked, the rate of my activity and calories burned throughout the day. At night, it can be strapped on your wrist in a protective cloth strap to monitor how many times you “wake up” in the middle of the night.
My first time using it was while hiking at Hilton Falls Conservation Area before the new year and it was an eye-opener. Hiking a few kilometres requires well over 10,000 steps!
What I like about the Fitbit One:
- It’s a friendly, sometimes flirty/affectionate/inspirational, little device with messages such as “‘Hug Me”, “You Rock”, and “Go!”
- You can set targets that YOU want to meet. It’s customizable – so if you want to feel like a “winner” by setting a target of 1,000 steps a day, you can certainly do so.
- You can easily place it in a pocket, clip it to waist at your pants/skirt, or for women, clip it to your bra.
- The web version and mobile apps allow you to enter in your food intake for the day, other activities (e.g. if you swam for half an hour) and your weight. This is ideal for anybody intensely interested in following their fitness/weight-loss closely.
- Online you can track your progress against your friends’ – in this case I’m competing with Frank who has his own Fitbit.
- It makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something great when you see your stats increasing each day.
A Little “FitBit” Buggy
There are a few issues we’ve encountered with the device. Several times the Fitbit One has stopped counting my steps. At other times it got stuck on my calories.
Although there have been a few bugs and issues with Fitbit One, after a bit of searching on the Fitbit website you can find information as to resetting it (not too difficult – just place the unit in the dongle for charging it up and press the button until the screen shuts down the unit; remove it from the charger and press the button again to start it up).
The other issue with the Fitbit One is that if you don’t have an iPhone 4s or third generation iPad, the sync will not work. You will need to sync it using your computer/laptop. It’s a small nuisance but not detrimental to your enjoyment.
I can see this as a great tool for people who enjoy hiking and for those who are trying to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. You consciously begin to think about how much activity you have in a day and how you can amp it up. Taking the stairs up and down a few flights boosts the number of steps you take, versus the elevator. When you are hiking, it motivates you to go that one extra kilometre or two.
You can purchase the Fitbit One via the Apple Store (Canadian – $99.95).