Fitbit One

Walking Your Way to Fitness: My Fitbit One Review

by Eric on April 27, 2013 · 2 comments

in Fitness

Lately, I’ve found myself struggling to battle laziness.  Part of it stems from the fact that I just finished a rough tax season (and spent 12-14 hours a day at a desk, nearly motionless). After doing that for more than 3 months straight, it’s not easy to get yourself back in the groove of being healthy and fit.

That’s when I stumbled upon the Fitbit One, which is beginning to turn that laziness around.  (Credit where credit is due: My girlfriend talked me into buying this with her, but I’m glad she did.)

Now, I feel like I’m taking a step in the right direction (pun intended).

What is The Fitbit One?

On a very basic level, it’s a pedometer.  But it’s really so much more.  Here’s the basic list of features: 

  • It tracks your steps, floors climbed, distance, and calories burned (calculated based on your height and weight).  On the Fitbit device, you see all of that reported for the current day.
  • The Fitbit has a wireless connection (via Bluetooth) to your smartphone and/or your computer.  The Fitbit app and Fitbit dashboard on their website will show you a lot more data.
  • It also tracks your sleep, and will tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, how long you slept for, and how many times you woke up during the night.  I like this feature a lot.
  • Set goals and compete with friends – if you know anyone who has a Fitbit, you can view your rankings for the past 7 days (total # of steps)

My Experience Using It

As I mentioned, my girlfriend was the one who suggested purchasing the Fitbit One, and at first, I was pretty skeptical about it.  How exactly would a step-counter help me be more active?

Little did I know, I’d be using and checking it frequently throughout the day, competing with with my girlfriend on our weekly step counts.  It’s caused me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do.  For example, we ordered take-out food from a local restaurant.  I always drive my car to pick up the food.  In this case, however, I thought about how I wanted to increase my step count, so I opted to walk to the restaurant instead.

A one-mile walk isn’t going to change your life, but when you start doing this on a regular basis, it makes a difference.  I didn’t need the Fitbit to tell me that walking more is healthier, but it somehow helped me change my habits.

It goes beyond walking, of course.  When faced with the decision to take the stairs vs. an elevator, you’re more likely to take the stairs.  And if you really want to increase your step count quickly, you can go for a light jog or a run – it works the same.

I think the interaction between the Fitbit and the app/online dashboard helps too.  You can see graphs of your progress, track your weight, and just keep better tabs on your fitness.  And as I’ve mentioned already, if you have friends/family who use it, a little friendly competition keeps you more active as well.

I also really like the sleep tracking.  The Fitbit One includes a comfortable velcro wrist band that you can wear while you sleep (you can also wear it for running, etc., but in those cases I typically just keep the Fitbit in my pocket).

You tell the Fitbit when you’re going to sleep, and it tracks how long it took you to fall asleep and how long you slept overall at night, taking into account the times you woke up.  It’s all presented in a nice graph for you to examine the next day (see an example of one of mine below).

Also, you can set a silent wake up alarm with the Fitbit.  At the pre-set wake up time, it vibrates and wakes me up.  The benefit of this is that it doesn’t wake up anyone else, if you share your bed or room with another person. Personally, I think it’s a more peaceful way of waking up (compared to a blaring alarm clock).

One feature I haven’t tried yet is the calorie tracker – you can track your daily food/calorie consumption and compare it to the estimated calories burned, to help improve your weight loss. I don’t know if I would use this diligently enough to make it a valuable feature for me, but I can see how other people might find it useful.

If you’re interested in buying the Fitbit One, don’t buy it in the store.  You can get it slightly cheaper here from Amazon, and won’t have to pay sales tax or shipping (depending on where you live).

In Conclusion…

I really can’t recommend this enough.  Probably like many of you, I originally thought this would be a pointless waste of money, but now it’s turned into an integral part of my daily life.

Obviously, true health and fitness extends beyond a pedometer (like making sure you follow a good diet), but this can definitely help you eliminate some of your laziness as it has for me.

If you have any questions about the Fitbit One, please do leave them in the comments!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

newbodi.es April 28, 2013 at 4:22 am

Great review. I hear so many good things about their products.

Sorry for the difficulty getting and staying active. From reading all of your posts, I wonder if the tool you need is a good coach or support network. I’ve seen it work many times over for people in situations where they need someone to help keep them on the path and filter out the reasons to stray from it (or find ways to work around them/cope). Speaking from personal experience, I’ve worked 12-15 hour days for the past 10 years (at times with heavy travel, too – try working out when you’re stuck on a plane for 7 hours!), but I’ve found how to make fitness work despite that.

The good news is, you can get there. It just might take having someone to talk it out with. Devices like fitbits and Nike FuelBands absolutely help with motivation, so that’s a great move you made.

Good luck, and keep it up!

Reply

Eric April 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thanks Newbodies – you’re right in that, if you have the right motivation, there’s really nothing that can stop you from being active and fit. Unfortunately, I need some external motivation!

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