Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fitbit Zip Review and Cleaning Things Up


I got some money for Christmas and decided to treat myself to something I’ve had an eye on for a while: a Fitbit. I know several people “in real life” who have a Fitbit and love it. And I have seen numerous reviews/mentions on the Internet, and I was very curious as my experiences with “tracking devices” haven’t been all that good.

Years ago, I got a free pedometer through work. It was a pain to set up, didn’t work well, and was huge and ugly. Then I got an old model of the Garmin Forerunner. It was a great deal, but hubby made fun of me every time I wore it as it looked like it came straight from 1988. Plus, it took forever to get a satellite, and I sometime had to stand around for what seemed like forever before a run or hike.

The Fitbit is the opposite of my previous experiences: it’s tiny, cute (I got a pink one!), and was incredibly easy to set up.

By simply tapping your Fitbit, you can easily scroll through the numbers it keeps track of (time, steps taken today, miles traveled, calories burned, happy/not so happy face, depending on how active you are). I love how easy it is!

The Fitbit comes with an online component that automatically updates when you are within range of your computer (you can also synch it with your smart phone, iPad, etc.). The online dashboard shows you various numbers:
  • steps taken today
  • miles traveled today
  • calories burned
  • active score (the number starts at 0 every morning and goes up the more active you are)
There is also a pie chart that shows the time you were:
  • sedentary
  • lightly active
  • fairly active
  • very active
Seeing how active (or NOT active) you are throughout the day is really motivating!


You can also set up a food journal or set weight loss goals, but I haven’t done any of those.

What I Love About My Fitbit
  • Super easy to set up
  • Super easy to wear – you don’t know it’s there
  • Seeing how many steps I have taken really motivates me to make it to at least 10,000 steps every day. I often walk another 2,000 steps at the end of the day, and I know I wouldn’t add the extra activity if I didn’t see the numbers.
  • My home is getting more organized as I am finding ways to walk more! The first couple nights hubby asked me why I was going up and down the stairs so many times, each time carrying only one item….
Things About My Fibit That Can Be a Bit Frustrating
  • The Fitbit only tracks steps. So if I do a barre class or do a  weight lifting session, it hardly adds any steps and looks on my activity graph pretty much the same as if I sat on the couch. It can be frustrating to see almost “no activity” during times I know I worked out hard! But once you remind yourself that the Fitbit keeps only track of steps, it all makes sense…
I am really glad I got the Fitbit. It’s a great tool to keep track of my steps, and by monitoring them, I often motivate myself to walk some more at the end of the day.

Questions: Do you keep track of your miles/steps? Do you keep track of your daily activity in another way? I used to input my workouts into Daily Mile but stopped in the fall. I really liked seeing all my workouts at the end of the week; I may get back to it! Do you keep a food journal? I don’t at the moment and have only done it once for a short time.

In Other News
I am currently “cleaning up” my eating a bit by focusing on whole foods and eliminating coffee, alcohol, and added sugar. Cutting out coffee was very tough and showed me clearly that I had been drinking way too much again. I am looking forward to eating mainly plants for the next 14 days and plan on writing a recap in a few weeks.

Be well,
Andrea

26 comments:

  1. Greta,viel Spass mit dem Fitbit Zip.Und denke daran auch ein nicht aktiver Tag ist zwischendurch sehr wichtig!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Du hast recht! Ich werde daran denken... :)

      Delete
  2. Hi Andrea! I just got the Fitbit One and am on day three of using it. It's awesome! Since I am recovering from foot surgery I think it's going to be a great tool to see how many more steps I take as the weeks go on. Since I can't do cardio right now I watching the steps daily go up will be encouraging. Fitbit links to My Fitness Pal where I log my food and I can add in cardio or resistance training to get those calories burned and not just the steps - once I get to start doing that again that is!

    I will be posting about the Fitbit soon. I think it's going to be a wonderful motivator for me. :)

    I too am trying to clean up my eating and three days in I already feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like an awesome tool during your recovery! It's so hard to know how many steps you are taking, and I know the numbers are very motivating!

      Hope the foot heals quickly!

      Delete
  3. I've had the regular Fitbit for a few years and I love it! (I know I've mentioned it several times on my blog) I just got the Fitbit One for Christmas and I'm still a fan. The new clip on the One and the Zip is much better than the old one, which tended to break in about a year because of the strain if you wore it every day. I've found customer service to be incredibly helpful and even though I've gone through 4 Fitbits because the clip wore out, I've never had to pay for a new one - they just sent me one.

    You can enter your other activities into the Log Activity page. I know it's annoying that it doesn't count toward steps, but at least then your activity will count toward your calorie burn.

    If you want to connect as Fitbit friends, send me an email at frazzled.kelly at gmail.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I never heard of FitBit...thanks for sharing the post Andrea...
    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty cool! :)

      Have a great week, too!

      Delete
  5. Hi Andrea - I purchased a pedometer in the past and found it motivating. I bet I'd like this more. It's a great reminder to keep moving. I keep a food journal when the pounds creep up. It always puts my eating into perspective. It's all about food choices - mostly portion control and getting the fruits and veggies in. At least for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, being mindful of what and how much I eat really helps!

      Delete
  6. I have looked into the Fitbit a couple of times but never bought it.

    Right now I'm doing WW online and keep a food journal.

    I'm an addict to keep stats so I keep track of all my workouts. For running I use my Garmin, when I go for a walk with Bella I use an app Endomondo on my phone to keep track of the miles. Daily walks with your dog can really add up in mileage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how diligently you keep track of all your workouts!!! And, yes, I bet if I had a dog, I'd walk more! I used to walk a lot more when the kid was in a stroller - 4 miles a day just walking to the park alone!

      Delete
  7. So glad to learn about this! Interesting to hear pros and cons from you - that would frustrate me if it didn't count ST & classes - hmmm! But to your point, you know you did it and it's only about the steps! I'm tracking nothing now but am definitely looking forward getting back on track post-baby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baby is going to be here soooo soon!!!! What exciting times! :)

      Delete
  8. YAY, I'm so glad you decided to review the Fitbit, Andrea! I've had my eye on it for a while and I think I'll treat myself to one the next time I accomplish something big. I'm happy to hear you like it! It seems like such a great device for encouraging more movement, although I hear ya on the frustration with it not registering some movement. Overall, though, it seems like a great device.

    Best of luck with your clean-up, Andrea! I'll be waiting to hear how it goes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Fitbit was definitely a good investment for me.

      And the clean-up is going well so far. :)

      Delete
  9. That looks pretty cool. I've never heard of Fitbit. I walk a lot but also lift weights 4 times per week - it would be nice if that could be tracked, although I'm not sure how.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very cool to keep track of steps/miles. I believe you can input other exercises to keep track of them, but they won't show up on the "steps/activity" chart.

      Delete
  10. Marshall got me one for Christmas and I love it! It makes me get up and walk more, for sure, especially since at the end of my 8-hour work day I am usually at 2,000 steps :( Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janetha! Yes, I love it because it's very motivating! Even though I walk in between classes, it takes a conscious effort to walk as much as I should.

      Delete
  11. andrea, this sounds like a cool tool to use! i only track my runs and rides with a garmin. there was a while there when i tracked my walks too but it became obsessive for me! kudos to you and the coffee. i would be a zombie on the walking dead! xoxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was tough to let go of coffee, but after the first few (awful) days, it was fine. I am really surprised how well I function without coffee!

      Delete
  12. I’ve been trying to keep track of my miles on DailyMile this year but I keep forgetting to put the number in. I do use a food/exercise journal of sorts. I have a private blog and upload pictures to it with workouts and my meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stopped using DailyMile because I stopped being consisting with inputting my workouts. But when I did it consistently, I liked it a lot.

      Delete