This is where the Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker comes in to play…
For many a pedometer is just the device for the job and you may already have one of those, but does it track your calorie intake, monitor your sleep patterns, tell you how many stairs you’ve climbed or steps you’ve taken and send automatic updates to your computer?
No? Well the Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Tracker sure does.
What is the Fitbit and How does the Fitbit Work?
Just like the Nintendo Wii, the Fitbit is based on 3D motion sensing and altimeter technology. Each step you take, registers in the device and is used to calculate your daily activity levels. The Fitbit is pretty much shaped like a flashdrive and you just attach it securely to your person; be that your shirt collar, pocket, bra strap or belt hook.
You then go about your daily business as normal. The Fitbit records your activity and sends updates to your Mac or PC once you’re within 15 feet on a base unit. Information is wirelessly transferred to your computer and accessible via the Fitbit website, which incidentally is free to use even if you choose not to buy the Fitbit.
The Fitbit is battery operated and charges to full capacity in about an hour. Then you’re good to go without the need to recharge for up to a week. It comes with a wristband which the manufacturers recommend using whilst you’re in a state of rest or sleep. Data on how well you sleep and for how long is also sent to your computer.
When it comes to calorie counting, this is where you have to do some of the work. The Fitbit isn’t quite at the stage where it will automatically record what you eat, so it’s down to you to manually enter your food intake on the website.
The site does make this easy for you as it has quite a comprehensive list of foods. Even if your particular dish isn’t listed, you can just add it. The website also provides a breakdown of food categories such as; fats, fibre, calories and sodium so you can easily identify where you are exceeding recommended daily allowances.
It’s a real shame the Fitbit doesn’t register things like water intake or vitamins levels. Perhaps in a future version?
There is also a pretty neat social element to the Fitbit website which allows you to set and share your goals with others online. A great way to keep you motivated.
- Access to an online community of Fitbitters means you get to share your goals and experiences with like minded people – – compete with your friends, improve your focus and motivation.
- The fact that you’ll quickly become more aware of your day to day activities which means you will be in the best possible position to instigate positive changes in your lifestyle.
- You get a one year manufacturers warranty which also covers the battery.
- Don’t expect to find an instruction manual in the box with this one. You can however, find full instructions on their website.
- Do not buy the Fitbit before you’ve checked which operating system you’re running. Whilst you’ll be OK on a PC, there has been compatibility issues with certain Mac systems. Always double check first.
- Without access to the internet, the Fitbit really isn’t going to be a whole lot of use to you.
- The Fitbit technology is only based on counting steps and will not record alternative types of physical activity. So if you do exercise which does not involve ‘stepping’; such as weight lifting, cycling or swimming, then be ready to update the website manually.
- Don’t even attempt to go swimming with this thing on. It may be water resistant but it sure is NOT waterproof.
- You have to be committed to manually updating your food log on the website at least once a day in order to get the full benefits of the Fitbit.
You should also consider getting a safety leash for your Fitbit. It costs very little and is well worth it as a preventative measure to lessen the risk of misplacing or losing your expensive bit of kit. You can buy the Safety Leash for Pedometer at Amazon.It’s designed to work with all Pedometers, including the Fitbit.
Fitbit Review – The Verdict:
In essence the Fitbit is a fancy but expensive Pedometer. Although having said that it will revolutionise the way you lose weight and is top in its class amongst a new generation of weight loss devices designed to make your life easier. I guess it comes down to what you think an improvement in your motivation to lose weight is worth?
Because ultimately, that’s what you’re getting with the Fitbit – – a pocket sized wireless unit of motivation which will track your sleep patterns, calorie intake, physical activity, analyse and collate all the data in a cool graph for you. You get to take pleasure in seeing just how far you’ve come.