Friday, February 13, 2015

FitBit Reviews

There are two reviews in this post. The first is by Guest Blogger BFF on the FitBit Charge HR. The second one is from me regarding the FitBit Surge.

"I love Jazzercise therefore I exercise.  I have been an instructor for close to 5 years; one of the best decisions I have made in my life.  Like many exercise programs instructors receive discounts on certain items.  For Jazzercise that means Ryka shoes and Polar watches among other things.  I didn’t have a strong need to monitor my heart rate or know how many calories I was burning while teaching but they were offering a cool new gadget at a discount price…..I could not resist and splurged for a Polar FT60. 

For several years I strapped on my heart monitor across my chest and monitored my activity.  It was interesting to see if I burned more calories on Monday than I did on Wednesday, etc.  After a year or so I grew tired of wearing the monitor, it would slip out of place and lose my heart rate while monitoring hence skewing the results.  I even bought new straps and tried moving the location on my chest but the results remain the same.  I would catch myself paying more attention to the device strapped on my chest and not on the instruction my students needed during class.  I eventually stopped wearing it and didn’t think I missed having it but I kinda did. 

I could remember on average how many calories I would burn, and that never had been a motivator for me, but didn’t miss it enough to buy a new Polar watch.  My best friend had tried others tracking devices and she was currently using the Fitbit.  The Fitbit was a new gadget and I LOVE new gadgets so I gave it a try.  I bought the Fitbit One, clipped it to my undergarment and away I went.  I liked the phone app, I liked the steps calculator and I liked the sleep monitor…it was FUN to have around.  Eventually I added my water intake and manually added my exercise activity.  I used the One for several years and really liked knowing the data then the Charge HR was introduced. 

Once again, new gadget = MUST have.  I liked having my fitbit “out of sight” and that is not an option with the Charge HR.  I have to wear the device on my arm and honestly wasn’t thrilled about that but I wanted the new gadget so I sucked it up and started wearing it.  Now that I am used to it I don’t mind wearing it.  The Charge HR has many of the functions my One had but manages my day with ease.  With the One I had to either remember to turn on the sleep monitor or manually add my sleep time; the Charge HR knows when I fall into a resting pattern and monitors automatically, SWEET!  I can make adjustments for accuracy but if I don’t, it is no big deal.  I DO have to turn on the monitor when I Jazzercise but I don’t mind – it keeps me mindful that my activity is being tracked without the constant attention the Polar watch required. 

I was concerned that the HR monitor would not be as accurate as the Polar watch but after an hour of Jazzercise my heart rate and calories burned with the Fitbit are very similar to those read by the Polar watch!  The Fitbit One had a carry clip that I replaced several times throughout the years because I would sweat and the seal on the clip would come apart.  It was simple to order a new clip however the Fitbit Charge HR is all-in-one.  What happens when the plastic wrist bands wears out?  Do I need to buy a new one?  I am not going to worry about that for now.  I really like my choice and once again I have data to backup my Jazzercise workout.  Even though it is not the motivating factor for me, it is nice to have the information.  I would recommend the FitBit Charge HR!"
Now for the FitBit Surge...
It all started with a Body Bugg named Jax which turned into Jill. I love statistics and information. When I first got the Bugg, I learned how much I had been misleading myself about calorie counts. This helped me have something to focus on...specific goals.
However, the Bugg had to be worn on the upper arm. It was bulky and honestly, not attractive. Plus, you had to pay to use the corresponding app online. Since there were so many available tracking apps out there for free, that got old. Eventually, I just stopped wearing it and moved on to the original Fitbit. It monitored your steps, calories, distance and stairs climbed. I used it but I think I had gotten used to it and didn't really get a lot of inspiration from it. But it was still useful when I needed to put myself on track.
 Eventually I moved on to the FitBit One. It clipped to your bra like the original version. It added a feature to track your sleep. FitBit syncs with My Fitness Pal and the MFP database is huge. This is a big convenience. On occasions I would forget to clip on my One, but not often. The only time I didn't wear it was when I went braless which wasn't often and mostly when I was dressing up for special occasions. I liked it fine, but again, mostly I saw it as a tool to get me on track when I needed to right myself. I did really like the sleep tracker but often I would forget to log my sleep which had to be done manually.
In the middle of all of that, I bought a Garmin running watch that had all sorts of bells and whistles. I used it a few times, but honestly it felt too complicated. I thought I would start it for my run, but midway through I would look and it wasn't running. I would spend more time trying to get it started correctly at the beginning of a race than I would focusing on the run itself. I didn't end up using it often at all.
Lately, I had been thinking about using a running app, but I don't like running with my phone. Then FitBit came out with the Surge. It combines the FitBit Charge HR with a running app. I LOVE IT!
There are only two cons for me. First and the most important is that it is a watch. It has to be worn like a watch because it is big (2" square.) The second is that you still have to remember to start and stop when you run or want to track a workout, but I would imagine that you would have to do that with anything.
First, it does all of the things that I liked in the FitBit One which is good. Plus, the sleep tracking is done automatically.
My favorite thing is that the running app is within the application itself and using the FitBit app is free. It isn't complicated to start, stop and understand what the screen is telling you. The main screens swipes through a clock, step count, current heart rate, distance, calories burned, and floors climbed. You click the left button to get to a screen that swipes through options for exercise, alarms, settings, and run tracking.
Another super awesome feature is that I get my texts straight to my watch. How cool is that? I can't respond or see emoticons, but I have found it to be helpful. Additionally, the watch will buzz if my phone rings...also helpful, especially when my phone is on silent.
I have only had the device for a couple of weeks, but so far I love it. It will be interesting to see how long I can stand wearing it as my only watch (I have several beautiful watches and changed them out regularly) but other than that, I would have no issues.
If you have a question about the FitBit Charge or Surge, feel free to ask. If you like data, having one (or a similar gadget like a jawbone) is great.


1 comment:

Amy W. said...

We have had the Fitbit HR for not quite 2 weeks and I really dig it. It's a little big and I wanted it real fast so we got it from Target and they only had black...but if you want to order one you can get a sassy color if desired. They say to get a good read on your HR, you should wear it about 2 inches up your arm, a little higher than you would a watch. I tried it on my dominate arm (right) but it seemed to slip a lot, so I actually wear it above my watch band on my left arm and now I never think about it! It's pretty accurate.